House of Assembly: Vol2 - MONDAY 11 FEBRUARY 1985

MONDAY, 11 FEBRUARY 1985 Proceedings at Joint Sitting (Excluding introductory speeches on bills) Prayers—14h15. CALLING OF JOINT SITTINGS Mr SPEAKER:

announced that he had called joint sittings of the three Houses of Parliament for Monday, 18 February, and Wednesday, 20 February, at 14h15, for the delivering of Second Reading speeches on certain Bills.


I have to point out that in the case of the fifth item on the Agenda of the Joint Sitting for today—Second Reading,—South African Iron and Steel Industrial Corporation, Limited, Amendment Bill [No 2b—85 (GA)]—the House of Representatives and the House of Delegates have not yet rescinded their resolutions that the Bill be withdrawn. The Joint Sitting consequently cannot deal with the fifth item of the agenda for today. If these Houses rescind their resolutions I will place the item on the Agenda of the Joint Sitting of 18 February 1985.


announced that in terms of Joint Rule 22(4) he had referred the following proposed Bills which had been submitted to him, together with the memorandums thereon, to the Standing Committee on Private Members’ Bills:

  1. (1) Immorality Amendment Bill, submitted by the Leader of the Official Opposition;
  2. (2) Repeal of the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Bill, submitted by the Leader of the Official Opposition; and
  3. (3) Smoking Control Bill, submitted by the honourable member for Hillbrow.

announced that in terms of Joint Rule 1(2) of the three Houses of Parliament he had amended Joint Rules 43 and 46 in order that the time taken up by the introductory speeches of Ministers at the Second and Third Readings of money bills be not included in the total time allocated to these debates.

The House met at 15hl9.


announced that the proceedings at a joint sitting on certain bills had been concluded and that he had placed these bills on the Order Paper for the Second Reading debate.


Mr Speaker, I move:

  1. (a) a Select Committee be appointed to form part of a Joint Committee to enquire into and report upon the desirability of repealing the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act, 1949, and section 16 of the Immorality Act, 1957, and of adapting other related legislation consequent upon such repeal, with a view to the continued social, educational and constitutional ordering of own communities;
  2. (b) the written and oral evidence which served before the Select Committee on the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act and section 16 of the Immorality Act be referred to the Joint Committee for consideration; and
  3. (c) the Joint Committee have power to take evidence, call for papers and submit legislation.

Mr Speaker, I should like to begin by moving the following amendment to the motion of the hon the Minister:

In paragraph (a), to omit “desirability” and to substitute “consequences”.

With your permission, Mr Chairman, I just wish to motivate this amendment of mine briefly. I do not wish to create an occasion for voting unnecessarily with regard to this matter, except that I do wish to point out that by way of my proposed amendment I am in fact trying to expedite the process of reform.

Mr Speaker, you yourself referred to the fact that you referred two Bills which I, as a private member of this House, had submitted to you, to the Standing Committee on Private Members’ Bills. Those Bills relate to the repeal of section 16 of the Immorality Act, 1957, and the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act, 1949.

It is common cause between this party and the Government that hurtful discrimination must disappear from our Statute Book. We have heard this from the Government on several occasions and I believe that these two pieces of legislation are widely regarded as simple examples of hurtful discrimination. The desirability or otherwise of these two measures has been discussed at length and in depth. We have taken written and oral evidence; it has been analysed, standpoints have been adopted, surveys have been carried out as to the desirability or otherwise of these measures, reports of Government Commissions in which reference is made to these measures and their impact on race relations, etc, have been tabled. I really do not believe that we are going to obtain much more information about the desirability or otherwise of deleting these measures from the Statute Book. [Interjections.] All that is now being asked, therefore, is that we say either that they go or that we carry on with them. I think it would be a sign of good faith on the part of the Government that when we are engaged in reform, an indication be given to the outside world and to the people of this country that we are now going to get rid of these measures.

My amendment concedes by implication that the repeal of these measures will quite probably entail consequences in respect of practices and other legislation on the Statute Book. Therefore I do not for a moment wish to say that it is not essential for a standing committee or a select committee, which may eventually become a joint committee, to go into the possible consequences. That may take up more time, and additional information may perhaps be collected, but I believe that that time and that information must not be used to cause a delay with regard to the repeal of these measures. I believe that at this point we should proceed to get rid of these measures; as the saying goes, “let us bite the bullet”, because in any event there will be no point at this juncture in creating an additional occasion to vote on standpoints and counter-standpoints as to whether the measures should remain in the Statute Book or not. It is clear that these measures must be abolished for the sake of various interest groups. I am of the opinion that only the Government should take the lead now in this regard, because the opportunity exists now for the Government to prove its good faith in that Standing Committee on Private Members’ Bills. The members of the other Houses who now also serve on this standing committee have already indicated what they think of these measures. They have already stated what they prefer. Therefore I do not think that the Government, or any of us, is going to obtain supplementary information from them about the desirability or otherwise of these measures. After all, they have already aired their opinions. Last year the Government created a standing committee comprising members of the old Parliament which very clearly gathered information. What will be the point of creating a new standing committee now, with the same terms of reference, and obtaining information from the same people about the desirability or otherwise of these measures? It makes no sense.

Therefore I say that we need not have an unnecessary vote on this matter. The hon the Minister need only accept my amendment. The problem solves itself, because there is an opportunity, in one standing committee, for us to reach consensus and say: “Let these measures be abolished.” Subsequently another joint committee may be established in which the consequences of such abolition for other practices and measures still on the Statute Book may be considered. The fact is that that process will have to carry on in any event. We shall have to consider which other discriminatory measures have to disappear from the Statute Book. I cannot see why these two measures are now once again being hamstrung by the hon the Minister’s motion.


Mr Speaker, I listened attentively to the amendment of the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition, and I must say that I was strongly tempted to say that I supported his amendment. On closer analysis of the hon the Minister’s motion, and as one who had the privilege of serving on the select committee together with many hon colleagues, I should like to suggest to the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition and the Opposition spokesmen that as far as this motion of the hon the Minister is concerned, we should just refrain for a moment from discussing the word “desirability” and confine ourselves to the ongoing investigation into the related legislation.

I should like to say to the hon Leader that in the select committee concerning these two very sensitive laws, each and every hon member who was a member of the select committee had the fullest understanding of, firstly, the sensitivity, and secondly, the complexity of the matter. In the third place, there was not a single hon member on our side or on the Opposition side who was present in the committee who thought that he had the full set of answers to all the complications that their possible repeal would entail. I note that the hon the Leader wants to ask me a question.


Mr Speaker, I want to ask the hon member whether he thinks it desirable that these measures be repealed. I recognize that the consequences must be studied, but does the hon member think that the repeal is desirable?


I want to say to the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition that within our party, as within the churches in South Africa, as within every organization that is concerned with social questions and as within every organization which has a political standpoint, there have been intense emotional debates on these matters in past years. In our own party there has been a fruitful, meaningful debate. I myself told the people in my constituency, years ago, that within the NP I am working towards the repeal of these two Acts on the road ahead in view of the many problems caused to South Africa by the existence of these Acts. I therefore contend that we must let the motion of the hon the Minister suffice. There is no doubt that these two laws per se unleash very strong emotions, and this is understandable as far as many people are concerned. I wish to state frankly that I can understand that these two specific statutory measures have unleashed strong emotions over the years. I also wish to say that the possible consequences of the repeal of these laws unleash still more emotions among many people in South Africa.

If we ask ourselves why we should consider related Acts, as the hon the Minister proposes, I say that the Acts themselves arouse emotions to a large extent, and when we considered these Acts over the years, the crucial question was: What is the effect of these Acts on our image, our image as governors of people and our image as South Africans? There is no doubt, not one of us, neither the hon the Minister nor anyone else, not a single member of this House would like us as White people of South Africa to be excommunicated in the international world and labelled as people who think that our racial descent gives us a superior place along the people of the world.

That is the essence of this measure. The hon the Leader of the Official Opposition conceded this in the course of his own argument—I appreciate the fact that he did not arouse emotions in that regard—but he as a politician knows, just as we on this side know, that whether one likes it or not there are intense emotions surrounding these laws and the possible consequences of their repeal. Whereas we can agree, whereas we can state our individual standpoints as to the desirability, I say with great respect to the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition that I think that over the years the NP Government has, by way of what it has said about these measures over the years, displayed an attitude which indicates that on the road ahead these laws cannot remain on the Stature Book ad infinitum.

I want to ask the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition to reconsider his amendment in the light of the eloquent evidence submitted before the select committee, the evidence of several people who were asked by us what they thought would be the consequences of the repeal of these measures. Some people who submitted evidence said that the Group Areas Act should be repealed as a whole. Others submitted various proposals as to what should be done. However, I am discussing the motion of the hon the Minister, and in my opinion it is of great importance that we should begin by taking the emotion out of the debate. Moreover it is very important that the members of the House of Representatives and the House of Delegates should also discuss this legislation.

No other population groups in South Africa are as profoundly affected by the emotions surrounding these laws than our colleagues in the other Chambers of this Parliament. Therefore I think that it is right and good that we should consider the implications of the possible repeal of this legislation in a joint committee so that we can all deliberate on this together. Members of the other Chambers of Parliament will then have the opportunity to say what they feel. The hon the Leader of the Official Opposition will concede that their experience of the impact of these laws has been a hundred times more traumatic than our own experience.

Since I wholeheartedly support the motion of the hon the Minister I should like to ask the people in my constituency that in the first place, in the debate on these matters, we should show our responsibility towards South Africa. This means that when this committee commences its activities after this motion has been adopted, we set emotions aside, consider the facts and consider how we will be able to co-exist with one another on a practical basis. I take pleasure in supporting the motion of the hon the Minister and I feel that in a certain sense the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition has also supported the hon the Minister, because his amendment was only a minor one.


Mr Speaker, when we listened to the Leader of the Official Opposition and heard the word he used to amend the motion of the hon the Minister, the assumption that the laws were to be repealed was clearly evident in that amendment. This, of course, is entirely in accordance with the PFP’s conduct, not only yesterday and the day before yesterday, but in past years as well. Year after year they have come up with private members’ motions attacking legislation such as the two laws that are at issue today and the other, related, legislation. They have attacked the NP Government and by means of their motions have tried to create a climate for the repeal of the laws in question.

Therefore it is to be understood that the hon the Leader of the Opposition should come straight out with his amendment, which is in line with what they will be doing on the road ahead. I also appreciate the openness of the hon member for Innesdal. We know that in certain circles he is known as the “emotion man”. It is true that he stresses very strongly that we should exclude our emotions from the kind of subject that is at issue today. I also appreciate his recognition of the serious differences, which he underlines, in the ranks of the NP. In the course of my contribution I shall refer to that. There is and was ample evidence of the lack of consensus while we deliberated on this matter in the Select Committee.

The CP cannot support the motion of the hon the Minister. We shall vote against it. It is wellknown that the CP was opposed ab initio to the repeal of these two measures which are now at issue. Through its leader, the hon member for Waterberg, the CP declared itself prepared to serve on a select committee investigating the need, the possibility and desirability of amending these two measures without detracting from the objectives underlying these two measures and without detracting from the principles embodied in those and other related measures. Before the P W Botha Government came into power, under the old dispensation, noises were sometimes heard from well-known people in liberal circles that the laws in question should be repealed, but the Government of the day stood firm. When the political set-up in South Africa changed, after the P W Botha Government came to power, there was a massive increase in the pressure exerted on the Government for the laws to be repealed. Moreover there is increasing pressure from the ranks of the NP and from NP members who are in this House today. It can be accepted with certainty today that the fact that the P W Botha Government has begun to accede to the pressure is due in large measure to the new political dispensation.

The select committee which was to investigate this matter was appointed on 30 June 1983, six months before the referendum of 3 November 1983. At the time there was still some question of referendums being held for the Coloureds and Indians as well. The terms of reference of the select committee were such that the CP was able to take part. The first deliberations of the select committee took place on 17, 18 and 19 January 1984, about 2[12] months after the referendum. It is known that the select committee submitted its first report to the former House of Assembly on 9 July 1984, and it is equally well known that the CP voted against the acceptance of that report. It is also on record that the NP members, the PFP members and the NRP members serving on that select committee requested a widening of the terms of reference of the select committee in order to consider the possible repeal of the two laws. It is also known that the Government did not accept unconditionally the first report of the select committee, but that the hon the Minister added an amendment which read as follows: “… with a view to the continued social, educational and constitutional ordering of communities”. At the time we were amazed that the hon the Minister should come up with such an amendment, but time brings answers. I think we can accept today that the conservative element in the NP, if there is still such a thing, was not prepared to support the unconditional terms of reference requested by the select committee. The question is why they did not wish to do so. The answer is that they did not wish to do so because the NP’s struggle for political survival in the Transvaal had becomed increasingly difficult, and Transvalers would not take the repeal of the two laws. Another reason is that the Government was fully aware that the voters of South Africa certainly were not, and are not now, in favour of the repeal of these two laws. That is why the Minister inserted an amendment to the first report.

It is also well known that in the debates concerning the first report of the select committee, the CP expressed its opposition to the broadening of the terms of reference of the select committee, and voted against it. At the time we did not know what prompted the Minister to move such an amendment. Shortly afterwards, however, we found out that there was to be another by-election, viz the one in Primrose. The Transvaal NP was really jittery about it. [Interjections.]

The further deliberations of the select committee after receipt of the extended terms of reference, together with the decisions taken and the reports issued, are all on record. According to the record the CP recommended as follows in its minority report:

That the aforementioned measures not be repealed. The measures concerned and other relating measures, such as, inter alia the Population Registration Act and the Group Areas Act, are essential to the protection of national identity and the attending social, educational and constitutional ordering of the various communities.

