Talk:P. W. Botha

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PW was called die groote krokodil - the big crocodile, not the old crocodile.

Discussion regarding image[edit]

Discussion copied from here

Copyright violation[edit]

Image:PWBotha.jpg has been listed as a possible copyright violation An image that you uploaded, Image:PWBotha.jpg, has been listed at Wikipedia:Copyright problems because it is a suspected copyright violation. Please look there if you know that the image is legally usable on Wikipedia (you may have to search for the title of the image to find its entry), and then provide the necessary information there and on its page, if you are interested in it not being deleted. Thank you.

EdwinHJ | Talk 14:57, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

Thanks, EdwinHJ. I uploaded Image:PWBotha.jpg under the template {fairusein|Pieter Willem Botha} from BBC website [1]. No-one has challenged this "fairusein" template. Which leads me to ask: who, exactly, suspects this is a copyright problem?
This uploading was made about one week after the previous image of P W Botha (that had been there for six months or more unchallenged) had been peremptorily removed from the Pieter Willem Botha article after what seemed to be some vandalism.
The postage stamp image that you have now apparently inserted depicts P W Botha as a rather benign character. That is not the image that most customers of Mr Botha and his apartheid regime would want to retain. If you have a problem with either of the two earlier images (pre-postage stamp), would you like me to upload another more suitable image?Phase1 00:12, 18 December 2005 (UTC)
I'm not sure how the image from the BBC would constitute fair use. Obviously, I am not a fan of Mr Botha, but official type portraits are often used on Wikipedia even for evil leaders--see Adolf Hitler for example. Using a poor image of Mr Botha to obtain a certain effect and reaction from the reader would be POV however. And, as I said, it is possibly violating the copyright of the BBC. Thanks EdwinHJ | Talk 13:15, 18 December 2005 (UTC)


Orphaned image?[edit]

Hi EdwinHJ, aside from any copyright considerations the image I uploaded from the BBC is nowhere near as good as the original image which J.J. uploaded on February 25, 2004. When the image was uploaded J.J.—who created the Pieter Willem Botha article—asserted that it was a "public domain government portrait". The best solution, as I see it, is to get the original image re-uploaded by J.J. to replace the current postage stamp image. I am in touch with JesseW, who deleted J.J.'s Botha image on December 10, 2005, with a view to getting the portrait restored or re-uploaded. Meanwhile, I think it is preferable to treat "Image:PWBotha.jpg" as an orphaned image for automatic deletion within 7 days, rather than as a possible copyright violation which could have wider implications and raise a number of unwelcome issues.Phase1 15:58, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

The image is validly marked as a copyright violation, because it appears to be a photo copyrighted by the BBC and used without permission. The orphaned image tag would not be appropriate. The current image may not be ideal but has the advantage of not being someone else's work used without permission. EdwinHJ | Talk 16:08, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

Original "Image:Pwbotha.jpg" re-inserted[edit]

Edwin's postage stamp image has now been replaced by the Official Government Portrait photo of Botha, which was re-uploaded earlier today by J.J. who was the originator of the Pieter Willem Botha article.Phase1 15:21, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
The new image looks good, thanks for your dedication to keeping the article looking nice. Hope you don't mind that I also added commemoration of Mr Botha's election as state president photo. EdwinHJ | Talk 04:57, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

Proposed move[edit]

Pieter Willem BothaP. W. Botha

Follow example of C. S. Lewis and Tim Pawlenty/Skip Humphrey to use most commonly called name rather than purely legal name. EdwinHJ | Talk 13:26, 18 December 2005 (UTC)


  • Support we should use most common form of namme and that would be PW Botha. EdwinHJ | Talk 13:30, 18 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Support Where someone is known by initials rather than spelt out name it is standard on WP to use initials because everyone will know the initials but many people won't know what they stand for. FearÉIREANNIreland-Capitals.PNG\(caint) 01:21, 28 December 2005 (UTC)


  • Oppose The current "re-direct" arrangements are robust enough and, indeed, are specifically designed to deal with EdwinHJ's perceived nomenclature problem. Ergo no need to move—just re-direct!Phase1 16:08, 18 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Oppose There may be examples where commonly used names are more appropriate than legal names (especially with regard to pseudonyms), but in the case of initialisms, having a full-name title seems convenient. I imagine one of the most commonly-asked questions regarding Botha is, "What does the P. W. stand for?", and I support letting the article title (in conjunction with the P. W. Botha redirect) answer that in bold letters at the start of any search. Xoloz 19:42, 21 December 2005 (UTC)



