Derek Keys: We have lost a great South African – FW de Klerk Foundation

Late businessman and former finance minister was a remarkable man who served in an exemplary manner

We have lost a great South African

2 May 2018

The FW de Klerk Foundation has with sadness taken note of the news that former business leader and Cabinet member, Derek Keys, has passed away. Having played an outstanding role in our transition to democracy, he served in both the Cabinets of former President FW de Klerk and President Nelson Mandela. In his response to the death of Mr Keys, former President De Klerk said: “He was a remarkable man who served South Africa in an exemplary manner. He deserves special respect regarding his work during the Constitutional negotiations. We have lost a great South African.

Mr Keys, a respected business leader in his own right and at the time Chairman of the mining house Gencor, became Minister of Finance in 1992 and served until September 1994, the latter part in the first Cabinet of the new South Africa. After his political career, he continued to serve on the boards of several companies. 

At a time of political change and economic turmoil, he brought a balanced perspective and played a constructive role in the transition to our democracy, especially in terms of macro-economic and fiscal stability. He was able to transcend the world of business and make an indispensable contribution in the politics of his time. It is fitting that we honour him and his memory a few days after the democratic South Africa that he helped to create, celebrated its 24th year. Our condolences go to his family and friends.

Issued by Megan Dick, Communications and Marketing Manager, FW de Klerk Foundation, 2 May 2018