An Interview With F.W. De Klerk, the Last Apartheid President of South Africa – February 21, 2011


21 years ago, leading anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela was released by South African President F.W. de Klerk after spending 27 years in prison. His freedom followed the repeal of all major apartheid laws including the lifting of the ANC ban. While Nelson Mandela is probably today’s most known and adored figure, little is known about the last apartheid era president who ordered his release. Frederik Willem de Klerk served as president of South Africa from September 1989 to May 1994. He is widely recognized for orchestrating the end of South Africa’s racial segregation policy known as apartheid. He led the country’s transformation into a multi-racial democracy that resulted in giving equal rights to all South African citizens. De Klerk jointly received with Nelson Mandela the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize. While many saw him as a pragmatist who was able to see the winds of change, others saw in him a skillful and passionate visionary who prevented a civil war. Recently I went to South Africa for a television series we are producing on Nobel Laureates. I had the opportunity to sit with the former president and asked him about the challenges faced by his country today, his role in ending apartheid, his relation with Mandela and much more.
Full Interview below:

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