South African Prime Minister, Dr.Verwoerd, paid an unexpected visit, Oct.14, to the North-West Rand constituency,?
South African Prime Minister, Dr.Verwoerd, paid an unexpected visit, Oct.14, to the North-West Rand constituency, Transvaal, to give moral support to the Nationalist Party candidate during Provincial Council elections. Pausing outside the Linden polling station, he chatted with Nationalist Party officials. Nationalist candidate, D.J.Malan, and his United Party opponent, R.H.Main, were busy elsewhere in the constituency.
Although the Nationalist Party retained its control in provincial councils, the elections proved no triumph for Dr.Verwoerd, who had hoped for an unmistakable public endorsement of his policy for accelerated apartheid. South Africa's minor "general election" was fought in four provinces, with racial issues overshadowing all else.
Nationalist votes totalled 305,778 against an anti-Government poll of 322,827. The pro-British United Party, led by Sir de Villiers Graff, gained 297,186. This was especially significant in view of the recent United Party split, when eight members broke away to form a "progressive independent" party. None of the dissenters, or contesting Liberals, gained a seat.
For the first time, voting age was lowered form 21 to 18, which, in the Transvaal, especially, appeared to help the Nationalists.