- Marais Viljoen
Marais Viljoen State President H. E. Marais Viljoen 5th State President of South Africa In office
4 June 1979 – 4 September 1984
Preceded by John Vorster Succeeded by Pieter Willem Botha State President of South Africa
as President of the Senate
21 August 1978 – 10 October 1978
Preceded by Nicolaas Johannes Diederichs Succeeded by John Vorster 11th President of the Senate In office
22 January 1976 – 19 June 1979
Preceded by Johannes de Klerk Succeeded by Jimmy Kruger Personal details Born 2 December 1915
Robertson, Cape Province
Died 4 January 2007(aged 91)
Political party National Party Spouse(s) Dorothea Maria Brink Children Elizabeth Magdalena Viljoen Religion Dutch Reformed Church
Marais Viljoen (2 December 1915 – 4 January 2007) was the last ceremonial State President of South Africa from 4 June 1979 until 3 September 1984. Viljoen became the last of the ceremonial presidents of South Africa when he was succeeded in 1984 by an executive president, P. W. Botha.
Viljoen was the youngest of six children. He was married on 20 April 1940 to Dorothea Maria Brink (17 September 1917 – 5 October 2005), with whom he had one daughter Elizabeth Magdalena (Elna) Viljoen, who in turn married Belgian Louis Arnold Meyers and had one son. Before entering a political career, he worked in the Post Office, and thereafter at the Afrikaans language newspaper, Die Transvaler, edited by Hendrik Verwoerd, who later became Prime Minister.
Viljoen was elected to the House of Assembly as MP for Alberton, near Johannesburg, as President of the Senate, and as acting State President from 21 August 1978 to 10 October 1978, after which B.J. Vorster was briefly elected to the position. Viljoen was seen as a relatively moderate member of the National Party that instituted apartheid.
After Vorster's resignation in 1979, Viljoen held the post of non-executive State President from 4 June 1979 until 3 September 1984. The State Presidency during this time was a ceremonial post, like that of the Governor-General, which it replaced in 1961.
Under the 1983 Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, the position of the State President was changed to a more powerful executive position. Viljoen retired and was replaced by P. W. Botha, who until 1984 had been the executive Prime Minister. After Viljoen retired from public life he maintained an interest in politics thereafter.
- ^ "Marais Viljoen". The Independent (London). 10 January 2007. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/obituaries/marais-viljoen-431477.html.
- ^ http://www.mg.co.za/article/2007-01-05-former-state-president-marais-viljoen-passes-away
- ^ http://www.mg.co.za/articlepage.aspx?area=/breaking_news/breaking_news__national/&articleid=294991
- ^ "Former state president Marais Viljoen passes away". Mail & Guardian. 5 January 2007. http://www.mg.co.za/articlepage.aspx?area=/breaking_news/breaking_news__national/&articleid=294991. Retrieved 2007-01-05.
- ^ "Viljoen funeral shows SA ’moving forward’". Business Day. 15 January 2007. http://www.businessday.co.za/articles/economy.aspx?ID=BD4A358876. Retrieved 2007-01-05. [dead link]
Nicolaas Johannes Diederichs
Acting State President of South Africa
Balthazar Johannes Vorster
Balthazar Johannes Vorster
State President of South Africa
Pieter Willem Botha
First Senate (1910-1981) Second Senate (1994-1997) National Council of Provinces (1997-present) pre-Apartheid (1910-1948) Apartheid-era (1948-1994) Post-Apartheid (1994-present) Presidents of South Africa 1961 Constitution
- = acting
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