FW de Klerk: South Africa’s former president dead at 85 – cause of death

FW de Klerk, the former president of South Africa and the last white man to lead the country, passed away at the age of 85.

A spokesperson said that Mr. De Klerk was also a key figure in the transition to democracy in the United States and was diagnosed with cancer this year.

Mr. De Klerk served as the head of state from September 1989 to May 1994.In 1990, he announced that he would release the anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela, leading to the 1994 multiparty poll.

The former President FW de Klerk Foundation wrote in a statement on Thursday morning: “Former President FW de Klerk fought against mesothelioma cancer at his Fresnay (Cape) office earlier this morning. Died peacefully in his home.”The foundation announced the diagnosis in June this year-a cancer that affects the lining of the lungs.

FW de Klerk succeeded PW Botha as the leader of the National Party in February 1989 and announced the lifting of the ban on political parties including Mr. Mandela’s African National Congress (ANC) the following year.

His actions helped put an end to South Africa in the apartheid era. After the 1994 multi-party election made Mandela the president, he became one of the country’s two vice presidents.In 1993, he shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Mr. Mandela.However, his role in the transition to democracy has been controversial.

Last year, he was embroiled in an accusation of downplaying the severity of apartheid. He later apologized for “sophistry” in this matter

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