De Klerk: Thatcher 'was a strong critic of apartheid'

FW de Klerk, who was the last president of apartheid [South Africa]((http://www.itv.com/news/topic/south-africa), has told ITV News that Baroness Thatcher "embraced and supported" his decision to release Nelson Mandela from prison and negotiate with the African National Congress.

Mr de Klerk, who ruled between 1989 and 1994, told Political Editor Tom Bradby that Lady Thatcher was a "strong critic of apartheid" who had taken the view that Mr Mandela needed to be released "as soon as possible."

On a personal level, the former South African leader told that he had the "highest appreciation" for his friendship with Lady Thatcher.

He added that she was an "honest" and "purposeful" leader who he had "great admiration" for.

Read: The Order of Service for Baroness Thatcher's funeral

Pictures: Baroness Thatcher's coffin arrives at Westminster

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Thatcher's coffin in Parliament

The body of Baroness Thatcher is in a chapel inside the Houses of Parliament, where a service was held for MPs, peers and parliamentary staff. Her funeral takes place today.