Flags flown at half-mast during mourning for FW de Klerk

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA – JULY 29: Former president FW de Klerk during a visit at the Maropeng Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site on July 29, 2014 in Johannesburg, South Africa. De Klerk imprinted his foot at the famous World Heritage Site as a celebration of the common ancestry of all people. (Photo by Gallo Images / Foto24 / Mary-Ann Palmer)

Cape Town – President Cyril Ramaphosa has declared a five-day mourning period in honour of the last apartheid president FW de Klerk.

As directed by Ramaphosa, the national flag will be flown at half-mast from sunset on Wednesday until Sunday evening.

“Government will at a future date host a State Memorial Service in remembrance of the former deputy president.

“Government has consulted the De Klerk family and the FW de Klerk Foundation as part of preparing for this event in which government leaders, leaders of political parties, and representatives of civil society will participate,” said acting Presidency spokesperson Tyrone Seale.

De Klerk died at his home in Fresnaye after a long battle with mesothelioma cancer last Thursday.

His death, coupled with a video released by the FW de Klerk Foundation in which the 85-year-old apologised for the damage caused to non-whites during the apartheid regime, sparked mixed reactions from citizens in the country.

The EFF said they were strongly opposed to a state funeral “for a man who died without accounting for the blood on his hands”.

De Klerk succeeded PW Botha having served as president of the republic from September 1989 until May 1994.

The FW de Klerk Foundation has announced the cremation and funeral will take place in a private ceremony for family members on Sunday. The funeral will not be open to the media.

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