About this site

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

Van Der Merwe, Johan

Van der Merwe joined the South African Police Force in February 1953. He was originally stationed in Natal but was transferred to Johannesburg where he worked until the end of 1962.

At that stage he became a Warrant Officer and was transferred to Standerton for two years, after which he became a Lieutenant and was transferred to the Security Branch in Pretoria.

In 1966 he was transferred to Ficksburg in the Orange Free State and was in charge of the RSA/Lesotho border post until 1970.  In 1970 he transferred to Bloemfontein to be in charge of the Security Branches in the Free State, which position he maintained until the end of 1979.

From the end of 1979 until mid-1983 he worked in South West Africa (now Namibia) and was in charge of all the Security Branches in that country.

In 1983 he returned to Pretoria and became second in charge of the Security Branch of the SA Police. On 1st January 1986 he became the Commanding Officer of the Security Branch of the SA Police, which post he held until 1 October 1989 when he became the Deputy Commissioner of the SA Police. On 1 January 1990 he was promoted to the rank of General and became the Commissioner of the SA Police.

Van der Merwe retired on 31 March 1995.

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. Return to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory site.