Former minister Pik Botha dies
THE death of former foreign affairs minister Pik Botha this week was met with mixed reactions from South Africans, with some labelling him a defender of apartheid and others hailing the role he played in the transition from the oppressive regime to a democratic South Africa.
Botha died at his Pretoria home at the age of 86 after a long illness.
He had been hospitalised towards the end of last month, although no reason was given.
President Cyril Ramaphosa said the man who was part of the National Party would be remembered for his support for this country’s liberation and for his service in the first democratic administration.
Botha served as the minister of mineral and energy affairs in Nelson Mandela’s Cabinet between 1994 and 1996.
THE death of apartheid South Africa’s former foreign minister, Pik Botha, must remind South Africans to reclaim the vision of a united, democratic, non-racial, non-sexist, peaceful and prosperous country while drawing lessons from the mistakes of the past, the South African Civic Organisation (Sanco) said yesterday.
“While he cannot be celebrated as a unifier and liberator, he will always be remembered as one of the most influential figures that served the apartheid National Party government,” said Sanco national spokesperson Jabu Mahlangu.
Botha died in Pretoria this week at the age of 86.
Mahlangu said Botha had acknowledged, in the twilight of his career as a politician, that the new constitutional dispensation could not bring about national unity and lasting peace unless there was a deliberate effort to redress historical injustices and past atrocities. | African News Agency (ANA)