President Cyril Ramaphosa has sent his condolences to the family of former Mineral and Energy Affairs Minister Roelof “Pik” Botha, who passed away in the early hours of this morning.
“President Ramaphosa’s thoughts are with the family, friends and former colleagues of Mr Botha who served as Minister of Mineral and Energy Affairs for two years under the leadership of President Nelson Mandela,” said the Presidency in a statement.
Botha, 86, passed away in Pretoria after an illness which saw him admitted to a Pretoria hospital last month.
Prior to 1994 Botha had served as Minister of Foreign Affairs for 17 years – which still stands as a world record in the diplomatic community.
Born on 27 April 1932 in Rustenburg, he completed his B.A. LL.B at the University of Pretoria and in February 1953 joined the then apartheid South African Department of Foreign Affairs.
In 1975 Botha was appointed South African Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the USA, combining this post with that of permanent representative at the United Nations.
Botha was appointed Minister of Mineral of Energy Affairs in democratic South Africa’s 1994 Cabinet under President Mandela.
He resigned from this post in May 1996.
In 2000 Botha who had previously was the deputy leader of the National Party, applied for African National Congress membership as well as publicly expressing his support for then-President Thabo Mbeki.
President Ramaphosa said Mr Botha would be remembered for his support for South Africa’s transition to democracy and for his service in the first democratic administration. – SAnews.gov.za
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