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South Africa's apartheid-era Foreign Minister Pik Botha dies

Friday - October 12, 2018 7:48 pm , Category : WORLD
Johannesburg, Oct 12 (IANS) Pik Botha, the last Foreign Minister of South Africas apartheid era who spent the bulk of his career defending the country's system of racial segregation, died on Friday at the age of 86.
Botha died in the early hours of the morning at his Pretoria home after an illness, his son Roelof, told South Africa's eNCA news outlet. He had been admitted to hospital in the city last month.
He served as his country's Foreign Minister for 17 years until the end of the apartheid era in 1994. He spent most of his career defending the apartheid system, even though he was regarded as a liberal figure, the BBC reported.
Botha had also served as a minister of mineral and energy affairs in Nelson Mandela's first post-apartheid government, praising the latter as a healing figure.
He began his diplomatic career in the South African mission in Stockholm in 1953 and turned to politics in the 1970s.
His profile rose as he became an envoy to the US and UN, then assumed the post of Foreign Minister in 1977, serving mainly under PW Botha, the contemporary National Party politician to whom he was not related and who died in 2006.
Botha is survived by his second wife Ina, two sons -- the rock musician Piet Botha and the economist Roelof Botha -- along with two daughters, Anna Hertzog and artist Lien Botha.

--IANS soni/sed

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