The PFP’s third Report is well known, and we placed that on record as well. The Third Report of the select committee, which was in fact the report that was officially sent to this House, and which was in fact the report of the majority of the NP members on that committee, and in which the NP referred the problem relating to the repeal of the two laws to the new mixed Parliament, was handed over to the Speaker before the end of the old dispensation and it, too, is known to all. It is history today that when the then select committee had to investigate the Minister’s amendment and its implications it was the members of the NP on the select committee who soon found themselves in hot water. We can infer that, too, from the admission made by the hon member for Innesdal. Therefore the Third Report—we might as well say the report of the NP—made mention of the complexity of the matter. I suggest that hon members take another look at that Third Report. The NP members of the select committee should in fact have said that they were unable to reach consensus on how the related acts should be adjusted, amended or improved. [Interjections.] No, Sir, there was no consensus; there was only consensus in the CP and the PFP. The CP wanted to retain these two laws, and all related laws in their unchanged form. The PFP, too, had no problems, because they were in favour of the repeal of all those laws. [Interjections.] However, the NP not only had a problem, it had a dilemma as well. The NP’s dilemma is that it knows today that its partners in the new dispensation do not want to be bothered with the select committee. They, the members of the Coloured House and the members of the Indian House, said bluntly last week that the two laws and all the other related laws should be repealed: “Why refer them to a select committee!” That is the attitude of the two other Houses with regard to this matter. As I say, this causes a dilemma for the NP.

Accordingly the CP now asks the Government: Why do they want to establish the joint committee now? Is it in order to cause them still more embarrassment? I have a premonition that the two other Houses are going to refuse to appoint such select committees. If those two Houses are sincere and in earnest in everything they have said about the summary repeal of these two laws, they will have no option but to refuse to have such select committees appointed by their Houses. If they do appoint such select committees, the mandate of their committees will merely be to ask for the repeal of the laws in question. Therefore we say that this, inter alia, forms part of the dilemma of the NP. There is not going to be consensus between what this House asks for or what it is directed to do, and that of the other Houses. If the bite of the other two Houses is worse than their bark there is going to be no consensus about the terms of reference of the proposed joint committee.

As has been mentioned, the CP cannot vote in favour of any motion aimed at repealing, amending or adjusting the two laws or any related laws. It is our standpoint that the two measures in question are essential to the protection of the national identity and associated social, educational and constitutional ordering of the various communities. [Interjections.]

To motivate our standpoint it is necessary to consider the purpose of the two laws. These two laws were placed on the Statute Book in 1949 and 1950 by the NP Government to counteract miscegenation in racially mixed societies. It was intended to preserve the identity of the Whites and thereby to ensure that the Whites would continue to survive and carry out their calling in this country. It was intended to bring about order and stability in the society which was subject to many disruptive influences. It was intended to combat inter-group friction. We can say today that the Government of the day, when these laws were placed on the Statute Book …


Mr Speaker, may I ask the hon member a question?


If there is any time left when I have completed my speech, then the hon member may ask his question. [Interjections.] I know what the Progs want to ask and I know what my answer will be. Therefore it is meaningless to allow that hon member to put his question. [Interjections.] I say that when the laws were placed on the Statute Book, the Government of the day, wanted to see to it that the family did not decay. Once the family decays as a result of miscegenation, the people or the ethnic group deteriorates. It was and still is the responsibility of the Government of the day not to be indifferent, but to regard it as its task to regulate the State in such a way that the various ethnic groups, as well as all individuals can best fulfil their calling.

It is general knowledge that the repeal of the two laws prohibiting miscegenation between White and non-White is today being advocated and, indeed, demanded by some members of our people and indeed, it is also being demanded in various quarters abroad. We all know what the terms of reference of the select committee were. [Interjections.] We know today, too, that it soon appeared that the liberals in our country saw the establishment of that select committee as a peg on which they could hang their insistence that the two laws be repealed. Those liberals who supposedly came to submit evidence— all the recognized liberals, all the recognized humanists and all the recognized moralists, sociologists, lawyers and liberal Afrikaans theologians from Stellenbosch, to name only a few—did not approach the select committee in an effort to improve or amend the two laws. These petitioners I have just mentioned, this liberal element in our country were, for months on end, supported with great enthusiasm by virtually all the newspaper editors of the English Press, the Nasionale Pers and the Perskor group—the Willem de Klerks, die Loot Vosloos, die Louis Oosthuizens and all those other “gesiglose japsnoete”, as the State President so aptly called them. [Interjections.]

While the select committee was engaged in its activities, editorials, contributions, columns etc were constantly appearing referring to all manner of hollow stories of heartache and fragmented families, blown up out of proportion. The aim was to create a climate surrounding the Immorality Act and the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act. Everything was aimed at persuading the select committee to request the House of Assembly for permission to consider the repeal of the two laws. National Party members of Parliament, too, asked for these laws to be abolished at that time; and what is more they did so while the select committee was sitting. I ask myself: How is it that a plea should be made from the National Party’s own ranks for the repeal of the two laws while those terms of reference were still being impartially considered? How does one reconcile that with party discipline? [Interjections.] Even worse, as far as I was concerned, was the role played by the State media, the SABC, in the process of influencing people’s thinking about the question whether these laws should be repealed or not. A programme was always presented in such a way that the listeners and watchers were conditioned in favour of the repeal of the laws. I think that all of us can go and look at the television programme News Focus this evening, and we shall find that the way is being prepared for the repeal of these laws.

I should like to come back, in another context, to the role of SABC-TV in this particular connection.

To crown it all, the onslaught of the liberals was not limited to the demand that these two laws be repealed. Just as the PFP has taken steps over the years, as I have already mentioned, to exert pressure for the repeal of those laws, a request was in fact made to the select committee to repeal all those laws in dealing with its third report. Indeed, the PFP drew up a whole list of all the laws that they wanted repealed. After all, we all know—and the Nationalists ought to be equally aware of this—that the laws against miscegenation, together with the other related legislation, inter alia the Group Areas Act and the Population Registration Act, are cornerstones on the basis of which this society has developed over the past 30 years by seeking to free every people, however small it may be, from domination, encroachment and oppression. These laws afforded every people or population group a living space in which he could achieve full political power over himself, and protected the Whites against the loss of their identity by miscegenation.

It is not possible to conduct a broader debate this afternoon on, why the CP is totally opposed to the repeal of the two laws. Nor is it possible to elaborate further on the standpoint that it is not going to be possible to change the related legislation in such a way as to make it possible to preserve and assure the identity of the Whites, and least of all to prevent the process of social and political integration that will follow.

At this stage I want to refer to a contribution written by Prof J C Steyn in a periodical Buurman of June/August last year. Prof Steyn quotes with approval the statement made by Minister Gerrit Viljoen in the good old days in his book Ideaal en Werklikheid:

Die Afrikaner se kultuur behels ook ’n strewe na die handhawing van die rassesuiwerheid van die Afrikaanse volk, sy identiteit in rasseverband. Afrikanerskap (so sè dr Viljoen) is na my mening onversoenbaar met ’n integrasionistiese lewenshouding omdat so ’n lewenshouding eintlik die hele strewe van die identiteits-handhawing van die Afrikanervolk in hierdie belangrike opsig negeer. Sonder die behoud van die Blanke rassesuiwerheid is die Afrikaner nie meer Afrikaner nie.

It is a pity that the hon the Minister is not present now, because I believe he would still have to confirm this today. [Interjections.]

In this connection Prof Steyn concluded his contribution with these meaningful words:

Dit is in vele opsigte nie die veldtog ten die wette as sodanig wat baie Blankes in die harnas jaag nie, maar die daarmee gepaardgaande poging om die identiteitsbewustheid van die Wit bevolkingsgroep te laat verdwyn.

Prof Steyn goes on to say:

Dit word onderneem in die naam van naasteliefde, maar met ’n ondraaglike ideologiese dogmatisme waarvolgens die enigste onopgeloste kwessie in verband met rassevermenging die rassevooroordeel van die Blanke is. Die intellektuele nederigheid wat gepas sou wees in die verwarrende wèreld van mekaar weersprekende hipoteses en bevindings oor rasseverskille en rassevermenging ontbreek byna geheel en al. Mense met dié houding kan my nie oortuig van die wenslikheid van die opheffing van dié twee wette nie.

Those were the words of Prof Steyn.

Finally I have two further remarks to make about the refusal of the CP to agree to the Minister’s motion. I believe it is very unfortunate that the State President should have expressed himself in favour of the repeal of these two laws on 27 November 1984 at Primrose. What is the sense of appointing a select committee to investigate the desirability of the repeal of these two laws if the highest executive authority in the country, viz the State President, has already intimated that he gives his support to the repeal of the two laws in question? Surely that is not right. The State President said, and I quote from The Star of 28 November 1984:

President Botha last night reiterated his support for the scrapping of the controversial Mixed Marriages and Immorality Acts.

In all honesty I must mention that the State President added, and I quote:

Mr Botha stressed he personally was not in favour of mixed marriages and immorality.

[Interjections.] What is clear, however, is that nowadays the Government gives way to external pressure all too often. The State President himself has confirmed this and I wish to quote him. I note that the hon the Minister of Trade and Industry is laughing heartily about this, but I quote the State President as follows:

Another problem was that not a single country in the world supported South Africa in this regard and the Government felt pressured from every quarter.

Why did the State President not rather take cognizance of what his own people had to say? If Mr Jaap Marais asks that, he is not wrong. [Interjections.] Who is that hon member. Let him put up his hand so that I can see him … [Time expired.]


Mr Chairman, there is one important difference between the debate on this motion and the appointment of a previous select committee. When a previous select committee was appointed it was the point of departure of the governing party, as expressed by the then Prime Minister, that the parties in that select committee would not serve on a party-political basis, but that we should try and find one another with regard to the problems which the matter presented. That is history and was something that was referred to by the hon member Mr Theunissen. The comprehensive record and the whole course of events in the select committee are available, and I do not believe it is my responsibility to debate the records of the select committee further as regards to who said what, when and where, what amendments were moved and why there were or were not certain problems with regard to time. What is of importance is to take due cognisance of the fact that the spirit of the debate today is no longer elevated above party politics if the hon member Mr Theunissen quotes the State President, attacks him and involves the governing party in debate in such a fashion. In view of this we have no alternative but to reply in the same fashion. [Interjections.]

When the hon member Mr Theunissen, who is now shouting at me so loudly, made his speech, he blatantly fail to quote the then Prime Minister in full.


Mr Chairman, may I ask the hon member a question?


No, Sir. The hon member quotes the State President and confines himself to a single sentence. However he conveniently omits to mention what followed. I shall quote it. The hon the State President was reported as follows:

South Africa needed all-embracing legislation to prevent immorality and indecency but this should not mention colour.

The consistency of the arguments advanced by those hon members, who have such a lot to say for themselves, is that section 16 of this particular measure should remain unchanged and what does it stipulate? It stipulates that immorality across the colour bar is punishable by law and subject to sanction. Immorality between White and White is excused. Why are hon members not consistent? Do you know what the standpoint of their policy is? In the words of their Leader as reported in Rapport of 4 September 1983, they say:

Ontug is in alle gevalle sonde maar tussen Blank en Gekleurde is dit verswarend.

What absurd argument is that, after the State President said that he was opposed to immorality and that it posed a dilemma for South Africa? He said that we should act against immorality and that we should remove the connotation of colour from the Immorality Act. It is hurtful and humiliating. Those hon members advocate the retention of the laws as they stand at present. What is more, they say that it constitutes aggravating circumstances.


Why are the Coloured people sitting in a separate chamber?


I am speaking to the hon member Mr Theunissen now.




Mr Chairman, I gain the impression that the hon member Mr Theunissen needs the assistance of his colleagues. [Interjections.] The member reproaches this side of the House …


Order! I cannot recall having called upon the hon member Mr Theunissen to speak.


This side of the House is charged with having played a partisan role in the select committee, and of not having given objective consideration in the select committee to the dilemmas relating to the major concerns. However, what did the Leader of those hon members say? He said in public at one of his provincial congresses that the only reason why he served on the select committee was that he did not wish to have the image of a boycotter. He wants to serve on that committee, but right at the outset he says to everyone who wants to hear and listen, that the laws will remain. However he does not want to have the image of a boycotter. [Interjections.]

Those hon members are opposed to the motion as moved by the Minister of Internal Affairs. If the Minister’s motion is passed here, if the majority decision is that the motion is to be implemented, are those hon members going to sit on the joint committee, yes or no?

For purposes of the record I draw the attention of the House to the fact that not one of those talkative members has now, by way of a nod or an interjection, given any indication as to whether they will take a seat on the joint committee. [Interjections.] That is how those people play political games with the problems of South Africa.

If we wish to deal with the problems of this country, we must address the problems and ignore the members of the CP. I do not think that it is of any importance even to consider the consequences of the retention of these measures and the problems they create internally. What is of importance is the effect these laws have on the people concerned, the South Africans who have to live under these laws.

There is another very important matter, which is that members of the Labour Party have submitted evidence before the select committee. They are people who were called as witnesses or who voluntarily offered to submit evidence before the select committee. We have today a new constitutional dispensation. Members of the House of Representatives participated in a debate in this Parliament and we appeal to them to participate as equal Parliamentary partners in order to discuss with one another the issues of the country. However, the members of the CP do not like that. No, they are not at all in favour of being confronted with the truth, face to face. When the members of the Labour Party submitted evidence before that select Committee, the talkative hon members of the CP did not utter a single word. [Interjections.] When the Coloured people who are now members of the House of Representatives submitted evidence before that selection committee—and hon members can peruse the records if they wish—not a single hon member of the CP had the courage to put a question to those people. [Interjections.]

