Dr. Connie Mulder

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Minister of Information and Plural Relations and Development.

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Date of birth: 
5 June 1925
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Cornelius Petrus Mulder was born on the 5 June 1925. He studied a Bachelor of Arts degree and obtained the Transvaal Education Diploma in 1945.

He started teaching History, Afrikaans and German in Randfontein. He also studied with the University of the Witwatersrand and completed a doctorate degree titled “Die Invloed van die Bybel of the Vorming van die Afrikaanse Volkskarakter” (The Influence of the Bible in the forming of the Afrikaans National Character). After completing his studies he joined local politics and involved himself in Randfontein affairs. Later he became deputy mayor and mayor of Randfontein. His profile in the National Party was also increasing. He became the chairman of the party's Divisional Committee. In 1958, he was elected to parliament as a representative of the Randfontein district. In 1968, he became the Minister of Information and later became the Minister of Bantu Administration, which was renamed Plural Relations, while retaining control of the Department of Information. It was widely believed that Mulder would succeed Prime Minister John Vorster. Such a possibility increased after the death of Finance Minister Dr Nico Diederichs. However, Mulder's hopes of becoming the next Prime Minister were dashed by the Information Scandal, which was nicknamed Muldergate, by the English press he was trying to undermine. The scandal ruined his political career and lost the 1978 National Party electoral race to Pieter Willem Botha. The Erasmus commission, appointed by P W Botha, sealed his fate when it revealed serious financial irregularities and abuse of power in the Department of Information. He refused to accept the findings of the Erasmus commission and was forced out of the National Party, shortly after resigning from Parliament.

After this expulsion, he continued to be active in politics and, together with his group of supporters, he formed the Action Front for National Priorities. The party was founded on principles of territorial separation of each nation and self-determination. In 1979, the National Conservative Party was formed and won 2 percent of the 1981 electoral votes. The party merged with the Conservative Party.

Dr Mulder died in 1988 after a long illness. He had three sons and a daughter.

Last updated : 05-Dec-2016

This article was produced by South African History Online on 17-Feb-2011

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