South African Prime Minister. Born Pieter Willem Botha, he was elected to the lower house of Parliament, South Africa in 1948. During his first decade in office, he became the National Party's chief secretary. He was named Defense Minister in 1966 and used his position to strengthen the nationalist image that resisted outside interference with his country's apartheid system of racial segregation. In 1978, he was elected Prime Minister Head of State and served until 1989. As Prime Minister, he increased the military budget to minimize the effects of the international arms embargo against the apartheid government. He also saw the militarization of his country as a way to safeguard South Africa from foreign invasion and internal subversion. On a tour of Europe in 1984, he eased diplomatic relations with neighboring countries, helped craft a new national constitution and built reform for the apartheid. After a stroke in 1989, Botha resigned from the presidency and his party.
Bio by: John "J-Cat" Griffith
Anna Elizabeth Botha