World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article
 

Roelf Meyer

Roelf Meyer
MP
Minister of Defence
In office
1991–1992
Minister of Constitutional Affairs and Communication
In office
1992–1994
Minister of Constitutional Development and Provincial Affairs
In office
1994–1996
Personal details
Born (1947-07-16) 16 July 1947
Port Elizabeth, Union of South Africa
Nationality South African
Political party National Party, United Democratic Movement, African National Congress
Children 2 sons, 1 daughter
Alma mater University of the Free State
Occupation politician

Roelof Petrus (Roelf) Meyer, born in Port Elizabeth on 16 July 1947 is a South African politician and businessman. Originally a member of the National Party, he is known for his prominent role in the negotiations to end apartheid in South Africa. He later co-founded the United Democratic Movement.

Early life and education

Meyer, the son of a farmer, completed school in Ficksburg and studied law at the University of the Free State. He completed the B Comm (1968) and LLB (1971) degrees. At university, he was president of the conservative "Afrikaanse Studentebond". During his compulsory military service he was a member of the SADF choir also known as the "Kanaries". Meyer then practised as a lawyer in Pretoria and Johannesburg until 1980.

Entering politics

In 1979 he entered politics as he was elected a Member of Parliament for the National Party in the Johannesburg West Constituency. In 1986 he became Deputy Minister of Law and Order and in 1988 of Constitutional Development (until 1991). With the declaration of the first State of Emergency in 1985, the National Joint Management Centre (NJMC), chaired by the Deputy Minister of Law and Order, took over as the nerve centre for co-ordination of all welfare and security policies.

In 1991, F. W. De Klerk appointed him as Minister of Defence as successor of Magnus Malan. Allegedly, the verligte Nat ("liberal" or "enlightened" NP politician) couldn't win the respect of the generals in this position. In May 1992, after nine months in office, he resigned and became Minister of Constitutional Affairs and of Communication as successor of Gerrit Viljoen. It was this position which brought him into the negotiating process.

Towards a new South Africa

Meyer became famous in his position as the government’s chief negotiator in the Multiparty Negotiating Forum 1993 after the failure of CODESA where he established an amicable and effective relationship with the ANC’s chief negotiator, Cyril Ramaphosa. In this role he worked closely with Niel Barnard, who was head of the National Intelligence Service and a strong supporter of a negotiated settlement.[1] After the conclusion of the negotiations in November 1993, he became the government's chief representative in the Transitional Executive Council (TEC).

After the free elections in April 1994, Meyer became Minister of Constitutional Development and Provincial Affairs in the government of national unity of the new President, Nelson Mandela. His elder brother Anthon "Tobie" Meyer was Deputy Minister for Agriculture and Land Affairs in this government. He worked once more with Cyril Ramaphosa, who was chairperson of the Constitutional Assembly.

Meyer resigned from the cabinet in 1996 and became secretary-general of the NP. Soon afterwards, after the new constitution was negotiated and ratified, the National Party withdrew from the government. In this phase, he tried to bring about a reorientation of his party but failed on the resistance of the conservative wing around Hernus Kriel. Meyer eventually resigned as secretary-general, as Gauteng party leader and from membership of the NP in 1997. As a consequence, he had to retire also as a Member of Parliament.[2]

United Democratic Movement

After he left the National Party, he became, with former Transkeian leader Bantu Holomisa, the co-founder of the United Democratic Movement (UDM). In the elections of 1999 the UDM received fourteen seats in Parliament and Meyer served as the Deputy President of the party until his retirement from politics in 2000.

In 2006 he announced that he would join the ANC.[3]

After politics

In 2000 Meyer also involved himself in corporate business. He became a Director and later Deputy Executive Chairman of Tilca Infrastructure Corporation (Pty) Ltd. and currently he is a member of the board of directors of Armscor. He also held a number of international positions, including a membership of the Strategy Committee of the Project on Justice in Times of Transition at Tufts University in the USA. He also became the Chairman of the Civil Society Initiative (CSI) of South Africa. Meyer also uses his experience to act as a consultant on peace processes and negotiations, for example in Northern Ireland, Rwanda and Kosovo.[4][5]

Meyer was awarded the "Order of the Baobab in Silver" by the Republic of South Africa for "his immense contribution in providing special support in the birth of the new democratic South Africa through negotiations".[6]

From 2012 to 2014 he chaired the Defence Review Committee.[7]

References

  1. ^ Turton, A.R. 2010. Shaking Hands with Billy. Durban: Just Done Publications. http://www.shakinghandswithbilly.com
  2. ^ SOUTH AFRICA - Britannica Online Encyclopedia
  3. ^ Strong opposition is a matter of urgency : September 2006 : David Blair : Telegraph Blogs
  4. ^ Microsoft Word - CV Meyer.doc
  5. ^ "Roelof Petrus (Roelf) Meyer | South African History Online". Sahistory.org.za. 1947-07-16. Retrieved 2014-04-25. 
  6. ^ "Roelf Petrus Meyer (1947–)". The Presidency. Retrieved 2014-04-25. 
  7. ^ "defence review structure". Sadefencereview2012.org. Retrieved 2014-04-25. 

External links

  • About his life and career

See also

Political offices
Preceded by
Magnus Malan
Minister of Defence (South Africa)
1991–1992
Succeeded by
Gene Louw
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.