Dr. Connie Mulder is acquitted and discharged on charges of contempt

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Connie Mulder

Thursday, 30 August 1979

Dr Connie Mulder was an Afrikaans professor who became a politician. In 1958, he became a member of the National Party (NP) and was the mayor of Randfontein. Ten years later he became the minister of Information and it was presumed that he would become the Prime Minister of South Africa following B.J. Vorster's term of office.

In 1977, however, Mulder was involved in scandal that brought his political career to an end. It was revealed that Mulder, along with Prime Minister Vorster, had planned to use defence force funds to stage an apartheid propaganda campaign.

This plan included offering bribes to international news agencies and purchasing the Washington Star newspaper. Vorster also misappropriated funds by financing The Citizen, the only English newspaper supportive of the NP and their apartheid policy.

A commission of inquiry into was set up in 1979 in which the full extent of Mulder and Vorster's involvement was revealed. Mulder had to appear in court and was charged with contempt.

On 30 August 1979, he was acquitted of this charge by the Supreme Court in Pretoria, but his political career could not recover from the Information or "Muldergate" Scandal. In later years, he helped established the Conservative Party.

Mulder's son, Pieter Mulder, now heads the conservative Freedom Front Plus.

References:

  1. Connie Mulder [online] Available at: wikipedia.org [Accessed 19 August 2009]
  2. The Information Scandal: SAHO Online Library

Last updated : 29-Aug-2012

This article was produced for South African History Online on 16-Mar-2011