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TWO SOUTH AFRICAN PRIME MINISTERS: LOUIS BOTHA AND JAN SMUTS

Richard Steyn, author

This course re-examines the lives and legacies of Jan Smuts and Louis Botha. These soldier-statesmen effectively operated as a double act at home and on the international stage before Botha’s death in August 1919. After the South African War Botha encouraged peace between English and Afrikaner; later he led the four British colonies (Cape, Natal, Free State and Transvaal) to Union and dominion status. During the First World War he led South African troops to victory and the capture of German South West Africa. A big-hearted man, he pleaded for magnanimity towards the Germans at the Peace of Versailles. Botha’s ally and successor Jan Smuts was a champion of human rights, advisor to world leaders and an architect of the United Nations. Smuts had a rich spiritual and intellectual life, characterised by extraordinary friendships, including one with former enemy Winston Churchill, which spanned the first half of the twentieth century.

 


LECTURE TITLES

  1. Louis Botha
  2. Jan Smuts

 

Recommended reading

Steyn, R. 2015. Jan Smuts: Unafraid of Greatness. Cape Town: Jonathan Ball.

Steyn, R. 2017. Churchill and Smuts: The Friendship. Cape Town: Jonathan Ball.

Steyn, R. 2018. Louis Botha: A Man Apart. Cape Town: Jonathan Ball.

 

 

 

 

 

Date: Thursday 23–Friday 24 January
Time: 11.15 am
COURSE FEES: Full R236 Staff & Students R118
Venue: LT2 Kramer Law Building UCT