South Africa’s ex-president de Klerk diagnosed with cancer

Former South African president FW de Klerk, 27 January 2020. (Photo: Jaco Marais)

JOHANNESBURG, March 19 (Reuters) - Former South African president and Nobel Peace Prize winner FW de Klerk has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, a cancer that affects the tissue that lines the lungs, his foundation said in a statement.

“Mr De Klerk will start a course of immunotherapy next week. There is no immediate threat, and we are confident that the treatment will be successful,” read the statement that was released late on Thursday.

De Klerk, 85, headed South Africa’s white minority government until 1994, when Nelson Mandela’s African National Congress party swept to power.

He shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Mandela, but his role in the transition to democracy is highly contested more than 20 years after the end of apartheid. (Reporting by Alexander Winning)


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