Ex-S. African FM Botha dies:


Arab Times - - IN­TER­NA­TIONAL -

Former South African for­eign min­is­ter Roelof “Pik” Botha, whose long ca­reer in gov­ern­ment strad­dled both the apartheid era and the pres­i­dency of Nel­son Man­dela, has died aged 86, his son said Fri­day.

Botha served as for­eign min­is­ter for 17 years un­til the end of apartheid in 1994, and then joined Man­dela’s cab­i­net af­ter the end of white-mi­nor­ity rule and the coun­try’s first non-racial elec­tion in 1994.

“As you know, orig­i­nally we were en­e­mies,” Botha told the BBC in 2013.

“From our point of view, (Man­dela) led an or­ga­ni­za­tion which we re­garded as a ter­ror­ist or­gan­i­sa­tion, and they saw them­selves as free­dom fighters.

“Of course all that had to change. It is not al­ways that sim­ple and easy to change men­tal at­ti­tudes (and) mind­sets but even­tu­ally it did change. He played the role of a saviour.” (AFP)


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