FW de Klerk has Died at 85

South Africa’s last white president Frederik Willem (FW) de Klerk died on Thursday morning at his home in Cape Town, the FW de Klerk Foundation said in a statement.

Klerk (85), passed away in the early hours of the morning after a battle with cancer.

“Former President FW de Klerk died peacefully at his home in Fresnaye earlier this morning following his struggle against mesothelioma cancer,” the statement said.

He is survived by his wife Elita, his children Jan and Susan and his grandchildren,” read a statement by the FW de Klerk Foundation.

Klerk served as state president of South Africa from 1989 to 1994 and as deputy president from 1994 to 1996.

As South Africa’s last head of state from the era of white-minority rule, he and his government dismantled the apartheid system and introduced universal suffrage.

Frederik Willem de Klerk leaves a legacy that will continue to be debated, contested and defended.