F.W. De Klerk is inaugurated

Wednesday, 20 September 1989

After the September general election, F.W. De Klerk was inaugurated as the new State President at the Union Buildings in Pretoria. De Klerk had been Acting State President since 15 August 1989, following the abdication of President P.W. Botha in August. President De Klerk started South Africa on the road to full democracy. In February,1990, he freed Nelson Mandela and unbanned the African National Congress (ANC) and other liberation movements. He released their leaders and held talks with the ANC and other groups. De Klerk also succeeded in gaining the support of the White electorate in the referendum on 17 March, 1992, which, as he said "closed the book on apartheid" and paved the way to a new dispensation for all the people of South Africa. De Klerk served in this position until the first democratic elections were held in 1994.

References:
• FW de Klerk, '  New State President ', [online], Available at: fwdklerk.org.za [accessed 16 September 2009]
•  South Africa on the Edge, ' South Africa on the road to full democracy ', [online], Available at: nybooks.com [accessed 16 September 2009]
•  South African Referendum , ' democratic elections  ',[online], Available at: anc.org.za [accessed 16 September 200]

Last updated : 20-Sep-2016

This article was produced for South African History Online on 16-Mar-2011