Apartheid-era leader gets pacemaker

AFP-JIJI

South Africa’s last apartheid president, F.W. de Klerk, underwent a successful operation Tuesday to have a pacemaker fitted, as his fellow Nobel Peace Prize laureate Nelson Mandela lies critically ill.

De Klerk cut short a visit to Europe over the weekend because of Mandela’s failing health, only to fall ill himself. The 77-year-old felt dizzy after his return from Europe on Sunday and saw his physician.

“The specialist recommended immediate installation of a pacemaker,” his spokesman, Dave Steward, told reporters.

The F.W. de Klerk Foundation later said in a statement the procedure “was a success and Mr. de Klerk is doing fine.”

De Klerk received the device, which helps the heart beat at a normal rate, at a hospital Cape Town.