Pik’s death buries his­toric se­crets

Financial Mail - - YOU SAID... - Farouk Araie Jo­han­nes­burg

For­mer for­eign af­fairs min­is­ter Pik Botha passed away re­cently. He served in his post for 17 years, un­der three lead­ers.

Botha takes to his grave in­for­ma­tion around events that made in­ter­na­tional head­lines (he was privy to sen­si­tive in­for­ma­tion dur­ing Na­tional Party rule) — events like the nu­clear test in 1979; the Helder­berg crash that killed 159 peo­ple in 1987; the mur­ders of Robert Smit and his wife Jean-cora in 1977; the death of pres­i­dent Samora Machel in 1986; and the as­sas­si­na­tions of Dul­cie Sep­tem­ber,

An­ton Lubowski and many oth­ers.

[The truth about] many of these tragic events will never see the light of day: the role­play­ers have passed on, the trails have gone cold, and top-se­cret doc­u­ments were de­stroyed as democ­racy was born. The les­son is that we should never take free­dom for granted — eter­nal vig­i­lance is a small price to pay for free­dom.

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