Jan Christian Smuts (1870-1950) supported the Allies in both world wars and was a member of the British imperial war cabinet 1917-1918.
During the Second South African War of 1899-1902 Smuts commanded the Boer forces in his native Cape Colony. He subsequently worked for reconciliation between the Boers and the British and on the establishment of the Union became minister of the interior 1910-1912 and defence minister 1910-1920.
During World War I he commanded the South African forces in East Africa 1916-1917. He was prime minister 1919-1924, and minister of justice 1933-1939, and on the outbreak of World War II succeeded Gen Hertzog as premier. Although more of an internationalist than his contemporaries, Smuts was a segregationalist, voting in favour of legislation that took away black rights and land ownership.
Why is Jan Smuts famous?
Jan Smuts was a South African politician, field marshal, and lawyer; prime minister 1919-1924 and 1939-1948.