FW de Klerk becomes an honorary patron of the Tutu Foundation UK
The former State President of South Africa FW de Klerk has become an honorary patron of the Tutu Foundation UK.
As a leading figure in the dismantling of the Apartheid regime in South Africa, de Klerk had a sometimes stormy relationship with Desmond Tutu. There were inevitable clashes as the two men approached the same seemingly insurmountable problem from different perspectives.
Eventually de Klerk - a one time supporter of Apartheid who later denounced the system as morally indefensible and wrong - was jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize with Nelson Mandela for their efforts to reform South Africa
His relationship with fellow Nobel laureate, Archbishop Emeritus Tutu is now good. When the Archbishop was ill in hospital de Klerk made a point of visiting and the pair joked about their difficulties during the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
On Friday de Klerk accepted a personal invitation from chair of the UK Foundation, Clive Conway, to become an honorary patron. The former South African president was in the UK as one of the guest speakers at the third International Desmond Tutu Peace Summit at Regent’s University, London.
The summit offered a platform for debate on key issues of peace and conflict resolution and featured expert speakers exploring the subject of ‘Mediating the Impossible’ - something that both FW de Klerk and Desmond Tutu know much about.
One topic covered was South Africa in this year of Nelson Mandela’s Centenary. The summit also discussed international peace and security, rebuilding Syria and the Oslo Agreement, 25 years on.