The hurtful effect of these two pieces of legislation is simply ignored when those people are in the presence of the hon members of the CP. They sat there contemptuously listening to the debate in the House of Representatives when the hon Minister was being hauled over the coals. [Interjections.] I should like to see one of them accepting responsibility for their Coloured homeland policy and going there to defend that policy of theirs. [Interjections.]

What do we know now? We know that the evidence submitted before the relevant select committee clearly pointed to the desirability of the repeal of these two measures. We also know from the evidence referred to the select committee that those two measures cause heartbreak and misery. There is something else, too, that we know. I am expressing my own opinion when I say that I regard it as humiliating that other White people should think that I need those two laws to maintain and protect my identity. [Interjections.] What is more, we surely know now beyond the shadow of a doubt that there are other people, too, sitting in this Parliament who describe it as humiliating that those laws must affect them to the extent that they do.

What, therefore, do we say now? We say that we are faced here with a factual situation, a situation that must be dealt with. We do not want to hide our heads in the sand as hon members of the CP do. We want to argue and debate matters squarely and frankly in the spirit of true self-determination, with all the people concerned; with all of those who are now members of this Parliament. Indeed, we wish to do so because we know that the repeal of these measures entails certain consequences.

I now address myself, with all respect, to hon members of the PFP. It is evident that those hon members do not always fully understand the more subtle nuances of the political debate. Indeed, to speak of the consequences …


Mr Speaker, may I ask the hon member a question?


No, I am not in the slightest interested in a question by the hon member for Pietersburg. By no means! [Interjections.] There are two important arguments that are advanced in this regard. What one argument amounts to is that these two measures may be repealed as long as the consequences can be dealt with. The other is that the two measures must be repealed because the consequences of such repeal could in fact be dealt with. These are two substantive debating points which we must settle in the broad South African community.

Finally, I just wish to say something briefly about the subject of this motion. From the evidence heard in the select committee we know that a change has taken place in the scriptural exegesis in this regard, that there is a deep-seated difference of opinion among the people struggling with these matters; everyone who is struggling with this is also engaged in a profound review of their standpoints. This, of course, applies to everyone except to our political opponents in the PFP and the CP. I am not referring now to the hon member for Umhlanga. He can sit back peacefully. I know that he has not yet participated in a debate. Therefore he might as well relax. The two political parties mentioned, however, feel that the standpoints they once adopted, must remain the standpoints that they must consistently defend. They are not prepared to reconsider those standpoints at any stage. I believe that in view of that it is fair that we must now be faced with a changed situation, a situation in which those who gave evidence before the select committee are now our partners in the select committee. Accordingly I, too, wholeheartedly support the motion of the hon Minister.


Mr Speaker, I once said in this House that I felt that we in this party should be provided with tin helmets. I think in this sort of debate we need more than that; I think we probably need danger money as well. [Interjections.]

This debate here this afternoon has unlocked a number of truths for me. This debate has exposed a very, very raw nerve indeed. In reply to some of the observations made by the hon member for Krugersdorp, I should like to point out that he said—I felt for him when he said it—that he personally, and he stressed that, felt degraded by the fact that these laws were needed. I now ask him: Which political party put these laws on the Statute Book in the first place? Which political party is responsible for the Immorality Act, and which political party is responsible for the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act? [Interjections.]


Brian, we had such laws before Union.


Let us look at the Third Report of the Select Committee on the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act and section 16 of the Immorality Act. Let us look at paragraph 2. I wish to quote the second sentence for the record:

Your Committee confirms the finding in its First Report that the preponderance of the evidence before it points to the desirability of the repeal of the said two measures as they cannot be justified on Scriptural or other grounds.

I repeat: “… as they cannot be justified on Scriptural or other grounds”. But the truth that is exposed here today is that hon members on that side of the House would rather choke than stand up as individuals, as men and as members of their party, and say: “We demand the repeal of these obnoxious laws.” [Interjections.] They will not do it. I heard the remark by the hon member for Innesdal. I know that he would, in a conversation with me, say to me: “Yes, these laws must be repealed.” I know that he would say it; he cannot deny it.


I said it today.


He said it today. That is then the response of the hon member for Innesdal. What does the hon member for Gezina say? What does he say? Does he say that these laws must be repealed? [Interjections.] Let us ask the hon member for Randburg. I know exactly what he would say. [Interjections.] Yes, and I also know what his fellow-traveller from the Transvaal, the hon member for Brentwood, would say. Those two gentlemen would be equal and opposite. Let us look at Krugersdorp. We have listened to the hon member for Krugersdorp and I feel for him, but where is the hon member for Randfontein? Where is he this afternoon? [Interjections.] I do not mean dr Connie Mulder; I refer to the hon member who took over from him. He is almost as bad. [Interjections.] I am enjoying myself and I am going to enjoy myself a bit more. [Interjections.]

*No, please Wynand, I am enjoying this. [Interjections.]




Mr Speaker, on a point of order: Is the hon member entitled to say that the present hon member for Randfontein is almost as bad as the previous member for Randfontein?


Order! I wanted to say something, but I thought the hon member said he was just as clever as he. [Interjections.]


Mr Speaker, I said “almost as bad as he”.


The hon member must withdraw that.


I withdraw that. Let us look at the Cape Province. Let us look at the hon member for Oudtshoorn, who sits in the ministerial benches. Let us ask if the hon member for Oudtshoorn and the hon member for Beaufort West agree with each other. [Interjections.] I am not making a fool of myself; I am making fools of hon members on the other side. [Interjections.]




Mr Speaker, on a point of order: Is the hon member entitled to take a count without requesting a division? [Interjections.]




Mr Speaker, if I am allowed to continue in this vein, I promise you that we will have a “verdeling”, because when we get to the Deputy Ministers or the Ministers what do we find? Let me put my question to the hon the Deputy Minister who represents Maitland—I apologize to him; he is not here. I wonder whether he would agree with the hon Deputy Minister who represents Carletonville, who is now so very, very closely engaged in a conversation over there. I wonder if they would agree on whether or not these Acts should be repealed. [Interjections.]

The debate this afternoon has exposed the fact that that caucus does not have cracks running through it; it has a great yawning chasm which runs through it on this particular issue. There is only one thing that has to be done. We agree that this matter should go to a joint committee. We feel that it is only correct that the three race groups involved most in this issue, namely the White, the Coloured and the Asiatic communities, must be involved in this.

We feel that it is probably the Coloured community more than any other community that can tell us in that joint committee where it hurts most. It is the Coloured community that is going to be able to tell us, it is the members of the House of Representatives who will be able to tell us: “Gentlemen, you have forgotten this little hurt that has to be looked at as well.” They are the people, more than anybody else, who are going to be able to guide us.

It is equally the members of the House of Delegates who are going to tell us of the in dignities that they have suffered over the years as a result of having these two measures on the Statute Book. We need to learn from those people.

The day it convenes under the chairmanship of the hon member for Innesdal that joint committee’s first question must be: Let us divide now upon who wants these laws repealed and who is against the repeal of them. Let us have that division immediately and let us know exactly where we stand. We all know that the members of the House of Delegates will vote as one man for the repeal. We all know that the members of the House of Representatives will vote as one man for the repeal. I believe, however, that we want to know how the members of the House of Assembly will vote. I know how the hon members of the CP will vote; we all know how they will vote, but I want to know how the hon members sitting opposite me will vote.


How will you vote?


The hon member for Randburg knows how I shall vote. I shall vote for the immediate repeal of two of the most obnoxious measures that have ever been placed upon our Statute Book. I do not think there is any question about that.

The hon member Mr Theunissen referred to the television service of the SABC. It is incredible how that comes under attack from the hon members sitting to my right, politically and literally speaking. He suggested that the SABC would be broadcasting on television tonight that an array of members of the Government had talked about and called for the repeal of the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act. I just want to hear one of them in this debate this afternoon, just one hon member of the governing party stand up and say: We want section 16 of the Immorality Act and the whole of the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act repealed now. That is our starting point.

The Government has, in the words of the hon the Minister, a long way to go, but in order to get where it wants to go, the Government has to face the fact that it has to undo many of the ills that it has brought upon the peoples of this country by its actions. The Government has to go back right to 1948. It has to undo all those wrongs it has committed.

The hon the Leader of the Official Opposition was quite correct when he moved a simple amendment this afternoon which is so easy to accept. Instead of saying “enquire into and report on the desirability of repealing the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act, 1949, and section 16 of the Immorality Act, 1957” we simply ought to say “enquire into the consequences of repealing the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act and section 16 of the Immorality Act”.

I think the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition has done us a service here this afternoon because he has exposed this raw nerve, and it is not going to go away until the hon gentlemen on the opposite side grasp it and do the only honourable and decent thing they can under the circumstances.


Mr Speaker, may I first of all, for the information of the House, apologize on behalf of my hon leader for his absence. He is unavoidably occupied elsewhere and cannot attend at the moment, but he certainly hopes to return to the debate a little later.

From what hon members have been saying in the course of this debate, it may be useful if I devote just a few moments to making absolutely clear the effect of my hon leader’s amendment. That is, that a further investigation into the repeal of the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act and section 16 of the Immorality Act or otherwise, is quite unnecessary. The only area that remains to be investigated, is the effect of such a repeal on other legislation. That alone is the effect of his amendment.

I want to take a brief look at the history of this issue and the debates thereon over the past two years. A select committee was appointed in August 1983, and a mass of evidence was heard by it. It has been said before, but I would like to repeat, that the vast majority of the evidence submitted to the original select committee appointed merely to consider the need and desirability of amending or adapting those two laws, was to the effect that the real issue was the repeal or retention of those Acts, and that repeal was in fact necessary. I think I am absolutely fair in saying that that was the vast majority of the evidence before the committee. There were certainly very few exceptions where people contemplated the possibility of any sensible and intelligent replacement or amendment of those Acts.

For me it was a very significant and interesting experience to serve on that select committee. It was certainly the best political experience I have ever had within a select committee. I doubt whether I will soon have the opportunity again to hear evidence from such prominent individuals, such an incredible array of very prominent church leaders and other leading figures in this country. They put their points of view across sincerely, cogently, and as well as one could conceivably expect. I was impressed by what I heard there, and also by the sincerity and the way in which some of the points of view were conveyed, although they were contrary to the one I held at the time. As far as the hearing of evidence was concerned, the operation of that select committee was possibly as good as one could ever expect from that particular institution of Parliament.

We came to the inevitable conclusion that it would be a waste of time to try to tamper with those laws, to try to reduce the damaging effect they had on our society and our image, which is obviously of less importance. I am much more concerned about the harm they do to our society and possibly our self-respect. The conclusion reached by the select committee was that the issue was repeal or retention, and it was felt that we should ask the House to allow us to consider the repeal of these Acts. As everyone knows, the committee reported accordingly.

I want to make it very clear that towards the end of the deliberations of the select committee I got the definite impression that virtually every single member of the NP serving on that committee was convinced in his own mind that the time has come to repeal section 16 of the Immorality Act and the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act, and that the only matter one could really look into further was to what extent this would affect other legislation. From the deliberations of the select committee and as a result of private discussions and comments from time to time I became convinced that every member of the NP on that select committee, let alone members on this side of the House and members of the NRP, were absolutely convinced of this, and that the only people who stuck to the point of view that they should be retained, were the members of the CP. However, the select committee came to the incredible conclusion that it should report to the House that it could take the issue no further and that it should hand the whole matter over—the thing it had worked on for months and in respect of which evidence had been heard from people who had spent their time and money to come and present their point of view—to members participating in the new dispensation for them to decide on it. To me this was a great disappointment. In a way it was letting down those people who had taken the trouble to appear before us to make their points of view clear. In fact, in my view it was a reflection on those witnesses. It made a mockery of the people who had taken the trouble to appear before the select committee. People flew down from all parts of the country, and spent their time and money in order to attend. The top organizational structure of virtually every single religious organization or church were there to give evidence. What happened subsequently was that we told these people that their evidence was of no avail and that we could not make up our minds. I want to say today that the people who appointed that select committee in the first place knew in August 1983 that a new dispensation was coming. Why did they use that as an excuse in August 1984 for not making up their minds and not coming forward with a sensible and conclusive report? It is very difficult not to come to the conclusion that that has to do with the spineless attitude that so often prevails in the corridors of Government and certainly in the decision-making process of the NP.

What must one make of the motion for the appointment of a new select committee? Is it merely in reaction to the private members’ motions that have been moved in the House of Representatives and the House of Delegates, or is it merely another reaction to pressure? I find it very difficult to fathom what the Government really intends with this motion, because the same hon Minister who originally moved the appointment of a select committee in 1983 is now, two years later, moving the same motion again. What on earth is going on? I cannot escape the conclusion that it is either a deliberate delaying tactic or, alternatively, that this new committee is going to be used as a kind of political laxative to help the Government get rid of some problems that are stuck in its system. I honestly do not believe that one can carry on in this way.

*We have now heard comments from the other side of the House. The hon member for Krugersdorp said that members of the PFP did not always understand the finer political nuances. Finer political nuances aside, I simply cannot see what else one can do, when one has come to a conclusion concerning a matter after an exhaustive study, than to adopt a standpoint and to proclaim that standpoint quite frankly. If the hon member’s respect for the finer political nuances means that one should allow oneself to be intimidated and guided by the most conservative, hopeless and undeveloped elements in the political organization represented in this House, then I want nothing to do with the finer political nuances. I am afraid that this is what is going on there, or, as the Leader of the Official Opposition says: “They follow the pace of the slowest marcher in the NP.” It would be interesting to conduct an opinion poll among members of that party and to ask them how they really feel about this legislation.


