Prof Botha was born in 1930. Through her life she served on various organisations, including the Suid-Afrikaanse Akedemie vir Wetenskap en Kuns, where she served as chairman of the Letterkundige Kommisie and the Afrikaanse Skrywerskring. She was also editor of the Tydskrif vir Letterkunde. In 1988 she was the first female to be appointed to the board of directors of the Naspers publishing group, and she became the first female chancellor of Stellenbosch University.
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