Frederik Willem de Klerk, South Africa’s last apartheid-era president, was hospitalized today to have a heart pacemaker installed after a bout of dizziness, his foundation said.
The operation was a “success” and De Klerk is “doing fine,” the Cape Town-based F.W. de Klerk Foundation said in an e-mailed statement today. He’ll be discharged tomorrow, it said.
“Mr De Klerk felt dizzy and saw his specialist yesterday,” the foundation said in a separate statement earlier today. “He has had several such spells in recent weeks and his specialist recommended the immediate installation of a pacemaker.”
De Klerk, 77, became president in 1989 and months later lifted a ban on the African National Congress and released Nelson Mandela after spending 27 years in prison for opposing white-minority rule. The two men jointly won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 and Mandela became president in the first all-race elections a year later.
President Jacob Zuma wished De Klerk a speedy recovery, his office said in an e-mail today.
“Let us keep him and his family in our thoughts and prayers,” Zuma said.
Mandela, who will turn 95 this month, remains in a critical condition in a Pretoria hospital after being admitted to the intensive-care unit for a recurring lung infection on June 8.