Nov 11, 2021
By Andy Johnson
The former South African president, who defended the country’s apartheid system and later dismantled it after freeing Nelson Mandela from prison, has died.
F.W. de Klerk was a member of a prominent Afrikaans family who supported separation of the races. However, during an interview in 2014, admitted it was wrong, a conclusion he had arrived at after years in politics.
In February of 1990, de Klerk announced Mandela’s release from prison following twenty seven years behind bars, to the shock of many South African parliamentarians. Mandela left his cell nine days later and went on become South Africa’s President. Both men were later awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
The Associated Press reports de Klerk died this morning at his Cape Town-area home following a battle with cancer. He was 85.