As reactions to the death of FW de Klerk pour in on social media, former public protector Thuli Madonsela's tribute has sparked debate online.
De Klerk died on Thursday 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 [Thursday] morning following his struggle against mesothelioma cancer.”
Considered the last white ruler of SA, 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 SA”.
He 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.
Among those paying tribute to De Klerk was Madonsela, who said her “heart goes out” to his widow Elita, family and friends.
She claimed it “took courage and the choice of hope over fear to cross the Rubicon entailed in the release of Nelson Mandela, unbanning political parties and enter into constitutional negotiations”.