The World: Vorster: Man on a Wagon Train

The dour, stocky political patriarch of South Africa, Prime Minister Balthazar Johannes Vorster, 60, has the ironfistedness his fellow Afrikaners call kragdadigheid. He was known as "Jackboot John" when he served as Justice Minister under his National Party predecessor, Dr. Hendrik Verwoerd (who was stabbed by a demented clerk on the floor of the South African Parliament in 1966). The son of a Transvaal farmer, Vorster in his youth joined anti-English Afrikaner nationalist movements, becoming a "general" in what was believed to be a terrorist wing of the so-called Ox Wagon Guard, a...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!