On This Day

Louis Botha

1st Prime Minister of South Africa Louis Botha

Profession: 1st Prime Minister of South Africa

Nationality:
South Africa
South African

Why Famous: Louis Botha was a prominent Boer general during the Second Anglo-Boer War against the British and later became the first Prime Minister of the self-governing Union of South Africa.

One of the leading generals during the Anglo-Boer war (1899-1902) Botha used guerrilla tactics with success against the British. In 1901 Botha agreed to peace negotiations with Lord Herbert Kitchener despite opposition from some of his followers. Botha was one of the major forces behind the resulting Vereeniging Peace Treaty that ended the war in 1902.

Botha formed the Het Volk political party and advocated for self rule from the British. He became Prime Minister of the Transvaal in 1907 and Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa in 1910. In 1907 Botha was the force behind the presentation of the Cullinan Diamond to King Edward VII.

During World War One Botha supported the British despite widespread dissent and successfully led the campaign against the German colony of South West Africa. He participated in the 1919 Peace Conference at Versailles along with Jan Smuts but died soon after his return to South Africa in 1919.

Born: September 27, 1862
Birthplace: Greytown, Colony of Natal, British Empire
Star Sign: Libra

Died: August 27, 1919 (aged 56)

Historical Events

  • 1900-08-27 Battle of Bergendal: General Buller defeats the Boer under general Louis Botha
  • 1901-02-26 British general Kitchener confers with Boer general Louis Botha about peace conditions, which break down over the question of amnesty for some Boers
  • 1907-02-26 Louis Botha Het Volk Party wins a majority in the election in Transvaal, South Africa
  • 1907-03-02 General Louis Botha named premier of Transvaal
  • 1910-04-27 Louis Botha and James Hertzog establish the moderate nationalists South African Party promising equality of Britons and Boers
  • 1910-05-21 Louis Botha becomes the first Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa
  • 1914-09-22 Louis Botha, premier of the Union of South Africa, assumes command of the armed forced after having dismissed General Beyers because of his resistance to aiding British in the war against Germany

Famous South Africans