Frederik van Zyl Slabbert

Frederik Van Zyl Slabbert

Frederik van Zyl Slabbert

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<!-- Deleted image removed: -->Frederik van Zyl Slabbert (March 2, 1940 &ndash; May 14, 2010) was a South African political analyst, businessman and politician. He is best known for having been the leader of the official opposition — the Progressive Federal Party (PFP) — in the House of Assembly from 1979 to 1986.

Early life, education and academic career

Born in Pretoria to an Afrikaner family, Slabbert grew up in Polokwane (formerly 'Pietersburg') in what is now the Limpopo Province of South Africa. He matriculated from the Pietersburg Afrikaans High School in 1958.

After graduating from high school van Zyl Slabbert studied theology at the University of Stellenbosch for 18 months before deciding that sociology was his calling. He completed a BA Honours at the university, and a doctorate in 1967.

After completing his studies he worked as a sociology lecturer at Stellenbosch University, Rhodes University, the University of Cape Town. In 1973, he was appointed head of the sociology department of the University of the Witwatersrand.

Political career

During his academic studies, van Zyl Slabbert developed an active interest in politics, which led him to reject apartheid and to stand for a seat on Stellenbosch University's Students'...
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