Jan Smuts

1870- 1950

South African Statesman


Jan Smuts was educated in both South Africa and England. He became a lawyer in 1895 and later served as Minister of Justice. Smuts commanded the Boer commando forces in Cape Colony during the Boer War. He was convinced that peace was necessary with the English and he co-founded the moderate Het Volk. Smuts played a key role in the establishment of the Union of South Africa. He represented South Africa at the Versailles Conference and was a strong supporter of the creation of the League of Nations.

Smuts served as Prime Minister from 1919 to 1924 and became Prime Minister once again at the start of World War II. Smuts had moderate views on issues of race, and this helped insure his party's loss in the 1948 elections.


Jan Smuts - Unafraid of Greatness