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F.W. de Klerk, South Africa’s Last Apartheid President, Dies at 85

HeadlineNov 11, 2021

F.W. de Klerk, South Africa’s last apartheid-era president, has died at the age of 85. As a government minister, de Klerk defended and enforced segregation and white minority rule. But in 1990, facing intense pressure both within South Africa and from the international anti-apartheid movement, then-President de Klerk dismantled the apartheid system and ordered the release of Nelson Mandela from prison. Mandela became the nation’s first Black president in 1994, and de Klerk served as his vice president. The pair were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.

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