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South Africa announces 5 days of mourning for former President De klerk

Flags to be flown at half-mast from sunset Wednesday to Sunday

Hassan Isilow   | 16.11.2021
South Africa announces 5 days of mourning for former President De klerk

JOHANNESBURG

South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa announced Tuesday that five days of mourning will be observed for the country’s last white President F.W. De Klerk.

De Klerk died Thursday at his home in Cape Town, following a struggle with mesothelioma. He was 85.

Ramaphosa said the national flag will be flown at half-mast from sunset Wednesday until the evening of Nov. 21 as a mark of respect for De Klerk.

The former president will be cremated Sunday followed by a private funeral attended by family members.

De Klerk, who served from September 1989 to May 1994, played a key role in helping to dismantle the white oppressive system of apartheid.

In 1990, he announced the release from prison of Nelson Mandela, who was held for 27 years for opposing apartheid.

That led to multiparty elections in 1994 which saw Mandela’s African National Congress (ANC) party win and Mandela became the nation’s first Black president.

De Klerk also shared the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize with Mandela. He also served as deputy president under the new democratic dispensation under Mandela in 1994.

His death, however, drew mixed reactions with some praising his role in ending apartheid and others accusing him of being responsible for murders during the regime.

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