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FW De Klerk played a critical role in dismantling the system of apartheid, says Premier Alan Winde

Premier Alan Winde conveyed his heartfelt condolences to the De Klerk family and also praised his important contribution to the country’s democracy. Picture: Leon Muller/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Premier Alan Winde conveyed his heartfelt condolences to the De Klerk family and also praised his important contribution to the country’s democracy. Picture: Leon Muller/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Published Nov 11, 2021

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Cape Town Premier Alan Winde extended his condolences after the news of former President FW de Klerk’s passing and said that he played a critical role in dismantling the system of apartheid.

Earlier on Thursday, the FW de Klerk Foundation announced the death of De Klerk, 85, and said he died peacefully at his home in Fresnaye following his struggle against mesothelioma cancer.

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He is survived by his wife Elita, his children Jan and Susan, and his grandchildren. The foundation added that the family would, in due course, make an announcement regarding funeral arrangements.

Winde conveyed his heartfelt condolences to the De Klerk family and also praised his important contribution to the country’s democracy.

“It is with sadness that we note the passing of former President FW De Klerk in Cape Town today. I extend my heartfelt condolences to his family and loved ones during this very difficult time.

“FW De Klerk will be remembered for his important contribution to South Africa’s peaceful transition to a constitutional democracy, including becoming deputy president as part of the government of national unity.

“He played a critical role in dismantling the system of apartheid, and we thank and honour him for this contribution today,” Winde said.

“I know that through his foundation, he will continue to have a positive impact on our country as it focuses on strengthening our democracy and promoting and protecting our Bill of Rights.

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“I encourage South Africans to use this sad moment to again commit to the values enshrined in our Constitution, and to remember that we are stronger together, united in our diversity.

“These values must remain our guiding light as we move forward together,” Winde said.

De Klerk served as leader of the National Party and led the apartheid government from 1989 until the dawn of our democracy in 1994.

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During his presidency De Klerk initiated and presided over the inclusive negotiations that led to the adoption of South Africa’s first fully democratic Constitution in December 1993.

Also in 1993, together with former President Nelson Mandela, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

After the election on April 27, 1994, Mr De Klerk served as one of South Africa’s two executive deputy presidents until 1996, when his party withdrew from the government of national unity.

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He retired from active politics in September 1997.

De Klerk announced his mesothelioma diagnosis during his 85th birthday celebrations in March 2021. According to a statement from his foundation, De Klerk began undergoing immunotherapy treatment in March 2021.

Cape Argus

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