Former President of SA, FW de Klerk attends the Solidarity and the Institute for Constitutional and Labour Studies Conference regarding Affirmative Action on Wednesday 15 July 2009 at the Centurion Lake Hotel. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/FOTO24/CORNEL VAN HEERDEN
Former President of SA, FW de Klerk attends the Solidarity and the Institute for Constitutional and Labour Studies Conference regarding Affirmative Action on Wednesday 15 July 2009 at the Centurion Lake Hotel. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/FOTO24/CORNEL VAN HEERDEN

Former president FW de Klerk died at the age of 85 on Thursday. 

Referred to as “the last white ruler of SA”, De Klerk shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 with Nelson Mandela “for their work for the peaceful termination of the apartheid regime, and for laying the foundations for a new democratic SA”.

The process started with negotiations between the then government, including De Klerk’s predecessor and the ANC. This eventually led to the release of ANC leaders from prison, which would later include Mandela.

The historic “Groote Schuur Minute” (below) was the signing of a document between Mandela, then president of the ANC and the state president De Klerk at Tuinhuis on May 4 1990, which stood as a commitment between the parties to resolve ongoing violence and to commit to peaceful negotiations.

Picture: GALLO IMAGES
Picture: GALLO IMAGES

But before SA realised its democratic state, the different parties had the unenviable task of negotiating the transition. National Party representatives Pik Botha and FW de Klerk are seen below greeting Nelson Mandela at the Convention for a Democratic SA (Codesa) discussions in December 1992.

Picture: SUNDAY TIMES/RAYMOND PRESTON
Picture: SUNDAY TIMES/RAYMOND PRESTON

(L-R) ANC secretary-general Cyril Ramaphosa, President Nelson Mandela, Deputy President FW de Klerk and Gauteng provincial leader Roelf Meyer speak to the media after their meeting on the issue of the constitution.

Picture: BUSINESS DAY/ROBBIE BOTHA
Picture: BUSINESS DAY/ROBBIE BOTHA

Former presidents Jacob Zuma, Mandela and De Klerk at a presentation of National Awards at the Union Buildings on December 10 2002.

Picture: BRENDAN COCKROFT
Picture: BRENDAN COCKROFT

De Klerk visited fellow Nobel Peace Laureate Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu in hospital on September 3 2015. De Klerk shared the prize with Mandela for the peaceful transition of SA to a democratic society.

Picture: BENNY GOOL
Picture: BENNY GOOL
Picture: GALLO IMAGES/PHILL MAGAKOE
Picture: GALLO IMAGES/PHILL MAGAKOE

De Klerk attended the funeral service of his former foreign affairs minister, Pik Botha, which was held at NG Kerk Wonderpark on October 28 2018 in Pretoria.

Picture: REUTERS/SUMAYA HISHAM
Picture: REUTERS/SUMAYA HISHAM

The former president’s role in the negotiations and in SA in general was thrown back into the spotlight when the EFF objected to his presence at the state of the nation address shortly before the coronavirus pandemic. De Klerk looks on as President Cyril Ramaphosa attempts to deliver his state of the nation address at parliament in Cape Town on February 13 2020.

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