National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and National Council of Provinces (NCOP) Chairperson Amos Masondo, have conveyed their condolences to the family of former president FW De Klerk on behalf of all Presiding Officers of Parliament.
The FW de Klerk Foundation announced that the former President died peacefully at his home in Fresnaye earlier on Thursday morning following his struggle against mesothelioma cancer.
In March this year, it was confirmed that he had been diagnosed with mesothelioma, which is a form of cancer that affects the tissue that lines the lungs.
Spokesperson, Moloto Mothapo says while De Klerk made controversial views about the legacy of apartheid, his contribution will be remembered for being more courageous than other apartheid leaders.
Mothapo says the presiding officers say while his courage paved the way for democratic reforms – De Klerk also realised that the apartheid was no longer sustainable.
“The National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and the Chairperson of the NCOP Mr Amos Masondo said, although Mr De Klerk espoused controversial views regarding the legacy of the system of Apartheid in South Africa, he was also the most realistic of all the leader of apartheid regime who had the courage and decisiveness to cross the rubicon and reached to where others couldn’t. Thereby paving the way for democratic reforms in the country,” explains Mothapo.
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Meanwhile, the De Klerk Foundation has released a video on social media in which former deputy president FW 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.