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Pieter Willem Botha

south africa black president

Botha, Pieter Willem (1916– ), South African politician who became the first executive president under a new constitution (1984–89). He entered Parliament in 1948, becoming defense minister in 1966 and prime minister in 1978. He came to recognize the importance of political change and the need to win over the loyalty and cooperation of the country's black majority. In 1984 he became president of South Africa. He reformed apartheid policy, although not enough for the black majority of the population. In 1989 he abdicated and was succeeded by F. W. de Klerk.

See also: South Africa.

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