The death of apartheid South Africa’s former Foreign Minister, Pik Botha must remind South Africans to reclaim the vision of a united, democratic, non-racial, non–sexist, peaceful and prosperous country while drawing lessons from the mistakes of the past, the South African Civic Organisation (SANCO) said on Saturday.
”While he cannot be celebrated as a unifier and liberator, he will always be remembeNational red as one of the most influential figures that served the apartheid National Party government and foremost defender of its repressive laws and policies, ” said national spokesperson, Jabu Mahlangu.
Botha – the longest-serving foreign affairs minister in the apartheid era – died in a Pretoria hospital on Friday at the age of 86.
Mahlangu said that Botha had in the twilight of his career as a politician acknowledged that the new constitutional dispensation cannot bring about national unity and lasting peace unless there was a deliberate effort to redress historical injustices and past atrocities.
He said that individuals like Botha were among those who saw that change was inevitable and advocated for a negotiated settlement to end white minority rule.
“We, therefore, owe it to future generations to speedily resolve the land question and find urgent solutions to the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality that architects of apartheid had designed and burdened us with to be the inheritance of the vast majority of our people,” said Mahlangu.
“Our common heritage is the constitution and the values it espouses for us to avoid the mistakes of our ugly past and build a future free of racial domination and hatred.”
– African News Agency (ANA)