Wednesday, 17 October, 2018

S African apartheid-era foreign minister Pik Botha dies

Pik Botha Global Face Of South Africa's Apartheid State Dies At 86 Pik Botha: Key figure in South Africa's apartheid transition dies
Steven Clarke | 13 October, 2018, 09:57

The death of former South African foreign minister Pik Botha has stirred up racial sentiments on social media, as many disagree on whether to define his legacy as an apartheid oppressor or a reformer.

BusinessLIVE reports that as foreign affairs minister in the cabinets of apartheid presidents BJ Vorster and PW Botha‚ Botha fought a losing battle to persuade the world that the policy was not a fundamental violation of human rights.

Pik Botha was a prominent figure in the country's white minority government at the height of the struggle against apartheid that ended with all-race elections in 1994.

Regarded as a skilled behind-the-scenes negotiator who loosened adversaries up over rounds of drinks, Botha's accomplishments included securing a peace protocol that ended South Africa's military involvement in Angola, where Cuban troops had been sent to defend the Marxist government.

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

White Woman Calls Police On Black Man Babysitting White Children
He said the incident has made him think about similar racial profiling incidents that have occurred this year. Just a few minutes later, police showed up and asked to talk to the kids. "In 2018, prejudiced people exist".

"He was very sick during the last three weeks and his body just couldn't take it anymore".

He began his diplomatic career in the South African mission in Stockholm in 1953 and turned to politics in the 1970s.

The 1980s saw tough challenges as global opposition to the apartheid regime grew.

He is not related to the late PW Botha, the contemporary National Party politician under whom he served as South Africa's foreign minister.

He said Mr Mandela had told him: "We need each other to succeed".

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