Durban - Former president, FW de Klerk, has announced that he would be undergoing treatment for cancer.
The former statesman - apartheid’s last president - made the announcement on Friday - the day he turned 85.
According to a statement on the FW de Klerk Foundation’s website, De Klerk has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, which is a cancer that affects the tissue that lines the lungs.
“Mr De Klerk will start a course of immunotherapy next week. There is no immediate threat and we are confident that the treatment will be successful,” the brief statement said.
According to the website, asbestos.com, mesothelioma is a malignant tumor that is caused by inhaled asbestos fibers and forms in the lining of the lungs, abdomen or heart.
Symptoms can include shortness of breath and chest pain.
The life expectancy for most mesothelioma patients is approximately 12 months after diagnosis.
De Klerk served as State President from 1989 to 1994 and as Deputy President from 1994 to 1996.
Last year, De Klerk’s son, Willem de Klerk lost his battle to cancer at the age of 53.