About this site

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Foundation, 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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

Worrall, Denis John

Click here for list of interviews

Denis Worrall, born in the Transvaal, South Africa on 29 May 1935, completed his MA in Political Philosophy at the University of Cape Town where he served as Vice-President of the Student's Representative Council.

In 1957, he joined the United Party Youth, becoming Vice-Chairman in the Cape Province. He became a founder member of the Progressive Party in 1959. He completed a PhD at Cornell University in the United States in 1965. He returned to South Africa in 1965 where he lectured Political Science at the University of South Africa until 1969, International Relations at the University of the Witwatersrand until 1973 and was Director of the Institute for Social and Economic research at Rhodes University in 1973 and 1974.

He joined the National Party (NP) after his appointment as a Senator in 1974. In the 1977 general election he won the Cape Town Gardens seat for the NP and entered parliament. In 1980 Worrall became Chairman of the constitutional committee of the President's Council until 1982. Worrall was appointed South African Ambassador to Australia and in July 1984 he became Ambassador to the United Kingdom. In October 1986 Worrall was offered the post of Ambassador to the US, but declined the position and subsequently resigned as Ambassador to London on political grounds. He decided to stand as an independent in the Helderberg constituency of the South Western Cape in the 1987 election against the Senior Cabinet Minister at the time. But lost by a 39-vote margin.

In 1988 the Independent Party (IP) was formed with Worrall as provisional leader. However, public pressure on the three white parties to the left of the Government led to talks about unity and ultimately the Democratic Party (DP) was formed in 1989 with Worrall as co-leader. In the general election in 1989 he won the Berea seat and once again entered parliament. He subsequently retired from politics at the time of the 1994 election to promote an international political and business consultancy Omega Investment Research (SA, UK and Australia.)

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