Prime Minister of South Africa

The Prime Minister of South Africa (Afrikaans: Eerste Minister van Suid-Afrika) was the head of government in South Africa between 1910 and 1984.

Prime Minister of South Africa
Eerste Minister van Suid-Afrika
Coat of arms of South Africa (1932–2000)
Coat of Arms of South Africa
PW Botha 1962
Pieter Willem Botha
StyleThe Right Honourable (until 1961)
AppointerGovernor-General of South Africa (1910–1961)
State President of South Africa (1961–1984)
Term lengthWhilst commanding the confidence of the House of Assembly
Formation31 May 1910
First holderLouis Botha
Final holderPieter Willem Botha
Abolished14 September 1984
SuccessionExecutive State President of South Africa

History of the office

Botha gouvernment 1910
The first Prime Minister of South Africa, Louis Botha (sitting at the center of the desk), with his Cabinet, 1910.

The position of Prime Minister was established in 1910, when the Union of South Africa was formed. He was appointed by the head of state—the Governor-General until 1961 and the State President after South Africa became a republic in 1961. In practice, he was the leader of the majority party or coalition in the House of Assembly. The first Prime Minister was Louis Botha, a former Boer general and war hero during the Second Boer War. He was the country's leading political figure and de facto chief executive, with powers similar to those of his British counterpart.

The position of Prime Minister was abolished in 1984, when the State President was given executive powers after a new constitution was adopted—effectively merging the powers of the Prime Minister with those of the State President. The last Prime Minister, P. W. Botha, became the first executive State President after the constitutional reform.

In post-Apartheid South Africa, the Inkatha Freedom Party has called for a return to a Westminster-style split executive with a Prime Minister as the actual head of government, as part of its overarching goal of avoiding a single party South African state.[1]

List of Prime Ministers of South Africa (1910–1984)


