South Africa’s last white president, Frederik Willem (FW) de Klerk, died at the age of 85 on Thursday after a prolonged battle with cancer.
In a final
video, he apologised for all the crimes against other ethnic groups during
decades of apartheid in the country.
Frederik said, “I, without qualification, apologise for the pain and the hurt and the indignity and the damage that apartheid has done to Black, Brown and Indians in South Africa.”
Frederik played a major role in scrapping apartheid and shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Nelson Mandela in 1993. Fredrik had previously expressed regret on several occasions for the 1948-91 policy.
“Allow me in this last message to share with you the fact that since the early 80s, my views changed completely. It was as if I had a conversion,” de Klerk said in the video message that was released by his foundation hours after his death.
“And in my heart of hearts, I realized that apartheid was wrong. I realized that we had arrived at a place which was morally unjustifiable,” he said.
He said his view of apartheid had changed since the early 1980s.
“It was as if I had a conversion. And in my heart of hearts, I realized that apartheid was wrong. I realized that we have arrived at a place which was morally unjustifiable.”
It wasn’t clear when the recording was made.
Following his demise, President Cyril Ramaphosa paid tributes saying, “He took the courageous decision (as president) to unban political parties, release political prisoners and enter into negotiations with the liberation movement amid severe pressure to the contrary from many in his political constituency.”