Daniel F. Malan , in full Daniel François Malan (born May 22, 1874, near Riebeeck West, Cape Colony [now in Western Cape, S.Af.]—died Feb. 7, 1959, Stellenbosch, S.Af.), statesman and politician who formed South Africa’s first exclusively Afrikaner government and instituted the policy of apartheid (the enforced segregation of nonwhites from whites).
Malan was educated at Victoria College, Stellenbosch, and at the University of Utrecht, Neth., where he received a doctorate in divinity in 1905. He returned to the Cape to enter the ministry of the Dutch Reformed Church. Always a vigorous exponent of Afrikaner aspirations and the use of the Afrikaans language, Malan left the pulpit in 1915 to edit Die Burger, a Cape Town newspaper that supported the National Party, which had been founded by J.B.M. Hertzog the previous year.
On entering Parliament in 1918, Malan soon demonstrated considerable talent, especially as a forceful speaker. The following year he became a member of the delegation that went to the Versailles Peace Conference to request independence for South Africa on the basis of self-determination. In 1924 he joined Hertzog’s Cabinet as minister of the interior. While holding that post he instituted laws that established a South African nationality and a flag and recognized Afrikaans as an official language of the Union, replacing Dutch (sometimes referred to as Netherlandic), from which it had evolved. (Formerly only English and Dutch had been used officially.) When Hertzog’s National Party merged with Jan Smuts’s South African Party in 1934, Malan left the government and founded the Purified National Party, which became the official opposition.
Malan’s Purified National Party voted (unsuccessfully) to keep South Africa out of World War II in September 1939. Hertzog, who also favoured neutrality, soon reconciled with Malan, and the two formed the Re-united National Party in late 1939. Differences between the two leaders reemerged, and Hertzog and others eventually withdrew because of the Malan’s