The Nobel Peace Prize medal awarded nearly 30 years ago to South Africa's last white president, Frederik de Klerk, was stolen from his Cape Town home in April, his foundation said Wednesday.
"The Nobel belonging to FW de Klerk was stolen from his home earlier this year," Brenda Steyn, one of the organization's officials, told AFP. The theft was reported to the police.
The widow of the former president, Elita Georgiades, suspects a former employee of the house of the theft of the recycled 18-carat gold object, said Ms. Steyn.
FW de Klerk, president from 1989 to 1994, who died last year at 85 of cancer, shared the award in 1993 with liberation hero Nelson Mandela.
Precipitating the fall of the racist apartheid regime, de Klerk announced the release of Mandela, then enemy number one of the white regime, in an unexpected speech in parliament in 1990.
Hailed abroad for his decisive role in dismantling the racist regime that he had supported throughout his political life, de Klerk died with scores to settle.
Many voices in South Africa criticized him for never having formally apologized for the atrocities committed by the white power.
He had publicly stated in 2020 that apartheid was not a crime against humanity before apologizing.