Pieter Willem Botha, DMS, commonly known as P. W. and Afrikaans: Die Groot Krokodil, was a South African politician. He served as the last Prime Minister from 1978 to 1984 and the first executive State President from 1984 to 1989.
First elected to Parliament in 1948, Botha was an outspoken opponent of black majority rule and international communism. However, his administration did make concessions towards political reform, whereas internal unrest saw widespread human rights abuses at the hands of the government. Botha resigned as leader of the ruling National Party in February 1989 after suffering a stroke and six months later was also coerced to leave the presidency.
In F. W. de Klerk's 1992 apartheid referendum, Botha campaigned for a No vote and denounced De Klerk's administration as irresponsible for opening the door to black majority rule. In early 1998, when Botha refused to testify at the Mandela government's Truth and Reconciliation Commission, he was supported by the right-wing Conservative Party, which had earlier contested his rule as the official opposition. For his refusal, he was fined and given a suspended jail sentence. The sentence was overturned on appeal.