Jim Fouché

Jacobus Johannes "Jim" Fouché, DMS (6 June 1898 – 23 September 1980[1]) also known as J. J. Fouché was a South African politician who served as the second State President of South Africa from 1968 to 1975.

Jacobus Johannes Fouché
Jacobus Johannes Fouché 1968.jpg
Jacobus Johannes Fouché in 1968
2nd State President of South Africa
In office
10 April 1968 – 9 October 1975
Prime MinisterB. J. Vorster
Preceded byTom Naudé (acting)
Succeeded byNicolaas Johannes Diederichs
Minister of Defence
In office
14 December 1959 – 1 April 1966
Prime MinisterHendrik Verwoerd
B. J. Vorster
Preceded byFrans Erasmus
Succeeded byP. W. Botha
Personal details
Born(1898-06-06)6 June 1898
Wepener, Orange Free State (now in South Africa)
Died23 September 1980(1980-09-23) (aged 82)
Cape Town, Cape Province, South Africa
NationalitySouth African
Political partyNational
Letta McDonald
(m. 1920)

Early lifeEdit

Born in the Boer republic of the Orange Free State in 1898, (which became a British colony in 1902 and a province of the Union of South Africa in 1910) and matriculated at Paarl Boys' High School.


Fouché was a successful farmer. A staunch republican, he was a member of the National Party for many years, first being elected to the House of Assembly as MP for Smithfield from 1941 to 1950, and as MP for Bloemfontein West between 1960 and 1968.

Fouché served as Administrator of the Orange Free State from 1950 to 1959, and was then promoted to the Cabinet, where he served as Minister of Defence from 14 December 1959 to 1 April 1966[2] and as Minister of Agricultural Technical Services and Water Affairs from 1966 to 1968. He was elected State President in place of Dr Eben Dönges (who had been elected, but died before he could take office), and served as ceremonial head of state from 1968 to 1975. He was the first State President to complete a full term in office, and the only until Nelson Mandela in 1999, as well as having the longest presidency to date (subsequently surpassed by Thabo Mbeki, on 14 June 2006, and Jacob Zuma, on 8 May 2016). He remains the longest single-term president.


Fouché married Letta Rhoda ('Lettie') McDonald. They had two children.

Depiction on coinsEdit

He is depicted on the following coins of the South African rand;

1976 1/2 Cent to 50 Cents.


  1. ^ Jacobus Johannes Fouché. archontology.org
  2. ^ C.J. Nöthling, E.M. Meyers (1982). "Leaders through the years (1912–1982)". Scientaria Militaria. 12 (2): 92.
Political offices
Preceded by
Tom Naudé
State President of South Africa
Succeeded by
Nicolaas Johannes Diederichs
Preceded by
Frans Erasmus
Minister of Defence (South Africa)
Succeeded by
Pieter Willem Botha