Ponie de Wet

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Ponie de Wet (b. Kuruman, 27/04/1926 – d. Pretoria, 29/08/2007) was a businessman and once-off film actor.


Born Pieter Hugo de Wet, Ponie de Wet attended the Afrikaanse Hoër Seunskool in Pretoria and thereafter the University of Pretoria. A keen amateur pilot, he was for many years on the executive of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association of South Africa and in 1955 he was in the news when he and his wife Aletta (Lettie/Lee) set off on an epic journey in a single-engined Global Swift aeroplane on a 20,000 mile journey across Africa, the Middle East and Europe. The trip took them three months and it may have been enough to get him cast as the hero in Elmo de Witt’s first feature film, Satanskoraal, which was partly filmed on Inhaca Island off the coast of Mozambique. When, while on the set, he collapsed with an internal haemorrhage, he nevertheless managed to fly himself to what was then Lourenco Marques (Maputo) to get to a hospital. Curiously, the name of the character he played in the film was Ponie de Wet.

It was his only involvement in the film industry, but he became a successful businessman, an advertising executive, a compere of fashions shows and in 1964 was the General Manager of the Johannesburg Festival, in which capacity he had to fend off criticism from National Party functionaries. Later in life he became director of the National Academy of Fashion.


Le Roux, André I. & Fourie, Lilla – Filmverlede: geskiedenis van die Suid-Afrikaanse speelfilm (1982)

Rand Daily Mail (various issues)

Sunday Times (various issues)


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