Former Foreign Minister Pik Botha has died in the early hours of this morning.
The 86-year-old former politician was recently hospitalised in Pretoria.
His son, Piet Botha, has confirmed his death: “We did see it coming because his body was starting to turn against him after a pretty long innings, if you use cricket terminology. I think he had a lot of bounces that he had to face in his life. So we did see it coming to some extent. He passed away in his sleep and I think it was massive organ failure. His body has run its course. We are taking it quite well because we saw it coming and we are very proud for the role he played.”
Roelof “Pik” Botha was the world’s longest-serving foreign minister. He 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 Minister of Foreign Affairs and represented the constituency of Westdene in Johannesburg. Botha was appointed minister of mineral of energy affairs in 1994 and resigned from that post in May 1996.
Botha famously changed allegiance from the National Party to the African National Congress in 2000.