The last president of South Africa during the apartheid era, Frederik Willem de Klerk, has died at the age of 85.
He was president from 1989 to May 1994 and played a pivotal role in the transition from a white minority regime to democratic elections and the government of Nelson Mandela’s African National Congress. De Klerk was also vice president under him.
According to his foundation, De Klerk died of cancer.
De Klerk and Mandela were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 for their work for a relatively peaceful transition to a democracy without racial segregation.
The segregation of populations on the basis of race or racial characteristics was introduced in South Africa in 1948 and collapsed in 1990 as a result of majority opposition and foreign pressure.