Today: Sunday, 19 May 2024 year

Frederik de Klerk, former South African leader, dies aged 85

Frederik de Klerk, former South African leader, dies aged 85

The ex-President of South Africa, Frederik Willem (FW) de Klerk, has died in age of 85 at his home in Cape Town, The New Daily has learned.

Former President FW de Klerk died peacefully at his home in Fresnaye following his struggle against mesothelioma cancer. As the statement of FW de Klerk Foundation issued on Thursday, he was known globally for his role in scrapping apartheid and shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Nelson Mandela in 1993.

The 85-year-old politician has made the brightest career. FW de Klerk headed South Africa’s white minority government until 1994, when Mandela’s African National Congress (AND) party swept to power.

In the 90s, the LND’s legacy has suffered its worst election result since the end of apartheid – slipping below 50% vote share for the first time, and raising the prospect it could one day find itself in opposition.

FW de Klerk was diagnosed in March with a cancer that affects the tissue lining the lungs, the Foundation said.

“He is survived by his wife Elita, his children Jan and Susan and his grandchildren,” the statement reads.

The family would in due course make an announcement regarding funeral arrangements.

De Klerk, who had been treated for a lung ailment called pneumothorax in 2018, stirred up anger in 2020 when he told a national broadcaster that he did not believe apartheid was a crime against humanity, as declared by the United Nations.