  South African Party
  United Party
  National Party

No. Name
Picture Took office Left office Elected
Political Party
1 Louis Botha
MP for Standerton, Transvaal Province until 1915
MP for Losberg, Transvaal Province from 1915
General Louis Botha - from correspondence of PA Molteno 31 May 1910 27 August 1919 1910 (1st)
1915 (2nd)
South African Party
First South African Prime Minister. Formation of the Union of South Africa. World War I. Conquest of the German South-West Africa. Crushed the Maritz Rebellion. Ratified the Treaty of Versailles. Died in office.
2 Jan Christiaan Smuts
MP for Wonderboom, Transvaal Province
Jan Smuts 1947 3 September 1919 30 June 1924 — (2nd)
1920 (3rd)
1921 (4th)
South African Party
Attended 1921 Imperial Conference. Attempted to broker an armistice and peace deal between the British and Irish nationalists in the Irish War of Independence. Crushed the Rand Rebellion, which caused a political backlash and he lost 1924 general election to National Party. Created coalition with National Party and returned as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice after the 1933 general election.
James Barry Munnik Hertzog
MP for Smithfield, Orange Free State
JBM Hertzog - SA 30 June 1924 5 September 1939 1924 (5th)
1929 (6th)
1933 (7th)
1938 (8th)
National Party
(until 1934)
United Party
(from 1934)
Replaced Dutch as second official language by Afrikaans in 1925. Instated a new national flag in 1928. Approved women's suffrage for white women in 1930. Adoption of Statute of Westminster 1931. Removed Black voters from the common voters roll. Created coalition with South African Party to form the United Party. Resigned after the United Party caucus refused to accept his stance of neutrality in World War II.
(2) Jan Christiaan Smuts
MP for Standerton, Transvaal Province
Jan Smuts 1947 5 September 1939 4 June 1948 — (8th)
1943 (9th)
United Party
World War II. Ratified the United Nations Charter. Issued the Fagan Report, which stated that complete racial segregation in South Africa was not practical and that restrictions on African migration into urban areas should be abolished. Lost 1948 general elections to National Party.
4 Daniel François Malan
MP for Piketberg, Cape Province
DFMalanPortret 4 June 1948 29 October 1954 1948 (10th)
1953 (11th)
National Party
Came to power on the program of apartheid and began the comprehensive implementation of the segregationist policy.
5 Johannes Gerhardus Strijdom
MP for Waterberg, Transvaal Province
JG Strijdom 30 November 1954 24 August 1958 — (11th)
1958 (12th)
National Party
Tried to cut ties with United Kingdom. Removal of Coloured voters from the common voters roll. Extended 'treason trial' of 156 activists (including Nelson Mandela) involved in the Freedom Charter. Severed diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union. Died in office.
6 Hendrik Frensch Verwoerd
MP for Heidelberg, Transvaal Province
HF Verwoerd Transvaler 2 September 1958 6 September 1966 — (12th)
1961 (13th)
1966 (14th)
National Party
Start of the South African Border War. The Wind of Change speech by British PM Harold Macmillan. Proclaimed South Africa a Republic after 1960 referendum. Abolished the separate Black voters roll. Launched the bantustan programme. Assassinated.
7 Balthazar Johannes Vorster
MP for Nigel, Transvaal Province
John Vorster 13 September 1966 2 October 1978 — (14th)
1970 (15th)
1974 (16th)
1977 (17th)
National Party
Abolished the Coloured voters roll. South African Border War escalated into a full-scale conflict. He managed policy of détente with African countries, and accepted to let black African diplomats living in white areas. He alienated an extremist faction of his National Party when it accepted the presence of Māori players and spectators during the tour of New Zealand rugby union team in South Africa in 1970. He unofficially supported, but refused to recognize officially, the neighbouring state of Rhodesia, which was ruled by a white minority government that had unilaterally declared independence from United Kingdom. In 1974, under pressure from US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger he pressured Ian Smith, the Prime Minister of Rhodesia, to accept in principle that white minority rule could not continue indefinitely. Resigned.
8 Pieter Willem Botha
MP for George, Cape Province
PW Botha 1962 9 October 1978 14 September 1984 — (17th)
1981 (18th)
1984 (19th)
National Party
Remained Minister of Defence until 1980. Improved relations with the West. Authorized radical constitutional reform in 1983, including the creation of the Tricameral Parliament, which give a limited political voice to the country's Coloured and Indian population groups. The majority Black population group was still excluded. Began a secret nuclear weapons program in collaboration with Israel, which culminated in the production of six nuclear bombs. Creation of police counter-insurgency unit, Koevoet. Resignation of Vorster as State-President in the wake of the Muldergate Scandal. Abolished the position of Prime Minister in 1984 and became Executive State President.

See also


  1. ^ IFP: Statement by Mangosuthu Buthelezi, Inkatha Freedom Party Leader, welcomes Constitutional Court judgment on regulation of introduction of bills, 12 October 2012
1948 in South Africa

The following lists events that happened during 1948 in South Africa.

1974 in South Africa

The following lists events that happened during 1974 in South Africa.

A Peace Conference at the Quai d'Orsay

A Peace Conference at the Quai d'Orsay is an oil-on-canvas painting by Irish artist William Orpen, completed in 1919. It was one the paintings commissioned from Orpen to commemorate the Paris Peace Conference in 1919. The work is held by the Imperial War Museum in London.

Anna Elizabeth Botha

Anna Elizabeth Botha (née Rossouw; 6 May 1922 – 6 June 1997) was the First Lady of South Africa, as the wife of State President Pieter Willem Botha, from 1984 to 1989. From 1978 to 1984 Mr Botha served as Prime Minister of South Africa.

Anna Elizabeth Rossouw married Mr. Botha on 13 March 1943. She went by the name Elize, and was the daughter of a pastor from Senekal, Dr S.H. Roussouw. They had two sons, Rossouw and Pieter Willem, and three daughters, Elanza, Amelia and Rozanne.Elize Botha had stayed quietly in the background as the First Lady of South Africa. She earned admiration from Nelson Mandela for helping to arrange a luncheon that Mandela and widows of apartheid-era leaders attended.She died on 6 June 1997 at the age of 75. She had suffered an aneurysm in 1978 but had been in good health since then.

