On 2 February 1990, South African President FW de Klerk delivered a speech at the opening of the 1990 session of the Parliament of South Africa.
He announced sweeping reforms that marked the beginning of the negotiated transition from apartheid to constitutional democracy. The reforms included the unbanning of the African National Congress (ANC), The Pan Africanist Congress (PAC), the South African Communist Party (SACP) and other anti-apartheid organizations, the release of political prisoners -including Nelson Mandela- the end of the state of emergency and a moratorium on the death penalty.
FW de Klerk’s actions and speech marked the official end of segregation policies and the official start of the negotiations that led to a constitutional democracy with equal rights for all South Africans.
There have been extensive media reports that Mr De Klerk’s health “is rapidly deteriorating”. This is not so. There has been no discernible deterioration in his health since he was diagnosed in March with mesothelioma - a cancer that affects the lining of the lungs. He is now considering the continuation of the course of immunotherapy that he has been following for the past two months.
Mr De Klerk attended a meeting of the FW de Klerk Foundation Board yesterday - and comes into his office three or four times a week. He and his wife, Elita, hope to travel to Greece for a holiday as soon as COVID regulations permit.
Issued by the FW de Klerk Foundation
8 June 2021