Frederik Willem de Klerk is a South African politician who served as the country’s State President from September 1989 to May 1994. He was the seventh and last head of state of South Africa under the apartheid era. De Klerk was also leader of the National Party (which later became the New National Party) from February 1989 to September 1997.
De Klerk brokered the end of apartheid, South Africa’s racial segregation policy, and supported the transformation of South Africa into a multi-racial democracy by entering into the negotiations that resulted in all citizens, including the country’s black majority, having equal voting and other rights. He won the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize in 1991, the Prince of Asturias Award in 1992 and the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 along with Nelson Mandela for his role in the ending of apartheid.
He was one of the deputy presidents of South Africa during the presidency of Nelson Mandela until 1996, and is currently the last white person to hold the position. In 1997 he retired from active politics. He continues to remain active as a lecturer internationally. After the deaths of P.W. Botha in 2006 and Marais Viljoen in 2007, de Klerk is the last surviving State President of South Africa. Until the ascension of Guy Scott as acting President of Zambia in October 2014, he was the last White African to be president of a continental African country.
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