FW de Klerk: Not Everybody’s Apartheid Hero Including Nelson Mandela

FW de Klerk: Not Everybody's Apartheid Hero Including Nelson Mandela

FW de Klerk, South Africa‘s ex president during the practice of the apartheid system, dies at 85 but not all is praising the Nobel Peace Prize winner.

While he came forward to criticize the system, others believed he raised glass to it behind closed doors.

The ex-president Frederik Willem (FW) de Klerk, struggled with cancer and eventually died on Thursday. The “hero-villain” for a coinage drawn from people’s controversial stand about his position as president during the apartheid, left one last message in a video.


“I, without qualification, apologise for the pain and the hurt and the indignity and the damage that apartheid has done to Black, Brown and Indians in South Africa,” said FW de Klerk.

With his last breath, the ex-president once again his apologized.

The face that usually carries the magazine cover for saving the “Black, Brown and Indians in South Africa”, Nelson Mandela never at all seen FW de Klerk as a “great emancipator”.

In the video, FW de Klerk added that:

“Allow me in this last message to share with you the fact that since the early 80s, my views changed completely. It was as if I had a conversion.

“And in my heart of hearts, I realized that apartheid was wrong. I realized that we had arrived at a place which was morally unjustifiable.”

However, President Cyril Ramaphosa deeply acknowledged the role he played:

“He took the courageous decision (as president) to unban political parties, release political prisoners and enter into negotiations with the liberation movement amid severe pressure to the contrary from many in his political constituency,” he said.

Despite Nelson Mandela’s position while he was alive, Mandela’s Foundation diplomatically recognized him saying he would “forever be linked to Nelson Mandela in the annals of South African history”.

By Elijah Christopher

Elijah Christopher
Elijah Christopher is a journalist at A New Touch Of Africa, is also a creative writer, a poet, and an IT enthusiast. He contributed to the collaborative poem written in celebration of Edwin Morgan Centenary, the first Glasgow poet laureate and Scottish national poet from the University of Glasgow. He loves meeting people and learning about new places, cultures, events, and lifestyles.
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