F. W. de Klerk

Johannesburg, South Africa – August 16, 2013: F. W. de Klerk, Former State President of Republic of South Africa, Joe Seer/Bigstock.com

Birth Name: Frederik Willem de Klerk

Date of Birth: 18 March, 1936

Place of Birth: Johannesburg, Transvaal, Union of South Africa

Date of Death: 11 November, 2021

Place of Death: Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

Ethnicity: Afrikaner (Austrian, Belgian [Flemish, Walloon], Dutch, French, German, Swiss-French, Swiss-German), remote African (including Khoikhoi), Danish, Indian, Indonesian, and Malagasy

F. W. de Klerk was a South African politician. He served as State President of South Africa, from 15 August, 1989 to 10 May, 1994; as well as Deputy President of South Africa, from 10 May, 1994 to 30 June, 1996, and Leader of the Opposition, from 1996 to 1997, among other duties. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1993, with Nelson Mandela. He was the seventh and last head of state of South Africa under the apartheid era. F. W. was a member of the National Party, with which his family was long affiliated.

F. W. was the son of Hendrina Cornelia (Coetzer) and politician Johannes de Klerk, who was (acting) State President of South Africa, from 9 April, 1975 to 19 April, 1975, as well as Minister of Home Affairs, from 8 October, 1961 to 30 March, 1966, and Chancellor of the Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education, from 1961 to 1979. He was married to Elita Georgiadis, until his death. He had three children with his former wife Marike Willemse. F. W.’s aunt (father’s sister), Susan, was married to J. G. Strijdom, who was Prime Minister of South Africa, from 30 November, 1954 to 24 August, 1958.

“The Peacemakers” won Time Magazine’s Person of the Year for 1993. F. W. was one of four persons chosen to represent that title, along with Yasser Arafat, Nelson Mandela, and Yitzhak Rabin.

The surname de Klerk is derived from Le Clerc, Le Clercq, and de Clercq, and is of French Huguenot origin (meaning “clergyman” or “literate” in old French). The surname Coetzer came from his ancestor, Kutzer, who stemmed from Austria.

Some research suggests that F. W. had Finnish and Italian ancestry. It is not clear if these ancestries have been verified/documented.

F. W. was a half-third cousin, once removed, of Namibian model Behati Prinsloo. F. W.’s maternal great-great-grandmother, Anna Sophia Erasmus, was also Behati’s paternal great-great-great-grandmother.

F. W.’s patrilineal ancestry can be traced back to his tenth great-grandfather, Étienne le Clercq, a French Huguenot.

A few of F. W.’s remote ancestors were slaves from Africa, India, Indonesia, and Madagascar. His 10th great-grandmother, Krotoa (also known as Eva), was a Khoikhoi interpreter.

F. W.’s paternal grandfather was The Rev. Willem Johannes de Klerk (the son of Barend Jacobus de Klerk and Maria Jacoba Grobler). The Rev. Willem was born in Burgersdorp, Drakensberg District, Eastern Cape, and was a Dutch Reformed clergyman, and politician, who fought in the Second Boer War. Barend was the son of Johannes Cornelis de Klerk/De Clercq and Martha Margaretha/Magrietha Schoeman. Maria was the daughter of Jacobus Johannes Grobler/Grobbelaar and Johanna Susanna Lasya Coetzee.

F. W.’s paternal grandmother was Aletta Johanna “Lettie” van Rooy (the daughter of Johannes/Jan Cornelis van Rooy and Aletta Johanna Smit). F. W.’s grandmother Aletta was born in Burgersdorp. F. W.’s great-grandfather Johannes was the son of Johannes Cornelis/Cornelius van Rooy/van Rooij, who was born in Huisseling, Noord-Brabant, Netherlands, and of Anne Françoise Holsters, who was born in Brussels, Belgium. He was a senator. F. W.’s great-grandmother Aletta was the daughter of Jacobus Albertus Smit and Aletta Johanna Smit. Jacobus and Aletta were born with the same surname.

F. W.’s maternal grandfather was Frederik Willem Coetzer (the son of Jacobus Erasmus Coetzer and Elizabeth Catharina Jacoba Johanna Buitendag). F. W.’s grandfather Frederik was born in Bloemfontein, Motheo, Free State. Jacobus was the son of Jacob Coetzer and Anna Sophia Erasmus. Elizabeth was the daughter of Frederik Willem Buitendag and Jannetje Willemina Elizabet Catrina “Jannetje” du Plooy.

F. W.’s maternal grandmother was Anna Cecilia Fouchè (the daughter of Jacobus Paulus Fouché and Cornelia Hendrina Strydom). Anna was born in Rouxville, Xhariep, Free State. Jacobus was the son of Gustavus Wilhelmus Fouché/Voesee and Johanna Swanepoel. Cornelia was the daughter of Adriaan Stephanus Strydom and Elizabeth Johanna Maria Charlotte Swanepoel.

F. W.’s matrilineal ancestry can be traced back to his fifth great-grandmother, Jacoba Johanna Kruger.

Sources: Genealogies of F. W. de Klerk – http://www.geni.com

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