JOHANNESBURG, JAN. 13 -- Connie Mulder, 62, the former South African cabinet minister whose disgrace in a 1978 scandal over secret funding of government propaganda paved the way for the rise of Pieter W. Botha as president, died of heart and kidney failure last night in a hospital here. He had a degenerative bone disease.

Mr. Mulder, who was elected to Parliament in May on the Conservative Party ticket after nine years in the political wilderness, was once considered the heir apparent to the leadership of the ruling National Party. He was narrowly defeated by Botha in the contest to succeed John Vorster as prime minister in 1978 after the celebrated "information scandal," also known at the time as "Muldergate."

After disclosures by the English-language press, a government commission of inquiry found in 1978 that Mr. Mulder's Department of Information secretly had spent millions of dollars attempting to buy media influence at home and abroad to defend the government's racial segregation policies.

Among the charges for which he was forced to resign his cabinet post and his seat in Parliament were ones that his department had sought to purchase the now-defunct Washington Evening Star and use it to propagate Pretoria's viewpoint.

The official commission also heard testimony that Mr. Mulder's department secretly had funded Johannesburg's pro-government English-language daily, The Citizen, to counter the now-defunct Rand Daily Mail and other liberal newspapers.

Cornelius Petrus Mulder was one of 10 children of a former school principal. After teaching for a number of years, he became active in the National Party and was first elected a member of Parliament in 1958.

He rose quickly through the party's ranks, becoming information minister in 1968 and 10 years later taking the additional portfolio of Bantu administration, later renamed the Department of Plural Relations and Development. At the time, he was considered the leading contender to succeed Vorster, who had announced his resignation.

The information scandal disclosures led to Botha taking leadership of the party and the government, and in 1979 Mr. Mulder was expelled from the National Party. Although the commission of inquiry exonerated all other ministers, there remains a lingering question of how only one member of the cabinet could have been aware of the spending of millions of dollars on secret public relations campaigns.

Mr. Mulder remained until his death a staunch advocate of partitioning South Africa into 13 ministates and giving the largest to the white minority for a "white fatherland" to be called the "Southland Republic."

BETH CAMPBELL SHORT,

79, a retired official of the Social Security Administration who also had worked in the White House for President Truman and covered Eleanor Roosevelt as a reporter for The Associated Press, died of cancer Jan. 11 at Alexandria Hospital.

Mrs. Short, a resident of Alexandria, was born in Alluwe, Okla. She graduated from the University of Oklahoma and became a reporter for the Springfield {Mo.} Leader and then The Daily Oklahoman in Oklahoma City.

She moved to Washington in 1937 and joined the AP. She was assigned to the White House to cover Roosevelt. She resigned in 1940 to rear her family.

Her husband Joseph H. Short was Truman's press secretary, and in 1952 Mrs. Short went to work as the president's correspondence secretary.

With the change in administrations in 1953 she worked briefly as public relations director for a magazine and then became public relations director for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

In 1956, she was became press secretary to Sen. A.S. (Mike) Monroney (D-Okla.). In 1966, she went to work at the Social Security Administration as a special assistant for research development and training in the Office of Research and Statistics. She retired in 1978.

Mrs. Short was a member of the League of Women Voters and the Beverley Hills Community United Methodist Church in Alexandria. She had been active in the PTA and the Community Chest in Alexandria.

Her husband died in 1952.

Survivors include three children, Alexander C. Short of Baltimore, Stephen J.M. Short of Washington, and Victoria Short Smith of Alexandria; one brother, Jackson J. Campbell of Champaign, Ill., and three grandchildren.

JEANNE CLARK PRESTON,

50, a retired official at the Legal Services Corp. who also was an artist and a former teacher, died of cancer Jan. 12 at the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health.

Mrs. Preston, a resident of Washington, was an artist by training and she painted in oils. Her work is included in the permanent collection of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, where she lived in the early 1960s. She also taught art at Richard Bland Community College in Richmond and conducted art education programs on television in Richmond. She later taught art at the Broadwater Academy on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.

