Frederik de Klerk

President of South Africa 1989-1996 and Joint Winner of the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize

Frederik de Klerk

President of South Africa 1989-1996 and Joint Winner of the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize

Biography Klerk is best known for the role he played in transforming South Africa into a non-racial democracy. He resigned from his office as President in May 1996. As his country’s first ‘television president’, de Klerk developed a friendlier, more open and accessible relationship with the media than any of his predecessors. He was widely praised for his efforts to keep South Africa on the negotiations path during its transition into a non-racial democracy, and for the serene self-confidence he displayed during the transition.

F.W. de Klerk shows audiences the importance of strong leadership. Decision makers from all fields will benefit from his deep political insights and wealth of experience as a world leader.

He graduated with Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Law degrees from the Potchefstroom University for Higher Christian Education, where he was active in student affairs. After eleven years of practicing law in Vereeniging, Transvaal, he won the local seat in Parliament for the then-ruling National Party in 1972. In 1978, he was appointed to the South African Cabinet.

From 1982-1989, Mr de Klerk served as leader of the National Party in the Transvaal, the most populous of South Africa’s four provinces. He also served as chairman of the Ministers’ Council and later as Leader of the House of Assembly. In February 1989, he was elected as his party’s national leader. Seven months later, after President P.W. Botha resigned, de Klerk was unanimously elected President of South Africa.

Mr de Klerk made fundamental changes to the South African political processes and accelerated the elimination of apartheid. He also introduced a set of initiatives that led directly to South Africa’s first-ever universal-franchise election in April 1994.

He was a co-recipient with Nelson Mandela of the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize for the leading role he played in the democratisation of South Africa. He retired from active politics in September 1997. An engaging and insightful speaker, Mr de Klerk is in great demand by audiences eager to benefit from his experiences as the key player in the transformation of the South African political landscape.


  • The New South Africa
  • Political Leadership
  • The Effects of Globalisation
  • World Politics




  • The Last Trek: A New Beginning – The autobiography (1998)


  • Nobel Peace Prize (1993)

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