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Pik Botha was a bold negotiator – Bantu Holomisa

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The UDM leader has sent his condolences to Botha’s family.

Leader of the United Democratic Movement (UDM) Bantu Holomisa has joined the chorus of those expressing their condolences to the family of Apartheid-era former Minister of Foreign Affairs Pik Botha.

Botha died in a hospital in Pretoria on Thursday, 11 October 2018, at age 86. He was admitted in September after a short illness.

Holomisa recalled his first encounter with him.

“The first time the late Pik Botha and I spoke over the phone was with the removal of George Matanzima and Stella Sigcau from power. I explained that on both occasions there was just cause, because of the corruption they were involved in. He again contacted us when he and FW de Klerk had concerns that the Transkei military government was taking unilateral decisions when we decided to work with the liberation movements”, he said.

Holomisa further praised Botha for his opposition to apartheid.

“I knew Pik Botha as a bold negotiator and an intelligent opponent. He was one of the few National Party leaders who stood up and said that the system of Apartheid will not work. Even during PW Botha’s time, when saying such a thing would have been regarded as treason of the white nationalist cause”

Born in 1932, he joined the Department of Foreign Affairs in 1953 and then became Minister in 1977.

He served in the government of national unity under Nelson Mandela until 1996.

In 1988, Botha signed a tripartite agreement between South Africa, Cuba and Angola at the United Nations’ (UN) headquarters in New York City. This resulted in the implementation of a Security Council resolution and to South Africa’s relinquishing control of Namibia, after decades of defiance.

He was also a fierce critic of affirmative action and said the apartheid government would have never reached an agreement with the ANC had it insisted on its current affirmative action programme.

In 2000, Botha famously changed allegiance from the National Party (NP) to the African National Congress (ANC).

Thabo Baloyi
[email protected]

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