The 1948 election and the National Party Victory
In 1948, an election alliance between the NP and a number of smaller factions succeeded in ousting the Smuts government, despite the former winning a minority of votes (the skewed first past the post Westminster electoral system allowed Smuts to gain the larger number of votes but the fewer seats). DF Malan became the new Prime Minister.
This victory meant that the Afrikaner ideal of a republic was very much closer to being attained. It was also from the election of 1948, that Apartheid, or the policy of racial segregation, is deemed to have become official policy in South Africa. The reality is however that segregation and the recognition and creation of Black tribal homelands had preceded 1948 by centuries.
It is now necessary to look at the actions of the first two NP Prime Ministers in the move towards the creation of the South African Republic.