I shall tell you exactly how everyone feels.


I am convinced that the hon member will be able to do that. [Interjections.] The hon member for Innesdal made a speech in this House yesterday in which, I am afraid, he did not say anything. The hon member can make very interesting speeches. He was on the defensive today and he told us how thoroughly the Government was investigating this matter. How is it possible to investigate this matter more thoroughly, and for how many years do they want to go on giving attention to this matter?

†Yet the hon member has the audacity to say that we must give the members of the other Houses the opportunity to make the input, to tell us jointly how they feel about it. How many more times do they want to know this? When did the hon the Minister last have the embarrassing experience that he had in those Houses in reaction to the motions of those private members? I just want to tell that hon Minister that if he needs any more people, if he needs another representative in one of those two Houses to tell him what their feelings are about these Acts, then heaven knows he is hopeless and something is drastically wrong. I cannot accept that a reflection will be cast on these two Houses if they refuse to participate in a further ridiculous investigation into why or whether we should repeal these Acts.

Let us by all means look at the consequences this will have for other legislation. I personally foresee hardly any short-term consequences, but I certainly foresee longterm consequences in respect of the Group Areas Act for instance, things that may not come about immediately but will be possible in a few years’ time. It will not affect the Population Registration Act. The Population Registration Act deals with situations like these. It makes provision for the race classification of people born of mixed parentage, if not mixed marriages, and there is no need to do anything about it. The other night the hon the Minister appeared on television and said that even the Electoral Act must be looked at. Why does the hon the Minister say that?


Do you say that there is no need to look at any other legislation?


I say there is no need to do anything about the Electoral Act. The hon the Minister now wants to suggest that we need to look at the Electoral Act. The Electoral Act does not require a single amendment as a consequence of the repealing of these Acts. I shall be very happy if he does scrap the racial connotations in the Electoral Act, but the fact is that no compulsive amendment to the Electoral Act is required as a result of this.

Something else was mentioned by the hon the Minister in his interview on television. He said that one must look at the Constitution Act. That is interesting; maybe one should. However, no immediate consequences follow for the Constitution Act as I see it. We already have situations where Indians are married to Coloureds and where one partner votes for the one House and the other partner votes for the other House. These are problems that we pointed out when the Constitution Act was discussed originally, and the hon members on the other side pretended that they were of no consequence. I suggest that they remain consistent and admit that they are of no consequence now either. My clear impression is that that hon Minister is dragging his feet. He personally has grave difficulties in regard to the proposed repeal of these two Acts, and he is trying to resist it for as long as possible.

*It was a stalling operation if ever there was one. The hon the Minister mentioned legislation there which had absolutely nothing to do with the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act or section 16 of the Immorality Act. Absolutely no amendments to those laws would be required. I find it interesting that he has raised these matters. It almost seems to me that the hon the Minister is beginning to build up a case even at this stage for not proceeding with the abolition of this legislation.

When I look at the way in which these two Acts have been dealt with in the past, I ask myself quite frankly who is master in the NP. I hope this question will be answered in one way or another in the weeks to come. I sometimes get the impression that control of that party changes hands frequently. I hope that this time, those who are in favour of the repeal of this legislation will be in control for once. I have no hesitation in supporting the amendment moved by the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition to the effect that this country and the members of this House and of the other Houses should not waste any further time or money in discussing yet again a matter which has been discussed ad nauseam over the years.


Mr Speaker, I listened attentively to members of the opposition parties who spoke here, inter alia, the hon member for Umhlanga and the hon member for Green Point. While I was listening to them, I wondered whether, if we had done everything those parties suggested should be done and if we had implemented their policy over the years, we would have had the privilege to speak freely to one another in this House today, even on such a thorny issue. That we are able to do so today may be ascribed to the fact that there is order in our society in South Africa. It is an order between groups and an order between groups of colour. In the same way that, in a certain respect, the question we are discussing today aroused an emotion, it previously aroused a more violent emotion among other members of South Africa’s population, as we have also experienced. When these laws were passed, feelings were running high among the Whites. Today the Whites have calmed down and they have reached a point of perspective, whereas feelings are now running high among the other races as far as these laws are concerned. Now people are saying in a casual and in a certain sense irresponsible way that they should simply be abolished. But they are part of an entire order system which has implications on all sides.

I do not want to digress, but perhaps we should consider for a moment what happened on the Select Committee appointed by the previous Parliament. Let us consider for a moment the recommendations it made. I must say it was an enriching and rewarding experience to participate in it. Then I am astounded that hon members of the CP, as was clearly reflected in the speech of the hon member Mr Theunissen, did not experience that maturing and acquiring of understanding for the circumstances at all.


I am not a liberal like you.


Yes, call it that if you like. The fact remains that we talked with people whose standpoints differed from ours. I recall a speech made by one of the delegates who came to address that committee. It was a Black bishop from South West and his first words, when he introduced his delegation, were—and he said this with a smile—that it was one of the most memorable days of his life. It was not because of the case he had come to put there …


Was that the first time in history that that happened?


No, but listen carefully. It was not because he had come to talk about a thorny issue, but because we were prepared to talk to each other. He said that what resulted from the discussion was not as important as the fact that we were prepared to talk to each other. [Interjections.] This helped us to solve problems.

From an historical point of view what happened when these laws came into existence when feelings were running high in White politics? There was no order in South Africa. There was no order between Whites and non-Whites. Group areas and the Population Registration Act did not exist, not so? Since then, since 1948, order has systematically been introduced in this country, in which people are grouped together in groups where they live and where they go to school. Whereas we had no group areas at that stage, today we have 630 group areas for Coloureds, 320 for Indians, and over a thousand for Whites. Consequently there is now order in the community. The Opposition can criticize this, but it is because of this that we did not go the way of the rest of Africa. [Interjections.]

Today we are in the position that there is order in the community and the problem which existed at the beginning of 1950, namely these feelings that were running high among Whites, can be dealt with today, because of this order in the community. Do hon members recall that these laws were placed on the Statute Book not so much because of the Government’s decision, but because of the petitions sent to the Government by cultural organizations, the churches and responsible leaders in the community. It was on that account that those sections and that Act were promulgated. If hon members read reports which appeared in Die Burger in the ’fifties they will see how clergymen tried to justify this standpoint on Biblical grounds.

Now we could consider the evidence submitted to us by the committee. This evidence on the instituting of this enquiry has come from responsible people in the community.


Such as?


The church leaders of all the churches in this country and all the people who wanted to give evidence, as I mentioned—sociologists and historians—all of them.

Their finding was very interesting. They found, irrespective what their religion was, that they were all agreed that these two acts—particularly the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act—cannot be defended on Scriptural grounds. Not one of those people who gave evidence—people from all walks of life—said that these Acts could be defended in terms of the Bible, in spite of the fact that some of them were guided in their evidence. Consequently the evidence submitted to this committee was overwhelmingly in favour of the abolition of these laws. But some of them said that, for the sake of the maintaining the social order, this law should remain on the Statute Book.

Now we have a very interesting situation. Whereas the church was relied on in the past as far as these laws were concerned, the church now says that a political answer is needed and not an ecclesiastical answer. It is a cultural matter and the politicians must decide. Whereas the church initially took the lead in getting these laws passed, it is now disassociating itself from them, and is saying that the politicians must decide on them.

We now come to another point if we go back to this entire controversy regarding whether or not we should appoint a joint committee. This is the point at issue here, and as far as this is concerned there is a very important aspect which emerges. We have already had the opportunity to formulate our standpoint on the strength of the evidence given before us. The other groups who are also involved, and among whom feelings are running high regarding this matter, have not had that opportunity. They have experienced the consequences of these laws, but they are not aware of the method and the responsibility of rectifying it. There is, in fact, a procedure according to which this must take place. One cannot govern by decree and decide at a certain moment that the laws are not what they should be and then abolish them.




Yes, there is a procedure according to which things are changed in this country. Statutory amendments are proposed but their implications must first be investigated, not so? This is the procedure which is part of every parliamentary system, and it is also needed in this case.

But there is further point as far as this matter is concerned. People speak so easily of abolishing laws, but I do not think there is anyone in this House who, if he really thought about it, could say that he could readily justify this in his own mind.


Mr Chairman, may I ask the hon member a question?


I am sorry, Mr Chairman, but I am not prepared to reply to questions.

There is not a single member in this House who, if he were to ask himself this question, would not say that he does not need the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act or section 16 of the Immorality Act, and basically does not want it either. In fact, it is not because of the Act as such and the physical marriage between two people that the problem arises; it is the consequences of such a marriage which create the problem, not so? It is not the marriage between people of different colours which creates the problem. It is the consequences of such a marriage which create problems. Where are they going to live and where are their children going to attend school, for example. It is this standpoint we must discuss with other groups in the committee, because in the same way that the other groups have experienced the consequences of these Acts, the Whites also have a certain responsibility towards the voters we represent, because in many cases the voters are not always properly informed so that they can understand what is going on. There are those people who deliberately draw the attention of voters to the standpoints adopted in 1948, whereas they fail to inform them about the current situation and the necessity for the respective population groups to work together.


You can go ahead and abolish those laws straight away. [Interjections.]


It is easy to talk like that about the matter, but these laws could cause feelings to run high among the Whites again if they are not handled properly. I am not advocating drastic steps, but am merely suggesting that we discuss these laws in an orderly way in a committee in which the respective groups are represented, and in which we can state our standpoints. It must not be a case of our being forced to act in a haphazard way because people simply want it this way because of their political views, irrespective of the consequences. The National Party Government has never been that irresponsible. It investigates a matter properly. Nor is it afraid to deal with topical matters and this is after all a topical matter. We do not run away from the realities and the problems.

It is not easy to discuss this matter, but in my opinion there are a few questions the members of the CP should ask themselves because there are a few things I should like to know. Members of the CP regularly bring up the matter of these laws and intimate that they should not be abolished because we must maintain the Whites as Whites and the Afrikaners as Afrikaners. This is, after all, the standpoint of the CP.


It is Gerrit Viljoen’s standpoint. [Interjections.]


Let us consider certain circumstances for a moment. After that I should like members of the CP to reply to certain questions. If a person who is a product of a mixed marriage were to testify that he was opposed to immorality, if he were to tell the committee: Sir, my human dignity is being injured because in terms of a law on your Statute Book, I may not be here; I am an illegal person, a person who may not exist, what would the CP’s standpoint then be? Does that man have a point or not? Is his human dignity being injured by the law on the Statute Book or not? [Interjections.] Of course, his human dignity is being injured and one cannot get away from that even if one wants to. One will have to deal with this in some way or other.

Allow me to give another example. I am doing so rather reluctantly, because what I have to say is at the expense of my own constituency. In my constituency there is a magisterial district in which one third of the illegitimate children of Coloured women have White fathers. But the Coloured woman cannot sue the White father for maintenance, because then she will be prosecuted in terms of section 16 of the Immorality Act. Consequently the State must pay the maintenance. Who is that law protecting? It is protecting the White from his irresponsible deeds. He must be called to order. Can those hon members answer that question for me. In the same community there is a White man who has three children with his White wife, three children with Coloured woman number one and four children with Coloured woman number two. [Interjections.] He serves on the committee of the farmers’ association—the people elected him to this position—he serves on the church council and he belongs to certain cultural organizations. The people of the community put up with him for the sake of his White wife and children and are angry with the police and the Government because the law is not being enforced.

Where is the community sanction? If we want these laws, they have to be sanctioned by the community. The community must enforce them on people of its own free will. Let us take social steps against that person and isolate him in the community and say we want nothing to do with him as happens in other communities, not so. These are questions those hon members of the CP will have to answer. How are they going to deal with the matter? They cannot run away for ever and lock themselves in a compartment and say that they do not want to face up to the facts and the problems and discuss them.

I wanted to touch on a few other standpoints, but in conclusion I shall merely say the following. If we refer these laws to a select committee of this Parliament, then we shall take a representative sample from this group of White people who will hold discussions with a representative sample of Coloured and Indian MP’s who come from their communities and state their standpoint. The hon the Leader of the Official Opposition has said that we know what their standpoints are. This is true. We know what their standpoints are, but the question is whether they know what our standpoint is.


What is your standpoint?


My standpoint is quite clear. As far as the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act and the Immorality Act are concerned, I would be only too willing to abolish them if I could handle the consequences so that order would be maintained in South Africa. [Interjections.]


Mr Chairman, I listened to the hon member for Prieska, and now the hon the Minister for Mineral and Energy Affairs says it was a good speech. The hon the Minister is also one of the members of the NP who want to repeal the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act and the Immorality Act. He has already said so.

There is just one thing the hon member said that is quite important. He said that before 1948 there was disorderliness in South Africa. Then in 1948 the NP came into power, passed certain laws and took certain steps to create order out of the disorder that reigned before 1948. Now he wants to abolish the legislation that brought about order after 1948. I want to tell the hon member that there can be only one result, and that is that there will again be disorder in this country. [Interjections.] These are matters about which we shall argue again in the future. This is, however, what the hon member told us: The NP wants to abolish the legislation that the old NP established to bring about order in the South African community, so that we shall again have the conditions we had before 1948. However, I shall leave the hon member there for a while.

