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FW De Klerk

fw de klerk

Fw De Klerk - Motivational and Keynote Speaker - Cape Town

Frederik Willem de Klerk was born in Johannesburg on March 18, 1936. He is the son of Senator Jan de Klerk, a leading politician, who became minister in the South African government. His brother Willem is a liberal newspaperman and one of the founders of the Democratic Party.

F.W. de Klerk graduated with a law degree from Potchefstroom University in 1958 and then practiced law in Vereeniging in the Transvaal. In 1969, he married Marike Willemse, with whom he has two sons and a daughter. De Klerk was offered a professorship of administrative law at Potchefstroom in 1972 but he declined the post because he had been elected to Parliament as National Party member for Vereeniging at the time.

In 1978, F.W. de Klerk was appointed Minister of Posts and Telecommunications and Social Welfare and Pensions by Prime Minister Vorster. Under Prime Minister P.W. Botha, he held a succession of ministerial posts, including Posts and Telecommunications and Sports and Recreation (1978-1979), Mines, Energy and Environmental Planning (1979-1980), Mineral and Energy Affairs (1980-1982), Internal Affairs (1982-1985), and National Education and Planning (1984-1989). In 1985, he became chairman of the Minister's Council in the House of Assembly. On December 1, 1986, he became the leader of the House of Assembly.

fw de klerk

As Minister of National Education, F.W. de Klerk was a supporter of segregated universities, and as a leader of the National Party in Transvaal, he was not known to advocate reform. In February 1989, de Klerk was elected leader of the National Party and in September 1989 he was elected State President.

In his first speech after assuming the party leadership he called for a nonracist South Africa and for negotiations about the country's future. He lifted the ban on the ANC and released Nelson Mandela. He brought apartheid to an end and opened the way for the drafting of a new constitution for the country based on the principle of one person, one vote.

As Minister of National Education, F.W. de Klerk was a supporter of segregated universities but also worked for the equalisation of expenditure on pupils from all racial groups. A centrist in the National Party, he led moves in 1982 against the extreme right wing of the party, before being elected as leader of the party in the Transvaal. In February 1989, de Klerk was elected leader of the National Party and in September 1989 he was elected State President.

In his first speech after assuming the party leadership he called for a nonracist South Africa and for negotiations about the country's future. On 2 February 1990 he lifted the ban on the ANC and all other political organisations and announced the release of Nelson Mandela. He brought apartheid to an end and opened the way for the drafting of a new constitution for the country based on the principle of one person, one vote and the entrenchment of basic human rights.

fw de klerk

After South Africa's first universal democratic elections on 27 April 1994, Mr de Klerk was appointed as Executive Deputy President in South Africa's Government of National Unity. He held this post until June, 1996 when his party withdrew from the Government of National Unity. From then until his retirement from active politics in 1997, Mr De Klerk was the leader of the official opposition. Mr De Klerk published his autobiography 'The Last Trek - a New Beginning' in January 1999 and has now established the F W de Klerk Foundation to work for peace in societies that are divided on cultural, ethnic, religious or linguistic lines.

Frederik Willem de Klerk (born 18 March 1936), often known as F. W. de Klerk, is the former seventh and last State President of apartheid-era South Africa, serving from September 1989 to May 1994. De Klerk was also leader of the National Party (which later became the New National Party) from February 1989 to September 1997.

De Klerk is best known for engineering the end of apartheid, South Africa's racial segregation policy, and supporting 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 Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize in 1991, Prince of Asturias Awards 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, the last white person to hold the position to date. In 1997, he retired from politics.

fw de klerk

In 1998, de Klerk and his wife of 38 years, Marike de Klerk, were divorced following the discovery of his affair with Elita Georgiades, then the wife of Tony Georgiades, a Greek shipping tycoon who had allegedly given de Klerk and the NP financial support. Soon after his divorce, de Klerk and Georgiades were married. His divorce and re-marriage scandalised conservative South African opinion, especially among the Calvinist Afrikaners. In 1999 his autobiography, The Last Trek-A New Beginning, was published.

In 2000 de Klerk established the pro-peace FW de Klerk Foundation of which he is the chairman. De Klerk is also chairman of the Global Leadership Foundation, an organisation he established after retiring from office. Formally inaugurated in March 2004, the Global Leadership Foundation works to "promote good governance – democratic institutions, open markets, human rights and the rule of law – and to contribute to the prevention and resolution of conflict through mediation."

On 4 December 2001, Marike de Klerk was found stabbed and violently strangled to death in her Cape Town flat. De Klerk, who was on a brief visit to Stockholm, Sweden to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the Nobel Prize foundation, announced he would immediately return to mourn his dead ex-wife. The atrocity was reportedly condemned strongly by South African president Thabo Mbeki and Winnie Mandela, among others, who openly spoke in favour of Marike de Klerk. On 6 December, 21 year old security guard Luyanda Mboniswa was arrested for the murder. On 15 May 2003 he received two life sentences for murder as well as three years for breaking into Marike de Klerk's apartment.

fw de klerk

In 2004 de Klerk announced that he was quitting the New National Party and seeking a new political home after it was announced that the NNP would merge with the ruling ANC. That same year, while giving an interview to US journalist Richard Stengel, de Klerk was asked whether South Africa had turned out the way he envisioned it back in 1990. To which his response was: "There are a number of imperfections in the new South Africa where I would have hoped that things would be better, but on balance I think we have basically achieved what we set out to achieve. And if I were to draw balance sheets on where South Africa stands now, I would say that the positive outweighs the negative by far. There is a tendency by commentators across the world to focus on the few negatives which are quite negative, like how are we handling AIDS, like our role vis-à-vis Zimbabwe. But the positives – the stability in South Africa, the adherence to well-balanced economic policies, fighting inflation, doing all the right things in order to lay the basis and the foundation for sustained economic growth – are in place." In 2008, he repeated in a speech that "despite all the negatives facing South Africa, he is very positive about the country".

In 2006 he underwent surgery for a malignant tumour in his colon, discovered after an examination on 3 June. His condition deteriorated sharply, and he underwent a second operation after developing respiratory problems. On 13 June it was announced that he was to undergo a tracheotomy. He recovered and on 11 September 2006 gave a speech at Kent State University Stark Campus. In 2006, he underwent triple coronary artery bypass surgery.

In January 2007 de Klerk was a speaker promoting peace and democracy in the world at the "Towards a Global Forum on New Democracies" event in Taipei, Taiwan, along with other dignitaries including Poland's Lech Wałęsa and now former Taiwan President Chen Shui-Bian.

fw de klerk

De Klerk is an Honorary Patron of the University Philosophical Society and Honorary Chairman of the Prague Society for International Cooperation. He has also received the Gold Medal for Outstanding Contribution to Public Discourse from the College Historical Society for his contribution to ending apartheid.

In October 2008 de Klerk spoke at Brigham Young University concerning the global politics and role of the United States as the world's last remaining superpower.

After the inauguration of Jacob Zuma as South Africa's president in May 2009 de Klerk said he is optimistic that Zuma and his government can "confound the prophets of doom".

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Fw De Klerk - Motivational and Keynote Speaker - Cape Town

 
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