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Helena Botha, Wife of South African Minister, Dies After Long Illness

April 29, 1996 GMT

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) _ Helena Botha, wife of long-serving South African government minister Pik Botha, died Monday after years of illness. She was 63.

A statement from her husband said Mrs. Botha’s health had deteriorated in recent weeks. It said she died at home, as she wished.

Mrs. Botha was partially paralyzed after a fall in her home in 1991. She went to Taiwan and Israel for medical care but never fully recovered movement in her lower body.

Her husband was foreign minister for 17 years during the apartheid era. He was named mineral and energy affairs minister in the first post-apartheid Cabinet when his National Party lost to Mandela’s African National Congress in the nation’s first all-race election in April 1994.

Also surviving are two sons and two daughters.

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