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So. African Jewish Body Clears New Prime Minister of Anti-semitism

September 27, 1966
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Maurice Porter, chairman of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies, told the monthly meeting of the board yesterday that the South African Jewish community mourned the “tragic passing” of Premier Hendrick Verwoerd. The occasion was the first meeting of the board since Verwoerd’s assassination. Mr. Porter said that the late Premier had faithfully implemented a pledge he made, when he became Prime Minister, to continue fair and normal treatment of South African Jewry, a pledge which canceled views he had expressed while he was in the opposition, Mr. Porter added that the new Premier, Balthazar Vorster, had never expressed views critical of the Jewish community and could confidently be expected to continue the pledge of his predecessors. He said the Jewish community wished him well.

The South African Jewish Times said in an editorial that it welcomed the new Premier’s assurance that he would “work for national unity, uphold Parliament and parliamentary institutions, protect the security of the state and the lives and property of its citizens, and in foreign affairs work for friendly relations with other countries.”

The political correspondent of the Sunday Times predicted “a lessening, not an increase of tension in the country in the immediate period ahead. ” The United Party, the opposition, said in a statement that it would give the new Premier “a fair chance to prove his intentions and the character of his leadership.”

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