It was requested that this article be renamed but there was no consensus for it to be moved. WhiteNight T | @ | C 05:57, 28 December 2005 (UTC)

Slashdot comment[edit]

See this comment by one of this article's editors on slashdot criticising wikipedia. --PamriTalk 16:54, 24 December 2005 (UTC)

  • Where's this edit war in the article history? I don't find it, nor there is anything on the talk page. Alfio 17:40, 24 December 2005 (UTC)
In the Slashdot discussion the editor says it's in the German-language version ( I don't know enough German to say if such edits it happened or not. - DPJ, 2005-12-28 00:48 UTC
Another inconsequential wikimirror debate leading nowhere!Phase1 23:11, 24 December 2005 (UTC)
Yeah, he should have pointed it out. But my guess is, it comes somewhere in the beginning.--PamriTalk 03:48, 25 December 2005 (UTC)

Groundhog day[edit]

Once again J.J. has added a confident assertion about sanctions against South Africa. The spelling is still atrocious but that is not the only reason for reverting the entry a second time. There is no indication which particular sanctions J.J. is talking about: the mandatory UN Security Council arms embargo; the sports boycott; the cultural boycott? There was talk about various measures but no action was taken on international trade or economic sanctions, so far as I am aware. Perhaps J.J. can enlighten us.Phase4 21:44, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

Eh? There were definitely economic sanctions, maybe you are too young to remember? ;-) For example, see [1] ("in 1986 Congress overrode a presidential veto to ban the importation of South African goods and prohibit American business investments in South Africa") and others under Google search [2]. I think I'll rv your rv, then. Elf-friend 08:50, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
Hi Elf-friend. Like you, I'm fairly long-in-the-tooth!
Please take a look at History of South Africa in the apartheid era (section 4.1 Sanctions). Apart from bilateral measures (such as Sweden's sanctions which are not mentioned) you will see that there were no UN or government-enforced economic/financial sanctions (always vetoed by the US and Britain), though there was a lot of talk about imposing them. Individual firms and organisations (eg Church of England) did institute their own ethical investment policy, and actually withdrew investments from South Africa and/or from companies which were seen as apartheid supporters (eg Barclays Bank).
Thanks for correcting J.J.'s idiosyncratic spellings. I suggest the following rewording of the last two sentences to resolve the sanctions issue:
"By the late 1980s – as foreign investment in South Africa declined – disinvestment began to have a serious effect on the nation's economy."
How does that grab you?Phase4 11:14, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
Sounds OK to me, go for it :-). Although as far as I can see the US as a country did in fact pass a law banning imports and prohibiting investments. Although what effect that had on existing investments (e.g. Ford) is not clear to me. Kind Regards, Elf-friend 11:56, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

Uh, well just so you know, the line I added ("By the late 1980's the United States, the United Kingdom, and 23 other major industrilized nations had implemented sanctions against South Africa") was taken more or less directly from the pages of a book called "Loosing the Bonds" by Robert K. Massie (check out Amazon). It's an excellent book that describes the details of economic sanctions and divestment in great detail. I have no clue where Phase4 is coming from. There were sanctions leveled against SA by the United States and many other countries. One would have to be quite ignorant of modern history to flatly deny this. J.J. 07:45, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

The problem I have with your assertions, J.J., starts with your consistent misspelling of the word industrialized. Then, as I queried at the beginning of the Groundhog day section, what actual sanctions are we talking about? The mandatory UN Security Council arms embargo, the sports boycott (Gleneagles Agreement) and the cultural boycott were all effective to a greater or lesser extent. But could you please list here the economic/financial sanctions that were actually implemented against South Africa by the United States, the United Kingdom and 23 other major industrilized nations:....?Phase4 12:05, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

Change in article[edit]

I have just made a slight, but important change in this article. P.W. Botha was never foreign minister of south africa, that was Pik Botha. Very much a different person. When it had said foreign minister, I placed "defense minister" and where it said foreign policy, I placed "military policy". P.W. was defense minister under Vorster. If you read to the end of the article, this is made clear, as whoever wrote the last bit knew that it was Pik, not P.W. who was foreign minister.Rianwall 00:06, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

Added as well the fact that P.W. was responsible for the introduction of Koevoet into Namibia.Rianwall 00:16, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

US/British role in Botha's downfall[edit]

I've removed the reference to a direct US/British role. The change has already been made in the apartheid article. See the discussion at Talk:History_of_South_Africa_in_the_apartheid_era/Archive2#Botha_resigned_under_pressure_from_the_US_and_Britain.3F (note that's an archived page, so any more discussion should happen here). Greenman 12:16, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

