The republic of South Africa declared four days of national mourning after the death of its last white president, Frederick de Klerk, on November 11. De Klerk has remained a controversial figure in the country despite his reported role in dismantling the apartheid system.
In February 1990, during an unexpected speech to Parliament, de Klerk announced the release of the regime’s number one enemy; Nelson Mandela, and the legalization of his party, the African National Congress (ANC), and other parties fighting the segregationist system; paving the way for the end of white rule and the country’s democratic transition.
According to Africanews, A national mourning will be observed from Wednesday evening to Sunday evening; “the national flag will be flown at half-mast as a mark of respect,” announced the office of President Cyril Ramaphosa.
A private funeral has also been planned for Sunday, then, an official commemoration will also be held at a date that is to be determined.
At age 85, the death of FW de Klerk, has generated several mixed reactions in South Africa. With alot of critics on the Nobel Peace Prize winner; a prize he received jointly with Mandela in 1993. He is being criticized for never actually making a full apology for the crimes of apartheid.
In a posthumous video that was released shortly after his death; the former president, however, made an attempt to correct the impression that he never apologized and then apologizes; “unreservedly” for “the pain, suffering, indignity and damage that apartheid inflicted.