Botha, Louis (1862–1919), a Boer army officer. He helped to establish the Union of South Africa and became its first prime minister. Botha was born in Natal, and began his career as a sheep farmer in Zululand. He later moved to the Transvaal, where he was elected to the legislature in 1897. When the Boer War broke out in 1899 he became a junior officer. A skilled leader, he rose to command of the Transvaal forces in 1900. General Botha led guerrilla warfare until 1902, when he made peace with Great Britain. Botha became prime minister in 1910, serving until 1919. In 1914–15 he put down a Boer revolt against taking part in World War I. In 1915 Botha led the army that won what is now Namibia from Germany.
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