On 2 February 1990, South African President FW de Klerk delivered a speech at the opening of the 1990 session of the Parliament of South Africa.
He announced sweeping reforms that marked the beginning of the negotiated transition from apartheid to constitutional democracy. The reforms included the unbanning of the African National Congress (ANC), The Pan Africanist Congress (PAC), the South African Communist Party (SACP) and other anti-apartheid organizations, the release of political prisoners -including Nelson Mandela- the end of the state of emergency and a moratorium on the death penalty.
FW de Klerk’s actions and speech marked the official end of segregation policies and the official start of the negotiations that led to a constitutional democracy with equal rights for all South Africans.
Former President FW de Klerk announced at his 85th birthday today that he has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, which is a cancer that affects the tissue that lines the lungs. Mr De Klerk will start a course of immunotherapy next week. There is no immediate threat and we are confident that the treatment will be successful.
Issued by the FW de Klerk Foundation
18 March 2021