Former minister Fanie Botha dies

2010-09-04 17:30

Pretoria - Former minister of mines and labour, Fanie Botha, died on Saturday in Pretoria at the age of 88, his family said.

Botha had been in a frail care unit in an old age home in Pretoria for the past two years, his son Hennie Botha told Sapa.

His health had deteriorated in the past year.

"My father died of health problems associated with old age."

He is survived by five children, 13 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. His wife passed away about four years ago.

Botha entered politics in 1958 and was a politician for 25 years. He retired in 1983.

Thereafter, he farmed for a number of years near the then Messina area, in the former Transvaal.

He was a minister for 15 years.

He first became minister of water affairs and forestry in 1968, and later served as minister of mines and labour under then prime minister PW Botha.

"One of the outstanding achievements of my father's political career was the labour reforms he introduced as minister of mines and labour in the 1970's and 1980's," said Hennie.

These reforms, according to analysts, helped to pave the way for political reforms initiated by former president, FW de Klerk.

Botha was awarded two honorary doctorates, one from the University of Stellenbosch and the other from the University of the Free State.

Funeral details were still being arranged.