The late Pik Botha’s, son Piet, frontman of the South African rock band Jack Hammer, described his dad as a “man of class striving for equality”.
“The old man” as Piet affectionately referred to Pik was a good man working in a not so great government. “I remember how he complained about how all the other ministers wanted to oust him for embracing the black African population,” he said.
He embraced all the workers at home as well, from the housekeeper to yard keeper. They all ate dinner with us and some even went on vacation with us. Of course this didn’t sit well with his fellow colleagues,” he recalled.
He described his dad being greatly admired, even by many of his political foes
“He was one of the first National Party leaders who saw that democracy was inevitable. South Africa could have avoided years of turmoil and bloodshed if the NP had taken his advice,” he said.
Away from politics, Piet said his dad loved working in the garden, enjoyed braaing with family and friends and loved hunting.
All his extra mural activities were verified when Pretoria News went to his house this morning.
His smallholding in Akasia is filled with trees and stuffed animals.
Pik was also an avid reader and that could be seen with the numerous books in his study.
“The last conversation with my old man was last night, he kept on complaining about the television channels.”
"But the old man was frail during his last days and he check himself out of hospital.
He was losing his grip and was no longer in control. It hurt to see him like that,” said a distraught Piet.
Pik 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 ANC.
He died at the age of 86 at his home in Akasia, Pretoria on Thursday evening.
He was admitted to hospital late in September.
He was was the world's longest-serving foreign minister.