February 21, 2024

FW de Klerk died at age 85

According to BBC Focus on Africa, FW de Klerk, the last white person to lead South Africa and a key figure in the transition to democracy, died of cancer at age 85. The 85 year old had been diagnosed with cancer earlier this year. Klerk attain to power in 1989 under apartheid, a system of legalized racism, but later became a key figure in the transition to democracy.

He ordered Nelson Mandela’s release from prison, leading to historic polls where the anti-apartheid leader became the first black president. De Klerk shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Mandela for helping to negotiate an end to apartheid. But his legacy divides opinion in South Africa.

photo credit BBC

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