Pik Botha honoured for major role in Brazzaville Protocol

Former Foreign Minister Pik Botha, who led the South African delegation in the negotiation process and signing of the Brazzaville Protocol on 13 December 1988, was honoured and presented with the Congolese Order of Merit for “outstanding acts and services to the Congo Republic” at a private award ceremony in Sandton on Friday, 21 February 2014.

Together with former protagonists from Cuba and Angola, Botha was recently honoured at the 25th Anniversary of the signing of the Brazzaville Protocol commemoration event hosted by President Sassou N’Guesso in Congo-Brazzaville on 11 February 2014, the anniversary of former President Nelson Mandela’s release from prison. The Brazzaville Protocol was signed in the presence of President Sassou N’Guesso, who was instrumental in its facilitation and finalisation. The South African delegation to the Anniversary event was led by President Jacob Zuma, accompanied by Minister of International Relations and Co-operation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane. Numerous other high profile international dignitaries, including Mary Robinson, the Former President of Ireland and Nobel Peace Prize Laureates Martti Ahtisaari, Dr Muhammad Yunus and Mohamed ElBaradei, attended the commemoration.

Pik Botha was honoured for his leading role in bringing peace and reconciliation to Southern Africa. As Minister of Foreign Affairs and South Africa's lead negotiator, he played a critical role in negotiating an end to the conflicts which then plagued the region. These objectives were shared by the Republic of Congo and the decoration bestowed on Botha, by President Sassou N'Guesso, is in recognition of these achievements.

The Brazzaville Protocol concluded the terms for the end of the long war in Angola and the withdrawal of the South African Defence Force and Cuban troops from Angola. It enabled the implementation United Nations Security Council Resolution 435 on Namibia which resulted in Namibia achieving independence. . The restoration of peace in the region became a catalyst for a series of other milestone political events, which included the release of Nelson Mandela and the unbanning of previously proscribed political organisations. The Brazzaville Protocol was, in essence, the turning point which set in motion the events that led to a new democratic dispensation for South Africa and stability in Southern Africa.

The award ceremony in Sandton was hosted by the Ichikowitz Family Foundation.

25th Anneversary Poster