South African President F.W de Klerk gives a monumental speech ending apartheid in South Africa 

February 2

On February 2, 1990, South African President F.W de Klerk gave a monumental speech marking the end of apartheid in South Africa. 

President Klerk’s speech also included a legislative end to the ban on the African National Congress. This ultimately led to Nelson Mandela being released from prison after almost 30 years.

Apartheid, meaning “apartness” in some African languages, was an institutionalized system of racial segregation and white supremacy that impacted South Africa and South West Africa.

Anti apartheid groups and movements like the African National Congress, founded by Nelson Mandela, and the Pan-African Congress were created in an attempt to end apartheid in South Africa and ensure equal and fair treatment.


Guardian News and Media. (2021, November 11). FW De Klerk issues posthumous apology for pain of apartheid. The Guardian. Retrieved January 1, 2023, from

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