Educated at Reitz High School, then graduated in Afrikaans and German from Stellenbosch University. Unable to take up a scholarship in Germany because of the outbreak of war in 1939 he pursued his studies in South Africa and gained his Master of Arts degree in German in 1942 from the University College, Orange Free State.
From 1935 to 1943 he taught languages at Boshof High School, 30 miles east of Kimberley. He lectured in Afrikaans at Pretoria Technical College until 1946 when he joined the Federation of Afrikaans Cultural Societies and worked on festival organisation and cultural promotion for 15 years. He was one of the founders of the Afrikaans Teachers’ College at Johannesburg and the Rand Afrikaans University.
He entered Parliament as MP for Westdene in 1961. At the general elections in March 1966 he won Johannesburg West but he resigned in February 1967 to become Ambassador to Austria. Two years later he returned with a seat in the Senate and a seat in the cabinet as Minister of National
Education, a portfolio he retained after the 1970 general election and the July 1972 reshuffle.
Right-wing Nationalist Party stalwart and fervent upholder of Afrikaans culture. A prime mover in organising festivals such as that for the Voortrekker Monument inauguration, the Union Festival and the Van Riebeeck Festival. An educationist and an enthusiastic committee man on school and univer-sity boards before graduating to politics in Parliament just prior to his 50th birthday.