When she first moved here in the late 1960s, Mrs. Preston was an interior decorator and designer and then the design director of the J.R. Taft Corp.

From 1972 to 1977, she lived in Belle Haven, Va., on the Eastern Shore. In 1978, a year after she returned here, she was named director of the training resource center for the Legal Services Corp. She held that job until 1987, when she retired for reasons of health.

She was active in parents groups at the National Cathedral School for Girls and St. Albans School for Boys. She also was active in various community groups.

Mrs. Preston was born in Chattanooga, Tenn. After graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, she studied in Genoa as part of an international student exchange program. She also studied at the American Academy in Rome. She then received a master's degree in fine arts at what is now Virginia Commonwealth University.

Her marriage to Bruce MacKelvie Preston ended in divorce.

Survivors include two children, Anthony Clark Preston and Athena Scott Preston, both of Washington; her mother, Andree Clark of Venice, Fla., and one brother, N. Stephen Clark of McLean.

CARL S. VOGEL,

38, a former librarian in San Francisco and a former vice president of the Gay Activists Alliance at the University of Virginia, died Jan. 9 at his home in Chevy Chase. He had acquired immune deficiency syndrome.

Mr. Vogel was born in New York City and grew up in the Washington area. He graduated from High Point High School in Prince George's County and Johns Hopkins University, where he majored in English. He earned a master's degree in English literature at the University of Virginia and a master's degree in library science at the University of California at Berkeley.

For about 10 years until he moved to Chevy Chase a year ago, Mr. Vogel was a librarian with the San Francisco Public Library. He also wrote book reviews for the San Francisco Chronicle and contributed criticism to such publications as Victorian Poetry, Victorian Newsletter and the Baum Bugle.

He was active in the gay rights movement.

Survivors include his mother, Phyllis Vogel of Silver Spring; his father, Don Vogel of Annapolis; one brother, Mark Vogel of Potomac, and one sister, Paula Vogel of Providence, R.I.

JULIUS C. (POP) WOODWARD,

70, a retired Navy chief petty officer and Safeway stores meatcutter who was active in volunteer work, died Jan. 7 at the Southern Maryland Hospital Center as a result of injuries he received when he was struck by an automobile Dec. 11.

A spokesman for the Prince George's County Police police department said Mr. Woodward was crossing Ritchie Road, at its intersection with Marlboro Pike in Forestville, when he was struck by a car turning at the intersection. The accident is under investigation, police said.

Mr. Woodward, who lived in Forestville, was a native of South Carolina. He moved here in 1948, after spending 10 years in the Navy. He then was a meatcutter with a number of Safeway stores until retiring in 1980. He also had been an independent cab driver in Washington from 1957 to 1970.

He had done volunteer work at several area schools with students who were physically handicapped or had learning disabilities. He also had been a Red Cross hospital host, working with wounded and disabled veterans.

Survivors include his wife, the former Mattie Mae Raffaldt, of Forestville; two sons, James (Beau), of Cleveland, and Harold (Hal), of Dunn Loring; two daughters, D. Joyce Randall of Upper Marlboro, and Ida Sturgill of Waldorf; two sisters and a brother, all of South Carolina, and seven grandchildren.

RUTH C. ROBERTS,

65, a former administrative assistant at the old Bureau of the Budget, now the Office of Management and Budget, died of cancer Jan. 10 at Arlington Hospital.

Mrs. Roberts, a resident of Arlington, was born in Merrittstown, Pa. She moved to Washington in the early 1940s. She went to work at the Bureau of the Budget in 1942. Later in World War II she served in the Navy WAVES. She returned to the bureau after the war and remained with it until 1967.

Mrs. Roberts was a member of the Arlington United Methodist Church and the Abingdon Homemakers Club, an Arlington community group.

Survivors include her husband, William B. Roberts, and one son, Clifford A. Roberts, both of Arlington, and four sisters, Jeanne Carroll of Uniontown, Pa., Louise Hone of Republic, Pa., Doris Haley of Kenmore, N.Y., and Veda Mae Mincer of Rialto, Calif.