According to Brittanica[edit]

According to Encylopedia Brittanica he was born Paul Roux, not understandably since his initials were P.W., and he was born on January 16th 1916, not January 12th 1916. 20:12, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

Your spelling lets you down!Phase4 20:27, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

Dubious - 1981 year that strict draft was implemented[edit]

No. It was very strict well before then. Paul Beardsell 05:21, 26 September 2006 (UTC)


  • ahem* not "for all males" *ahem* but for all WHITE males. A fraction of the population. Really, the whole tone of this article is apologetic to Botha and the violence and mayhem that happened under his direction. Yes direction. He *said* he didn't know about it, but he was what we commonly call *lying*, as many testified to the TRC. ~~Ches~~ —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 01:37, 1 November 2006


It has been confirmed that PW Botha died about 2 hours ago, peacefully and in his sleep.[3]

I would strongly recommend a temporary lock on this page, since vandalism is already appearing, and it's bound to draw some attention, given his controversial stature in South Africa. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 00:19, 1 November 2006

It shouldn't be locked. If there's an increase in vandalism due to increased attention, it's usually balanced out by the increased attention of serious editors. Zaian 06:31, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

I believe he died "shortly before 8", awake, with his wide by his bedside. That's according to the SABC Africa news report I just saw (I should really go to sleep now). Zyxoas (talk to me - I'll listen) 23:29, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

Teh video[edit]

A link to the interview no one wants you to see ("DAMN COMMIES!!!") may be found hither. Should this not be included in the article (since it is mentioned)? Zyxoas (talk to me - I'll listen) 23:40, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

Conservative Party[edit]

Without wanting to water down the mention of his harsh application of white rule in the article at all, this article needs a perspective on his 'reforms', and the subsequent breakaway by the rightwing Conservative Party, which was the biggest parliamentary challenge the NP had faced for many years. Ludicrous as it may seem to many, Botha's greatest parliamentary challenge was from being perceived as too liberal! Greenman 23:27, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

I know. He was between a rock and a hard place. His reforms did not come close to what was needed, but were way too much for many of his own constituents. It's interesting that Mandela had a certain rapport with Mandela (which remained firm even after majority rule) which he did not share with de Klerk, crediting Botha with a courage that he didn't see (or refused to see) in de Klerk. David Cannon 09:52, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

Change or Die[edit]

I'm surprised this entry doesn't refer to his memorable speech on the need for Afrikaners to "change or die". There is no need to clean-up his image but this seemed to be a turning point in the public image of the government, admitting that the times had changed and the writing was on the wall. While de Klerk is credited with "reluctantly agreeing to end apartheid" it was already a done deal and letting the ANC rule was the only the best available alternative, widespread public opinion being much more radical than the "half-loaf" delivered by Mandela.

I don't have academic or media documents from the era so i am asking if others can improve this entry to reflect what seems to me to be an important part of South African history. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Eco ant (talkcontribs) 16:32, 5 February 2007 (UTC).

I would second this. There's also no mention of the meeting between Mandela and Botha in Jul 1989 that marked the beginning of the end for apartheid. The role of Botha in bringing about the end of apartheid seemed to be unexplored. This is not to clean up his image, but if he did play an important role, this should be included for historical accuracy.

Philip Sim (Singapore) 4:40pm 4th Apr 2007

8th president?[edit]

The listing for the numbers for state president is inconsistent across the various presidents. Let's try and get this sorted here. According to State President of South Africa, the list is

   * Charles Robberts Swart 1961-1967
   * T.E. Donges 1967 (Elected, but never inaugurated due to ill-health.)
   * Jozua François Naudé (acting) 1967-1968
   * Jacobus Johannes Fouché 1968-1975
   * Nicolaas Johannes Diederichs 1975-1978
   * Marais Viljoen (acting) 1978
   * Balthazar Johannes Vorster 1978-1979
   * Marais Viljoen 1979-1984
   * Pieter Willem Botha 1984-1989
   * Frederik Willem de Klerk 1989-1994

Some of the inconsistency comes from counting Marais Viljoen twice, and also whether TE Donges and/or Jozua Naudé are to be counted (Donges was never inaugurated, and Naudé was acting). Arguably, Botha could be 9th, 8th, 7th or 6th president! Greenman (talk) 12:36, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

