Tuesday, 11 December, 2018

South African apartheid-era foreign minister Pik Botha dies

16 October 1994 Mangosuthu Buthelezi Nelson Mandela and Pik Botha attend a rally Pik Botha, apartheid-era minister, dies in South Africa
Jeannette Daniel | 13 October, 2018, 05:59

Pik Botha, South Africa's foreign minister in the last years of apartheid, has died at the age 86.

His son, Piet Botha, who is in the band Jack Hammer, confirmed to the media that his father died peacefully in his sleep in the early hours of the morning.

Botha was admitted to a Pretoria hospital in late September.

Former colleagues, friends and political parties have paid tribute to former government minister Pik Botha.

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

Botha served as the minister of mineral and energy affairs in the government of national unity.

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He adds that Botha's major contribution was in foreign affairs especially in the region where he was instrumental in making peace in Angola and delivering interference in Namibia.

Internationally, Botha was the most visible representative of apartheid at the height of protests and sanctions against the racist rule that ended with Nelson Mandela's election as the first black president in 1994.

By turns urbane and jovial, Botha, foreign minister from 1977 until the end of white rule in 1994, was seen as a reformer in the hard-line National Party administrations he served under.

Diko says it's too soon to say whether he will be afforded an official funeral.

In 1985, he drafted a speech that suggested Mr Mandela could be released from prison - which did not happen until 1990.

"As long as we can agree in a suitable way on the protection of minority rights without a racial sting. then it would possibly become unavoidable that in future you might have a black president of this country", he said.

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