Betsie Verwoerd

Elizabeth "Betsie" Verwoerd, (née Schoombie; 17 May 1901 – 29 February 2000) was the spouse of the Prime Minister of South Africa from 2 September 1958 until the assassination of her husband Hendrik Verwoerd on 6 September 1966.

Betsie was of Danish descent and born on 17 May 1901 in Middelburg in the Cape Colony.

Betsie met her husband while they both attended Stellenbosch University in the early 1920s. They were married in Hamburg, Germany where Hendrik was studying on 7 January 1927. The couple returned to South Africa in 1928. They had seven children - five sons and two daughters. One of her daughters, Anna, married Carel Boshoff who later founded the Afrikaner settlement of Orania.

Her husband was assassinated in 1966. Afterwards, she occasionally conducted some official duties such as opening the Hendrik Verwoerd Dam (later renamed Gariep Dam) in 1972.

In 1992 she moved to Orania, the Afrikaner settlement founded by her son-in-law. She was visited by the first democratically-elected President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela at her home in 1995.Betsie Verwoerd died at her home on 29 February 2000 at the age of 98. Nelson Mandela expressed his sadness at her death, stating he had been impressed with her "pure Afrikaner hospitality" when he visited in 1995.After her death her Amietis Street, Orania house was converted into a museum. A primary school in Randfontein was previously named in her honour; it was later renamed. A street in Goodwood, Cape Town retains her name.

Cottesloe Consultation

The Cottesloe Consultation was a conference held from December 7–14, 1960 in Cottesloe, a suburb of Johannesburg, South Africa. The immediate impetus for the consultation was the international public outcry against the Sharpeville massacre that had taken place the previous March. Prior to the consultation's convening, Hendrik Verwoerd, who was Prime Minister of South Africa at the time, called the consultation "an attempt by foreigners to meddle in the country's internal affairs". The consultation was sponsored by the World Council of Churches (WCC) and all of the WWC member bodies in South Africa sent ten delegates to participate in the discussion. One of the delegates was German theologian Wilhelm Niesel, author of Die Theologie Calvins. The consultation was organized by WCC's Robert S. Bilheimer.

D.F. Malan High School

Hoërskool DF Malan (DF Malan High School) is a high school in Boston ,Bellville, South Africa - near Cape Town. It was named after D.F Malan, the prime minister of South Africa from 1948 to 1954. In 2012 and 2013 the school was included in The Cambridge University Student Guide to Excellence, a selection of 100 top schools worldwide. In recent years it has been one of the academically top-performing schools in the Western Cape.

D. F. Malan

Daniel François Malan (Afrikaans pronunciation: [ˈdɑːnijəl franˈswɑː mɑːˈlan]; 22 May 1874 – 7 February 1959), more commonly known as D. F. Malan, was a South African politician who served as Prime Minister of South Africa from 1948 to 1954. His National Party government came to power on the program of apartheid, which is a program of segregation. The foundations of apartheid were firmly laid down during his tenure as prime minister of South Africa from 1948 to 1954.


Gerhardus and its shortened form Hardus are masculine given names of Dutch-language origin. People with those names include:

Bernardus Gerhardus Fourie (AKA Brand Fourie, 1916–2008), South African politician

Francois Gerhardus Joubert (1827–1903), Boer general

Gerhardus Liebenberg (born 1972), South African cricketer

Gerhardus Petrus Christiaan de Kock (1926–89), South African banker, sixth Governor of the South African Reserve Bank

Gerhardus Pienaar (born 1981), South African javelin thrower

Hardus Viljoen (Gerhardus C. Viljoen, born 1989), South African cricketer

Johannes Gerhardus Strijdom (1893–1958), Prime Minister of South Africa 1954–58

Johannes Maritz (Johannes Gerhardus Maritz, born 1990), Namibian hurdler

Heroes' Acre, Pretoria

The Heroes' Acre (Afrikaans: Die Heldeakker; Dutch: De Heldenakker) is a section of Church Street Cemetery in Pretoria, South Africa. It was established in 1867, and contains the graves of renowned citizens and public figures. It is the burial place of a number of historical figures including Andries Pretorius, Paul Kruger and Hendrik Verwoerd. Australian Boer War anti-hero Breaker Morant (executed by the British for war crimes during the Second Anglo-Boer War) is also buried here.

