FW De Klerk Dies
Former South African president FW de Klerk has died. De Klerk was the last president who was in charge while apartheid was still the law.
He died peacefully at home due to cancer in his lungs.
De Klerk will probably always be remembered for the lifting of the apartheid law and regime, as well as the release of former president Nelson Mandela. This led to South Africa’s first free and fair election in 1994 when women and men of all races were allowed to vote for the first time.
Soon after his death, the FW de Klerk Foundation released his final recording known now as his “final message”.
“Let me today, in the last message repeat: I, without qualification, apologise for the pain and the hurt, and the indignity, and the damage, to black, brown and Indians in South Africa”, he says.
The BBC reports that in his message, President Cyril Ramaphosa praised de Klerk for the “vital” role he played in South Africa’s transition to democracy, despite “severe pressure to the contrary from many in his political constituency”.
Image credit: Reuters