Jan Smuts was a prominent and respected Afrikaner and British Commonwealth military leader and statesman in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He served two terms as Prime Minister of South Africa under British rule, between 1919 and 1924 and again between 1939 and 1948. He fought for the Boers in the Anglo-Boer war (1899-1902), as well as for the British Empire in WWI. He was also the only man to sign both peace treaties ending WWI and WWII. The respect Smuts had in the British Commonwealth is evidenced by the statue of him erected on London’s Parliament Square in front of Westminster Palace in London (pictured above).
Smuts played a major role in shaping the policy of racial segregation in twentieth-century South Africa, being a leading early philosopher behind the practice. In 1929 he delivered a lecture at Oxford University as part of a series of “Rhodes Memorial Lectures” delivered during November of that year. In it he wonderfully outlines the basic principles and practical necessities that underlie the policy of apartheid, or separate development:
[For the African] there is no inward incentive to improvement, there is no persistent effort in construction, and there is complete absorption in the present,
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