26 August 1914
The Union of South Africa was established in 1910. Although South Africa was no longer a British colony, it was not an independent country either. Its leadership rested on the South African Party (SAP) which many Afrikaners felt did not serve their interests. Therefore, when the National Party (NP) was founded by JBM Hertzog in 1914, he received much support from Afrikaners in all parts of South Africa. Following the establishment of the NP in the Orange Free State, the NP in the Transvaal was formed. This took place on 26 August 1914 in the Erasmus Hall in Pretoria. The NP continued to strengthen. However, in 1934, the NP merged with the SAP to form the United Party (UP). The hard line nationalist, D.F. Malan, then broke away to form the Gesuiwerde Nasionale Party (Purified National Party). In 1939, the UP was split over the issue of South Africa's involvement in World War Two, with many Afrikaans party members breaking away and joining Malan's Gesuiwerde Nasionale Party. This finally emerged as the National Party that won the 1948 elections, became the ruling party of South Africa for almost 50 years and implemented the policy of apartheid. Following decades of political turmoil, South Africa became a democracy under the elected African National Congress (ANC). The NP attempted to re-invent itself as the New National Party, which acted as the opposition in the 1999 elections. In 2000, the NP and the Democratic Party joined forces as the Democratic Alliance (DA). However, by 2005 the NP had joined the ANC and was completely disbanded. References: Potgieter, D.J. et al. (eds)(1970). Standard Encyclopaedia of Southern Africa, Cape Town: NASOU, v. 8, pp.83-88. Wallis, F. (2000) Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau.