Pik Botha

Pik Botha

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Pik Botha

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'Roelof Frederik "Pik" Botha (born April 27, 1932, in Rustenburg, Transvaal) is a former South African politician who served as the country's foreign minister in the last years of the apartheid era. He was considered to be a liberal - at least in comparison to others in the ruling National Party and among the Afrikaner community.

He is not related to late contemporary National Party politician P. W. Botha, under whom he served as South Africa's foreign minister.

Botha was nicknamed 'Pik' (short for 'pikkewyn', Afrikaans for 'penguin') due to a perceived likeness to a penguin in his stance. This was accentuated when he wore a suit.

Diplomat and lawyer

Botha began his career in the South African foreign service in 1953, serving in Sweden and West Germany. From 1963 to 1966, he served on the team representing South Africa at the International Court of Justice in The Hague in the matter of Ethiopia and Liberia v. South Africa, over the South African occupation of South-West Africa (Namibia).

In 1966, Botha was appointed law adviser at the South African Department of Foreign Affairs. In that capacity, he served on the delegation representing South Africa at the United Nations from 1966 to 1974. At this time, he was appointed South Africa's ambassador to the United Nations, but a month after he presented his credentials, South Africa was suspended from membership of the General Assembly. It remained a member of the UN, however, retained a...
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