Political economist Moeletsi Mbeki says his longtime friend Pik Botha contributed in laying a foundation for South Africans and it was now upon everyone to build on the foundation to create a winning nation.

Mbeki was speaking during Botha’s memorial service at the Wonderpark Dutch Reformed Church held shortly after he was laid to rest, earlier this morning.

He was buried at a private ceremony at the Heavydalle cemetery.

The burial was followed by a memorial which was attended by family, friends, media, dignitaries and the public.

Former president of South Africa FW de Klerk and Chief Justice Mogoeng Reetsang Mogoeng were also in attendance.

Botha died at a Pretoria hospital on Thursday at the age of 86, he had been hospitalised with heart problems since late last month.

Pik Botha

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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.

Mbeki said: “He contributed to lay a foundation for South Africans and it was now upon everyone in this room to build on this foundation to create a winning nation.”

“The contribution that Pik made to sharpen South Africa is well known and does not require me to repeat it here.

“To me Pik was a friend.

“Pik was great mischief maker, always a thorn in the side of the establishment and this is what I most valued about Pik.

“If our country had more non conformance and mischief makers like Pik Botha, I’m sure we will not be in the trouble that we are in today,” he said.

His family described him as a man of peace and God.

Source: IOL