P. W. Botha

President of South Africa P. W. Botha Full Name: P. W. Botha [Pieter Willem Botha]

South Africa
South African

Profession: President of South Africa
Why Famous: Nicknamed the Great Crocodile, Botha was one of the most notorious leaders and proponents of South Africa's apartheid system.

He was outspoken in his support of white minority rule while his government repressed dissent, encouraged rivalries among tribes and ethnic groups, and tried to destabilize neighboring countries opposed to the system of white rule.

Botha campaigned for 'No' in the the 1992 referendum on ending apartheid and attacked F. W. de Klerk's administration for negotiating and releasing Nelson Mandela.

Born: January 12, 1916
Birthplace: Paul Roux, Orange Free State Province, South Africa
Star Sign: Capricorn

Died: October 31, 2006 (aged 90)
Cause of Death: Heart attack

Historical Events in the Life of P. W. Botha

  • 1980-06-23 South African Prime Minister P. W. Botha warns the country that confrontation will be inevitable if his proposed President's Council fails
  • 1985-01-31 South African President P. W. Botha offers to free Nelson Mandela if he denounces violence
  • 1985-08-15 P. W. Botha gives the "Rubicon" Speech in Durban, South Africa, dissapointing many by refusing to consider immediate and major reforms in the country's apartheid system
  • 1985-08-19 Following the Rubicon speech four days earlier, Archbishop Desmond Tutu snubs P. W. Botha's invitation to attend a meeting to discuss the role and actions of the police and security forces in South Africa
  • 1986-05-16 South African President P. W. Botha sends Coetsee to visit Mandela
  • 1986-06-12 P. W. Botha declares South African national emergency
  • 1989-02-02 F. W. de Klerk replaces P. W. Botha as South Africa's National Party leader
  • 1989-07-05 South African President P. W. Botha visits ANC leader Nelson Mandela
  • 1989-08-14 President P. W. Botha of South Africa resigns
  • 1990-05-06 Former president P. W. Botha quits South Africa's ruling National Party

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