Former President P. W. Botha declared that he would never testify before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). He also stated that he would never apologise for apartheid and he called the TRC "the fierce unforgiving assault" on the Afrikaner by the African National Congress (ANC) led government. Botha, who became Prime Minister of the Republic of South Africa in 1978 and later its President from 1984-89, made his comments in a written statement issued after a private meeting with the chairperson of the commission, Archbishop Desmond Tutu. The meeting was arranged after a series of witnesses had told the commission that Botha had personally ordered state violence during his tenure.
Botha claimed that he had never been associated with blatant murder but conceded that there might have been situations that his authority could have been stretched a little bit. In his 10-page statement Botha believed that true reconciliation could be achieved by closing the book on the past and moving on as a nation. His statement was a clear contradiction of what the TRC stood for.
Fraser, R (1996). Kessing's Records of World Events: News Digest for November 1996, Longman: London, p.41352.
Kalley, J. A. et al (1999). Southern African Political History: A Chronology of Key Political Events from Independence to Mid-1997, Greenwood: London, p. 552.