Born Daniël François Malherbe in in Dal Josafat in the Cape Colony, the son of P.J. Malherbe, one of the founding members of the Genootskap van Regte Afrikaners. Having studied at the Victoria College in Stellenbosch he went on to do post graduate work at the universities of Halle and Freiburg in Germany, obtaining a doctorate with a thesis on Das Fremdword im Reformationszeitalter in 1905.
He returned to South Africa to become a lecturer at the Hugenote-Seminarie op Wellington, .
Appointed as professor in modern languages at the Grey University College in Bloemfontein at the request of Gen. J.B.M. Hertzog on 7 February, 1910, and introduces the first course in Afrikaans language and literature in South Africa.
He was a member of the Bloemfontein branch of Onze Taal from 1910 onwards.
Du Toit, 1988
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