No state funeral for late S.African Prez

The funeral of late South African President F.W. de Klerk will take place on November 21 in a private manner for family members and the ceremony will not be open to the media, it was announced.

According to the official funeral policy manual issued by the South Korean presidency, former Presidents are entitled to a state funeral.

However, the funeral arrangement for de Klerk, who passed away on November 10 at his home in Cape Town following a struggle against mesothelioma cancer, has been a heated issue.

There was a view that de Klerk should not be granted a state funeral as he was the President of the apartheid regime, under which many black South Africans suffered, and that in an interview in 2020 he didn’t agree that apartheid was a crime against humanity, which he later withdrew and apologised for it.

His contribution to South Africa’s transition also remains controversial among some South African people.

De Klerk, died at the age of 85, in his final message repeated his apology in a video clip for the hurt that apartheid has done to black, brown and Indian people in the country.

He said he realised that apartheid was wrong since 1980s.

Born in 1936 in Johannesburg, de Klerk, the son of a cabinet minister, during his presidency from September 1989 to May 1994 initiated and presided over the inclusive negotiations that led to the dismantling of apartheid established in 1948 and the adoption of South Africa’s first fully democratic constitution in December 1993.

He and Nelson Mandela, who later became South Africa’s first black President, shared the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize.