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Roelof Frederik "Pik" Botha (born April 27, 1932, in Rustenburg, Transvaal, South Africa), is a South African politiican who served as the country's foreign minister in the last year's 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.
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.
In 1970, Botha entered the realm of electoral politics, winning a seat in the South African parliament as a member of the National Party. In 1975, Botha was appointed South Africa's ambassador to the United States, in addition to his U.N. office. In 1977, he was appointed minister for foreign affairs.
The next year, he stated publicly that it would be possible for South Africa to be ruled by a black president provided that there were guarantees for minority rights. P. W. Botha forced Botha to acknowledge that this position did not reflect government policy.
From 1987 to 1996, Botha served as deputy leader of the National Party in the Transvaal. He retired from politics in 1996 when F. W. de Klerk withdrew the National Party from the government of national unity.
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