Cape Town - The ANC and Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and National Council of Provinces Amos Masondo have paid tribute to late former president FW de Klerk.
The ANC said De Klerk had played a key role during the transition period into a democratic order.
It said he was also part of the government of national unity where he served as deputy president.
“Mr De Klerk played a key role in our transition to democracy in the 1990s, which included unbanning all political parties and the unconditional release of all political prisoners including President Nelson Mandela who had been incarcerated for 27 years,” said ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe.
Mapisa-Nqakula and Masondo said he was the last apartheid leader to cross the Rubicon.
This was after De Klerk had realised the apartheid system was untenable.
They said the last apartheid leader had controversial and polarising views on apartheid.
De Klerk, 85, passed away on Thursday.
Mapisa-Nqakula and Masondo said his decision to pursue democratic changes had come after his predecessors had failed to do so after many years.
He reached out to the other side.
But he had his flaws.
‘While it is sad that he subsequently missed the opportunity to cement this legacy by failing to fully recognise and appreciate the devastation the system of apartheid caused to millions of South Africans, history will remember his foresight in realising that apartheid had become untenable and its fall was inevitable, and his contribution in laying the foundation for the new South Africa,” said Mapisa-Nqakula and Masondo.
De Klerk had kept a low profile in recent times and was caught up