‘Pik will be remembered for his service’, says the Presidency

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JOHANNESBURG, October 12 – The last South African apartheid-era foreign affairs minister, Pik Botha, who has died after an illness, will be remembered for his work in the post-1994 government, the Presidency said on Friday.

”President Ramaphosa’s thoughts are with the family, friends and former colleagues of Mr Botha, who served as Minister of Mineral and Energy Affairs for two years under the leadership of president Nelson Mandela,” spokeswoman Khusela Diko said in a statement.

”Prior to 1994, Mr Botha served as Minister of Foreign Affairs for a period of 17 years, which still stands as a world record in the diplomatic community. President Ramaphosa said Mr Botha would be remembered for his support for South Africa’s transition to democracy and for his service in the first democratic administration.”

The former National Party minister turned democrat died in Pretoria on Friday. He was aged 86-years-old.

His death was received with mixed feelings on social media. Politicians took to Twitter to send condolences to Botha’s family.

United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader Bantu Holomisa tweeted: “My condolences. May his soul rest in peace. His role in pressurising the NP leadership to change for the betterment of SA and it’s people is well documented.”

Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom tweeted: ”Saddened by the passing away of Pik Botha. I spent two years sitting next to him in the first cabinet of our new democracy, under President Nelson Mandela. I wish I kept all the scribbled notes he passed on to me. Great intellect, great sense of humour! Condolences to the family”.

– African News Agency (ANA)