Party leaders were shocked, nonetheless, since De Klerk remained the only NP leader with any significant support in the black population. Nelson Mandela was barely gracious in his praise of the man he had come to increasingly distrust in recent years — particularly after De Klerk withdrew his party from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission probing the crimes of the apartheid era. Mandela's salute to his predecessor was barbed: "Whatever mistakes he may have made, and it is possible that he has made very fundamental mistakes as many of us have done, I hope South Africa will not forget the role he has played," Mandela said.
Despite all that has happened, De Klerk still seems to cling to the Gorbachev image. The first order of business in his post-political life is — you've guessed it — a book deal.