(TheConservativeNews.org) – On November 11, 2021, Frederik Willem de Klerk, the last “apartheid” president of South Africa, lost his battle with cancer and died in his home. The former president was a controversial figure, blamed for violence against black South Africans and citizens who fought against his racist ideology.
On February 2, 1990, de Klerk gave a speech to South Africa’s parliament and announced that, after nearly three decades, Nelson Mandela would no longer be in prison. The country had long suffered sanctions and scrutiny from the rest of the world due to its racially discriminatory policies.
In the same speech, de Klerk removed bans on anti-apartheid groups including the African National Congress (ANC). Cyril Ramaphosa, South Africa’s president, asserted that de Klerk played a crucial part in South Africa’s transition to become a democracy. De Klerk worked with Mandela to help South Africa move in the right direction, for which both men earned Nobel Peace Prizes.
De Klerk’s foundation released a video after it announced the former president’s death. The video depicted a frail de Klerk apologizing for his role in apartheid, noting that his opinion of the ideology changed in the early part of the 1980s.
The former South African president certainly has a checkered legacy, one that the people of South Africa will have to reckon with long after his death.
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