Zach de Beer, former leader of the PFP (1988–1989) and the DP (1989–1994) is one of the forgotten men of South African history. During the darkest years of the apartheid state, he, along with others, kept liberal democratic ideals alive. Outside of parliament, as a prominent figure in the financial world, he encouraged constitutional and political reform. He played a leading role in the founding of the Democratic Party in 1989. In recognition of his contribution to the anti-apartheid struggle, President Nelson Mandela appointed him as ambassador to the Netherlands in 1994. He died in 1999.