Nelson Mandela Foundation


FW de Klerk and Nelson Mandela

Today we are marking the 22nd anniversary of President FW de Klerk’s historic announcement that Nelson Mandela would be freed and political organisations would be unbanned.

“We agree with his views that despite its challenges South Africa is a vastly improved country to what it was 22 years ago,” said Sello Hatang, spokesperson for the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory. “Like Mr De Klerk and his Foundation, the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory promotes efforts to solve this country’s problems through dialogue.”

Reflecting in his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, on 2 February 1990, Mr Mandela said: “FW de Klerk stood before Parliament to make the traditional opening speech and did something no other South African head of state had ever done: he truly began to dismantle the apartheid system and lay the groundwork for a democratic South Africa ... It was a breathtaking moment.”