Pik Botha, white man who traveled the world to defend apartheid in South Africa is dead

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Updated: March 7, 2021


Pik Botha, the white man who traveled the world between 1977 and 1994 to defend the brutal and murderous apartheid regime in South Africa has died. He was 86.

Botha, the former South African Foreign Minister between 1977 until the end of apartheid in 1994, died after a lengthy illness, the eNCA news network reported on Friday, citing his son.

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As the global face of the apartheid government in South Africa, Botha, Reuters news agency said, “had the unenviable job of defending apartheid on the world stage”.

He stood by the murderous regime even as South Africa grew increasingly isolated, faced economic sanctions abroad and imposed a state of emergency at home while attempting to destabilize its African neighbors.

In the end, he was seen as a reformer in the hard-line National Party administrations he served under.

Former South African Foreign Minister Pik Botha shakes hands with Archbishop Desmond Tutu at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in Johannesburg, South Africa, October 14,1997. REUTERS/Juda Ngwenya/File Photo

In 1986 he predicted that South Africa might one day have a black president, a statement that earned him a stern rebuke from President P.W. Botha, who was no relation.

“As long as we can agree in a suitable way on the protection of minority rights without a racial sting … then it would possibly become unavoidable that in future you might have a black president of this country,” he said, according to Reuters.

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Simon Ateba Washington DC
Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba covers the White House, the U.S. government, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions for Today News Africa in Washington D.C. Simon can be reached on simonateba@todaynewsafrica.com

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