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About Hendrik Frensch Verwoerd
Source - Wikipedia
Hendrik Frensch Verwoerd (8 September 1901 - 6 September 1966) was Prime Minister of South Africa from 1958 until his assassination in 1966. Verwoerd was born in the Netherlands and emigrated at age two with his parents to South Africa.
He served as Prime Minister of South Africa from 1958 until he was stabbed to death by an assassin in 1966. He was Prime Minister during the establishment of the Republic of South Africa in 1960, thereby fulfilling the Afrikaner dream of an independent republic for South Africans. During his tenure as Prime Minister, anti-Apartheid movements such as the African National Congress (ANC) and Pan Africanist Congress were banned, and the Rivonia Trial, which prosecuted the struggle leaders, was held.
Numerous major roads, places and facilities in towns and cities in South Africa were named after Verwoerd, like the H. F. Verwoerd Airport in Port Elizabeth, the Verwoerd Dam in the Free State and the town of Verwoerdburg. In post-apartheid South Africa, most of them have been renamed.
Article from the Encyclopaedia Brittanica online:
Hendrik Frensch Verwoerd, (b. Sept. 8, 1901, Amsterdam, Neth.—d. Sept. 6, 1966, Cape Town, S.Af.), South African professor, editor, and statesman who as prime minister (1958–66) rigorously developed and applied the policy of apartheid, or separation of the races.
When Verwoerd was three months old, his family migrated to South Africa. A brilliant scholar at the University of Stellenbosch, he was appointed professor of applied psychology there in 1927. In 1933 he changed to the chair of sociology and social work.
Verwoerd became prominent in politics in 1937, when he was appointed editor of the new Nationalist daily, Die Transvaler, in Johannesburg. He held that post until the National Party won the 1948 election, when he was appointed a senator. Becoming minister of native affairs in 1950, he was responsible for much of the apartheid legislation. In the election of 1958 he won a seat in the House of Assembly, and, after the death of Prime Minister Johannes Gerhardus Strijdom, the parliamentary caucus of the National Party selected Verwoerd as his successor in September 1958.
Once he was in office, Verwoerd’s program for apartheid was applied in full, with an intricate system of laws separating whites, Coloureds (people of mixed European and African or Asian ancestry), Asians, and Africans (blacks). He pushed through the Promotion of Bantu Self-Government Act in 1959; it provided for the resettlement of blacks in eight separate reservations, or Bantu Homelands (later called Bantustans or black states). These racial policies provoked demonstrations that in March 1960 led to the massacre of Africans protesting the Pass Laws at Sharpeville. On Oct. 5, 1960, white voters by a small majority approved his recommendation that South Africa leave the Commonwealth, and Verwoerd’s dream of a republic came true on May 31, 1961.
On April 9, 1960, a deranged white farmer shot Verwoerd in an assassination attempt that failed. Six years later Verwoerd was stabbed to death in the parliamentary chamber by a temporary parliamentary messenger, Demetrio (also known as Dimitri) Tsafendas, a Mozambique immigrant of mixed descent. He initially blamed his actions on instructions he had received from a giant tapeworm in his stomach, was found to be insane, and was confined to prison or a mental asylum for the rest of his life. Later interviews with Tsafendas revealed that the assassination was motivated by the great resentment he felt toward the arbitrary racial classifications and policies of apartheid, which had adversely affected his life.
Hendrik Verwoerd's Timeline
September 8, 1901
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Nederland
January 7, 1927
July 26, 1936
August 26, 1966
- August 26, 1966