File picture: Thobile Mathonsi/ African News Agency/ANA.

Johannesburg - Former apartheid-era president and Nobel laureate F.W. de Klerk was released from hospital on Monday, his foundation said.

De Klerk, 82, was hospitalised on Friday and underwent a successful medical procedure to treat a pneumothorax condition, an abnormal collection of air in the lungs and chest.

As the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize - which he shared with South Africa's first democratic president Nelson Mandela in 1993 - de Klerk is hailed for his role in dismantling the policies of apartheid.

De Klerk, as the leader of the now defunct National Party, served as president of South Africa from 1989 to 1994.

He then served as Mandela's deputy president for two years.

Citizens critical of de Klerk's legacy urged the public not to forget his role in upholding a segregationist government as a member of the then-ruling National Party.

dpa