D.F. Malan : a political biography

Korf, Lindie (2010-03)

Thesis (DPhil (History))--University of Stellenbosch, 2010.

Thesis

ENGLSIH ABSTRACT: This study is a political biography of D.F. Malan (1874–1959), the first of the apartheid-era Prime Ministers, and covers the years 1874 to 1954, when Malan retired from politics. It endeavours to provide a warts-and-all account of D.F. Malan which challenges prevalent myths and stereotypes surrounding his public persona and his political orientation. While the overwhelming focus is on Malan’s political career, special attention is paid to his personal life in order to paint a multi-faceted picture of his character. The biography is written in the form of a seamless narrative and employs a literary style of writing. It is based on archival research which utilised Malan’s private collection, as well as the private collections of his Nationalist contemporaries. Malan takes the centre stage at all times, as the biography focuses on his perceptions and experiences. Malan’s views regarding Afrikaner nationalism, which was his foremost political priority, are described, and are related to his views of British imperialism as well as other ideologies such as communism and totalitarianism. This study demonstrates that there is a notable link between Malan’s perceptions of race relations and his concerns about the poor white problem. It reveals that Malan’s racial policy was, to some extent, fluid, as were his views on South Africa’s constitutional position. Debates about South Africa’s links to Britain and the nature of the envisioned republic preoccupied Afrikaner nationalists throughout the first half of the twentieth century – and served as an outlet for regional and generational tensions within the movement. Malan’s clashes with nationalists such as Tielman Roos, J.B.M. Hertzog and J.G. Strijdom are highlighted as an indication of the internecine power struggles within the National Party (NP). By emphasising these complexities, this study seeks to contribute to a nuanced understanding of the South African past.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie is politieke biografie van D.F. Malan (1874–1959), die eerste van die apartheid-era Eerste Ministers, en dek die jare 1874 tot 1954, toe Malan uit die politiek getree het. Dit poog om onversuikerde beeld van Malan te skets wat heersende mites en stereotipes aangaande sy openbare beeld en sy benadering tot die politiek uitdaag. Die fokus is hoofsaaklik op Malan se politieke loopbaan, maar besondere aandag word aan sy private lewe geskenk om sodoende veelsydige portret van sy karakter te skilder. Die biografie is in die vorm van naatlose narratief geskryf en maak van literêre skryfstyl gebruik. Dit is gebaseer op argivale navorsing, waartydens daar van D.F. Malan se privaat versameling gebruik gemaak is, sowel as die privaat versamelings van sy tydgenote. Malan is ten alle tye die sentrale figuur en die biografie fokus op sy persepsies en ervarings. Malan se denke oor Afrikaner nasionalisme, wat sy vernaamste prioriteit was, word beskryf en in verband gebring met sy opinie van Britse imperialisme, sowel as ander ideologieë soos kommunisme en totalitarisme. Die studie wys op die verband tussen Malan se denke oor rasseverhoudinge en sy besorgdheid oor die armblanke vraagstuk. Dit dui daarop dat Malan se rassebeleid tot sekere mate vloeibaar was. Dit was ook die geval met sy benadering tot Suid-Afrika se konstitusionele posisie. Afrikaner nasionaliste het tydens die eerste helfte van die twintigste eeu baie aandag geskenk aan debatte oor Suid-Afrika se verhouding tot Brittanje en die aard van die voorgenome republiek. Dit was tot mate weerligafleier vir reeds bestaande spanning tussen die onderskeie streke en generasies. Malan se botsings met nasionaliste soos Tielman Roos, J.B.M. Hertzog en J.G. Strijdom word belig as aanduiding van die diepgewortelde magstryd binne die Nasionale Party (NP). Deur op hierdie kompleksiteite klem te lê, poog die studie om bydrae te lewer tot meer genuanseerde begrip van die Suid-Afrikaanse verlede.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/3991
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