J.F. Marais

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J.F. Marais (19**-19**) Politician, judge, journalist, radio station manager, film director and translator.

Also known as Kowie Marais


Born Jacobus François Marais.

After working as a journalist and radio station manager for the SABC, he trained as a lawyer, obtaining a B.A., LLB, and was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of South Africa in 1955, based in the Transvaal (serving till 1975). In this capacity was involved in a number of significant committees and commissions.

He had always been actively engaged with various cultural-political movements, including the Broederbond, the para-military right-wing organization the Ossewa-Brandwag and the National Party. However, after his retirement as judge, and following a political change of heart, he became a Member of Parliament for the liberal Progressive Party in 1977.

He married Francisca Kriel (later known by her professional name of Cisca Marais) They divorced in 1976.

His contribution to South African theatre, film, media and performance

His contribution to culture in the country was varied, covering a number of fields.

As journalist

A strong supporter of the arts, he wrote numerous articles on arts and literary issues, and was for a time an influential chairperson of the Pretoria Branch of the S. A. Association of Arts.

In radio

Was the first station manager of the Afrikaans Service of the SABC when it was introduced in 1937.

In 1964 he won an Akademie-award (the SAUK‑prys vir Radiohoorspele en Radiohoorbeelde) for a documentary radio programme on the South African painter Pierneef. (Die wêreld van Pierneef)

As film director

He and Thomas Blok produced and directed Donker Spore (1944), an early Afrikaans film, with his wife in the part of "Elsie".

As translator

He translated Atalia by Jean Racine. He also translated Rodney Ackland's play The Old Ladies into Afrikaans as Vrees ("Fear") under the name J.F. Marais.

The play Die Blinde Vegter was possibly a translation by him of The Iron Harp by Joseph O'Conor.

As editor

Using the pseudonym of François Marais, he was the co-compiler, with his wife Cisca Marais, of the play collection Debuut: eenakters en hoorspele (1966).


Le Roux, André I. & Fourie, Lilla – Filmverlede: geskiedenis van die Suid-Afrikaanse speelfilm





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