Original Research

Die lewensbeskouing van D.F. Malan (1874–1959) soos weerspieël in openbare standpunte

Piet J. Strauss
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 42, No 1 | a2214 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v42i1.2214 | © 2021 Piet J. Strauss | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 February 2021 | Published: 18 August 2021

About the author(s)

Piet J. Strauss, Department of Historical & Constructive Theology, Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa


The world view of D.F. Malan as reflected in his public stance. D.F. Malan was born in 1874 and grew up on a farm near Riebeeck-Wes in the Western Cape. He died in 1959 in Stellenbosch. Malan started his career as a minister in the Dutch Reformed Church. Before that he regarded himself as a student in Theology with a vocation. In 1905 he became a Doctor in Theology at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands. He entered politics in June 1915 by becoming the first editor of the new Dutch-Afrikaans newspaper, De Burger, and at the same time, the leader of the National Party (founded in 1914) in the Cape Province. Malan had a career in politics for almost 40 years. He retired as the Prime Minister of South Africa in 1954. In his time Malan concentrated especially on unity among the Afrikaners in culture and politics, the cooperation between Afrikaans- and English-speaking citizens, and the well-being of all the people in South Africa. As a reformed Christian in every sphere of life, Malan believed in God-given principles and a timely application of this by believers. This worldview of his became known through his preaching, speeches, articles and commentaries on matters. His worldview influenced his approach to politics and the cultural aspect of his existence. The purpose of this article is to explain this view by using primary sources. The main figure in this article was a minister in the Dutch Reformed Church with a noticeable influence in the affairs of the church, and he was also a South African politician on national level. These aspects influenced the history of the church, as well as the political or general history of South Africa. It also made an imprint on church political concepts and ethical considerations that had to come to grips with Malan leaving the church ministry for politics, as well as the ethics of policies like apartheid and the political unity of an officially bilingual Union of South Africa. For Malan, his worldview determined his aims in politics, namely the cultural unity among Afrikaners, while they and their English-speaking counterparts form a successful state, and the relationship between all South Africans.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: The interdisciplinary implications of this article involved the subjects of church history, general history and a political ethics approach.


D.F. Malan; Dutch Reformed Church; Prime Minister of South Africa; all-inclusive Christian worldview; Neo-Calvinistic; unity of culture among Afrikaners; unity of English- and Afrikaans-speaking citizens; Apartheid with white guardianship and happiness fo


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