F.W. de Klerk

F.W. de Klerk Visual Arts Biographies Famous People Government Social Studies

F.W. de Klerk was President of South Africa when he agreed to meet with Nelson Mandela at Victor Verster prison (now known as Drakenstein Correctional Centre) in late 1989.  At the time, Mandela was living in a private house on the prison grounds.

South Africa History provides more detail about that significant meeting:

In December 1989, de Klerk met with the imprisoned leader of the African National Congress (ANC), Nelson Mandela. On 2 February 1990, de Klerk lifted the ban on the ANC, the South African Communist Party (SACP) and the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC).

On 11 February Mandela was released. Negotiations with Mandela and other party leaders were held for the peaceful end of apartheid and transition to democratic rule.

In 1993, De Klerk and Mandela were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts at reform in South Africa.

...After the 1994 elections, De Klerk was appointed the Second Vice President in President Mandela’s cabinet. In 1996 [de Klerk] and other National Party members withdrew from their cabinet posts in order to establish the National Party as an effective opposition to the ANC. In 1997 De Klerk retired from politics.

Although the two men accomplished much together, Mandela did not have the same chemistry with de Klerk as he had with Botha.

Media Credits

Photo of F.W. de Klerk, online courtesy the Library of South Africa.

Quoted passage, online courtesy South Africa History.org.



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