Botha undertook some superficial changes to apartheid practices. During Botha's tenure Ciskei, Bophutatswana and Venda all achieved nominal nationhood. Even these meager reforms went too far for a group of NP hardliners, led by former Education Minister Andries Treurnicht. Thus, the real power remained in white hands—and in practice, in the hands of Botha's National Party, which commanded a large majority in the white chamber. When his Cabinet eventually forced him to a meeting where it asked him to resign, he shouted that there was nothing wrong with him and said, according to one Cabinet minister: "Show me all the pills in your pockets!". [11] Four days later, Botha ordered air strikes against selected targets in Lusaka, Harare, and Gaborone, including the offices of exiled ANC activists. However, his administration did make concessions towards political reform, whereas internal unrest saw widespread human rights abuses at the hands of the government. Niel Barnard, Botha's closest confidante and at the time head of the National Intelligence Service, told me in 2007 that "around the time of the Nkomati Accord" (March 1984), Botha was "starting to think along the lines of a negotiated settlement in South Africa". His father, Pieter Willem Botha Sr., fought as a commando against the British in the Second Boer War. In 1958 Botha was appointed Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs by Hendrik Verwoerd, and in 1961 advanced to Minister of Coloured Affairs. He resigned from the Afrikaner Broederbond . Thousands were detained without trial during Botha's presidency, while others were tortured and killed. ", "En toe slaan daai ou man remme aan. Max Du Preez Author. Botha initially attended the Paul Roux School and matriculated from Voortrekker Secondary School in Bethlehem, South Africa. "[14] However, Botha refused to apologise for apartheid. He argued that the preservation of the apartheid government, though unpopular, was crucial to stemming the tide of African Communism, which had made in-roads into neighbouring Angola and Mozambique after these two former Portuguese colonies obtained independence. It would have saved so many lives and the negotiations would have been a different ball game.". Of course, a simple democracy in a unitary state as agreed to in 1994 was far from what Botha and his party had imagined when they thought about "power-sharing" and "negotiations with the black majority" in the mid-1980s – and it is inconceivable that the United Democratic Front and ANC would have accepted much less than that. Senior members of the departments of constitutional development and foreign affairs prepared the speech and the foreign affairs ministry spread the word far and wide that "something big" was coming. We believed these new announcements, provided they were properly presented and marketed, would draw the world's attention and convince the international community that things were really changing in South Africa.". His opponent in the 1948 election was JP Marais from the United Party. One can only ponder how different history would have been had the blood vessels in the Groot Krokodil's brain remained intact and had he actually delivered the original Rubicon speech. Pik Botha himself apparently added the words at the end of the speech: "We have crossed the Rubicon." The majority of the cases of gross human rights violations before the 1996 Truth and Reconciliation Commission were perpetrated between 1985 and 1990. Pieter Willem Botha (Paul Roux (), 12 januari 1916 - Wildernis, 31 oktober 2006), ook bekend als P.W. In previous years he had succeeded in getting a number of strict laws that limited freedom of speech through parliament, and thus suppressed criticism of government decisions. Botha's stroke was possibly the best-kept secret in the country at the time – it seems only the medical staff who treated him and possibly his closest confidante, Niel Barnard of the National Intelligence Agency, knew about it. But, Du Plessis said: "I have also seen PW Botha cry.". In many western countries, such as the United States, the United Kingdom (where the Anti-Apartheid Movement was based) and the Commonwealth, there was much debate over the imposition of economic sanctions in order to weaken Botha and undermine the white regime. It was radical stuff at the time. And so it was confirmed that it did happen. [27], Learn how and when to remove this template message, "Afrikaners champion Botha's cause of silence", P. W. Botha, Defender of Apartheid, Is Dead at 90, "P. W. Botha, Defender of Apartheid, Is Dead at 90", "South Africa's Nuclear Weapons Program – Building Bombs", "Margaret Thatcher: no fond farewells from Africa", "Moves by Botha Telegraph Pullback From Compromise", "South African President Warns of Further Raids", "PW Botha on the 'so-called apartheid policy, New York Accords signed by Angola, Cuba and South Africa, "Washingtonpost.com: South Africa Report", Statement by F W de Klerk on the death of former president P W Botha (Issued by the F W de Klerk Foundation, Cape Town, 1 November 2006), https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=P._W._Botha&oldid=984015425, Members of the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa (NGK), National Party (South Africa) politicians, Members of the House of Assembly of South Africa, South African collaborators with Nazi Germany, Heads of government who were later imprisoned, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles containing Afrikaans-language text, Articles needing additional references from April 2016, All articles needing additional references, Wikipedia articles with SNAC-ID identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Rossouw, Pieter Willem, Elanza, Amelia, Rozanne, "Fighter and Reformer: Extracts from the Speeches of P. W. Botha", Compiled by J.J.J. [9] Botha's defiance of international opinion further isolated South Africa, leading to economic sanctions and a rapid decline in the value of the rand. He resigned from the Afrikaner Broederbond. There is even a suggestion that Botha's wife, Elise, and their children were not informed about what exactly had happened to him. In practice, the composition of the President's Council and the electoral college made it impossible for the Coloured and Indian chambers to outvote the white chamber on any substantive matter, even if they voted as a bloc. New way forward Botha "did not blow a gasket and we all thought this was going to be our new way forward", a Cabinet minister told me. [15] He denied, however, that he had ever considered black South Africans to be in any way inferior to whites, but conceded that "some" whites did hold that view.

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