Sandra Botha

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Sandra Botha
Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly of South Africa
In office
5 May 2007 - 9 May 2009
Preceded byTony Leon
Succeeded byAthol Trollip
House Chairperson
In office
Personal details
Born (1945-02-25) 25 February 1945 (age 73)
Viljoenskroon, Free State, South Africa
Political partyDemocratic Alliance
Spouse(s)Andries Botha

Celia-Sandra Botha (born 25 February 1945) is a South African politician, who serves as South Africa's Ambassador to the Czech Republic. She is the former Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly, on behalf of the Democratic Alliance and its leader, Helen Zille. She announced her intention to step down from the position after the South African general election, 2009, to become an ambassador.[1] Her term in Prague ended in June 2013. She will reportedly not seek a leadership position in South Africa, but will participate in political life, and be part of the "battle of ideas".[2]

Early life and career[edit]

Born to an Afrikaner farming family in Viljoenskroon, Orange Free State, as early as the 1960s, Botha convinced local farmers to employ a social worker to service the needs of the rural black families. She also held talks with the Citrus Board for further winter aid for farmworkers.

Having matriculated from Parys High School, Botha went on to complete a year in New York with the aid of a scholarship. Later she obtained a BA degree in economics at Stellenbosch University.

She is married to farmer and former MP Andries Johannes Botha and the couple have five children and five grandchildren. Botha embarked on a Sesotho and linguistics degree at UNISA.

Botha also became heavily involved in the anti-apartheid movement. Along with Helen Zille, Botha was a part of the Black Sash movement.

She is not related to any of the other (pro-apartheid) political Bothas of South Africa, including P.W. Botha or Pik Botha.

Leader of the opposition in the National Assembly[edit]

In May 2007, Sandra Botha was elected by the Democratic Alliance as their representative and official Leader of the Opposition. Botha gained a majority over former NP cabinet minister, Tertius Delport.

Up until she stepped down from Parliament in 2009, Botha has challenged the government on many issues. In particular, Botha was vocal about her dissatisfaction following a scandal where four white doctors in the Western Cape relocated overseas.[3] South Africa's controversial affirmative action policies had allegedly prevented them from working in government hospitals, despite a shortage of doctors and many vacancies in the province. Then president Thabo Mbeki denied that this was the case and rebuked Botha for making serious allegations against him based on one newspaper article.[4] Botha has also called for a major overhaul of the education system.


  1. ^ Surgery delays MP’s new job[permanent dead link] The Times. 8 April 2009
  2. ^ Posted home: DA's ambassadors fall one by one Mail & Guardian. 6 July 2012
  3. ^ Keeton, Claire (June 3, 2007). "Race quotas cripple hospitals". Sunday Times (Web Archive). Retrieved October 27, 2011.
  4. ^ SAPA (June 13, 2007). "Sunday Times report on white doctors 'entirely false'". Mail and Guardian. Retrieved October 27, 2011.

External links[edit]