BEATRICE L. EARLE,

92, an area resident since about 1970 who had served on the board of the Family Services Agency in Reston, died of cardiovascular disease Jan. 9 at the Tara retirement center in Woodbine, Md. She lived in Reston.

Mrs. Earle, who moved here from Princeton, N.J., was a native of Newport, R.I. She was a 1917 graduate of Barnard College and earned a master's degree in economics at Columbia University.

In the 1920s and early 1930s, she was an assistant dean at Barnard. She also helped develop a liberal arts program for the Katherine Gibbs secretarial schools in New York. From 1933 to 1937, she was headmistress of Miss Fine's School, a private girls' facility, in Princeton, N.J.

Her husband, Edward Mead Earle, died in 1954. Survivors include a daughter, Rosamond Earle Matthews of McLean, and three stepgrandchildren.

CHARLES IVOR PEEL,

79, a retired deputy chief of technical services with the Voice of America, died of cardiac arrest Jan. 10 at Alexandria Hospital. He lived in Alexandria.

Mr. Peel, who had lived in this area for the past 30 years, was a native of Carnegie, Pa., and attended what is now Carnegie-Mellon University. He was a technician at Pittsburgh radio stations before World War II. During the war, he worked for the old Office of War Information. He then joined the VOA, where he worked until retiring in 1973.

Survivors include his wife, Tecla, of Alexandria; a brother, Robert, of Carnegie, and a sister, Helen Riles of Pittsburgh.

MEYER ROTHWACKS,

78, retired chief of the appellate section of the tax division of the Justice Department, died Jan. 11 at Georgetown University Hospital of complications of diabetes.

Mr. Rothwacks, who lived in Washington, was born in Passaic, N.J. He graduated from Cornell University where he also received a law degree.

He came to Washington in 1941 and worked in the criminal section of the Justice Department's tax division until 1953 when he moved to the appellate section. He was chief of that section from 1970 until he retired in 1974.

In retirement Mr. Rothwacks taught at the Marshall Wythe School of Law at the College of William and Mary, while he continued to lived in Washington.

Survivors include two sisters, Jeanette Meltzer of Delray Beach, Fla., and Rose Schumer of Deerfield Beach, Fla.

TOM-LIN LEE,

82, who with her husband owned and operated Chinese restaurants in Washington and a wholesale Chinese grocery and restaurant supply business, died of congestive heart failure Jan. 9 at the home of her son in McLean.

Mrs. Lee was born in Canton, China. She came from China to Washington in 1948.

During the 1950s and 1960s she and her husband, Davis Lee, operated a grocery and restaurant supply business. In 1969 they opened the China Doll restaurant in Washington and in 1972 they opened the Jade Palace restaurant, which is now known as Hunan Chinatown. Mrs. Lee had continued in the management of the businesses.

In addition to her husband, Mrs. Lee is survived by one son, Dr. Toon Lee of McLean; four daughters, Wendy Lee of Boston, Emma Lee of Hyattsville, Edith Born of Falls Church and Enna Valikit of Springfield, and 17 grandchildren.

FRANK JONES,

83, a retired coowner of the Fox-Jones Co., a stationery and office supply store in downtown Washington, died of congestive heart failure Jan. 11 at Fairfax Hospital.

Mr. Jones, a resident of McLean, was born in Danville, Va. He moved to the Washington area in 1924 and went into the office supply business. He worked for the old Livington company, then for the Ginn company.

In 1951 he and other members of his family started the Fox-Jones Co. They ran it until 1979, when they sold it and retired.

Mr. Jones was a member of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, in McLean.

Survivors include one sister, Virginia Jones Fox of McLean.

LOUIS REZNEK,

74, a Washington lawyer and consultant on automotive engineering and safety, died Jan. 10 at the home of a friend in Winter Haven, Fla., after a heart attack. He was en route to a conference when he was stricken.

Mr. Reznek had been an independent automotive engineering and safety consultant here since 1962 while simultaneously managing a legal practice. He had written several articles on engineering safety and had appeared as an expert witness in court cases relating to automotive safety issues.