I want to return to the hon member for Innesdal who is not here at the moment. He has evidently first gone to have a newspaper interview or to talk to the SABC. It is surely the case that if an hon member takes part in a debate, he stays inside until the debate is over. Therefore I did not ask that the hon member be present.

The hon member for Cradock, however, is very uncomfortable and restless because he is one of the verkrampte members still sitting there. [Interjections.] That hon member does not care for these laws.


You do not know what you are talking about.


The hon the Deputy Minister says I am wrong. I am going back to Cradock. He must now tell me whether he is in favour of the abolition of this legislation.


Yes, of course.


Then he has done a somersault, because now he also stands for the abolition of these two Acts. I am very grateful to the hon member for telling me this now.

The hon member for Innesdal, who is not here now, told us that he is in favour of the abolition of these Acts. He has been advocating it for a long time now. It could not, however, have happened when I was in the NP. I do not remember hearing about a motion for the abolition of the Immorality Act or the Mixed Marriages Act, either in a study group or in a caucus.

I should very much like to ask other members, especially the hon member for Virginia—who is not here now either—what their opinions are. I should like to ask the hon member for Umhlatuzana whether he would also like to have the Acts abolished. [Interjections.] The hon the Deputy Minister, who is very close to the State President, says he wants them abolished. Does the hon member for Umhlatuzana want them abolished? [Interjections.] Now he is in trouble. [Interjections.] The hon member for Umhlatuzana and the hon member for Virginia, who are now walking in, serve on the committee. I think it is reasonable to ask the hon member for Virginia whether he supports the abolition of the Acts.


If I have the time we can discuss it. [Interjections.]


I would very much like to do it. I would also like to ask the hon member for Gezina whether he is in favour of the abolition of these two Acts.


[Inaudible.] [Interjections.]


Order! I appeal to the hon member for Rissik not to continue putting questions to members when, according to the rules of the House, they may not answer them now.


Mr Chairman, I shall abide by what you said, but these people are being saved by your ruling.


How do you save your leader?


The question I am now asking I shall want to ask every one of the NP members in his constituency. I now ask the hon member for Krugersdorp: On what grounds do the Coloured people sit in a separate Chamber in this Parliament? He must answer me. [Interjections.] On what grounds do the Coloured people sit in a separate Chamber in this Parliament? The hon member says they are part of the people, part of the nation, part of the civilization, part of the culture; they talk his language, belong to his church and so on. So then on what grounds do they sit here in Parliament in a separate Chamber? [Interjections.] It is because their skin colour is not the same as the hon member’s. That is the only reason. [Interjections.] That is the only reason. We have, in fact, said this before. Hon members on the Government’s side are a bunch of pigmentists. The National Party is a bunch of pigmentists, Mr Chairman! [Interjections.]

I want to put a further question to the hon member for Krugersdorp. If he is now going to tell the Whites in Harrismith and elsewhere that he will have separate schools for Whites, on what grounds is he going to have those separate schools? On what grounds does he want separate schools for Whites? What is his reason for not wanting the Coloureds or the Indians and the Blacks in White schools? On what grounds does he place Coloured children in separate schools? Why does he do this if they are in all respects the same as he is? Surely it is then only on the grounds of their skin colour. [Interjections.]

Mr Chairman, the discourse, the political debate over the decades between the liberal and the conservative Whites has been about this problem all along. The hon the Leader of the Official Opposition did, in fact, mention it last week. [Interjections.] The debate between us and them is still to be conducted; it will be conducted within a year or two. Then there will be only two political parties here—a conservative party and a liberal party. [Interjections.] There will be only two political parties here.




It is written in the stars. [Interjections.] Yes, it is written in the stars. [Interjections.] Then the day will dawn when we shall debate these matters with the real exponents of conservative and liberal thought in South Africa. The point around which the debate will revolve will be the question of how, on the one hand, to maintain and ensure one’s group identity, while on the other regarding as discrimination all measures aimed at separation as discrimination. That is the pivot round which the debate will revolve. It is also a question that the PFP must still answer. It is, however, a debate that will be taking place within a year or two.

Furthermore, I want to put it to the hon member for Krugersdorp that when one takes steps of whatever sort, aimed at separation in South Africa—as the hon member himself sometimes still does—and one does so by ruling out colour as a factor, the moral question of principle is inevitably broached, namely why the Coloured people in this Parliament are accommodated in a separate Chamber.


Are you defending section 16 in its present form?


No, we shall be coming to that later. The hon member, however, must first answer my question to him. [Interjections.] Why does he place the Coloured people here in Parliament in a separate Chamber? [Interjections.]

The hon member for False Bay earlier asked the hon member Mr Theunissen, by way of an interjection, whether he really needed these measures.


Yes, and I ask it again. Do you need those laws?


Well, now I want the hon member for False Bay to tell me whether the late Dr Malan needed these laws.


Do you need these laws, Daan?


I am asking the hon member for False Bay whether the late Dr Malan needed these laws. He must answer my question.


Yes, he must answer us. [Interjections.]


Order! No, I am not going to allow any dialogues across the floor of the House.


Mr Chairman, the hon member for False Bay asked, by way of an interjection, whether we needed those laws. I can tell him that I am prepared to be a citizen of this country, my fatherland, and to submit myself to all legal measures necessary for the continued existence of my nation and my people. [Interjections.]


Even if you are opposed to that legislation?


Laws are as old as Christianity itself. We also got the Ten Commandments from the Old Testament. One of those Ten Commandments states that one must not kill. Now in my argument I could also tell the dear Lord above that I did not need that law. I could say that I did not need a law that forbade me to kill because I did not want to kill anyone in any case. However, society, peoples, are to a certain extent endowed with a need to obey the law.


If you could kill legally, I would probably have been dead a long time ago. [Interjections.]


No, I notice that the hon the Minister of Law and Order is very uncomfortable about this matter.


Now why would I be uncomfortable?


Yes, he is very uncomfortable about these matters. [Interjections.] However, we shall argue about this again. One of the wonderful consequences of the split in the National Party is that we in South Africa can again debate the real principles between those who see some sense in the continued existence of a particular people and those who do not. That debate is, in fact, already taking place. Of course we are not going to debate the proposals of 1977 again now. It is claimed that we agreed with all the Government’s proposals and plans in 1977. I maintain, however, that the National Party is now moving so fast along the same road as the PFP that even the PFP cannot keep up any more; they simply cannot run that fast. [Interjections.] The hon member Prof Olivier— and I shall talk to him again later—was used by the National Party in a television programme last night in order to present, together with the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition, the Government’s policy in connection with Blacks in White areas. [Interjections.]

This new coalition government that we have today—just like the old National Party under Mr P W Botha—is playing whirligig games with the members of Parliament—including hon members of this House—and with Parliament as such. This Government does not really have the courage or the nerve to have this legislation deleted. It does not really have the courage or the nerve to have this legislation deleted. It does not have the courage or the nerve to do so of its own accord. It wants to change its principles—and has changed its principles—but it does not have the courage to go to the people or to tell us, as Opposition members, that it has changed its principles. It cannot honestly tell the public at large that it has changed its principles. That is why we get proposals such as this one to further delude the general public, to condition them to abdicate and to integrate.


Who are the people?


We pray here every day for the people; do you not know for whom we are praying? [Interjections.] Now we come to the method that the NP, under the leadership of Mr P W Botha, has followed over the past couple of years, namely one of “government by appointment”. Every now and again it appoints new Ministers and Deputy Ministers. It just appoints people, making some chaps happy and others unhappy. The other method is “government by commission”. If the NP does not have the answer to a problem it appoints a commission, or if it does not have the courage to change something, it also appoints a commission. It wants to abolish certain things but does not want to tell us directly that it wants to abolish anything. Nor does it have the courage to go to its congresses any more. It does not have the courage any more to tell its congresses that it wants these two particular Acts abolished, with all the consequences that will entail. The congresses, too, must be prepared in a particular way. [Interjections.]

What is happening now in South African society? Through this action on the part of the Government, doubt is being sown as to the moral correctness of the principles underlying separate development, a policy adhered to by the NP over the past 3 decades or more. However, they do not have the courage to abolish it directly. What they are, in fact, doing is developing a new generation of doubt about the moral values resulting from the laws on separate development. That is the method.

Because they feel that the bunch of irresponsible liberals they got to come and testify before the select committee were not enough, they now want to create another opportunity. They want to create another opportunity so that another whole bunch of old liberal theologians, academics and others can come and give evidence in favour of it. In taking such a step, the Government is succeeding once again in creating tension and conditioning people. The methodology is then to use the radio, the SABC and television as well in order to do this. Mr Freek Swart, the mouthpiece of Nasionale Pers and of Mr Piet Cillié—Mr Freek Swart, whom we see almost every night on television—is there to ask the necessary questions. He puts panels together selectively so that only certain people give evidence.


Then he is still “Ruiter” too; he also still rides on horseback. [Interjections.]


So the liberal witnesses are summoned, recourse is had to Prof Wimpie de Klerk’s scare-morgering, world opinion is dragged in—everything under the terminological banner of reform, with a sweeping reference to the dangers of communism, and subsequently such a variety of things that the poor voting public does not know whether it is coming or going any more, except when it comes to doubting everything the NP has done over the past decades. [Interjections.] This is the sort of confusion the Government causes. Afterwards the Government will go to the voting public, as they will be doing in Harrismith, and say: “This now is the unfolding of the policy of separate development.” [Interjections.] The people of Harrismith will then also be told, as will many others; “We stand squarely by Malan, by Strydom, by Verwoerd and by Vorster. We stand by Rev Kestell. That is where we stand.” This is the method being adopted. After almost three years of sitting on this side of the House, let me say that the method adopted by the NP are as obtrusive as an unwashed petticoat. [Interjections.] It is as obtrusive as an unwashed petticoat. It is becoming increasingly noticeable. [Interjections.] The moment of truth is at hand for the NP. The NP will have to choose either to join us on this side of the house or to join the PFP. What a tragic day for everyone who has known the history of the NP and has treasured it! Under the leadership of the NP one of the most fundamental of laws is simply in the process of being repealed.


Have you not placed your name on documents you have wanted to have nullified here?


We can debate that on some other occasion. I feel sorry for the hon the Minister of Law and Order. He is one of the men who still want to preserve. I want to point out to him that when Saul was travelling the road, his protests were the loudest, until he changed. I want to tell him that as far as I am concerned there is always a place for him on this side of the House. [Interjections.]

There is another reason, one the hon the Minister of Internal Affairs does not understand, and that is that the proposal embodies a contradiction. We know the terminology— we have surely known each other a long time now—and I know the hon the Minister’s style of doing things. He is very meticulous, but he is now one of the people in the NP on whom the responsibility rests of still preserving some aspects of the old NP. It is a difficult task the hon the Minister has. I have a lot of sympathy with him in this role he has to play.

What should the hon the Minister do? The hon member for Innesdal and a whole string of other hon members say that the Acts should be repealed; we do not need them. Dr Malan needed them; this bunch of present-day Nats say they no longer need those Acts. The hon the Minister must now repeal the Acts, but all the same he wants to give certain assurances to the conservatives in the NP. After all, they did tell the public there would be separate residential areas, separate primary and secondary schools, separate voters’ rolls, and separate Chambers. This they did, after all, promise the voting public.

The hon the Minister knows, however, that what they promised is an impossibility. One cannot abolish these two Acts unless one also abolishes the other things, and then I ask the Government: How are you going to maintain separate residential areas and separate primary and secondary schools unless the hon the Minister says: Well, let us abolish these two Acts and, especially as far as the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act is concerned, let us say that if a Coloured, Black or Indian person marries a White person, the White person goes and stays with the marriage partner who is Coloured, Black or Indian. That is the only way it can be done. The hon the Minister is therefore telling the Whites: Let them marry …


Rather serve on the committee, and then you can have this discussion there.


The hon the Minister now wants a select committee to investigate this matter. I always thought that we in the NP could grasp what we believed in. So why a committee?

What I have sketched here is the only way in which the hon the Minister wants to do things. What I am saying is that morally he would then no longer be able to justify his position to the Coloureds, the Indians and the Blacks. That is where the question of impossibility comes in. The hon the Minister gives an instruction that the two Acts must be deleted, but on certain conditions. His terms of reference to the select committee are: Chop off a man’s head, but make sure he lives!

The hon the Minister must remember that one cannot sit on the fence; one must eventually decide. The hon the Minister will eventually have to make a choice: Either the PFP or the CP, because these are the only two points of view in South Africa.

This is what I should like to ask the hon the Minister: If he wants to strip the NP of all its principles by doing all this, why does he not take the NP’s programme of principles, appoint a select committee of the Labour Party and the Progressive Federal Party and tell them: There is the NP’s programme of principles. Investigate it for us. [Interjections.] Yes, this is the best plan; why does the NP not accept this?

I do not know who it was who said: Rather a horrible end than the endlessly horrible. This is what the NP stands for: The endlessly horrible, and slowly they are dying, in spite of the large numbers still sitting here.

The hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning said the other day, referring to Dr Malan and Dr Verwoerd, among others, that we must not allow the dead to govern us. I in turn want to say that today a dead person governs the NP—the late Mr Jan Hofmeyr. [Interjections.] The CP does not support what the Minister is doing. We will not be a part of the gradual process by which the hon the Minister wants to condition the people to abdicate. Eventually we shall put forward our point of view and present it to the public. The hon the Minister must no longer allow himself to be used by people who do not like him at all. Yes, he can frown and screw up his face, but it is so. The hon the Minister must no longer allow himself to be used by the liberal Keerom Street clique. After all, the hon the Minister is at least a Transvaler and comes from a good family. [Interjections.] I want to tell the hon the Minister that if he wants to make a choice, it is not all that difficult to leave the NP with those liberal principles.

