President John Vorster resigns

Balthazar Johannes Vorster Image source

Monday, 4 June 1979

On retiring as prime minister after twelve years in office, B.J. Voster was elected to the unprecedented honorary position of State President. However, his spell in the new office was short-lived. He relinquished the position after he was implicated in the Muldergate/Information scandal, named after Dr Connie Mulder, then Minister of Information. Vorster was implicated in the use of a secret slush-fund to buy loyalty of the English newspaper The Citizen. The Erasmus Commission of Inquiry revealed that Vorster knew about corrupt activities in the Department of Information but preferred to turn a blind eye. He resigned from his position in disgrace. Ill health and the on-going exposure of the 'Information Scandal' were cited as reasons for his departure.

References:
• Muller, C.F.J. (ed)(1981). Five Hundred years: a history of South Africa; 3rd rev. ed., Pretoria: Academica, p. 549.

Last updated : 01-Jun-2017

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