If you include the acting presidents (this is different to acting presidents in the new system, where everytime the president leaves the country someone stands in as acting, and is meaningless), the numbering would go:
   1) Charles Robberts Swart 1961-1967
   - T.E. Donges 1967 (Elected, but never inaugurated due to ill-health.)
   2) Jozua François Naudé (acting) 1967-1968
   3) Jacobus Johannes Fouché 1968-1975
   4) Nicolaas Johannes Diederichs 1975-1978
   5) Marais Viljoen (acting) 1978
   6) Balthazar Johannes Vorster 1978-1979
   7) Marais Viljoen 1979-1984
   8) Pieter Willem Botha 1984-1989
   9) Frederik Willem de Klerk 1989-1994

Greenman (talk) 13:00, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

Inventing a numbering system is original research. I've never seen it used outside of this series of Wikipedia articles. I've certainly never seen Mandela referred to as the 10th president of South Africa - I've only seen a numbering for post-apartheid presidents starting from 1994, with Mandela as 1st, Mbeki 2nd, and Motlanthe 3rd. In addition, presidents before the 1984 constitution were ceremonial rather than executive. Conflating the three eras (1961-1984, 1984-1994, 1994-present) into one numbering system isn't sensible. Zaian (talk) 17:13, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

De Anker house sale[edit] Does this along with will details deserve a mention somewhere?Teatreez (talk) 23:00, 28 September 2008 (UTC)


We note that he was not related to Pik Botha. What about Louis Botha, the first prime minister of the Union of South Africa? john k (talk) 03:24, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

Personally, I'd like to know if he was related to Louis Botha. Invmog (talk) 21:26, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

Portrait issue[edit]

Now I know this is probably a totally irrelevant issue, but I do believe the chosen image is perhaps not the most appropriate considering Neutral POV policy. Botha's expression and posture in the image seem to convey a "ruthless dictator" image which, true or not, shouldn't be so explicitly imposed on the viewer. Neutrality should cover every single subject and character in Wikipedia, not only those considered "politically correct". Once again, this is probably a minor issue, but I'd like to bring it up to everyone's attention.

Francisco Espinosa Jul 26th, 2009 —Preceding unsigned comment added by Francisco Espinosa (talkcontribs) 22:54, 26 July 2009 (UTC)

The portrait strikes me as unencyclopedic also, even though the subject was known to point the finger regularly, with this depiction not being totally out of character. Best replaced to comply with NPOV. JMK (talk) 21:11, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was move per request as the common name.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 14:54, 27 June 2010 (UTC)

Pieter Willem BothaP. W. Botha — Botha is overwhelmingly known by his initials, not his full name. See various news sources: BBC, Guardian, Independent, Scotsman, New York Times, South African Star, Times. Much like H. G. Wells, J. K. Rowling, C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, H. H. Asquith and fellow State President F. W. de Klerk (see my requested move a few months ago with regards to the de Klerk article) and many others, his full name is simply not the most commonly used form. (talk) 21:15, 20 June 2010 (UTC)

  • Support. For a prominent man now dead, it would be nice to see works of general reference also, but I expect them to use the same form. The name should stay in full in the first line. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 16:20, 21 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Support per well-reasoned nom. — AjaxSmack 03:23, 25 June 2010 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.


some IP is trying to add a self-made photoshop-doodle to the infobox; apart from being distasteful, it's clearly a copyvio. More eyes needed. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 07:25, 3 August 2010 (UTC)

Right wing[edit]

The article includes the phrase "a right-wing Afrikaner nationalist group." Isn't this an oxymoron? There are no left wing or liberal Afrikaner nationalist groups. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:59, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

Jonas Savimbi[edit]

From the article "Adding momentum to establishing units such as 32 Battalion. South African intervention in support of the rebel UNITA (Dr. Jonas Savimbi, a personal friend) movement in the Angolan Civil War continued until the late 1980s, terminating with the Tripartite Accord."

Is there a source showing that Botha and Savimbi were personal friends? Josh (talk) 07:23, 17 July 2012 (UTC)

Gas Face[edit]

The term "Gas Face" does not have its own Wikipedia page. Most readers are unlikely to know that "he gets the gas face" means "he gets our disapproval." Oatmealcookiemon (talk) 07:11, 2 July 2013 (UTC)

I was just wondering what - exactly - this meant, and came here to post a question. So thanks for clarifying. In the context of a quotation, reference to "getting the gas face" would be fine - though it would probably still need explanation - but it is used here within the main text with any explanation whatsoever. However, knowing next to nothing about Botha, I'd prefer editing to correct this done by someone more familiar with the subject. Cheers, --PLUMBAGO 12:47, 2 July 2013 (UTC)