Miffed Botha Quits S. Africa Party
Former President Pieter W. Botha, dissatisfied with the changing policies of the South African government, has withdrawn from the National Party that he served for more than 50 years, a newspaper reported Saturday.
The Afrikaans-language newspaper Rapport said Botha, 73, who resigned as president last August after 11 years in power, was upset with the wide-ranging reforms introduced by his successor, Frederik W. de Klerk.
It said Botha was angry that the African National Congress delegation that met with the government last week included Joe Slovo, who also is the head of the South African Communist Party. Botha was a staunch anti-Communist throughout his career.
While in office, Botha said he would never consider the possibility of a black government in South Africa. He also said he would never negotiate with the ANC while it continued to pursue its guerrilla campaign.
Since Botha’s departure, De Klerk has freed leading black nationalist Nelson Mandela, legalized the ANC and pledged to dismantle apartheid and negotiate a new constitution.