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Viljoen, Marais

Marais Viljoen

b. 2 Dec 1915, "Takkap", near Robertson, Cape Province
d. 4 Jan 2007, Pretoria, Gauteng Province

Title: Acting State President of the Republic of South Africa = Waarnemende Staatspresident van die Republiek van Suid-Afrika
Term: 14 Aug 1978 - 10 Oct 1978
Chronology: 14 Aug 1978, took an oath of office as Acting State President [1]
  10 Oct 1978, ceased to exercise the functions of office upon the installation of a successor [2]
Term: 4 Jun 1979 - 19 Jun 1979
Chronology: 4 Jun 1979, took an oath of office as Acting State President [3]
Title: State President of the Republic of South Africa = Staatspresident van die Republiek van Suid-Afrika
Term: 19 Jun 1979 - 3 Sep 1984
Chronology: 19 Jun 1979, elected, session of an electoral college consisting of the members of the Senate and the House of Assembly, Cape Town [4]
  19 Jun 1979, took an oath of office as State President, public ceremony, Groote Kerk, Cape Town [5]
  3 Sep 1984, ceased to exercise the functions of office at commencement of the Republic of South Africa Constitution Act, 1983, Art. 102 (10 a) [6][7]
Biography:
Youngest of six children of a farmer; was orphaned at the age of four; educated in Jan van Riebeeck secondary school, Cape Town; due to a lack of money he was forced to leave school before matriculating, but later finished his matric through private study; attended the University of Cape Town; began working as a telegraphist at the Maitland Post Office and then moved to its translation bureau in Pretoria; turned to journalism as a reporter on Die Transvaler (1937) edited by Hendrik Verwoerd; was promoted to manager of Die Transvaler Boekhandel (1940-1943) at Potchefstroom and afterwards at Pretoria; was one of the founders of the National Youth League (Nasionale Jeugbond, NJB) in 1938 and served as NJB provincial leader in Pretoria (1940-1945); joined the Reunited National Party (Herenigde Nasionale Party, HNP; from 1951 Nasionale Party) and became HNP organiser at Natal (1943-1951); elected to the Provincial Council of the Transvaal, representing Pretoria Central (1949-1953); appointed HNP information officer in the Transvaal (1951-1953); elected to the House of Assembly of the Union of South Africa (1953-1976) as a representative of Alberton; served as deputy minister of labour and mines (1958-1962), deputy minister of interior, education, arts and science, of labour and immigration (1962-1966) in the government of Hendrik Verwoerd; held the portfolio of minister of labour and coloured affairs (1966-1969), minister of labour, coloured affairs and Rehoboth affairs (1969-1970), minister of the interior and labour (1970), minister of labour, post and telegraphs (1970-1976) in the cabinet of Balthazar Johannes Vorster; entered the Senate in 1976 and succeeded Johannes de Klerk as President of the Senate (1976-1979); assumed the office of Acting State President (14 Aug 1978 - 10 Oct 1978) during the illness of State President Nicolaas Diederichs and continued to serve after his death until Vorster was inaugurated (10 Oct 1978); returned to exercising his duties as President of the Senate, but again took the office of Acting State President (4 Jun 1979 - 19 Jun 1979) immediately following Vortser's resignation; was elected State President and took the office the same day (19 Jun 1979); his tenure was terminated when the Constitution of 1983 went into effect 3 Sep 1984.
Biographical sources: "Who's Who in Africa; the Political, Military and Business Leaders of Africa", ed. by John Dickie and Alan Rake (London: African Development, 1973); Die Burger, 5 Januarie 2007 (obituary).

[1] Staatskoerant van die Republiek van Suid-Afrika / Republic of South Africa Government Gazette, Pretoria, 18 Augustus/August 1978, Vol. 158, No. 6137, p. 2.
[2] Republic of South Africa Government Gazette / Staatskoerant van die Republiek van Suid-Afrika, Pretoria, 10 October/Oktober 1978, Vol. 160, No. 6180, p. 1.
[3] Republic of South Africa Government Gazette / Staatskoerant van die Republiek van Suid-Afrika, Pretoria, 15 June/Junie 1979, Vol. 168, No. 6493, p. 22.
[4] Republic of South Africa Government Gazette / Staatskoerant van die Republiek van Suid-Afrika, Cape Town/Kaapstad, 19 June/Junie 1979, Vol. 168, No. 6524, p. 1.
[5] Republic of South Africa Government Gazette / Staatskoerant van die Republiek van Suid-Afrika, Cape Town/Kaapstad, 19 June/Junie 1979, Vol. 168, No. 6525, p. 1.
[6] Republic of South Africa Government Gazette / Staatskoerant van die Republiek van Suid-Afrika, Cape Town/Kaapstad, 28 September 1983, Vol. 219, No. 8914, p. 66: "A person holding office as State President or Vice State President immediately before the commencements of this Act shall vacate his office at such commencement."
[7] Staatskoerant van die Republiek van Suid-Afrika / Republic of South Africa Government Gazette, Kaapstad/Cape Town, 6 Julie/July 1984, Vol. 229, No. 9308, p. [1]: "Proclamation — Of the State President of the Republic of South Africa — No. 119, 1984] Commencement of the Republic of South Africa Constitution Act, 1983 (Act 110 of 1983) — Under the powers vested in me by section 103 of the Republic of South Africa Constitution Act, 1983 (Act 110 of 1983), I hereby determine that the said Act shall commence on 3 September 1984. Given under my Hand and the Seal of the Republic of South Africa at Pretoria on this Fifth day of July, One Thousand Nine Hundred and Eighty Four. M Viljoen, State President."

This page was last updated on: 24 Jul 2011 22:36:21

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