Former Minister of Education and professor of political science at the Rand Afrikaans University, Stoffel van der Merwe (52), who left the cabinet at the request of President F.W. de Klerk to take up the appointment of National Party (NP) secretary-general, a post which he held for only thirteen months, resigned citing ill-health and exhaustion as reason. He was quoted in the Citizen saying: My batteries have run down. He was a key element in De Klerk's strategy of turning the NP into a vehicle which represented the aspirations of moderate South Africans of all races and which could win a democratic election. He was reported to have become frustrated and disillusioned with the transition process and to have had recurring bouts of depression.
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