News Brief

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.

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.














Follow the hashtag #PikBotha for more responses and insights.

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