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Veteran South African diplomat Pik Botha dies

Veteran South African diplomat Pik Botha dies

Former foreign affairs minister of South Africa, Pik Botha, who played a major role in Namibian Independence, has passed on only a few short months after Dr. Theo-Ben Gurirab, Namibia’s iconic top diplomat, former Prime Minister and former Speaker of the National Assembly.

Botha died at his home in Pretoria during Thursday night at the age of 86 his son Roelof Botha, said in an interview with a South African television news channel. He was the world’s longest-serving foreign affairs minister.

He was a career diplomat-turned-politician whose negotiating skills were in high demand as international pressure on the apartheid regime gathered momentum during the 1980s.

Botha was instrumental in arranging meetings between former administrator-general of South West Africa, Willie van Niekerk and various other internal political parties to meet with Dr. Sam Nujoma in Zambia.

At the same time Botha also maintained an ongoing dialogue with the government of Angola to prepare for an end to the Border War, and to pave the way for Namibian Independence.

The former South African foreign affairs minister was admitted to a Pretoria hospital in late September.

Botha was born in April 1932, and according to SA History Online the law graduate started in the foreign affairs department in 1953.

In April 1977, he was appointed as the South African minister of foreign Affairs. After Namibia attained Independence and South Africa became a fully democratic country, Botha was appointed minister of mineral of energy affairs in 1994 and resigned from that post in May 1996.

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