On this side of the House one has history on one’s side, the principles of one’s people, which have brought them this far and kept them here. It is the finest of ideals to do battle for one’s own people in one’s own fatherland, and to allow all other peoples to do the same. It is the finest task one can perform.


Mr Speaker, the hon member for Rissik has put some very pertinent questions to the Government. I think what is at stake here today, and probably at stake in this session and in the next few years in South Africa, is whether the NP will have the courage of its convictions to continue consistently with what it has begun. That is what it is all about. The question is whether this Government will continue along the painful road of reformation or not. The road is painful for this Government, because they have put up so many roadblocks over so many decades. Now they have to start tearing them down one after the other. Part of the pain is of their own making, but we do not want to dwell on the past. Part of the pain is because they have now brought this particular motion to this House.

If they had said that these two Acts were to be repealed, and that a further committee was to be set up to examine related legislation in order to be consistent, they would have had the full support of this side of the House. They will never have the support of the CP, and the sooner they discover this for themselves, the better.

The questions that the CP has put to the NP are very painful, because they are speaking in the language of 1949. The CP is the NP of 1949, and they are using the exact language of 1949. If one goes back to the debates of that time, one hears the exact language and sees the same attitude.


It is 1982 as well.


It may well be 1982, but this is a very serious matter. The CP is speaking in the language which was used in the formative years of the NP when they came to power. This party has now moved, and this becomes quite clear when one listens to the speeches from that side of the House today. The times have changed, and there has been a willingness to accept this. The hon member for Prieska was actually speaking for the amendment, no doubt about it. He was speaking in a very tortured and honest way. He was actually supporting the amendment of the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition.

The same applied to the hon members for Krugersdorp and Innesdal. As one listened to them, one felt a deep sympathy for them, sympathy because they have been put in the front line. They have been told to support this and to show their true colours because people are beginning to wonder where they stand. They had the courage again today really and in actual fact to support the amendment.

We have not heard one voice from that side of the House which has justified the logic of this particular motion—that once again we have to inquire into the desirability of repealing these obnoxious laws. We have not heard that, so why move it then? Are we going to have to wait until the Minister stands up? Is he the real “struikelblok”? Is he the real problem? If so, what kind of support does he have? He has certainly not been supported by his own members today. They have, in effect, said that they want these things to be scrapped, but that we have to do it slowly. We have to hear all the evidence again. We even have to bring the bishop from South West Africa all over again so that he can say: What a joyful day this is; we have talked again. No action, but we have talked. What on earth do the people who gave evidence go back and say? Month after month people ask them whether they did not give evidence before the select committee. Then they have to say: Yes, we got a good hearing. It was marvellous to have the opportunity to talk. What a tortuous argument the hon member for Krugersdorp put forward! The Labour Party gave evidence and said: Scrap these laws! Now he wants them to come again, to sit on the select committee and to say all over again: Scrap these laws!


He wants to be certain. [Interjections.]


Yes. He wants to change their seating arrangements on the committee so that they can say exactly the same thing. Only last week they said it again as members of Parliament to the hon the Minister. He was in total disarray and confusion. [Interjections.] No, I was not there. I do not know who was there … [Interjections.] The hon the Minister of Home Affairs got the hiding of his life there. Let us accept that the hon the Minister, in his own opinion, was much better than was reflected in the Press. Let us accept that for the moment. What did they say to the hon the Minister concerning these two laws? Did they say that they did not want them, that they do not need a committee? Did they not say that? Why on earth is the Government then dragging its feet?


Some of them did.


The hon the Minister says some of them did. He must name one of them who did.


I will have a chance to speak.


Quite clearly his speech will be very short because he cannot argue.

I want to return to the CP. When the hon member Mr Theunissen addressed the House, it was like listening to a voice from the Dark Ages. Here we have a member of the House telling us, in so many words, that he or the people he represents need a law on the Statute Book to protect, I assume, the White man so that he will not commit adultery or immorality with Coloured, Black or Indian, and vice versa. Does he really need that law?


Yes, for people like you and others.


I think one should just ignore a comment like that, and treat it with the contempt it deserves. I want to ask that hon member what happened for three hundred years before 1949, before there was such a law on the Statute Book? [Interjections.] There is no answer to that. It is pure blind prejudice, and the only argument is that the NP is inconsistent, because if they want to scrap this they should scrap the whole not only of klein apartheid but of grand apartheid as well. In that respect the CP’s accusation is correct, and I hope this Government will do just that. To imagine that one can have this kind of protection when one looks at the complexion of South Africans, is something which defies reason, because it must then be obvious that it is totally impossible to turn the clock back. One can listen to the names and meet people who are classified White, but one can easily be fooled when one looks at some of them. It is impossible to have the blood purity to which the hon member has referred. The scientists and the doctors and everybody else who appeared before us said that it was impossible to try to do this. It does not happen. We can see it all around us, if you know what I mean. [Interjections.]

I want to tell the hon member for Prieska that he made one important point. He said that these laws were part of a system, a whole order. He is correct, and that is why we would support a select committee which would look at all the laws on the Statute Book which discriminate on the grounds of race. The hon the Minister has acknowledged that these laws are discriminatory, and he knows that they must go. Why must we go through all the agony? Why must we waste any more time? How many more people must suffer? How many more policemen must turn a blind eye? How many more times must the church say that the State must not interfere with its own laws? Who gives this Government the right to tell the church that it may marry so and so, but it may not marry someone else? This is an act that is chosen by the church and is given to the church by God, but this State takes hold of it and usurps the very rights of the church. For how much longer are they going to do that? Even the Cape Western District of the Dutch Reformed Church has already decided that these laws have to go. Must we wait until 1986 for the Dutch Reformed Church to meet as a whole and to make that decision, as they undoubtedly will?

I want to forecast that this year or next year, sooner or later, these laws are going to go, and that hon Minister knows it. [Interjections.]


Are you a prophet?


No, I do not have to prophesy. That has been told us by the hon members who have spoken on that side of the House. [Interjections.] It is clear that these laws are going to go. Why do they not do it cleanly? Why delay it? Why go through all this agony? Why play into the hands of the right wing of South Africa? Why not take courage and do the right thing? They know they will have to face up to it sooner or later. Let us by all means have a select committee, but let us decide now to accept the amendment of the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition so that we can show real progress. The Labour Party, the House of Representatives, the House of Delegates, the Official Opposition in this House and the overwhelming majority of members on that side of the House all want these laws to go. Who is holding us up? Who is in charge of this Government that time and time again we come to the very brink and then we move away again?

Let us go the whole way now for the sake of South Africa which we embarrass every time this debate is reported, because again and again in the eyes of the world the Government says we shall continue with these laws and we shall appoint yet another commission. I appeal to the hon the Minister, even at this late stage, to accept the amendment. Let us scrap these laws, let us deal a real blow for reform and let us get on with knocking the others down. [Interjections.]


Mr Speaker, this debate is a serious debate and in that light the hon member for Pinelands has made no real contribution. I should like to refer to the amendment moved by the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition, but first I just want to make a few remarks about the contributions made to the debate by the hon members of the CP.

The hon member Mr L M Theunissen referred derogatorily to the House of Representatives and the House of Delegates as being partners of the NP.


Is that derogatory?


No derisive remarks of that kind can make any difference to the facts and the realities of the situation we have today. According to legislation passed by the predecessor of this House, those two Houses today form an integral and complete part of the Parliament of the RSA. No derisive remarks can make any difference to that. As long as the Constitution we have today remains standing, it will be a fact and we shall have to take that into consideration.

In addition, the hon member Mr Theunissen said that the representatives of the two other Houses in the joint committee would not be “bothered” with questions of the nature of those submitted by the hon the Minister for discussion. I certainly do not think it fair towards the members of the other Houses who are going to serve on the committee, to make such a remark. We must assume that those hon members will go there with the right attitude and with a realization of their responsibility. Responsibility entails obligations and that will also be applicable to those hon members. We must assume that they will take part in debates on that committee and help to take decisions in the spirit of the responsibility which they are bearing at the moment.

In connection with the standpoint of the hon member for Umhlanga and his party— he is not here at present—I merely want to say that his approach to this matter is a very simplistic one. He maintains that we are now making heavy weather of a matter which is very simple. He wants us to think in terms of a very easy and very simple answer. According to him the hon member for Innesdal, if he is going to be the chairman of the committee, should simply put the matter to the vote and that will be the end of it. I want to tell the hon member that as long as the responsible government which we have today, is in charge of matters in this Parliament, no farce, like the one he is suggesting, will be made of a forum.

I want to come to the amendment moved by the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition. I cannot believe that he is in earnest with his motion. I want to say that it attests to irresponsibility—I am tempted to say typical irresponsibility—to come with the approach of “decide first and think afterwards”. It is not a formula which a responsible government, nor this Government, would adopt. This Government does not take decisions before it has satisfied itself as to the results and all the implications and has justified these to itself. If this House passes this amendment of the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition, it will truly make a farce of the whole procedure. What is he asking? He is asking us to examine, just for ourselves, the results of the abolition of these laws. That would only result in a sterile debate, a debate in a vacuum, and it would lead to absolutely nothing. It is just a waste of time. What the Opposition and the world must understand, is that this Government and the previous Government have placed the question of the possible repeal of these two measures on the political agenda of South Africa. It is on the agenda and it is not there with frivolous intentions. It is meant seriously and honestly. The Government has not adopted a standpoint on the matter in advance. The matter is being investigated and the Government will let itself be guided by the recommendations of the instruments which it appointed to investigate the matter.

One can see it in the following way: The hon the Leader of the Official Opposition wants to have the consequences investigated and so do we but two ways of doing this are being suggested. The hon the Leader of the Official Opposition wants to do so in an irresponsible way, in a way which will lead nowhere, whereas the Government and this party adopt the standpoint that we must do so in a way which could lead to truly meaningful results. It would be irresponsible, for example, to institute a long investigation now and then say: Look, we find that these are the results of the abolition of these laws. Where would we be then? Then we shall still have no answer concerning the principle of abolition. One cannot simply accept something as an answer, because it is not going to be a simple answer. The consequences of the abolition of those two Bills are not going to be simple. Therefore it would be a highly irresponsible and also a futile and useless exercise to adopt the method suggested by the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition.

The important fact of the whole matter is that one cannot take the decision to abolish these laws, as the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition is suggesting, while leaving other matters up in the air. Therefore it is imperative—and this has been the standpoint of the Select Committee so far—that these things go together. That is the standpoint of the Government and that is how the terms of reference of the committee were formulated: The committee must investigate and consider the matter in an orderly manner, and then submit an answer which attests to their having deliberated on and properly justified to themselves all the factors involved in the matter.

We must realize, and here I include the Official Opposition and the NRP—that the Government has not led us into a new dispensation without provisos. Very definite provisos were stated during the referendum when it was decided to enter into this new dispensation. A proviso which is especially important, and which was very heavily emphasized by our previous hon Prime Minister—now our State President—was that there should be no destabilization in the change-over process to the new dispensation. If we want destabilization, we must take the steps suggested by the hon members of the opposition parties.

That is the heart of the matter: We must go forward with responsibility. We shall have certain advantages if we can consider the matter together with the other two Houses of Parliament. It is possible that they can consider and discuss the matter with us impartially, and we can get their inputs there. There are serious questions to which attention must be given, for example, the question of the Group Areas and other related Acts, in regard to which we shall have to make recommendations to the Government on the way they are to be dealt with. I think we must accept that the representatives of the other Houses will be able to make a useful contribution in that connection and will act with responsibility in respect of the answers we must get to those questions.

I think it is clear that, together with the decisions and answers we are going to try to give, and the recommendations we can make, we must make sure that the foundation upon which this constitutional dispensation has been built, is not disturbed. That is the proviso to the hon the Minister’s terms of reference, and it is right and necessary that the recommendation we are going to make will take that proviso into account. I gladly support the motion.


Mr Speaker, one can agree with one of the statements the hon member for Sundays River made: It is not a simple matter to say: Abolish these laws. We shall agree with them in that respect. This matter, however, was already discussed in the Select Committee when the evidence was evaluated at the end of the committee’s proceedings. Therefore it is very clear that we had already adopted a standpoint before we took part in the proceedings of the committee, and we adopted that standpoint on the basis of the assurance that the hon the Minister had given us that no party would be compromised in respect of its basic point of view. We stated our point of view in advance; we stated it in public and also on that committee. During the evaluation of the evidence of the people who submitted memoranda and gave evidence, it was, however, very clear that the NP did not have consensus in its own ranks. Whether they have now reached consensus I do not know. At that time, however, they did not have it, and I have an idea that they do not have consensus yet and that they are hiding behind a select committee of the multiracial Parliament to give them a decisive answer to this question.

In the second place the matter dragged on for five years before it was said: We are now taking notice of the church’s standpoint in connection with bonus bonds. How long did they wait before they now wish to hide behind the church’s evidence again in order to act in connection with these two laws? I shall come to the church’s evidence in a moment. [Interjections.] It is not all that simple, and in that respect I agree with the hon member. He reproaches us when we speak of the NP as partners of the other two Houses, but what is wrong with that? After all, they have members of those two Houses in the Cabinet. In fact, it is a coalition Cabinet. The partnership is of such a nature that it is a coalition government.

