Full name Balthazar Johannes Vorster
Born December 13, 1915
Died September 10, 1983 (aged 67 years 271 days)
John Vorster was prime minister of South Africa between 1966 and 1978 and president for a year after that. A former Nazi sympathiser - he opposed South Africa's intervention on behalf of the Allies in 1939 - he became PM on the assassination of Dr Hendrik Verwoerd. He continued the strict apartheid policy, abolishing the last four seats reserved for Coloured members in 1968, although he was prepared to make concessions when political expediency demanded. That same year he was at the heart of what came to be known as the D'Oliveria affair when he refused to allow an MCC touring side containing the South African-born Coloured D'Oliveira. Initially, the MCC had not picked D'Oliveira, but he was then chosen as a replacement before the tour started and a livid Vorster told the National Party faithful: ""We are not prepared to receive a team thrust upon us by people whose interests are not in the game, but to gain certain political objectives which they do not even attempt to hide." Soon after, the tour was cancelled and South Africa only played one more series, against Australia in 1969-70, before they were thrust into more than two decades of isolation. Vorster continued as PM until 1978 when he stepped down, but the following year he was forced to resign the presidency in disgrace after being implicated in a slush fund used to found a pro-apartheid newspaper.