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So. African Jewish Leaders Seek Clarification on Church’s Pronouncement

The South African Board of Jewish Deputies is seeking clarification of press reports that the Dutch Reformed Church in the Transvaal had urged its members to support only those candidates for Parliament who were “persons of unimpeachable Christian character,” it was revealed here tonight by Gustav Saron, general secretary of the Board.

If the reports are accurate, he told a meeting of the Board, the church call is open to the interpretation that non-Christian–Jews–should not be supported for Parliament on religious grounds. The Board of Deputies, he continued, hoped this was not meant and is seeking clarification and reassurance from the church that it recognizes–as it has–the rights of Jewish citizens of South Africa to stand for and be elected to Parliament.

Mr. Saron also reported that the Board was making further representations to the government to reinstate in a draft measure governing universities in the Union the so called “conscience clause” designed to protect teachers and students against religious discrimination. Academic circles also favor inclusion of such protective language.

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