South Africa’s apartheid-era ex-Foreign Affairs Minister, Pik Botha, who was known for trying to get his party to accept broader political rights for black South Africans, has died, his son, Roelof, said on Friday.
He told a local television channel, eNCA, “My dad passed away in the early hours of the morning at his home. He was 86 years old.
“I think the contribution that he made to lasting peace in this country is something recognised.”
Botha served under two National Party presidents, BJ Vorster and PW Botha and his greatest diplomatic achievement was negotiating independence for Namibia, then under South African rule.
After the end of apartheid, Botha served as minister of mineral and energy affairs in the government of Nelson Mandela, the country’s first democratically elected president.
Botha was born on April 27, 1932.
He was considered a liberal but the bulk of his career was spent defending South Africa’s apartheid system of racial segregation against foreign criticism.