From the archive: Putting the clock back in South Africa - 7 May, 1949

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WHATEVER may be thought in Britain about the new Commonwealth formula, the general fear among English-speaking South Africans is that it will be used by the Nationalist Party in the struggle for a Republic.

Mr JG Strydom, the Nationalist Party leader in the Transvaal, has already said so. His supporters always hail him as “the first President of the future Republic”. December 16 this year is regarded as a dangerous date: Nationalist and Republican sentiment will then be at fever point, at the opening of the Voortrekker Monument near Pretoria.

Dr Malan’s attendance at the Commonwealth Conference has produced a different reaction. An indignant letter to the Natal Mercury states: “The alleged radio picture you published of Dr Malan standing next to an Indian, and Mrs Malan seated next to Mr Attlee with an Indian woman must be a lie.”