The Thabo Mbeki Foundation says former president FW de Klerk chose to accept the reality that it would be futile to continue to defend the apartheid system and he played a part in paving the way for the democratic transition in South Africa.
De Klerk died from cancer at his home in Cape Town on Thursday at the age of 85.
He was diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer earlier this year and has died of complications, as a result.
The foundation says De Klerk’s death should serve as a moment for all South Africans to reflect on what must still be done to complete the task of building a non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous country that truly belongs to all who live it.
Former president Thabo Mbeki, the Foundation Board and its staff have sent their condolences to f the family of the former president and members and staff of the FW De Klerk Foundation.
STATEMENT OF THE THABO MBEKI FOUNDATION ON THE PASSING OF FORMER PRESIDENT FW DE KLERK. pic.twitter.com/VpvweqB15M
— Thabo Mbeki Foundation (@TMFoundation_) November 11, 2021
RIP FW De Klerk | A look at De Klerk’s life during the apartheid
Nelson Mandela Foundation: He was a South African who tried his best
Earlier, the Nelson Mandela Foundation described De Klerk as a South African who tried his best.
Executive of the Foundation, Sello Hatang says De Klerk’s legacy cannot be disregarded.
“Like all legacies, no legacy is one that is perfect. Every legacy has its own blemishes, so does every legacy of the greatest of the greatest and I think in this case we have a legacy that we should all be observing as one that was weak, that was difficult.”
“He had his moments, for example, him moving out of the government of national unity. That was part of that negative legacy because it then impacted on nation building, but I think we can’t deny, like Madiba did, the acknowledgement that he was a South African who tried his best,” says Hatang.
De Klerk apologises to South Africans for apartheid
Meanwhile, the De Klerk Foundation has released a video on social media in which De Klerk again apologises to South Africans for apartheid in an emotional last message.
In the clip, De Klerk apologises unreservedly for apartheid and acknowledges the hurt and wrongs caused by the system
He appears visibly frail in the pre-recorded video message.
The now-deceased elder statesman also thanked those who supported him during difficult times.
FW De Klerk’s last words to South Africans: