Iron in the Soul: The leaders of the official parliamentary opposition in South Africa, 1910-1993

Iron in the Soul: The leaders of the official parliamentary opposition in South Africa, 1910-1993

by F.A. Mouton




The lot of the leader of the official opposition is never a happy one. It takes exceptional personal attributes, or “iron in the soul” as Van Zyl Slabbert defined it, to be an efficient one.

In terms of the Westminster political system, which formed the basis of the South African parliament between 1910 and 1994, the official parliamentary opposition, led by the leader of the biggest opposition party was an important office-holder of parliament. He received a degree of latitude and preference, not allowed to ordinary parliamentarians, from the Speaker of parliament.

This group biography investigates the leaders of the official parliamentary opposition before democracy to evaluate how they contributed to the shaping of South Africa’s history. The focus is on those who never became a prime minister, or executive president. Prime ministers J.B.M. Hertzog, J.C. Smuts and D.F. Malan’s years as opposition leaders have been investigated by historians, while the opposition leaders who failed to win elections are long forgotten, or at most reduced to historical footnotes. The aim of this book is to bring to life the political “losers” — Sir Leander Starr Jameson (1910-1912), Sir Thomas Smartt (1912-1920), J.G.N. Strauss (1950-1956), Sir De Villiers Graaff (1956-1977), Radclyffe Cadman (1977), Colin Eglin (1977-1979 and 1986-1987)), Frederik Van Zyl Slabbert (1979-1986) and Dr. A.P. Treurnicht (1987-1993).

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781485305507
Publisher: Protea Boekhuis
Publication date: 07/31/2017
Edition description: 1st
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Prof. FA (Alex) Mouton is a Professor of History at Unisa. He teaches modern South African history and has published Prophet without honour: FS Malan – Afrikaner, South African and Cape liberal at Protea Book House in 2011.

Table of Contents

Preface 7

1 Sir Leander Starr Jameson, 1910-1912 13

2 Sir Thomas Smartt, 1912-1920 37

3 J.G.N. Strauss, 1950-1956 63

4 Sir De Villiers Graaff, 1956-1977 89

5 Radclyffe Cadman, 29 June 1977-30 November 1977 113

6 Colin Eglin, 1977-1979 129

7 Fiederik Van Zyl Slabbert, 1979 1986 145

8 Colin Eglin, 1986-1987 169

9 Dr A.P. Treurnicht, 1987 4993 183

Bibliography 207

Index 218

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