South Africa: The Security Man

A week to the day after the assassination of Prime Minister Hendrik Verwoerd, the leaders of South Africa's ruling Nationalist Party met in the Parliament building in Cape Town to choose his successor. There were half a dozen candidates for the job, but it was never much of a race. The obvious front runner was beefy Balthazar Johannes Vorster, 50, Minister of Justice, Police and Prisons, and boss of the massive security organization that enforced South African apartheid.

Vorster (pronounced Force-ter) had admitted drawbacks. He suffers from a heart condition that prevents...

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