South Africa: Pik Botha Passes On, Aged 86
Roelof Frederik “Pik” Botha, South Africa’s apartheid-era former Foreign Affairs Minister, has died, aged 86.
Botha was widely seen for trying to get his party to take broader political view of accomodating black South Africans.
His son, Roelof Botha, said on Friday — “my dad passed away in the early hours of the morning at his home’’. He was 86 years old.
“I think the contribution that he made … to lasting peace in this country is something recognised.”
Botha served under two National Party presidents – BJ Vorster and PW Botha – and one his known diplomatic achievements was negotiating independence for Namibia, then under South African rule.
At the end of apartheid, Botha served as minister of mineral and energy affairs in the government of Nelson Mandela – the country’s first democratically elected president.
He was considered a liberal but the bulk of his career was spent defending South Africa’s apartheid system of racial segregation against foreign criticism, apparently to protect his job.
He was blessed with two sons, the rock musician, Piet Botha and the economist, Roelof Botha, and two daughters, Anna Hertzog and artist Lien Botha.