J. G. Strijdom

Johannes Gerhardus Strijdom, (also spelled Strydom) commonly called Hans Strydom (14 July 1893 – 24 August 1958), nicknamed the Lion of the North, was Prime Minister of South Africa from 30 November 1954 to 24 August 1958. He was an uncompromising Afrikaner nationalist, and a member of the largest, baasskap (white supremacist) faction of the National Party (NP), who further perpetuated the NP's Apartheid policies during his rule.

John Vorster

Balthazar Johannes "B. J." Vorster (Afrikaans pronunciation: [ˈbaltɑːzar jʊəˈhanəs ˈfɔrstər]; 13 December 1915 – 10 September 1983), served as the Prime Minister of South Africa from 1966 to 1978 and as the fourth State President of South Africa from 1978 to 1979. Vorster was known for his staunch adherence to apartheid, overseeing (as Minister of Justice) the Rivonia Trial in which Nelson Mandela was sentenced to life imprisonment for sabotage, and (as Prime Minister) the Terrorism Act, the complete abolition of non-white political representation, the Soweto Riots and the Steve Biko crisis. He conducted a more pragmatic foreign policy than his predecessors in an effort to improve relations between the white minority government and South Africa's neighbours, particularly after the break-up of the Portuguese colonial empire. Shortly after the Internal Settlement in Rhodesia, in which he was instrumental, he was implicated in the Muldergate Scandal and resigned the premiership in favour of the ceremonial presidency, which he was forced to give up as well eight months later.

List of South Africans

This is a list of notable South Africans who are the subjects of Wikipedia articles.

Mahlamba Ndlopfu

Mahlamba Ndlopfu is the official residence for the President of South Africa in Bryntirion, Pretoria.

The house, formerly called Libertas, was designed by Architect Gerard Moerdijk in a traditional Cape Dutch style and completed in 1940 as the official residence for the Prime Minister of South Africa in the Bryntirion suburb of Pretoria. It is surrounded by impressive gardens. Through the years, slight changes were made on the building. After the post of Prime Minister was abolished in 1984, it became the presidential residence.

In 1995 the name of the residence was changed to the present-day name. Mahlamba Ndlopfu is a term of the Tsonga language, the language of the Tsonga people. It means "The new dawn".

Nkomati Accord

The Nkomati Accord (Official name; Agreement on Non-Aggression and Good Neighbourliness between Mozambique and South Africa ) was a non-aggression pact signed on 16 March 1984 between the People's Republic of Mozambique and the Republic of South Africa. The event took place at the South African town of Komatipoort with the signatories being President of Mozambique Samora Machel and Prime Minister of South Africa P.W. Botha. The treaty's stated focus was on preventing Mozambique from supporting the African National Congress to undertake violent actions in South Africa, and for South Africa to stop supplying the RENAMO movement in Mozambique.

The treaty was met with disapproval from members of the SADCC and particularly from the ANC who were aware of the impacts it would have on their liberation struggle. Despite this both groups acknowledged that Mozambique had essentially been forced into signing the treaty as the country was on the brink of destruction due to the conflict with the South-African backed RENAMO rebels.Mozambique stood by its side of the Treaty and expelled ANC members from the south of the country, meanwhile the South Africans ignored the deal and stepped up their already extensive support to RENAMO. Captured documents from the main Gorongosa base in 1985 revealed that the South Africans had continued their support in violation of the accord. A permanent peace accord, the Rome General Peace Accords, finally ended the Mozambican Civil War in 1992 and was supervised by the United Nations' ONUMOZ force until 1994.

