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Most Powerful Man In South Africa By a London "Daily Express" Correspondent in Johannesburg. ASCETIC, dour Dr. Daniel Francois Malan, South Africa's Prime Minister, has decided that in his fight for the establish ment of a white master-race, preferably of non-British descent, his most formidable opponent is Harry Frederick Oppenheimer, the Dominion's gold and diamond king.
He has said of him: "He is behind the whole opposition to our apartheid (racial segregation) policy. "Oppenheimer with his millions exercises a greater influence than any man in South Africa has ever had." Finances 'Sailor' It is he, said the Prime Minister, who finances "Sailor" Malan and his 200,000 members of the Torch Commando. * No two men could dif fer more than the men fighting this duel. The humourless, bald Prime Minister from be hind thick-lensed glasses stares at a dapper, witty product of Charterhouse and Christ Church, Ox ford. Harry Oppenheimer wizard of finance, is a director of 30-odd com panies. While Dr. Malan was pro claiming in the war the ad vantages to be derived by South Africa from a Ger man victory, Oppenheimer, who is 43, was fighting the Germans in the Western Desert. Then he returned to his father's fabulous world of diamonds, gold, uranium, copper, coal and finance. He Listens In Parliament, Finance Minister Nicolaas Havenga quickly learned that argu ing -with Oppenheimer was like trying to teach the Bank of England its. busi ness. Now Havenga listens at tentively to Oppenheimer during finance debates. Oppenheimer is an in frequent speaker, but in his quiet voice with the minimum of gesture he has made it clear that he stands for more British immigration, racial peace, with equal rights for Eng lish and Afrikaans speak ing people. He has retur-ed wither ing fire from the Govern ment benches with calm but no less devastating ar guments. SFew in South Africa know the extent of the Oppenheimer millions, but when I spoke to him he ridiculed Dr. Malan's state meit that they have been placed at the disposal of the Opposition. 'Of His Rocker' He said: "I am merely chairman of the United South Africa Trust Fund. "This fund draws its contributions from the mining houses, and busi ness men of all sorts down to the shillings 'subscribed by all those who see no
future for South Africa un der the Nationalist Admin istration. "It is a fighting fund to which I have contributed, but when Dr. Malan talks of millions of Oppenhei mer money he is off his rocker. "My own contribution is in keeping with my means, and I am notexactly poor. "We have contributed only in a small way to Sailor Malan's organisa tion, which is mainly self-supporting. "Its members pay a half crown subscription to the Torch Commando.". Harry Oppenheimer is 1943 married an attractive South African Bridget ie Call. They have two children, Mary eight, and Nicholas, seven next month.