Lucas Cornelius Steyn

b. 21 Dec 1903, Geluksdam, Viljoenskroon disctrict, Orange River Colony
d. 28 Jul 1976, Pretoria, Republic of South Africa

Title: Officer Administering the Government of the Union of South Africa = Amptenaar Belas met die Uitoefening van die Uitvoerende Gesag van die Unie van Suid-Afrika
Term: 25 Nov 1959 - 12 Jan 1960
Chronology: 25 Nov 1959, duties of the office of Governor-General of the Union of South Africa devolved upon the officer designated by Art. VI of the Letters Patent Relating to the Office of Governor-General of the Union of South Africa due to the death of an incumbent [1]
  12 Jan 1960, ceased to exercise the duties of the office of Governor-General of the Union of South Africa upon the inauguration of an incumbent [2]
Term: 1 May 1961 - 31 May 1961
Chronology: 1 May 1961, duties of the office of Governor-General of the Union of South Africa devolved upon the officer designated by Art. VI of the Letters Patent Relating to the Office of Governor-General of the Union of South Africa due to the removal of an incumbent [3]
  31 May 1961, the office of Governor-General of the Union of South Africa ceased to exist with the commencement of the Republic of South Africa Constitution Act, 1961 (Afrikaans: Grondwet van die Republiek van Suid-Afrika, 1961) [4]
Biography:
Educated at Kroonstad secondary school; enrolled as a student at the University of Stellenbosch (1921), where he obtained bachelor of arts (1923) and bachelor of laws (1926) degrees; was appointed student-assistant in law (1926); lectured in Roman-Dutch law at the University of Stellenbosch (1926-1928); admitted as an advocate in the Cape (1928) and joined the public service as professional assistant to the Attorney-General of South West Africa; continued to study and obtained the master of laws degree at the University of Stellenbosch (1929); appointed Attorney-General of South West Africa in 1931; was made legal adviser to the Department of External Affairs (1933) and later in the same year to the Department of Justice in Pretoria, where he also worked as legal draftsman until 1944; appointed King's Counsel (1943) and was senior legal adviser to the Union government (1944-1951), in which capacity he represented the country overseas on international problems; served as one of the South African delegates to the United Nations (1946-1949) and South Africa's legal adviser at the International Court (1950); appointed justice of the Transvaal Section of the Supreme Court (1951); promoted to Judge of Appeal (1955); served as Chief Justice of the Union of South Africa (1959-1961) and Chief Justice of the Republic of South Africa (1961-1971); assumed the functions of Governor-General of the Union on occasions of the death of Ernest George Jansen (25 Nov 1959 - 12 Jan 1960) and resignation of Charles Swart (1 May 1961 - 30 May 1961), acting as Officer Administering the Government of the Union of South Africa.
Biographical sources: "Dictionary of South African Biography", ed. by W.J. de Kock, D.W. Krüger (et al.) (Pretoria: Nasional Boekhandel Bpk. for National Council for Social Research, Dept. of Higher Education, 1968-1987), 5 vols; obituaries: The Friend, 29 Jul 1976; Die Transvaler, 29 Jul 1976.

[1] The Union of South Africa Government Gazette Extraordinary / Buitengewone Staatskoerant van die Unie van Suid-Afrika, Cape Town / Kaapstad, 16th March / 16 Maart 1937, Vol. CVII, No. 2419, pp. ii-iv; Union of South Africa Government Gazette / Unie van Suid-Afrika Staatskoerant, Pretoria, 4 December / Desember 1959, Vol. CXCVIII, No. 6323, p. 5.
[2] Unie van Suid-Afrika Staatskoerant, Buitengewone, Kaapstad, 12 Januarie 1960 / Union of South Africa Government Gazette, Extraordinary, Cape Town, 12th January, 1960, Vol. CXCIX, No. 6348, p. (1).
[3] Staatskoerant van die Unie van Suid-Afrika, Buitengewone / The Union of South Africa Government Gazette, Extraordinary, Kaapstad / Cape Town, 1 Januarie / 1st January 1951, Vol. CLXIII, No. 4517, p. 2.
[4] The Union of South Africa Government Gazette, Extraordinary, Cape Town, 25th April, 1961 / Staatskoerant van die Unie van Suid-Afrika, Buitengewone, Kaapstad, 25 April 1961, Vol. CCIV, No. 6671.
Last updated on: 29 Jul 2011 13:37:24