Botha to get dignified send-off on Tuesday

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The world’s longest serving Foreign Affairs Minister, Pik Botha will be given a dignified send-off on Tuesday in Pretoria. Botha will be laid to rest  in the Heatherdale cemetery in Pretoria North.

His family however says they have no knowledge of an offer for a state funeral by government.

Botha passed away on the 12 of October after being hospitalised for heart problems.

Born in 27th April 1932, Roelof Frederik Botha was nicknamed Pik, a shortened version of the name Pikkewyn which in English means penguin.

His son says he got the name as a young boy from a guest who remarked that he looked like a penguin. This, after his mother dressed him up during a special occasion, in a black suit and a white shirt that was too small.

Botha says his father advocated love for the country. Says Dr Roelof Botha: “That’s what this country needs desperately right now is people that are prepared to not try to stir conflict.”

Botha served as a Foreign Affairs minister under three apartheid Prime Ministers. He was described by some as a ‘good man working for a bad government’.

He had on several occasions contended with the hard-line government of President PW Botha.

He was reprimanded in 1986 after saying that the country could one day be ruled by a black president.

But he didn’t cower from adding his voice on the political landscape change in 1990.