F.W. de Klerk, who shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Nelson Mandela and as South Africa’s last apartheid president oversaw the end of the country’s white minority rule, has died at the age of 85.
De Klerk died after a battle against cancer at his home in the Fresnaye area of Cape Town, a spokesman for the F.W. de Klerk Foundation confirmed on Thursday.
It was de Klerk who in a speech to South Africa’s parliament on Feb. 2, 1990, announced that Mandela would be released from prison after 27 years. The announcement electrifying a country that for decades had been scorned and sanctioned by much of the world for its brutal system of racial discrimination known as apartheid.