South African Twitter Responds to Death of Apartheid Foreign Affairs Minister Pik Botha
South Africans are divided in their remembrance of Pik Botha's life and what he stood for.
Former member of South Africa's apartheid government, Pik Botha was reported dead this morning by multiple publications. Botha was the minister of foreign affairs from 1977 until the end of apartheid in 1994. He became mineral and energy affairs minister under Nelson Mandela‚ South Africa's first black and democratically elected president.
Botha's role during apartheid times was defending the oppressive regime on the world stage as the country faced economic sanctions and isolation.
Pik Botha: Key figure in South Africa's apartheid transition dies https://t.co/7aW4r7Xzo3 https://t.co/VBedWtzKod— BBC News Africa (@BBC News Africa) 1539327740.0
Botha was seen as a reformer in the National Party administrations. In 1986, he famously "predicted" that South Africa might one day have a black president. That statement didn't go down well with President P.W. Botha.
Pik Botha told the Sunday Times‚ in an interview in 2011:
"In 1986‚ after I said during an interview that we could have a black president in the future‚ I was severely reprimanded and almost fired. But within the party‚ the remorse in hearts and minds was growing and soon became intolerable‚ coupled with our acknowledgement that if we perpetuate apartheid‚ inevitably it would result in the destruction of the country."
South Africans are divided in their sentiments about Botha, as expressed on Twitter. Here are some tweets from ordinary South Africans and politicians responding to his death and what he stood for.
Pik Botha dies. My condolences. May his soul Rest In Peace. His role in pressurizing the NP leadership to change f… https://t.co/kAdac0lLmk— Bantu Holomisa (@Bantu Holomisa) 1539323697.0
BREAKING: Arrogant white supremacist Pik Botha DEAD at 86 https://t.co/d8Uq9f6vaG— Neal Collins (@Neal Collins) 1539324357.0
ANC SADDENED BY THE PASSING OF #PikBotha The African National Congress express its condolences to the family & Fr… https://t.co/uw0a1yZIpz— African National Congress (@African National Congress) 1539338997.0
Pik Botha dead, next should be Dr Klerk. By one by one 😉— Demi-God (@Demi-God) 1539334201.0
Hearing Pik Botha’s son saying his father was worried about the deteriorating state of South Africa on his death bed is almost laughable.— Flo Letoaba (@Flo Letoaba) 1539323770.0
Only if Pik Botha was dying for the 20th time, this will be news, he killed a lot of black people and oppressed the… https://t.co/AEBfp11eLW— Wolf-Man (@Wolf-Man) 1539334192.0
President Cyril Ramaphosa has expressed his condolences at the passing away of former Minister of Mineral and Energ… https://t.co/PevbmMgsaV— PresidencyZA (@PresidencyZA) 1539334184.0
Pik Botha DEAD! (86) He's nickname was Pik which is short for "pikkewyn" meaning penguin. UNTOLD STORIES: He be… https://t.co/25iL2GdtDs— news for you (@news for you) 1539334012.0
#PikBotha is a mass murderer. @BLF_SouthAfrica opened a case against him and FW de Klerk the NPA is refusing to act… https://t.co/BFZeJ3aQeC— andile (@andile) 1539330912.0
#PikBotha My beste ou vriend uit daardie tyd is dood. Ek gaan hom vreeslik mis. Liefde aan sy familie.— Evita Bezuidenhout (@Evita Bezuidenhout) 1539324069.0
Pik Botha is no more but Apartheid is alive and well. Morning, Rainbow nation... https://t.co/BIjULQYA6Q— Portia Gumede (@Portia Gumede) 1539324646.0
I think many of us are confusing Pik Botha with PW Botha. https://t.co/7FUqb3O5Gg— Madlamini Omhle (@Madlamini Omhle) 1539325155.0
There is an apartheid missing in your tweet. https://t.co/eZSUyq2GGs— Ottilia Anna MaDau (@Ottilia Anna MaDau) 1539325588.0
If - for some bizarre whitewashing reason - you are going to dignify a Pik Botha with a public announcement of his… https://t.co/SIr2mbfv60— Ottilia Anna MaDau (@Ottilia Anna MaDau) 1539325750.0
Follow the hashtag #PikBotha for more responses and insights.