The foreign affairs minister during the apartheid era – Pik Botha has died at the age of 86‚ it was confirmed on Friday.
Roelof Botha‚ his son, confirmed his death to eNCA. His father died at his Pretoria home on Thursday night. He was admitted to a Pretoria hospital in late September.
He served as foreign affairs minister during the last years of the apartheid government and as minister of mineral and energy affairs under Nelson Mandela‚ South Africa’s first democratically elected president.
Botha later retired from politics in 1996 when the National Party withdrew from the government of national unity. In 2000‚ he announced that he would join the ANC.
He established relationships with US secretary of state Henry Kissinger and managed to influence former US president Ronald Reagan and former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher to oppose sanctions against SA. Botha’s greatest diplomatic achievement was the successful negotiation of independence for Namibia‚ a series of talks that involved Cuba and the US.