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François Christiaan Erasmus
|Minister of Justice|
1959 – August 1961
|Preceded by||Charles Robberts Swart|
|Succeeded by||B. J. Vorster|
|Minister of Defence|
4 June 1948 – 12 December 1959
|Prime Minister||Hendrik Verwoerd|
|Preceded by||Jan Smuts|
|Succeeded by||Jacobus Johannes Fouché|
|Born||19 January 1896|
Houtenbeck, Merweville District, Cape Colony
|Died||1 July 1967 (aged 71)|
De Mond, Bredasdorp District
Erasmus first married Christina Wiese of Melsetter in the then Southern Rhodesia. They had a son and a daughter. On 9 January 1946 he married Cornelia Margaretha (Corrie) Naudé of Lydenburg. They had three daughters. 
In 1927 he was appointed Deputy Attorney General of South West Africa. Afterwards he entered politics and was elected to Parliament in 1933. He joined D F Malan's cabinet as the Minister of Defence in 1948. He was widely considered to be incompetent and was very unpopular because of his broad changes to the military to remove what he called the "British Influence". This included the removal of items such as the Red Tabs (Rooi Luise) and the retrenchment or firing of numerous English-speaking officers and the appointment of Afrikaner ones in their place.
After his term as Minister of Justice he was appointed Ambassador to Italy.
- "Erasmus, François Christiaan". Dictionary of South African Biography. V. Human Sciences Research Council. 1987. pp. 246–8. ISBN 0-7969-0420-0.
- Boulter, Roger (2011). A biography of F.C. Erasmus, South African defence minister, 1948-1959. Lewiston: Edwin Mellen Press. ISBN 9780773425866.
- C.J. Nöthling, E.M. Meyers (1982). "Leaders through the years (1912-1982)". Scientaria Militaria. 12 (2): 92.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
- Warwick, Dr Rodney (5 December 2014). "Let's not forget SA's role in WW2". politicsweb.co.za. Retrieved 13 December 2014.
The NP government from 1948 cautiously distanced itself from the OB, however its main concern with the UDF was to Afrikanerize it as thoroughly and quickly as practical. This task was taken on by the unpopular and incompetent defence minister Frans Erasmus; supported by lackeys like the war "refusenik" Afrikaner nationalist Rudolf Hiemstra, who ultimately rose to the SADF Commandant-General position during 1965-73.
| Minister of Defence (South Africa)
Jacobus Johannes Fouché
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