Parliament’s presiding officers have expressed condolences and sympathies to the family of former President FW de Klerk following his death.
De Klerk died on Thursday at his Cape Town home following a battle with mesothelioma cancer.
In a joint statement, National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and National Council of Provinces the Chairperson Amos Masondo said although de Klerk “espoused controversial and polarising views regarding the legacy of the system of Apartheid”, he played a role in paving the way for democratic reforms in the country.
“While it is sad that he subsequently missed the opportunity to cement this legacy by failing to fully recognise and appreciate the devastation the system of apartheid caused to millions of South Africans, history will remember his foresight in realising that Apartheid had become untenable and its fall was inevitable, and his contribution in laying the foundation for the new South Africa,” Mapisa-Nqakula and Masondo said.
On Thursday, President Cyril Ramaphosa said he had learnt with sadness of the passing of the former Deputy President and former State President during the apartheid era.
De Klerk who served as Deputy President from 1994 to 1996 under the Government of National Unity,recently courted controversy in February last year when in an interview, he said he could not agree with a United Nations’ convention which has declared Apartheid a crime against humanity.
He later withdrew the statement after severe pressure and called the repressive and racial separatist policy “totally unacceptable”
Source: South African Government News Agency