Mr. Reznek, a resident of Bethesda, was born in Washington and graduated from Eastern High School. He received a degree in mechanical engineering at George Washington University, where he also earned a law degree. He was a clerk at the Interstate Commerce Commission from 1932 to 1937, then worked as an engineer with the ICC's Bureau of Motor Carrier Safety.

He served in the Army in Europe during World War II, then returned to the Bureau of Motor Carrier Safety where he remained until 1953 when he became director of engineering and safety at the National Tank Truck Carriers, an affiliate of the American Trucking Association. He left to form his own business in 1962.

Mr. Reznek's survivors include his wife, Marjorie Burch Reznek of Bethesda; one daughter, Sarah G. Reznek of Washington; one son, Howard B. Reznek of Rockville; two brothers, Sol Reznek of Guilderland, N.Y., and Ben Reznek of Silver Spring, and two sisters, Ella Bach and Zelda Berkowitz, both of Silver Spring.

DONALD JOHNSON MAY,

72, a retired assistant director of the American Textile Manufacturers Institute, died Jan. 10 at a hospital in Cincinnati.

Mr. May, who moved from the Washington area to Cincinnati in 1982, was born in Gravel Switch, Ky. He graduated from Centre College in Danville, Ky., and earned a master's degree in economics from the University of Cincinnati.

During World War II, he served in the Navy. He taught economics at Emory University in Atlanta before moving to the Washington area in 1956 and joining the American Textile Manufacturers Institute. He was assistant director of the institute's international trade division when he retired in 1980.

Mr. May had been a member of Dulin United Methodist Church in Falls Church, Beta Gamma Sigma, the business fraternity, and the National Press Club.

Survivors include his wife, Martha Jewell May of Cincinnati; two daughters, Barbara Jewell May of Danville and Betsy May of Arlington; one son, David W. May of Portland, Maine, and one grandson.

ELIZABETH CLINE PALMER,

78, a member of the Falls Church Presbyterian Church and a former volunteer with the American Red Cross, died of a heart ailment Jan. 10 at her home in Falls Church.

Mrs. Palmer was born in Washington. She graduated from the old Temple Business School. During the 1930s, she was a secretary for the American Wildlife Association.

Her marriage to Dr. Alfred Monroe Palmer ended in divorce.

Survivors include two sons, Alfred Monroe Palmer Jr. of Falls Church and Lawrence Scott Palmer of Annandale; one brother, Sheldon Scott Cline of Falls Church; one sister, Marjorie Ann Cline of Bethesda; 12 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

CHARLIE W. JONES,

71, a retired president of the Man-Made Fiber Producers Association and an Army veteran of World War II, died Jan. 10 at a hospital in Houston, where he had undergone surgery for an aneurysm. He was a resident of Alexandria and had gone to Houston for treatment.

Mr. Jones was born in Macon, Miss., and graduated from Mississippi State University. During World War II, he served in the Army Air Forces in the China-Burma-India theater and rose to the rank of captain.

In 1948 he joined the National Cotton Council of America in Memphis. He transferred to the Washington area in 1952 and became the organization's Washington representative. From 1954 to 1960, he was an administrative and legislative assistant to Sen. John C. Stennis (D-Miss.).

For the next seven years, Mr. Jones was a legislative representative and a vice president of the American Carpet Institute. He joined the Man-Made Fiber Producers Association in 1970 and retired in 1983.

Mr. Jones had served on the boards of the Mohasco Corp., a carpet manufacturing firm in Fairfax, and the Belle Haven Country Club in Alexandria.

He was a past president of the Association of Former Senate Aides, the Mississippi Society of Washington, and the Men of the Church at the Old Presbyterian Meeting House in Alexandria.

Survivors include his wife, Patricia Manning Jones of Alexandria; three daughters, Catherine Millichap of Atlanta, Ann von Rosenberg of Greenwood, S.C., and Sister Sean Marie, a member of the Sisters of Notre Dame in Covington, Ky.; one son, Robert C. Jones of Alexandria; one brother, Ernon Jones of Macon, and five grandchildren.