Oppressor or co-liberator? Social media weighs in on FW de Klerk's death
Social media has been flooded with reaction to the death of former president FW de Klerk, after news of his passing on Thursday.
De Klerk died at his home in Cape Town at the age of 85. His death was confirmed in a statement by his foundation.
“It is with the deepest sadness that the FW de Klerk Foundation must announce that former president FW de Klerk died peacefully at his home in Fresnaye earlier this morning following his struggle against mesothelioma cancer.”
De Klerk disclosed in March that he was suffering from the cancer, which affects the lining of the lungs. He was undergoing immunotherapy to treat it.
Considered the last white ruler of South Africa, De Klerk shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 with Nelson Mandela “for their work for the peaceful termination of the apartheid regime, and for laying the foundations for a new democratic South Africa”.
He had ruled over the final years of apartheid between 1989 and 1994.
His legacy has been the subject of fierce debate on social media after his death:
Part of FW de Klerk's legacy is that his government committed crimes against humanity and he always denied that they were crimes.— Sharné Zoë (@Zoe_SZi) November 11, 2021
Mr F. W. de Klerk has died. The death of any person is tragic. His death leaves me cold.— Comrade Themba Godi (@ThembaGodi_) November 11, 2021
Nelson Mandela was freed by all the people in South Africa and the world who fought against FW de Klerk and the evil, failed regime he lead. FW de Klerk did not free anyone from anything and he died denying that Apartheid was a crime against humanity. https://t.co/50ibEb22mw— Neo (@Neo_url) November 11, 2021
To expect black people to be affected by the death of FW De Klerk is just as insensitive as people celebrating it.— Denny Afrika (@Denny1ZW) November 11, 2021