Biography of Diederichs, Nicolaas - Archontology
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Diederichs, Nicolaas

Nicolaas Johannes Diederichs

b. 17 Nov 1903, Ladybrand, Ladybrand District, Orange River Colony
d. 21 Aug 1978, Cape Town, Cape Province, Republic of South Africa

Title: State President of the Republic of South Africa :: Staatspresident van die Republiek van Suid-Afrika
Term: 19 Apr 1975 - 21 Aug 1978
Chronology: 21 Feb 1975, elected, session of an electoral college consisting of the members of the Senate and the House of Assembly, Cape Town [1]
  19 Apr 1975, took an oath of office as State President, public ceremony, Groote Kerk, Cape Town [2]
  21 Aug 1978, died [3]
Names/titles: Also known as Nico Diederichs
Born in the family of farmers; was educated in Boshof high school; graduated from Grey University College, Bloemfontein, BA and MA cum laude in philosophy and political science; continued his studies in the universities of Munich, Berlin, Cologne, and Leiden; received doctorate of Letters and Philosophy from the University of Leiden; returned to South Africa to take up the chair in political philosophy at the University College of the Orange Free State Province in Bloemfontein (1933-1940); elected to the House of Assembly on the ticket of the Reunited National Party (Herenigde Nasionale Party, from 1951 Nasionale Party), representing the constituencies of Randfontein (1948-1958), Losberg (1958-1974) and Overvaal (1974-1975); was named chairman of the tax committee and of the committee for decimalisation; served as minister of economic affairs (1958-1967), mines (1961-1964), and finance (1967-1975); became an architect of South Africa's economic stability and was known as a hardliner on separate development; was nominated by the parliamentary caucus of the National Party (31 Jan 1975) to contest presidential election; elected State President (21 Feb 1975) and held the office until his death.
Biographical sources: "Encyclopaedia of Southern Africa", ed. by Eric Rosenthal (London: Frederick Warne and Co., 1973), 6th edition; obituary: Rand Daily Mail, 22 Aug 1978, pp. 1, 10.

[1] Government Gazette, No. 4596, 21 Feb 1975, p. 1; Rand Daily Mail, 22 Feb 1975, p. 5.
[2] Government Gazette, No. 4676, 19 Apr 1975, p. 1; Rand Daily Mail, 21 Apr 1975, Souvenir Issue, pp. 1, 9.
[3] Rand Daily Mail, 22 Aug 1978, p. 1.