Dirk W. R. Hertzog

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Person.png Dirk W. R. Hertzog  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
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Born1 December 1914
Died1991 (Age 76)
Alma materAfrikaanse Hoër Seunskool, University of Pretoria
Parents • J.B.M. Hertzog
• Rykie Hester de Waal
Member ofLe Cercle
Manager in the tobacco and industrial conglomerate Rembrandt Group

Dirk Willem Ryk Hertzog was a South African manager in the tobacco and industrial conglomerate Rembrandt Group, and had deep state connections. Presumably Rembrandt functioned as a way to circumvent the increasing sanctions against the Apartheid state. He attended the 1984 meeting of Le Cercle

Early Life

Hertzog was born on 1 December 1914 in Jagersfontein in the Orange Free State. He was the only son of General J.B.M. Hertzog's eldest brother Dirk. His mother was Rykie Hester de Waal. On the maternal side, the author J.H.H. de Waal was one of his uncles. He grew up on a farm in the Jagersfontein district. His father was appointed a member of the central board of the Land Bank and the family moved to Pretoria in 1926. He completed his high school education at the Afrikaanse Hoër Seunskool in Pretoria, after which he obtained the B.A. degree and the LL.B. degree at the University of Pretoria.


He qualified as a lawyer and became a partner in the well-known law firm Couzyn, Hertzog and Horak. In 1941 he started working with Dr. Anton Rupert and dr. Nic Diederichs a dry cleaner in Pretoria, after which he and Anton Rupert co-founded Technical and Industrial Investments in 1943, from which the tobacco and industrial conglomerate Rembrandt group of companies would later grow.

He was also, among other things, director of the then Union Stores, a former chairman of the Afrikaanse Handelsinstituut

He also served as president of the Free Market Foundation from 1989 to 1991.

"Anton Rupert's study of world markets, as well as his own observations during the depression, convinced him that "tobacco and liquor had the best growth potential because I noticed during the depression of the 1930s that people didn't smoke less and, if anything, they probably drank more". ... In the initial years Rupert focused more on tobacco while Dirk Hertzog mostly attended to the liquor unit. Hertzog tended to keep a lower profile — it was better that way, he often told friends and relatives, as a team could only have one captain: "Anton is the masthead."[1]

"The [Michael] O'Dowd legend lives on in the memories of colleagues at Anglo American, where they would take turns researching obscure subjects to casually drop into conversations to see if they could find something on which he could not contribute authoritatively. They never did. ... For most of our history as one of Africa's leading independent think tanks he was our chairman (1978-2005). More than that, he was a father figure and mentor. He became head of the Free Market Foundation after he and Dirk Hertzog reconstituted the foundation with the support of Harry Oppenheimer and Anton Rupert 30 years ago to combat the interventionism that characterised the 1970s and caused SA's declining economic fortunes."[2]

"His brother, Jan, was a senior group executive, and though Rupert had reservations about bringing family members into firms, he later recruited his son, Johann. This allowed Edwin, the son of Rupert's original and lifelong business partner Dirk Hertzog, to join Rembrandt as well and build up the group's hospital interests."[3]

Deep politics

He attended le Cercle. He was a member of the 1001 Club since around the time of the founding.[4]


  1. September 12, 2005, Africa News, 'South Africa; Building an Empire From Humble Beginnings: Anton Rupert'
  2. March 24, 2006, Africa News, 'South Africa; Extraordinary Man of Many Parts'
  3. January 27, 2006, Financial Mail (South Africa), 'Obituary - Anton Rupert.'
  4. https://isgp-studies.com/Le_Cercle_membership_list