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Quotes from apartheid strongman P.W. Botha

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Here are some memorable quotes from South Africa’s last hard-line apartheid leader, P.W. Botha, who died late on Tuesday. He was 90.

“I am not prepared to lead white South Africans and other minority groups on a road to abdication and suicide,” Botha told a National Party Congress in August 1985.

“Not only will we survive (economic sanctions), we will emerge stronger on the other side.” New York Times, Sept 1986.

“I don’t care what they remember about me. I led South Africa on the right path. Order, prosperity. Problems too, but the problems were dealt with effectively”. In an Oct 2006 interview with Afrikaans newspaper Rapport.

“I am sorry to disappoint you,” Botha said when contacted by journalists checking on rumours in 2002 that he had died.

“As soon as he (Nelson Mandela) renounces violence and undertakes not to start violence in South Africa, government will release him,” he said in 1988.

“I never regarded these people as being inferior... because many black people, and coloured people, cooperated with government policies,” he was quoted as saying earlier this year in a filmed interview rejected by South Africa’s main TV channels.

“We wouldn’t have taken them into the industrial area if they were inferior.”

“Certainly, all my life I considered them (blacks) to be fellow creatures of God. Different, yes, in the sense that historically we belonged to different ethnic groups.” In a Jan 2000 CNN interview.

“Order has to be restored in this country. There is misrule, too much corruption and too many lies.” In Rapport interview.

“I don’t think it’s one of the best books in the world,” he said when asked on this year’s filmed interview what he thought of Nelson Mandela’s autobiography ‘Long Walk to Freedom’.