Regiment Botha

Regiment Botha is an infantry regiment of the South African Army. As a reserve unit, it has a status roughly equivalent to that of a British Army Reserve or United States Army National Guard unit. The Regiment was named after General Louis Botha, the first prime minister of South Africa.

Statue of Jan Smuts, Parliament Square

A life-size bronze statue of Jan Smuts by the British artist Jacob Epstein stands on the north side of Parliament Square in London, United Kingdom, between a statue of Lord Palmerston and a statue of David Lloyd George.Smuts served as an army general and as a member of the Imperial War Cabinet in the First World War, and then served as Prime Minister of South Africa twice, from 1919 to 1924 and from then 1939 to 1948. The statue depicts him in his military uniform as a field marshal, leaning forward with his left leg advanced, as if walking forward. The statue stands on a pedestal of granite from South Africa, which bears the inscription JAN/ CHRISTIAN/ SMUTS/ 1870–1950.

After Winston Churchill won the 1951 UK general election in October 1951, he proposed erecting a statue in Parliament Square as a memorial to Smuts, who had died in September 1950. Churchill retired as prime minister in 1955, and was too ill to perform the unveiling in November 1956; it was unveiled instead by the Speaker of the House of Commons, William Morrison. The statue became a Grade II listed building in 1970.

Stellenbosch University

Stellenbosch University (Afrikaans: Universiteit Stellenbosch) is a public research university situated in Stellenbosch, a town in the Western Cape province of South Africa. Stellenbosch is jointly the oldest university in South Africa and the oldest extant university in Sub-Saharan Africa alongside the University of Cape Town which received full university status on the same day in 1918. Stellenbosch University (abbreviated as SU) designed and manufactured Africa's first microsatellite, SUNSAT, launched in 1999.Stellenbosch University was the first African university to sign the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities.The students of Stellenbosch University are nicknamed "Maties". The term probably arises from the Afrikaans word "tamatie" (meaning tomato, and referring to the maroon sport uniforms and blazer colour). An alternative theory is that the term comes from the Afrikaans colloquialism maat (meaning "buddy" or "mate") originally used diminutively ("maatjie") by the students of the University of Cape Town's precursor, the South African College.

Stellenbosch University is the second-highest ranked African University according to the 2017-2018 QS World University Rankings.

Victoria Falls Conference (1975)

The Victoria Falls Conference took place on the 26th August 1975 aboard a South African Railways train halfway across the Victoria Falls Bridge on the border between the unrecognised state of Rhodesia (today Zimbabwe) and Zambia. It was the culmination of the "détente" policy introduced and championed by B. J. Vorster, the Prime Minister of South Africa, which was then under apartheid and was attempting to improve its relations with the Frontline States to Rhodesia's north, west and east by helping to produce a settlement in Rhodesia. The participants in the conference were a delegation led by the Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith on behalf of his government, and a nationalist delegation attending under the banner of Abel Muzorewa's African National Council (UANC), which for this conference also incorporated delegates from the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU), the Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU) and the Front for the Liberation of Zimbabwe (FROLIZI). Vorster and the Zambian President Kenneth Kaunda acted as mediators in the conference, which was held on the border in an attempt to provide a venue both sides would accept as neutral.

The conference failed to produce a settlement, breaking up on the same day it began with each side blaming the other for its unsuccessful outcome. Smith believed the nationalists were being unreasonable by requesting preconditions for talks—which they had previously agreed not to do—and asking for diplomatic immunity for their leaders and fighters. The nationalists contended that Smith was being deliberately intransigent and that they did not believe he was sincere in seeking an agreement if he was so adamant about not giving diplomatic immunity. Direct talks between the government and the Zimbabwe African People's Union followed in December 1975, but these also failed to produce any significant progress. The Victoria Falls Conference, the détente initiative and the associated ceasefire, though unsuccessful, did affect the course of the Rhodesian Bush War, as they gave the nationalist guerrillas significant time to regroup and reorganise themselves following the decisive security force counter-campaign of 1973–74. A further conference would follow in 1976, this time in Geneva.

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