CAPE TOWN, 3 September 2015 – Former South African President Mr FW De Klerk visited fellow Nobel Peace Laureate Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu in hospital today.
After chatting for a few minutes laughter filled the ward when the former President, alluding to a difficult phase of his relationship with Archbishop Tutu during the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, said he didn’t want to stay long and tire the Archbishop. “I tired you enough in the past… You tired me too!” he quipped.
Joining the laughter were Archbishop Tutu’s wife, Mrs Leah Tutu, and daughter, the Reverend Canon Mpho Tutu. Mr De Klerk said his wife, Mrs Elita De Klerk, hoped to accompany him to hospital but was recovering from flu.
Archbishop Tutu has been in and out of hospital for the past six weeks to receive intensive antibiotic treatment for a stubborn infection and related complications.
The good news is that the Archbishop’s health is continuing to improve and he will soon be able to return home. He was exercising daily, and spending more and more time sitting in a chair, rather than lying in bed, he told Mr De Klerk.
Mr De Klerk said he looked forward to watching the soon-to-be 84-year-old Archbishop on the dance floor when he celebrates his 80th birthday party early next year.
The Archbishop responded that if he didn’t feel up to dancing, he would certainly pray for the former President. Mr De Klerk jumped at the offer.
The Reverend Canon Mpho Tutu expressed her family’s thanks to the former President and Mrs De Klerk for their regular contact, concern and prayers.