The hon member for Krugersdorp was a little worried about the fact that we had intimated that we did not want to be known as boycotters, but what is wrong with that? That is not all we said either. In connection with all the activities of Parliament under the new dispensation, we said that we would take part in the functions of Parliament. The functions of Parliament also include select and standing committees, and we shall participate in them from the viewpoint of the principles of the CP. We feel we have a liability and a responsibility to make a plea and a contribution concerning the preservation of the rights and the freedom of those people who elected us to the House of Assembly, and they are the Whites. We shall make that contribution. We shall differ in respect of certain standpoints and we shall indicate in what way we differ.

The hon member for Prieska used the word “maturing”. Certain people have matured with regard to integration and to mixing between White and non-White, but have the Afrikaner people matured to such an extent that they want to accept integration? I maintain that they have not. There are certain theologians who support the liberalistic school of thought and who have achieved victories in certain circles, but who, in my opinion, have not yet become spokesmen of the Dutch Reformed Church as a whole or of the “Hervormde” or of the “Gereformeerde” Churches. [Interjections.] We have not matured sufficiently for the abolition of the Group Areas Act. That party’s supporters have not matured sufficiently for the abolition of separate schools, the population register or of separate voters’ rolls or separate representation.

The hon member tried to emphasize his point of view by asserting that there was no Biblical evidence for the retention of these laws. I think that, as a professor in Stellenbosch said, is putting it a little too “boud en stout”—a little too boldly. I think it was put a little too boldly, and in a moment I shall quote evidence from the report in that connection. [Interjections.] The hon member can accept responsibility himself for what he has just said.

The hon member for Pinelands said that the CP was the NP of 1949. It is the party of 1949, which identified Whites and distinguished them from other groups. It is the party which said that there was a White community which laid claim to its own political rights and its own political structures. In that respect we are taking the course of 1949. The CP does not, however, stand motionless at 1949, as the hon member was trying to imply. He was trying to imply that we are dealing here with a rigid party. I want to tell him that in certain respects the CP is, in the best sense of the word, more advanced—in order not to use the word “progressive”—than members of the NP. [Interjections.]

We do not want to degrade the Coloureds to a little minority group in a multiracial Parliament. We do not want to try to keep them in a minority position with a ratio of 4:2:1. The course we want to proceed with is to make people, who in 1949 were not recognized as a people, but as a group, independent. In the seventies, however, under Mr Vorster, they were recognized as a people, and now again they are suddenly not a people. The CP regards the Coloureds as a people with a right of their own to political structures, a government of their own and a homeland of their own. It was not 1949’s language, but 1985’s language and the language for the year 1990 and the year 2000!

The hon member for Pinelands asked me what the position was before the Act came into operation, as if there was no reason for the laws. The hon member will know that in the forties there was a report on this matter. In Ds Lombard’s book, one reads that:

In die nege jaar van 1936 tot 1944 is 851 gemengde huwelike in Suid-Afrika bevestig en in dieselfde tydperk is 2 457 kinders uit die huwelike gebore.

The church and its pastorate were faced with the problems which ensued from this situation. This resulted in churchmen spearheading the representations to submit legislation in order to correct the situation and to act protectively with regard to the communities who were affected by this situation of races mixing.

The hon member for Innesdal said that we must keep emotion out of the matter. Sir, one cannot keep emotion out of this. Emotion is part of the reality of relations politics in South Africa. If he says, however, that emotion must be kept out of this, I think the hon the Minister will be able to tell him about the emotion which he had to deal with on another occasion when, according to reports, he was “roasted”.

Today I want to tell the hon the Minister of Home Affairs and of National Education across the floor of the House, that I appreciate the efforts he is making to try to salvage what can be salvaged in favour of the own rights of his people and the rights of other communities in this country. Despite the appreciation I have for him—and I watched his television appearance on Friday night in which his plea to us was that we consider these things calmly—my request to him is that we consider all the implications. Let us consider what the implications are for the diversity of ethnic groups, racial groups and communities in South Africa.

I want to tell him that he will not succeed within that Party. He will not succeed with the division that exists in his party. There is a division in that party. On the one hand that hon Minister adheres to standpoints which we in this party applaud, because we support them, but we tell him that he will not achieve his ideal of being able to afford those different communities protection in a power-sharing dispensation in which he must go down on his knees to two other Houses to get them to agree with him so that he can achieve that ideal for his own people. He will not achieve it in that manner.

Speaking of emotion, what emotion do hon members think is generated in people when they hear the following? According to a report in Beeld of 12 December 1984, the hon the Minister of Co-operation and Development and of Education said:

Geen Afrikaner wat kennis dra van die feite kan ontken dat hy gemengde bloed in sy are het nie.

[Interjections.] I do not know whether the hon the Minister said that. If he said it, I think it is a very unfortunate remark, because it means that he is telling his Transvaal Leader, the State President and all his colleagues that they have mixed blood in their veins. [Interjections.] What emotion is he stirring up in that way?

I now want to come to the Select Committee. It is true that there are deep-rooted differences in this country in respect of these two Acts. There are differences within the same political party, the NP. I am not looking for support from within that party.

If, however, I can make a plea for the sake of my own national community, I address the plea to the conservative members in the NP. I want to make an appeal to them: Since they are going to take part in the Select Committee which can gather more information, and since they are going to consider the implications of the repeal of the Acts, they must not leave this community to which they belong, in the lurch. This community appointed them under a certain policy which they have described as still being separate development.

We know that there are differences amongst the churches. We know that there was a preponderance of English-language churches which gave evidence before this Select Committee. Not all that evidence is watertight, however, I shall not let all that evidence impress me. If the leader of a church, with a great number of members, tells the committee that the State has nothing to do with the contracting of a marriage, but that it is a matter for the church and that for 2 000 years the church has been claiming that it determines who may marry whom, I say respectfully that I cannot accept that theologian’s point of view. It is, however, part of the preponderance of evidence on which the hon members on the opposite side rely.

There was other evidence. I am referring now to the evidence of the member of the “Gereformeerde Kerk”. He is on record as someone who pleaded that the laws should be abolished. He said that that was the point of view of his Church. I want to refer to questions that we put to the visitor and to the replies given by the esteemed minister. I shall quote only one question and reply. I put the following question to him:

Is daar op Bybelse gronde ’n saak uit te maak vir ’n afsonderlike volksbestaan en die stappe om daardie volksbestaan te verseker?

His reply was:

Ek sou sê ja.

The hon members said that there were no theological counter-arguments. [Interjections.] Of course that is not all the evidence, but I am speaking of a relevant finding. I would appreciate it if the hon member for Innesdal would listen to this. I also asked the Minister:

Sou u sè dat ’n volksgemeenskap soos ons s’n waarvan die individue hier gevestig is, geregtig sou wees om binne die terrein wat hulle as volk beset, sekere stappe, ook wetlike stappe, te doen om sy bestaan binne daardie ruimte soos dit histories tot stand gekom het, te beskerm?

And the reply was:

Ja, mits daardie wette die toets van geregtigheid en nie-diskriminasie, ens, kan deurstaan.

[Interjections.] In principle he said: “Ja, dit is ’n reg van ’n volk om sulke maatreëls te tref”. [Interjections.] Of course there are certain conditions. If one makes a condition, however, surely it does not mean that one is annihilating the first part of one’s statement. [Interjections.]

Much has been made of the evidence of a person like Prof F J M Potgieter. He apparently said that one could not forbid individual A from marrying individual B. With this statement as basis, he built up the argument that therefore these two laws are not theologically founded. I personally put questions to the esteemed professor. For example, I asked:

Kan ek aanneem dat u stelling dat individu A nie verbied moet word om met individu B te trou nie, in u verdere stelling so gekwalifiseer word dat mens eintlik nooit individu A of individu B as ’n abstraksie het nie?

He said:

Ja, dit is reg. Hy is deel van ’n gemeenskap.

I said:

Hy is deel van ’n gemeenskap. Wanneer dit kom by die etniese verskeidenheid, is ek reg as ek sè dat daar dan op so ’n gemeenskap die verantwoordelikheid rus om dié identiteit te beskerm?

His answer was:

Ja, en u is die mense wat die verantwoordelikheid dra. Dit is my standpunt.

In other words, as soon as one says that there is no theological proof or no Biblical foundation for the conduct of an authority in the interests of the specific community which has elected it to office, I say that such a statement is not founded. I can go further and quote even more questions and answers which were put on that committee. [Interjections.]

I wonder which theologian is talking there. I challenge any of those ex-theologians to a public debate on any platform of their choice. [Interjections.] I challenge the hon member for Potgietersrust to hold a meeting with me in Potgietersrust and to make a speech. [Interjections.]




Ecclesiastical evidence has been mentioned here. What is the ecclesiastical evidence which comes from South West Africa for example? After all, it is in South West Africa that the experiment is being carried out. The moderator of the DR-Synod of South West Africa revealed in Die Kerkbode that since the relaxation of those laws, the moral situation in South West Africa has deteriorated visibly and an hon member of the Official Opposition confirmed the matter of the situation in South West Africa when our Committee sat.

Did we not take note of the survey carried out by the HSRC concerning this matter? Hon members are trying to imply here that it is simply a country-wide movement saying: “Abolish them! The things are absurd!” [Interjections.] That HSRC survey brought a few interesting things to light: One was that, concerning the Mixed Marriages Act and the Immorality Act, 79% of Afrikaans-speaking people in the one case and 81% in the other case, declared themselves to be in favour of the retention of those laws. As far as English-speaking people were concerned—I am now quoting from memory—41% voted positively for the retention of the laws, whereas those who were in favour of their abolition, constituted a considerably smaller percentage. Quite a large percentage fell between these two figures.

It is very interesting to note that amongst the Coloureds and Indians fewer than 50% said: “Abolish them”. Those who said positively: “Retain them”, were approximately 25%, that is a quarter of those who were questioned. [Interjections.]

The Select Committee has already started discussing alternatives and implications if the laws should be abolished. For example, one question put was: “What are you then going to do with the group areas?” A number of alternatives were submitted: Firstly, in the case of a mixed marriage, the wife must choose the domicilium of the husband. This means that non-White wives can live with their White husbands in a White residential area. Not all the members of the PFP applauded this possibility. The hon member for Pinelands thinks differently on the matter. Will he argue if I say that it is his standpoint that we should develop grey areas where the “Progs” who so badly want to mix, can live?—Let them put their money where there mouths are. [Interjections.]

A further possibility was also mentioned. The hon member for Mossel Bay can stand up now and tell us what his point of view concerning the matter is. The other possibility was that all mixed marriages, with children born of such marriages, should be shifted off to the Coloured communities. Then already we began to think about these things. Members of the NP also began to realize that, as the hon member for Sundays River said, the matter is not all that simple. In a joke we asked the hon member for Pinelands whether that grey area in which everyone could go and live, would be an own or a general affair, or where it would fall under Parliament? [Interjections.]

We also said that if it were one’s standpoint that all mixed couples and their children should be shifted off to the Coloured community, one should ask oneself whether that was in fact what one wanted to do with those people. I was still an NP back-bencher when I asked Mr Japie Basson whether that would mean in practice that the fruits of immorality and mixed marriages would all find a dumping ground in the Coloured community. Is that what we wanted to do with that community? I do not think there is an hon member on that side of the House who will deny that the Coloureds have developed their own community consciousness, and that the Coloureds flatly refuse to become the dumping ground of immorality and mixed marriages in South Africa. [Interjections.]

I do not have to be a spokesman for them, but I do speak up for the Coloureds as a community being given the right to decide what they want to do in this connection and that the White community also has the right to decide what they want to do in that regard. Therefore, if the Whites have the right to say: “We want to be governed by our own people”, the Coloureds should be granted the same right to be able to decide who will govern them.

I want to make the statement that there are people who say that the State may not intervene in the marital choice of two people. How can one say a thing like that? The State intervenes in any case. It does not allow a brother and sister to marry each other. Incest between father and child is not allowed. In principle one cannot therefore say that the State may not intervene where two people love each other and want to marry each other.

I want to make the additional statement that there is no absolute right of two individuals to contract a free marriage, because those two individuals are members of communities that lay claim to political rights, as well as to protection against degeneration and against a change of identity. We uphold that right. The State has a duty to impose certain restraints on the ground of public or community interests. [Interjections.]

One can make that remark only if one is a blueprint liberalist and individualist. That hon member, however, is part of a community, and he will come to the community for protection very quickly if his individual rights are placed in jeopardy. The restrictions are determined by a specific community’s order, requirements and traditions.

Our present state structure in the new dispensation is founded on the distinction and racial classification between Whites, Coloureds and Indians. If one places that structure in jeopardy and undermines it, the foundation upon which this structure is based will fall away. Impairment of the distinction deprives the constitution of its foundation. Population registration would become arbitrary, and so too would separate schools and residential areas.

The claim of the Whites to self-determination and the right to be an own group, will be pulled out from under their feet. They will be robbed of it. This party says that we stand for the retention of those laws.


Mr Speaker, the hon member for Waterberg was the only member of the CP who made any attempt at all to base his party’s standpoint on some kind of principle. As usual, however, the hon leader of the CP skirted around the essence of the matter.


Make sure you talk about the essence of the matter.


I shall get round to it. I should very much like to quote a statement of principle to the hon Leader of the CP from a document and I want to ask him whether he agrees with it. I quote as follows:

Dit moet benadruk word, dat hoewel ’n volk daarop geregtig is om sy identiteit deur wetgewing en andersins te beskerm, hy dit nie ten koste van die vryheid en voortbestaan van ander mag doen nie. Wette soos die Groepsgebiedewet, die Bevolkingsregistrasiewet en die wette teen bloedmenging is moreel gegrond slegs as tydelike oorgangsmaatreëls.

