Residents of Pretoria on Friday remembered South Africa’s last apartheid president F.W. de Klerk, who died at the age of 85.
De Klerk was a controversial figure in South Africa where many blamed him for violence against Black South Africans and anti-apartheid activists during his time in power, while some white South Africans saw his efforts to end apartheid as a betrayal.
“After Mr. de Klerk negotiated with our president Nelson Mandela, we were liberated,” said local resident Pastor Robinson, adding he was grateful for Mandela’s negotiations with de Klerk.
Another Pretoria resident, Franz Tshwenyane, acknowledged de Klerk was a controversial figure but said “let the man rest in peace now.”
De Klerk died after a battle against cancer at his home in the Fresnaye area of Cape Town, a spokesman for his foundation confirmed on Thursday.