Is your surname Willemse?

Research the Willemse family

Marike Willemse's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!

Marike Willemse

Also Known As: "de Klerk"
Birthdate: (64)
Birthplace: Pretoria, Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa
Death: December 4, 2001 (64)
Dolphin Beach, Table View, Cape, South Africa (Murdered by Luyanda Mboniswa)
Place of Burial: Pretoria West, Gauteng, South Africa
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Wilhelmus AntonIus Willemse and Susanna Elizabeth Heyns
Ex-wife of FW de Klerk, State President of South Africa, Nobel Laureate
Mother of Private; Private and Private
Sister of Wilhelm Anton Willemse

Occupation: Boekhouer, Onderwyseres
Managed by: Gert Wahl
Last Updated:
view all

Immediate Family

About Marike Willemse

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia

Marike de Klerk (17 November 1937 – 4 December 2001) was the First Lady of South Africa, as the wife of State President Frederik Willem de Klerk, from 1989 to 1994. She was also a politician of the former governing National Party in her own right.

Personal life. Marike was born into an upper-middle class Afrikaans family in Pretoria. Her father, Wilhelm Willemse, was an academic and writer. He was Professor of Social Pathology and Psychology at University of Pretoria. Marike met her future husband, F. W. de Klerk, at Potchefstroom University (where she was studying for a degree in commerce). The couple later married and adopted three children together; Jan, Willem, and Susan. F. W. de Klerk and Marike de Klerk were married for 39 years before divorcing in 1998. F. W. de Klerk remarried a week later. In 2000 she faced further emotional upheaval when her relationship with her fiancé and businessman Johan Koekemoer, collapsed. When the media revealed that he was facing impending bankruptcy, Marike de Klerk defended her fiancé, but soon after he faced a nervous breakdown and checked into a Pretoria clinic. In the later years of her life, she battled depression.

Career. During her husband's presidency, Marike was the leader of the National Party's women's wing. In 1993, she was awarded the Woman for Peace Award in Geneva, Switzerland for promoting the well-being and development of rural women. She later wrote and released two books. In A Journey Through Summer and Winter she explored her marriage of 39 years with FW de Klerk. Later in A Place Where the Sun Shines Again she offered guidance to women facing divorce later in life. Her former husband successfully had a chapter from 'A Place Where the Sun Shines Again' dealing with his infidelity censored.

Murder. On 4 December 2001, Marike de Klerk was murdered in her Cape Town apartment. In May 2003, former security guard, Luyanda Mboniswa was convicted of her murder. Her murder led to many high-profile figures speaking out. South African president Thabo Mbeki remarked that she was a "strong, charming and dignified woman".. Winnie Madikizela-Mandela stated that "As a woman, I can identify with the exhaustion of her emotional resources in shaping her former husband's career,". F. W. de Klerk released a statement: "I have learned with great shock and sorrow of the circumstances of the tragic death of my former wife Marike."

view all

Marike Willemse's Timeline

1937
March 29, 1937
Pretoria, Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa
2001
December 4, 2001
Age 64
Table View, Cape, South Africa
December 8, 2001
Age 64
Pretoria West, Gauteng, South Africa