Apartheid-era foreign affairs minister Pik Botha has died

Remigio Civitarese
Ottobre 14, 2018

In 1986 he predicted that South Africa might one day have a black president, a statement that earned him a stern rebuke from president P.W. Botha, who was no relation.

Apartheid-era Foreign Affairs Minister Pik Botha has died at the age of 86.

"Although Botha was former minister of the Nationalist Party administration, we acknowledge and are appreciative of his positive contribution towards building a new and better South Africa", the ANC said.

He is survived by his second wife Ina, two sons, the rock musician Piet Botha and the economist Roelof Botha, along with two daughters, Anna Hertzog and artist Lien Botha.

Mr Botha also served as mines and energy minister in Mandela's government before retiring in 1996.

Botha had the unenviable job of defending apartheid on the world stage as South Africa grew increasingly isolated, facing economic sanctions overseas while imposing a state of emergency at home and attempting to destablise its African neighbours.

Holomisa says he interacted with Botha when he was a leader in the Transkei - as well as at CODESA.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has expressed his condolences on the passing of Pik Botha.

But he also served as a minister in Nelson Mandela's first post-apartheid government, praising Mr Mandela as a healing figure.

He made few public comments after that, though said in some interviews that he felt remorse and was even haunted by apartheid's legacy while highlighting his efforts to change the system from within and oppose global communism.

Botha's greatest diplomatic achievement was the successful negotiation of independence for Namibia‚ a series of talks that involved Cuba and the US.

The reduction in regional tensions was followed by the 1990 release of Mandela, who had spent 27 years in apartheid prisons. "That was one choice, yes", he said.

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