The death of former apartheid-era minister of foreign affairs Pik Botha has been met with mixed reactions from South Africans.
As tributes poured in following his death, many political leaders stood polarized in their views on the contributions made by Botha.
Some political leaders credited Both with "defending apartheid rule" and "delaying the freedom black South Africans", while some viewed Botha as having "pressurised the National Party leadership" into changing its policies.
Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi did not mince his words calling Botha a defender of the apartheid government who died without revealing "who engineered the death of Samora Machel".
Former Radio 702 presenter Kananelo Sexwale also seemed to hold similar views to those expressed by Lesufi, calling Botha a "thuggish and hateful pig".
United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa, however, acknowledging Botha’s role in fighting for a better South Africa.
Pik Botha dies. My condolences. May his soul Rest In Peace. His role in pressurizing the NP leadership to change for the betterment of SA & it’s people is well documented.— Bantu Holomisa (@BantuHolomisa) October 12, 2018
Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom has hailed his great intellect and sense of humour. He said in a Tweet that he was saddened by the passing.
“I spent two years sitting next to him in the first cabinet of our new democracy, under President Nelson Mandela. I wish I kept all the scribbled notes he passed on to me. Great intellect, great sense of humour,” he said
Saddened by the passing away of Pik Botha. I spent two years sitting next to him in the first cabinet of our new demcracy, under President Nelsn Mandela. I wish I kept all the scribbled notes he passed on to me. Great intellect, great sense of humour! Condolences to the family.— Derek Hanekom (@Derek_Hanekom) October 12, 2018
Botha died on Thursday night at the age of 86.
He was admitted to a Pretoria hospital last month following health complications.
Botha was a stalwart of the National Party and a staunch defender of the apartheid cause at the United Nations and around the world, where he denounced the ANC leadership as "terrorists".
However, he later joined the ANC in 2000.
In April 1977, he was appointed minister of foreign affairs and he also served as minister of energy affairs in 1994 under former President Nelson Mandela’s administration. He resigned in 1996.
Born 27 April 1932 in Rustenburg, he completed his BA LLB at the University of Pretoria and in February 1953, he joined the South African department of foreign affairs.