Does the hon member agree with this statement?


I can agree with it to a large extent, but I can debate it.


I hope that the hon member agrees, because I am quoting from a document distributed by the Afrikanervolkswag. I received it at my home in Pretoria.

The hon member says that he agrees. In all fairness, I want to tell the Afrikanervolkswag that their standpoint is that until we have carried partition much further, it is not yet time to consider repeal. If the hon member agrees with this statement, surely it means that he agrees that racially mixed marriages are not a matter of principle. Then he agrees that it is a practical measure to serve specific aims and that when a racially mixed marriage takes place it is neither sinful nor in conflict with public morality. Then he puts forward the standpoint, and I should like to ask him whether it is the standpoint of his party, that this kind of legislation is advisable for practical reasons. Does this party adopt the standpoint that such a marriage is per se wrong?


We say that it is the right of a people to adopt measures to protect its identity.


Do you now see, Mr Speaker, why I say the hon member skirts the issue? In three replies he has said three things. He said that he could agree with the Afrikaner Volkswag’s standpoint that it is not morally justifiable to have this kind of legislation permanently on the Statute Book. When I cornered him on that he said it was wrong per se.

Why do we have specific Acts in the Statute Book? This question is central to the matter and one which we should all consider. Periodically those Acts should be examined to see whether they still serve the purpose for which they were introduced and whether they are still necessary. The standpoint adopted by this side of the House is very clear: During the course of our development we required certain laws to ensure that each group and each people came into its own and developed an ability to maintain its independence, to remain intact and to ensure its own security. Over the years a pattern has been established which has also found expression in this new dispensation, a pattern that does indeed offer that security. As a result of certain developments which have taken place, certain measures which were regarded as necessary at certain stages in our history, have now become unnecessary.

The NP is not alone in maintaining that certain matters have to be reconsidered. Let us discuss the matter before us. Surely the standpoint adopted by the Church in this regard has changed. Although there are uncertainties, to which the hon member referred, and although there may be conflicting standpoints within the same churches, the Church was unanimous in its decision on this matter in the past. DRC Synods are at present adopting standpoints which are completely opposite to those adopted by them in the past. The “Gereformeerde” Church Synod has also expressed a completely different viewpoint to the one previously held by them because these matters are now being considered in a completely different milieu as a result of the developments that have taken place. It is quite unwise, ill-considered and unscientific to persist in clinging to decisions taken under specific circumstances that existed 20 or 30 years ago and to maintain that they are valid for all time. A premise such as this is also not in the best interests of South Africa.

The NP stands unwaveringly by one basic idea and that is that we must recognize the diversity of the peoples and groups in this country. This is a reality and we must give each one of them the opportunity to maintain its security and to attain its aspirations within the framework of a separate community life, separate schools, separate living areas and separate political power bases. Among all these social bonds based on the existence of groups, there must, however, be constructive co-operation, because we are also bound to each other by a myriad common interests, which give us a common destiny in which it is necessary to seek co-operation with each other. The CP only makes provision for one facet of the reality of South Africa. It does not make provision for co-operation and for extending constructive co-operation. We cannot build constructive co-operation on humiliating and insulting discrimination. That is why the NP draws a distinction between what it calls vertical differentiation on the one hand, and humiliating and insulting discrimination on the other. [Interjections.]

I should like to ask the hon member for Waterberg whether it is not an insult to population groups, that this law—as seen only from the hon member’s view—only draws a distinction between Whites and non-Whites; that it lumps together all the non-White groups in one cadre and that it does not offer protection between the other population groups. [Interjections.]


Does the hon Minister want me to answer him?


I say it is insulting. The hon member can simply say “yes” or “no”. [Interjections.]

The hon member tried to create the impression that there was an awkward feeling of uncertainty on this side of the House because we were not in agreement. [Interjections.] If the hon member had been present at the NP caucus on Thursday he would have known that in regard to my defence of this case—in the House of Representatives as well—there has been unanimous acclamation for the standpoints I adopted. [Interjections.]


We know all about that kind of unity.


No, the hon member does not know anything about it! The hon member of that party does not know it because that kind of unity did not exist when they were still there. [Interjections.] That kind of unity was only achieved after those people—the people with their political methodology—were removed from our ranks.


Hear, hear!


Since then things have been different. Those hon members no longer know this party.

I want to end my reaction to the hon members of that party. I want to tell them that they still have not learnt the lesson. We no longer talk about the Coloureds in this House; under the new dispensation we now talk with them. The same goes for the hon members of the PFP.

I now want us to get this whole debate into its proper perspective because it is one of the most wilful debates conducted from the Opposition side in a long time. Before I forget—I do not have much time—I want to thank the hon members on this side sincerely. They all tried to deal constructively with this sensitive issue.

What is the essence of our present position? Firstly, when the initial terms of reference of the select committee were changed and when we said that the select committee could give consideration to repealing this measure—and the Press must listen carefully now because everyone is trying to make up all kinds of stories—the Government and the NP accepted that these laws could be repealed. This is our standpoint: These laws can be repealed. They are not sacred cows; they can be repealed. The responsible standpoint to adopt is, however, that one cannot consider repeal without considering and researching the implications within the framework of order in South Africa. I now want to call a witness, a witness whose credibility ought to be quite substantial to the hon Leader of the Official Opposition and the hon members over there.


It is big brother.


No, it is the hon member for Sandton. He submitted a report when the third report was accepted. His report recommended that the laws be repealed, but it made a further provision—and I now quote the words of the hon member:

Upon repeal of the relevant measures, it is clear that certain legislation affecting the social, educational and constitutional ordering of society will have to be reviewed to take into account changed and modern circumstances. Without vitiating the generality of the above statement your Committee has identified the following enactments …

He then went on to list them. He continued with his motivation. He said, and I quote:

The abovementioned review is essential as it is clearly undesirable to repeal legislation of this nature while allowing situations to be created in which people who marry outside of their defined racial group, and their offspring, find themselves in positions of uncertainty and disadvantage.

He also said, and I quote:

In the time available to your Committee, it has not been, nor will it be possible to conduct an in-depth review of the legislation aforementioned pursuant to your Committee’s finding …, but further it is eminently desirable that such review be undertaken in the closest collaboration with the members of the newly to be constituted House of Representatives and House of Delegates.

[Interjections.] Let me elucidate this if the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition does not understand it. What was the hon Leader of the Official Opposition suggesting today? He was suggesting that the laws be repealed, thus creating a vacuum, and only then beginning to think about the effect.

†The effect of the amendment by the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition is that a time span will be created within which those who marry will find themselves in a position of uncertainty or disadvantage. What the Opposition are trying to do is to put the cart before the horse.


Was the member for Sandton asking for a repeal?


I shall come to that. He made the same basic mistake the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition did.

*Before one repeals this legislation one should know what one wants to do with the other pieces of legislation because that creates certainty in terms of law and then no-one will be offended. The hon members of the PFP have once again made the same mistake, namely that they still want to speak on behalf of the Coloureds.

Let me inform you of how we arrived at this proposal. What I am now about to say, I say with the permission of the hon Chairman of the Ministers’ Council of the House of Representatives as well as of the hon Chairman of the Ministers’ Council of the House of Delegates. The Cabinet unanimously decided that this had to be done. The Cabinet however, also decided that there should be no dragging of feet. It is the wish of all the participating majority parties that this Joint Committee should complete its work as soon as possible. It is to be hoped that this will happen during the present session and if it is at all possible, the Government will react to their recommendations during the present session. Let us, therefore, deal the final blow to this untruth that we want to deal with this matter on a long-term, never-never basis. We should like this matter to receive urgent attention. We would prefer it to be completed and finalized during this session. We cannot prescribe to the Committee. We do not know what the findings of the Committee will be but the sentiment we wish to convey to our members on that Committee is: “Get a move on so that we can bring this sensitive matter to finality as soon as possible.”


May I ask the hon the Minister, in view of what he has said today, whether he and the Government are prepared to issue instructions that no further prosecutions will be instituted against anyone in terms of these laws until such time as this committee’s work has been completed? [Interjections.]


The hon member will just have to sort that out with my colleague; I am not involved in law enforcement. We can think about it and discuss it again.

The essence of the matter is that it involves a joint approach by the majority parties. The hon members must accept that we are not prepared to create a vacuum by repealing the laws while, as the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition said himself, we still have to make other arrangements once we have repealed the laws. This must be done concurrently. Responsible government requires this of us.

There is one final matter I want to discuss. What is before this Parliament? It is a report of a Select Committee and it states that repeal should go hand in hand with this other investigation. The Select Committee said that they had not finished and that they wanted to investigate the matter further, but that they were also of the opinion that the other people should be involved too because it was going to take place in the new dispensation. There was consensus between the NP and the hon members of the PFP on the importance of the other people having representation on the Select Committee.

These new ploys that the PFP are now trying out to put pressure on the new dispensation are not worthy of Parliament. [Interjections.] We now have the opportunity here to use one of the most sensitive matters in the new dispensation as a touchstone to see whether we really can achieve consensus on the problems by means of sensible co-operation. Let us give the composition of the select committee with its particular instructions, our full support. I cannot accept the amendment. Let us give our Parliamentarians a chance to find a meaningful answer, through consensus, to one of the most pressing and most difficult matters we have to contend with at present.

I would like to make one final remark before we vote. The hon member for Green Point has referred to my television interview. He created the wrong impression and I have a transcription with me here. I should just like to quote a passage from it to get it on record in Hansard so that we can see what I said in its correct perspective. After I had referred to the Electoral Act and the Group Areas Act—about which one could argue—I went on to say, and I quote:

’n Mens sal moet kyk na al die wette wat ons op ons Wetboek het wat inhoud gee aan hierdie grondliggende sosiaal-maatskaplike en staatkundige patroon wat in Suid-Afrika die fondamentsteen is waarop ons strukture gebou is, waarop ons besluitnemingsproses, waarop ons maatskaplike orde gebou is. Eie skole durf nie in gedrang kom nie.

That is also my reply to the hon member.

Dit is die Regering se uitgangspunt. Eie woongebiede moet eerbiedig word in hierdie proses. Hierdie komitee sal moet bepaal hoe ons herroeping kan versoen met hierdie doelwit.

This is the standpoint as I expressed it, and not as the hon member quoted it.

Question put: That the word “desirability” stand part of the Question,

Upon which the House divided:

Ayes—104: Alant, T G; Aronson, T; Badenhorst, P J; Ballot, G C; Bartlett, G S; Botha, C J v R; Botha, J C G; Botma, M C; Breytenbach, W N; Clase, P J; Coetzer, H S; Conradie, F D; Cunningham, J H; De Beer, S J; De Jager, A M v A; De Klerk, F W; De Pontes, P; De Villiers, D J; Du Plessis, B J; Du Plessis, G C; Durr, K D S; Du Toit, J P; Fick, L H; Fouché, A F; Fourie, A; Geldenhuys, A; Golden, S G A; Grobler, J P; Hayward, S A S; Hefer, W J; Heine, W J; Heyns, J H; Jordaan, A L; Kleynhans, J W; Kotzé, G J; Kriel, H J; Landman, W J; Le Grange, L; Lemmer, W A; Le Roux, D E T; Ligthelm, N W; Lloyd, J J; Louw, E v d M; Louw, M H; Malan, W C; Malherbe, G J; Marais, G; Marais, P G; Maré, P L; Meiring, JWH; Meyer, W D; Miller, R B; Morrison, G de V; Niemann, J J; Nothnagel, A E; Odendaal, W A; Poggenpoel, D J; Pretorius, N J; Pretorius, P H; Rabie, J; Rencken, CRE; Schoeman, H; Schoeman, S J; Simkin, C H W; Smit, H A; Steyn, D W; Streicher, D M; Swanepoel, K D; Tempel, H J; Terblanche, A JWPS; Terblanche, G P D; Ungerer, J H B; Van Breda, A; Van den Berg, J C; Van der Linde, G J; Van der Merwe, C J; Van der Walt, A T; Van Eeden, D S; Van Niekerk, A I; Van Rensburg, H M J (Mossel Bay); Van Rensburg, H M J (Rosettenville); Van Vuuren, L M J; Van Wyk, J A; Van Zyl, J G; Veldman, M H; Venter, A A; Venter, E H; Vermeulen, J A J; Viljoen, G v N; Vlok, A J; Volker, V A; Weeber, A; Welgemoed, P J; Wentzel, J J G; Wessels, L; Wiley, J W E; Wilkens, B H; Wright, A P.

Tellers: J P I Blanché, W J Cuyler, W T Kritzinger, C J Ligthelm, R P Meyer and L van der Watt.

Noes—36: Andrew, K M; Bamford, B R; Barnard, M S; Barnard, S P; Boraine, A L; Burrows, R; Cronjé, P C; Gastrow, P H P; Hartzenberg, F; Hoon, J H; Hulley, R R; Langley, T; Le Roux, F J; Malcomess, D J N; Myburgh, P A; Olivier, N J J; Page, B W B; Rogers, P R C; Savage, A; Scholtz, E M; Schwarz, H H; Sive, R; Slabbert, F v Z; Snyman, W J; Swart, RAF; Tarr, M A; Theunissen, L M; Treurnicht, A P; Van der Merwe, H D K; Van der Merwe, S S; Van Rensburg, H E J; Van Zyl, J J B; Visagie, J H; Watterson, D W.

Tellers: G B D McIntosh and A B Widman.

Question affirmed and amendment dropped.

Main question agreed to.

Message transmitted to the House of Representatives and the House of Delegates for concurrence.

In accordance with Standing Order No 19, the House adjourned at 18h35.