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Apartheid-era foreign minister is hospitalised

posted 31 Aug 2011, 04:24 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 31 Aug 2011, 05:13 ]
South Africa's apartheid-era foreign minister, Pik Botha, is hospitalised.

SOUTH AFRICA, REUTERS -   South Africa's former apartheid-era foreign affairs minister, Pik Botha, was hospitalised on Wednesday (August 31), according to local newspaper reports.

Botha's wife, Ina, told Beeld newspaper that her husband, aged 79, was suffering from heart problems and had breathing difficulties and that he was being treated at a hospital in Pretoria.

She added that he would probably be moved to another hospital for cardiology treatment in the coming days.

Botha served as foreign affairs minister in the final years of the apartheid government, led by the National Party.

He served in the apartheid governments of B.J. Vorster, P.W. Botha and F.W. de Klerk.

He was later minister of mineral and energy affairs under the rule of President Nelson Mandela and his African National Congress (ANC) party, before retiring from politics in 1996.

Botha later joined the ANC in 2000, expressing his support for then-President Thabo Mbeki.

Botha's full name is Roelof Frederik Botha, but he acquired the nickname "Pik", short for the Afrikaans word "pikkewyn" (penguin), because of his stance, which many liken to that of a penguin.