South African prime minister (1948–54). A right-wing Afrikaner nationalist, Malan introduced the policy of apartheid into South Africa, incurring great displeasure among western nations.
Born near Riebeck West, Cape Province, the son of a farmer, Malan was educated at Victoria College, Stellenbosch, where he studied for the Dutch Reformed Church, receiving a doctorate in divinity at the University of Utrecht, Holland, in 1905. After working as a minister at the Cape, he toured and wrote a short book (Na Congoland) about Dutch Reformed missions in Rhodesia and the Belgian Congo. Malan's political involvement began in 1915 as editor of Die Burger, the Nationalist Party newspaper. Entering parliament in 1919, he became a member of General Hertzog's cabinet in 1924. In 1933 he broke with Hertzog over the coalition with Smuts and formed the Gesuiwerde Nasionale Party (‘Purified’ National Party), which gained much of its support from the Afrikaner Broederbond. Appointed leader of the opposition in the Assembly, Malan gradually gained electoral support, defeating the United Party in the 1948 election to become prime minister and minister for external affairs. His administration is notorious for the introduction of apartheid. He retired from office in 1954.
Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).