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Hendrik Frensch Verwoerd (Amsterdam, 8 September 1901 – Cape Town, 6 September 1966) was Prime Minister of South Africa from 1958 until his assassination in 1966. Unlike his predecessors, Verwoerd was not born in South Africa, but immigrated at age two with his parents from the Netherlands. He had an elder brother named Leendert and a younger sister named Lucie.

A polarizing figure, he is considered to be the primary architect of the official policy of apartheid, and was Prime Minister during the Sharpeville Massacre, the banning of the African National Congress and Pan Africanist Congress, and the Rivonia Trial. He also presided over the establishment of a republic through 1960 South Africa referendum.

Numerous major roads in towns and cities in South Africa are named after Verwoerd, although almost all of them have now been renamed. The Gariep Dam in the Free State, and Port Elizabeth Airport in the eastern Cape were formerly named H. F. Verwoerd, as was the town of Verwoerdburg (now Centurion) and H.F. Verwoerd Hospital (now Steve Biko Academic Hospital). Hendrik Verwoerd Drive, in Randburg, was renamed Bram Fischer Drive at the end of September 2007.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Hendrik Verwoerd."
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