|Rudolph Christiaan Hiemstra|
10 March 1912|
Lydenburg, South Africa
26 July 2007 (aged 95)|
Pretoria, South Africa
|Service/||South African Air Force|
|Years of service||1931–1972|
Commandant General of the South African Defence Force|
2 Squadron SAAF
Star of South Africa|
Southern Cross Medal
Knight of the Order of Prince Henry (Portugal)
|Spouse(s)||Gertruida Hiemstra (wife)|
|Relations||Judge Victor Hiemstra (brother)|
Hiemstra joined the South African Air Force in 1931. He did not serve in the Second World War because of his political opposition to South Africa's involvement in the war and was transferred to the civil service, from which he returned to the defence force when the National Party government came to power in 1948.
Hiemstra served as Adjutant General, interrupted by his attendance at the Imperial Defence College, as Inspector General from 1959 to 1960, as Deputy Commandant General from 1961 to 1965, and as Commandant General of the South African Defence Force from 1965 to 1972. In 1966, the Commandant General was appointed Secretary for Defence over and above his appointment as head of the South African Defence Force.
In May 1967, the dual title of Commandant General and Secretary for Defence was dispensed with by the elimination of the title "Secretary for Defence". The Commandant General, as permanent head of the Department of Defence as well as of the South African Defence Force filled the post of Commandant General, which post embraced the functions signified by the former dual title. At the same time the rank of Commandant General, instituted in September 1956, was changed to that of general.
- Who's Who of Souther Africa 1959. Ken Donaldson (Pty) Ltd. 1959. p. 290.
- Britz, Elretha (27 July 2007). "Oud-weermaghoof RC Hiemstra sterf". Beeld (in Afrikaans). Media24. Retrieved 29 March 2009.
- STRATFORD, DO (December 1968). "The Office of Secretary for Defence". Military History Journal. Johannesburg: South African Military History Society. 1 (3). SA. Retrieved 1 December 2008.
| Commandant General of the South African Defence Force
| Inspector General South African Defence Force
| Adjutant General South African Defence Force