South Africa Mourns Former President Who Dies At 85

South Africa mourns the loss of former president FW de Klerk.

De Klerk, South Africa’s last white president, died on Thursday at the age of 85.

His foundation announced that he died after a battle with cancer, with De Klerk having announced his diagnosis when he clocked 85 years of age earlier this year.

The statement read, “It is with the deepest sadness that the FW de Klerk Foundation must announce that former president FW de Klerk died peacefully at his home in Fresnaye earlier this morning following his struggle against mesothelioma cancer,” it said.

“The family will, in due course, announce funeral arrangements,” it added.

The former president shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 with South Africa’s first black president Nelson Mandela for leading the transition from white rule in the country.

He is fondly remembered for the speech he delivered on February 2, 1990, announcing the lift of a ban on the African National Congress [ANC] and other liberation movements.

He also ordered the release of Nelson Mandela from prison after 27 years in jail.

De Klerk held several ministerial positions before becoming president in 1989; he handed over the baton to Mandela after the first democratic elections in 1994.

He is survived by his wife Elita, children Jan and Susan, and grandchildren.

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