L.I. Coertze

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L.I. Coertze (1905-1990) was a Law professor at the University of Pretoria, a businessman and translator.


Born Lukas Ignatius Coertze in the Western Transvaal on 8 February 1905.

He wrote his doctoral thesis on trusts and trustees in the Roman-Dutch law (published as Die trust in die Romeins-Hollandse reg by Universiteits-Uitgewers en -Boek-handelaars (Edms.) Beperk., Stellenbosch, in 1948). He became a professor the Law Faculty in 1935 and went on to publish a number of other legal works and commentaries, including the English-Afrikaans Legal Dictionary (with V.G. Hiemstra, Juta & Co., 1948).

Other areas of endeavour included a period as prospector, an importer of seeds and bees from various countries and entrepreneur. In the Afrikaans Wikipedia entry on him, it is claimed that he was inter alia the inventor of the original "safari suit" with long trousers, a form of dress that - especially in its more informal style - was popular among South African men in the mid-20th century, as it was in Australia and other commonwealth regions. It seems more likely, given his career as importer, that he imported the idea from India and Australia.

Later in his life he became a member of parliament and in the 1960s opposed the censorship laws the Nationalist Party was trying to impose on the country.

He was married to Barbara Christina de Milander Papenfus (1904–1978) and passed away on 13 November 1990.

Contribution to South African theatre

He was the founder of the film production company Ster (later known as Ster-Kinekor).

He also translated two Shakespeare plays into Afrikaans:

Hamlet (published as Hamlet, Prins van Denemarke by the Stewart Printing Co. in Cape Town in 1945, with illustrations by Maud Sumner; first performed by a company brought together by André Huguenet and African Consolidated Theatres in 1947)

Macbeth (published by Stewart Printing Co., Cape Town, in 1948, with illustrations by Nerine Desmond; first performed 1950 by NTO).




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