Cape Town - Apartheid-era foreign affairs minister Pik Botha has died. He was 86 years old.

Botha had been hospitalised with heart problems since late last month. 

According to Botha's wife, h e underwent a heart sonar and was given oxygen after he struggled to breathe at night while the couple was on holiday. Botha was transferred to Unitas Hospital in Pretoria at the end of August.

He served as foreign affairs minister in the last years of the apartheid government and served as minister of mineral and energy affairs under Nelson Mandela, South Africa's first democratically elected president.

Botha retired from politics in 1996 when the National Party withdrew from the government of national unity.

In 2000, he announced that he would join the African National Congress. 

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