Oslo, Norway-December 10: Nelson Mandela and South African President FW de Klerk received the Nobel Peace Prize at the Oslo City Hall on December 10, 1993.
David Levinson | Getty Images News | Getty Images
FW de Klerk won the Nobel Peace Prize together with Nelson Mandela, and as the last apartheid president of South Africa overseeing the end of the country’s white minority rule, he has passed away at the age of 85.
A spokesperson for the FW de Klerk Foundation confirmed on Thursday that De Klerk died after battling cancer at his home in Fresnaye, Cape Town.
In a speech to the South African Parliament on February 2, 1990, De Klerk announced that Mandela would be released 27 years later. For decades, this country has been scorned and sanctioned in most parts of the world for its cruel racial discrimination system called apartheid.
As South Africa’s isolation deepens and its once stable economy is deteriorating, De Klerk, who was elected president just five months ago, also announced in the same speech that the ban on the African National Congress and other anti-apartheid political groups will be lifted.
Amidst his gasps, several members of Parliament left the conference hall while he was speaking.
Nine days later, Mandela was free again.
Four years later, Mandela was elected as the country’s first black president. This was the first time a black voted.
By that time, De Klerk and Mandela had won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 because of their frequent cooperation in pushing South Africa away from institutionalized racism and toward democracy.
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