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Frederik Willem de Klerk Quotes


Frederik Willem de Klerk
  • Mini Bio
  • Name: Frederik Willem De Klerk
  • Born: 18th March 1936, Johannesburg, Transvaal, South Africa
  • Alma mater: Potchefstroom University
  • Occupation: Politician
  • Highest office attained: State President of South Africa
  • Famous for: Dismantling apartheid leading to a non racial democracy
  • Political party: National party
  • Trivia: He is the last surviving State President of South Africa
  • Scroll down for full bio and many great quotes

"Peace does not fare well where poverty and deprivation reign"

Frederik Willem de Klerk

"If we dwell on real or imagined sins of the past, we shall never be able to find one another in the present, nor shall we be able to work together on building the future"

Frederik Willem de Klerk

"The hope of millions of South Africans is fixed on us. The future of southern Africa depends on us. We dare not waver or fail"

Frederik Willem de Klerk

"There are powers that are trying to manipulate our country's history by trying to portray it as dark, suppressive and unfair"

Frederik Willem de Klerk

"We're not doing what we do because of sanctions. We're doing what we do because we believe it is right"

Frederik Willem de Klerk

"My ideal is that what we should do is to, to also rise above that and to achieve true non-racialism"

Frederik Willem de Klerk

"Here at the crossroads of our history, we need to turn our backs on the past"

Frederik Willem de Klerk

"Are we caught up on a treadmill of history, turning forever on the axle of mindless aggression and self-destruction"

Frederik Willem de Klerk

"I believe that first impressions are very important"

Frederik Willem de Klerk

"President Mandela was not a hands-on president at any time"

Frederik Willem de Klerk

"You cannot say we are a healthy, dynamic democracy when one party wins almost two-thirds of the vote"

Frederik Willem de Klerk

"Racism is a part of a problem, a world problem, which has to be overcome"

Frederik Willem de Klerk

"We have failed to bring justice. We cannot build the future on injustice"

Frederik Willem de Klerk

"When I first met Mandela, we did not discuss anything of substance; We just felt each other out"

Frederik Willem de Klerk

"When I talk about the end of apartheid, I prefer not to claim the honour that I have ended it"

Frederik Willem de Klerk

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Frederik Willem de Klerk Biography

Frederik Willem de Klerk was born into a politically active Afrikaans family and after undergoing a local education he graduated with a bachelor of laws degree from Potchefstroom University in 1958.



As a trained attorney he practiced law in the Transvaal for ten years until he stood for election and duly won the Vereeniging seat in 1969. By 1978 he became a cabinet minister and on 15th August 1989 he was sworn in as the State President of South Africa.

Once in the top post there was a sudden pendulum swing in South African politics whereby the once conservative De Klerk announced that his plan was to change the Apartheid regime to a less racially divisive democracy.

He freed Nelson Mandela and made good on his word of dismantling Apartheid and he was subsequently awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. During his political career he was known for his eloquent negotiating skills so it was most interesting researching and selecting my compilation of 15 of the best Frederik Willem de Klerk quotes.

Quotes About Frederik Willem de Klerk

Archbishop Desmond Tutu was disappointed to say: "There was almost an avalanche of information. To say that you [De Klerk] do not know what was happening, I find that difficult"

The anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela was humbled by his inextricable destiny that involved de Klerk: "A man does not become a freedom fighter in the hope of winning awards, but when I was notified that I had won the 1993 Nobel peace prize jointly with Mr. F.W. de Klerk, I was deeply moved"


Frederik Willem de Klerk image quote