Governor-General of the Union of South Africa


Governor-General of the Union of South Africa
Governor-General of the Union of South Africa
Former political post
Coat of Arms of South Africa (1932-2000).svg
Arms of South Africa
Predecessor
Successor
First officeholder The Viscount Gladstone
Last officeholder The Rt Hon. Charles Robberts Swart
Style His Excellency
Appointer King/Queen of South Africa
Political office started 31 May 1910
Political office ended 31 May 1961

The Governor-General of the Union of South Africa was the representative of the British (1910–1931) and later South African Crown (1931–1961) in the Union of South Africa between 31 May 1910 and 31 May 1961. The Union of South Africa was a Commonwealth Realm in which Queen Elizabeth II was given the title Queen of South Africa, although she never visited the country in that capacity.

Some of the first holders of the post were members of the British Royal Family including Prince Arthur of Connaught, between 1920 and 1924, and the Earl of Athlone, who served between 1924 and 1931, before becoming the Governor General of Canada. As in other Dominions, this would change, with only local South African citizens holding the office.

The office was established by the South Africa Act 1909.

Contents

Republicanism

The Afrikaner-dominated National Party, which came to power in 1948, was avowedly republican, and regarded South Africa's links with the other Commonwealth realms as a relic of British imperialism. Under the National Party, the office of Governor-General was held by retired government ministers, who chose not to wear the traditional Windsor uniform composed of a blue military jacket and plumed hat. In 1957, God Save the Queen ceased to have equal status with Die Stem van Suid-Afrika as a national anthem, and the Union Flag similarly ceased to have equal status with the South African flag.

However, it was not until 1960 that the Prime Minister, Hendrik Verwoerd, advised the Governor-General to hold a referendum on the issue. After several protests regarding the lowering of the voting age to 18, and the inclusion of white voters in South West Africa, on October 5, 1960, South Africa's whites were asked: "Are you in favour of a Republic for the Union?" The result was 52 per cent in favour of the change.

Charles Robberts Swart, the last Governor-General, left office on April 30, 1961 and Lucas Cornelius Steyn become Officer Administering the Government under a transitional arrangement, until May 31, 1961, when Republic of South Africa was declared and Swart become the first State President of South Africa.

List of Governors-General of the Union of South Africa (1910-1961)

# Name
(Birth–Death)
Picture Took office Left office Monarch Prime Minister
1 The Viscount Gladstone
(1854–1930)
Herbert John Gladstone.jpg 31 May 1910 8 September 1914 George V Botha
2 The Viscount Buxton
(1853–1934)
Sydney Charles Buxton.png 8 September 1914 17 November 1920
3 HRH Prince Arthur of Connaught
(1883–1938)
Prince Arthur of Connaught colour.jpg 17 November 1920 21 January 1924 Smuts
4 The Earl of Athlone
(1874–1957)
Earlofathlone.jpg 21 January 1924 26 January 1931
5 The Earl of Clarendon
(1877–1955)
Coat of Arms of South Africa (1932-2000).svg 26 January 1931 5 April 1937 Hertzog
6 Sir Patrick Duncan
(1870–1943)
Coat of Arms of South Africa (1932-2000).svg 5 April 1937 17 July 1943 George VI
Nicolaas Jacobus de Wet
(1873–1960)
(Officer Administering the Government)
Coat of Arms of South Africa (1932-2000).svg 17 July 1943 1 January 1946 Smuts
7 Gideon Brand van Zyl
(1873–1956)
Coat of Arms of South Africa (1932-2000).svg 1 January 1946 1 January 1951
8 Ernest George Jansen
(1881–1959)
EG Jansen 1949.jpg 1 January 1951 25 November 1959 Malan
Lucas Cornelius Steyn
(1903–1976)
(Officer Administering the Government)
Coat of Arms of South Africa (1932-2000).svg 26 November 1959 11 December 1959 Elizabeth II Verwoerd
9 Charles Robberts Swart
(1894–1982)
CR Swart.jpg 11 December 1959 30 April 1961
Lucas Cornelius Steyn
(1903–1976)
(Officer Administering the Government)
Coat of Arms of South Africa (1932-2000).svg 30 April 1961 31 May 1961

See also

External links


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Governor-General of the Irish Free State — The Governor General ( ga. Seanascal) was the representative of the King in the 1922 ndash;1937 Irish Free State. Until 1927 he was also the agent of the British government in the Irish state. By convention the office of Governor General was… …   Wikipedia

  • Union of South Africa — Infobox Former Country native name = Unie van Suid Afrika Unie van Zuid Afrika conventional long name = Union of South Africa common name = South Africa continent = Africa region = Southern Africa status = Commonwealth Realm year start = 1910… …   Wikipedia

  • Governor-General — The term governor general or governor general refers to a vice regal representative of a Monarch in an independent realm or a major colonial circonscription. A governor general is a governor of high rank, or a principal governor ranking above… …   Wikipedia

  • Governor General of Canada — Viceroy Federal …   Wikipedia

  • South Africa — Republic of, a country in S Africa; member of the Commonwealth of Nations until 1961. 42,327,458; 472,000 sq. mi. (1,222,480 sq. km). Capitals: Pretoria and Cape Town. Formerly, Union of South Africa. * * * South Africa Introduction South Africa… …   Universalium

  • South Africa — This article is about the modern country. For other uses, see South Africa (disambiguation). Republic of South Africa …   Wikipedia

  • List of South Africa-related topics — The following is a partial list of South Africa related topics. Those interested in the subject can monitor changes to the pages by clicking on Related changes in the sidebar.History*History of South AfricaEvents*Jan van Riebeeck *History of Cape …   Wikipedia

  • King of South Africa — The King or Queen of South Africa was titular head of state of the Union of South Africa during the state s existence as a Dominion of the British Empire and later a Commonwealth Realm from May 31, 1910 to May 31, 1961, when the country became… …   Wikipedia

  • President of South Africa — The President of South Africa, in full, the President of the Republic of South Africa is the head of state and head of government under South Africa s Constitution. From 1961 to 1994, the head of state was called the State President. The… …   Wikipedia

  • Prime Minister of South Africa — The Prime Minister of South Africa was the head of government in South Africa between 1910 and 1984.The South African monarch was the head of state, until 1961, when the non executive State President of South Africa assumed that role, following… …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.