"Republic! Where would we be if we ever get a republic?"
HF Verwoed's open letter to white South Africans, urging them to vote 'yes' in the referendum for a republic
Public DomainHF Verwoed's open letter to white South Africans, urging them to vote 'yes' in the referendum for a republic

South Africa held a referendum on becoming a republic on 5 October 1960. The Afrikaans-dominated National Party, which had come to power in 1948, regarded South Africa's status as a Commonwealth realm as a relic of British Imperialism, and was strongly pro-republic.  The opposition United Party actively campaigned for a 'No' vote.

Prime Minister HF Verwoed wrote an open letter to South Africa’s voting population urging them to vote in favour of a republic, for the sake of their children’s ‘unity, safety and prosperity’.

The proposal was approved by 52% of voters.  The Republic of South Africa was constituted on 31 May 1961.