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South African apartheid-era Foreign Minister, Botha, dies at 86

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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 Botha , 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 .

( NAN )

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