Former president FW de Klerk and Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi. Picture: Brenton Geach/African News Agency (ANA) Archives
Former president FW de Klerk and Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi. Picture: Brenton Geach/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

IFP extends sympathies to FW de Klerk’s family after former president loses battle to cancer

By Jehran Naidoo Time of article published Nov 11, 2021

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Durban – The Inkatha Freedom Party’s founder (IFP) Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi on Thursday extended his condolences on behalf of the party to the family of the former president Frederik Willem de Klerk, who died on Thursday morning.

Buthelezi said it was not only a painful moment for the De Klerk family, but for the nation at large as “we have lost a champion of democratic principles and constitutionalism who served the country long after his retirement from governance”.

De Klerk died in the early hours of Thursday morning after a battle with cancer, according to his foundation.

Buthelezi said he worked in the Government of National Unity with then Deputy President De Klerk and that he respected his commitment to the wellbeing of the country.

“I shall never forget his words upon receipt of the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway, on 10 December 1993. He spoke about the fundamental change of heart that became the driving force towards a new dispensation. He said, ’It was not a sudden change, but a process – a process of introspection, of soul searching; of repentance; of realisation of the futility of ongoing conflict; of acknowledgement of failed policies and the injustice it brought with it.’

“This was not merely a change of his own heart, but a change in our entire country. History bestowed on former President de Klerk the unique privilege of taking us across the threshold. In announcing the release of Mr Mandela and other political prisoners, and the unbanning of political parties, on 2 February 1990, he opened the way for inclusive democratic negotiations. It was the beginning of our shared future.

“We thank the Almighty that former President de Klerk had the opportunity to see South Africa become a country of freedom in which every citizen has equal rights,” Buthelezi said.

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Political Bureau

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