10 Jews Elected to South African Parliament, Provincial Councils

Last month’s general election in South Africa confirmed that there is no “Jewish vote” in this country. While the 10 successful Jewish candidates for Parliament and the provincial councils are all members of the Progressive Federal Party, the liberal opposition, Jewish candidates ran on other tickets as well.

Of the 20 Jews nominated for office, the governing rightwing National Party headed by Prime Minister P. W. Botha fielded two Jewish candidates and others ran on the even more conservative New Republic Party ticket. The National Party, which has governed South Africa since 1948, won the election.

Except for several ill-chosen remarks by the far right Hersigte National Party, the campaign was singularly free of Jewish issues or angles. The close and cordial relationship between South Africa and Israel was endorsed by all major factions and was not an issue.

The Jewish candidates elected to Parliament are: Harry Schwartz, Alf Widman, Maj. Reuben Sive and Helen Suzman. Mrs. Suzman was for many years the only Progressive Federal Party member of Parliament.

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