Ernest George Jansen

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Ernest George Jansen
EG Jansen 1949.jpg
8th Governor-General of the Union of South Africa
In office
1 January 1951 – 25 November 1959
Prime Minister
Preceded by The Rt Hon. Gideon Brand van Zyl
Succeeded by
Personal details
Born 7 August 1881 (1881-08-07)
Resting place Heroes' Acre, Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa

Ernest George Jansen (1881–1959) was the second-last Governor-General of the Union of South Africa, holding office from 1950 to 1959.

Born on 7 August 1881, he graduated with a law degree from the University of the Cape of Good Hope in 1905, and was admitted as an advocate (the South African equivalent of a barrister) in 1913.

An ardent champion of Afrikaner interests, he joined the National Party in 1915 and was a member of Parliament from 1915 to 1920, from 1921 to 1943, and from 1947 to 1950.

In 1919, he was a member of a delegation which tried unsuccessfully to persuade American president Woodrow Wilson to call for independence to be restored to the former Boer republics of the Orange Free State and the Transvaal.

In Parliament, Jansen was Speaker of the House of Assembly from 1924 to 1929, Minister of Native Affairs and of Irrigation from 1929 to 1934, and Speaker again from 1934 to 1943. He was highly regarded for his firm and impartial speakership.

He was Minister of Native Affairs again from 1948 to 1950, but was thought to be too soft on the new policy of apartheid, for which his department was primarily responsible. He was subsequently replaced by hardliner Hendrik Verwoerd and formally promoted by Prime Minister Daniel Malan to the politically neutral post of Governor-General once vacant. As an Afrikaner nationalist and stout republican, Jansen declined to wear the ceremonial uniform, or to take the oath of allegiance to the monarch whom he represented. He held office until his death in 1959, when he was succeeded by Minister of Justice Charles Robberts Swart.

Jansen married Martha Mabel Pellissier in 1912. Both were prominent figures in Afrikaner cultural circles. Jansen was a founder member of the South African Academy for Science and Art (Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns - SAAWEK) in 1909, of the Co-operation Union (Saamwerk-Unie) in 1917, of the Federation of Afrikaner Cultural Associations (Federasie van Afrikaanse Kultuurvereniginge - FAK) in 1929, and of the Voortrekkers (the Afrikaner equivalent of the Boy Scouts and Girl Guides) in 1930, and was master of ceremonies at the laying of the foundation stone of the Voortrekker Monument in 1938 and at its dedication in 1949.

Hoërskool Dr. E.G. Jansen (High School), in Boksburg, is named after him.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hoërskool Dr. E.G. Jansen Ontstaan en Geskiedenis (Origin and History) [1] - Afrikaans Website
  • Dictionary of South African Biography Volume V[page needed]
Political offices
Preceded by
Gideon Brand van Zyl
Governor-General of South Africa
Succeeded by
Lucas Cornelius Steyn