John Vorster


Biography of John Vorster

Balthazar Johannes Vorster (13 December 1915 – 10 September 1983), better known as John Vorster, served as the Prime Minister of South Africa from 1966 to 1978 and as the fourth State President of South Africa from 1978 to 1979. While known for his staunch adherence to apartheid, overseeing as Minister of Justice the Rivonia Trial in which Nelson Mandela was sentenced to life imprisonment, and as Prime Minister the Terrorism Act, the complete abolishment of non-white political representation, the Soweto Riots and the Steve Biko crisis, he nevertheless concluded a more pragmatic foreign policy than his predecessors in an effort to improve relations between the white minority government and South Africa's neighbours, particularly after the breakup of the Portuguese colonial empire. Shortly after the Internal Settlement in Rhodesia, in which he was instrumental, he was implicated in the Muldergate Scandal and resigned the premiership in favor of the ceremonial presidency, which he was forced to give up as well eight months later.

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