Johannes Gerhardus (JG) Strijdom was born in 1893 in the Cape Colony. He trained as a lawyer at the Victoria College (now Stellenbosch University). Strijdom served as Minister of Agriculture under Dr. DF Malan’s leadership. He succeeded Malan and became prime minister in 1954. It was during his tenure, in 1955, in Kliptown near Johannesburg, that the Freedom Charter, which embraced the ideological principles of the African National Congress (ANC), was endorsed. A year later, on 9 August 1956, twenty thousand women, of all races, marched on the Strijdom government at the Union Buildings in Pretoria to protest against the proposed amendments to the Urban Areas Act of 1950.
Strijdom pushed for the establishment of a republic, and strengthened and refined the Government’s Apartheid policy. Johannes Gerhardus Strijdom died on 24 August 1958 in Cape Town and is buried at Heroes’ Acre in Pretoria.
• The Presidency. History: Former Heads of State, Former Heads of Government and Former Governors-General and their Deputies [online]. Available at: www.thepresidency.gov.za [Accessed on 16 August 2013]
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