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De Klerk is doing fine despite battling with cancer, says his Foundation

Former president FW de Klerk speaks at his foundation's annual conference in Cape Town on Tuesday, 3 February 2015. Picture: Nardus Engelbrecht/SAPA

Former president FW de Klerk speaks at his foundation's annual conference in Cape Town on Tuesday, 3 February 2015. Picture: Nardus Engelbrecht/SAPA

Published Jun 25, 2021

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Johannesburg - Former president FW de Klerk is doing fine despite battling with cancer, the FW de Klerk Foundation has maintained.

Earlier this month, there were media reports that De Klerk’s health was “rapidly deteriorating” since the former president was diagnosed with mesothelioma – a cancer that affects the lining of the lungs – in March this year. The foundation, however, refuted these claims on June 8.

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“There has been no discernible deterioration in his health since he was diagnosed in March with mesothelioma – a cancer that affects the lining of the lungs. He is now considering the continuation of the course of immunotherapy that he has been following for the past two months,” the foundation said in a statement.

“Mr De Klerk attended a meeting of the FW de Klerk Foundation Board and comes into his office three or four times a week. He and his wife, Elita, hope to travel to Greece for a holiday as soon as Covid-19 regulations permit,” the FW de Klerk Foundation had said on June 8.

The foundation’s chief executive, advocate Jacques du Preez, said on Thursday that there had been no discernible change to the 85-year-old former president’s health since the foundation’s statement earlier this month.

The former president’s son Willem, 53, died on October 6 last year in Durbanville, Cape Town, of cancer.

Should the former president pass away, he is likely to receive a category 1 state funeral, according to the Presidency’s State, Official And Provincial Official Funeral Policy Manual.

De Klerk won the Nobel Peace Prize along with Nelson Mandela “for their work for the peaceful termination of the apartheid regime”. In February last year, the EFF called for De Klerk’s Nobel Peace Prize to be stripped after the foundation issued an apology for a statement on apartheid not being a crime against humanity.

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