Remembering the Founder of SA Libertarianism, Dr. Marc Swanepoel


Remembering Dr Marc Swanepoel

Dr. Marc Swanepoel, co-founder of the Free Market Foundation (FMF) and considered one of the original South African libertarians, died on the night of 1 December 2015, while undergoing a pancreatitis procedure. An obituary by Tony Isaacs at The Best Years In Life, reads:

The natural health world lost a dear friend today with the passing of my friend and mentor Dr. Marc Swanepoel, an alternative cancer and HIV pioneer and the developer of the SutherlandiaOPC oleander-based line of supplements. Marc passed away while undergoing a procedure for his pancreatitis. […]

In 1975 Marc and some of his friends became concerned about the political problems South Africa was facing. They considered Apartheid an extreme form of Socialism and formed the Free Market Foundation of Southern Africa (FMF) as an institution to guide the country in the direction of a Market Economy. Marc funded the FMF for the first two years after which it became self-supporting. In 1983 Marc and a business partner started a training company, the Foundation for Economic and Business Development (FEBDEV) to run economic literacy programs for workers. Marc produced an 8-hour video training course for the foundation and it was translated into 7 of the South African languages. For the period 1983 to 1992, more than one and a half million workers attended the training. Marc also wrote two other booklets, “Understanding and Avoiding AIDS” (1988), and “The Common Sense of Wealth Creation” (1992). Each of these sold more than half a million copies. “The Common Sense of Wealth Creation” has been translated into six Eastern European languages and is being read in many countries. Marc gave permission for the book to be translated into any language without any royalties on sales. A Google search will show some of the translations. The AIDS video earned Marc the yearly Ad Educandum award by the South African National Department of Education for best educational video aimed at Secondary Schools. […]

Marc is survived by 3 sons, one daughter and 7 grandchildren. In 2011 Marc moved from Johannesburg to Cape Town to be closer to five of his seven grandchildren, whom he said he “loved to bits” and that they made life worth living. Marc will be sorely, sorely missed. Thousands of people around the world are alive and healthier today thanks to Dr. Marc Swanepoel and thousands more have had their lives enriched by him. I count myself fortunate and honored to be among them.


Here are two of Marc’s articles which appear at The Best Years in Life website:

A Rational Theory of Cancer

A Brief Discussion on Oleander’s Effectiveness Against Cancer

Marc is also prominently featured in The Oleander Series of articles, which can be found on The Best Years in Life’s Article Directory as well as at the bottom of the articles on the Cancer Alternatives page.

Leon Louw, Executive Director of the Free Market Foundation, describes Dr. Swanepoel as “the founding father of South African libertarianism”, who also introduced him to Austrian economics and libertarian thought. Louw also introduced Dr. Swanepoel as SA’s first libertarian the following talk from 1973, where Swanepoel delivered a speech on the role of knowledge:

Dr. Swanepoel will be remembered not only as a brilliant physicist and healer, but as a pioneer of the movement we call our own.