De Klerk had many private struggles: Widow

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The widow of the last apartheid-era president, FW de Klerk, says her husband was a good man who was the love of her life.

Elita De Klerk was paying tribute to her husband at his state memorial service at the Groote Kerk in Cape Town.

De Klerk died last month with his wife at his side at the age of 85 after a battle with cancer.

Elita says De Klerk had many struggles in his private life.

“Once he knew what he wanted to achieve, he planned it meticulously anticipating all obstacles in order to bring it to reality. He was torn between intellect and emotion. His emotion was for the pain the country was going through. He could not find peace in this horrendous system. He was a very private man, guarding his inner soul at all costs. Suddenly, he started seeing that choosing emotion did not seem like a betrayal, it meant justice.”

Elita de Klerk pays tribute:

De Klerk remembered for his passion for democracy

Chairperson of the FW de Klerk Foundation Dave Steward says the last apartheid-era president, FW de Klerk, has left the country better than he had found it.

Steward says De Klerk will be remembered for his passion for democracy.

“He will be remembered for his unwavering commitment to the constitutional democracy that he, Nelson Mandela, Mangosuthu Buthelezi, Thabo Mbeki and all the other negotiators helped to create. In 1999, he established the De Klerk Foundation to defend and promote the constitution. His vision to the day of his death remained fixed on the realisation of a society based on the constitutional values,’ adds Steward.

Reading of De Klerk’s obituary:


Meanwhile, a small group of people continued to protest outside the Groote Kerk where the memorial is taking place.

The group is calling on President Cyril Ramaphosa to meet with the families of victims of the apartheid-era atrocities.

Some of the protesters are calling on the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Head Shamila Batohi to resign due to a lack of prosecutions.

Others are demanding justice for struggle stalwarts such as the late Ashley Kriel, Anton Fransch and Imam Abdullah Haron.

Cassiem Khan from the Imam Haron Foundation says: We are saying that he has not made the time to meet with Apartheid-era victims’ families who had written to him on two occasions, who had asked him to apologise for the delay in cases being opened. The former TRC representatives have called on him and asked him to investigate the political interference and the National Prosecuting Authority.”

SABC News Reporter on the protests outside De Klerk’s memorial service: