Apartheid-era foreign affairs minister Pik Botha has died

Apartheid-era foreign affairs minister Pik Botha has died

As foreign affairs minister in the cabinets of apartheid presidents BJ Vorster and PW Botha, Botha fought a losing battle to persuade the world that the policy was not a fundamental violation of human rights.

Mr Botha's son, Piet, confirmed to South African media that his father had died during the night.

"As you know, originally we were enemies", Mr Botha told the BBC in 2013.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation's Sello Hatang said: "With the kind of complex history that we have, each one of us should be remembered for the part that we played towards the change. and also the bit that makes our history hard needs to also be remembered".

Botha, who for 17 years was the global face of the racist apartheid regime, died aged 86 after a lengthy illness, according to a Friday eNCA news network report.

The reduction in regional tensions was followed by the 1990 release of Mandela, who had spent 27 years in apartheid prisons.

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President Cyril Ramaphosa has expressed his condolences on the passing of Pik Botha.

Ramaphosa said Botha would be remembered for his support for the country's transition to democracy.ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe said Botha was one of few NP leaders who realised at an early stage that apartheid was wrong and a crime against humanity.

De Klerk also refers to Botha's "unique and colourful personality", adding in the statement that was what made him enter politics to begin with.

Despite his stern rhetoric, Mr Botha was regarded as a reformer, and with suspicion, by hardliners in his National Party.

Botha, also a former South African ambassador to the United States, was foreign minister from 1977 until the end of apartheid in 1994. "We say rest in peace, Pik Botha - you have played your role", Holomisa said.

"The other one was to say the things I did say to change people's minds and to try and be a factor in the transformation that took place", Botha said.

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