World reacts to death of FW De Klerk, South Africa’s ex-president


The legacy of De Klerk’s role in South Africa’s transition from apartheid to democracy remains highly contested.


The death of South Africa’s last white president Frederik Willem (FW) de Klerk has drawn mixed reactions.

De Klerk, who negotiated the end of white minority rule and a peaceful transfer of power to a Black-led government, died on Thursday aged 85, after a battle with cancer.

De Klerk won praise worldwide for his role in scrapping apartheid and he shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Mandela in 1993. The following year Mandela won South Africa’s first multi-racial elections with his African National Congress (ANC).

But de Klerk’s role in the transition to democracy remains highly contested nearly 30 years after the end of apartheid.

Many Black people were angered by his failure to curb political violence in the turbulent years leading up to the 1994 multi-racial elections, while right-wing white Afrikaners, who had long ruled the country under de Klerk’s National Party, viewed him as a traitor to their cause of white supremacy.

Here are some of the early reactions to de Klerk’s death

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