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I remember Winnie Madikizela-Mandela as a fearless person, with a strong personality, who never hesitated to speak the truth as she saw it. For that I have admiration. There is also the dark side of her reputation and history, which one does not delve into at a time such as this. 

I remember from my personal experience, a common humanity. She for example, attended the funeral of the late Marike, my first wife. My wife Elita and I also went to visit Winnie after her great-grandchild died in the car accident, and she welcomed us so warmly. There was a humanity to her that deserves great appreciation.  

What I specially remember of her is that at the Nelson Mandela Sports and Culture Day event, we were on the same pavilion in Johannesburg. Winnie and I had a conversation, where she expressed her deep concern over what was happening within the ANC. She called on me as a so-called former oppressor to do my part to help keep South Africa on the right path.  

My wife Elita and I would like to convey our heartfelt condolences to Winnie’s family and associates. 

Issued on behalf of FW de Klerk
April 2018 

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