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Pik Botha through the ages: His life in pictures

2018-10-12 10:31

The death of former apartheid-era minister of foreign affairs Pik Botha has been met with mixed reactions from South Africans.

As tributes poured in following his death, many political leaders stood polarized in their views on the contributions made by Botha.

Some political leaders credited Both with "defending apartheid rule" and "delaying the freedom black South Africans", while some viewed Botha as having "pressurised the National Party leadership" into changing its policies. 

Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi did not mince his words calling Botha a defender of the apartheid government who died without revealing "who engineered the death of Samora Machel".   

Former Radio 702 presenter Kananelo Sexwale also seemed to hold similar views to those expressed by Lesufi, calling Botha a "thuggish and hateful pig".

United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa, however, acknowledging Botha’s role in fighting for a better South Africa.

Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom has hailed his great intellect and sense of humour. He said in a Tweet that he was saddened by the passing.

“I spent two years sitting next to him in the first cabinet of our new democracy, under President Nelson Mandela. I wish I kept all the scribbled notes he passed on to me. Great intellect, great sense of humour,” he said


Botha died on Thursday night at the age of 86.

He was admitted to a Pretoria hospital last month following health complications.

Botha was a stalwart of the National Party and a staunch defender of the apartheid cause at the United Nations and around the world, where he denounced the ANC leadership as "terrorists".

However, he later joined the ANC in 2000.

In April 1977, he was appointed minister of foreign affairs and he also served as minister of energy affairs in 1994 under former President Nelson Mandela’s administration. He resigned in 1996.

Born 27 April 1932 in Rustenburg, he completed his BA LLB at the University of Pretoria and in February 1953, he joined the South African department of foreign affairs.

Pik Botha and Margot Malan, the wife of former defence minister Magnus Malan at Malan’ funeral, which was held in NG Kerk Lynnwood in Pretoria in 2011. Picture: Liza van Deventer
Pik Botha’s boek Pik Botha and his Time. Picture: Craig Nieuwenhuizen/Foto24
Pik Botha with Cuban revolutionary and politician, Jorge Risquet, in 2010. Picture: Alet Pretorius
On April 27 2012 Pik Botha turned 80, and celebrated with Ivor Ichikowitz, Barend du Plessis and Tim du Plessis. Picture: Lisa Hnatowicz
An interview with Pik Botha in 2005. Picture: Lisa Hnatowicz
Pik Botha and development economist turned politician Rabelani Dagada discuss affirmative action in 2013. Picture: Herman Verwey/Foto24
Pik Botha with Wynand du Toit after his release from an Angolan prison. Du Toit was the leader of a Special Task Team sent to Angola on a military mission in May 1985. He was held captive as an Angolan prisoner of war for two and a half years. Picture: Foto24
Pik Botha having a chat with Mathews Phosa when he was presented with his Congolese order of merit in 2014. Picture: Felix Dlangamandla
Pik Botha is presented with his Congolese order of merit in 2014. Picture: Felix Dlangamandla
Pik Botha greets Winnie Madikizela-Mandela at the 2014 screening of Plot for Peace, a documentary on the end of apartheid. Picture: Ichikowitz Family Foundation/Sabie Botha.
Pik Botha and his wife Ina meet Stephen Hawking and his daughter Lucy in 2008. Picture: Supplied

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December 9 2018