Johannesburg (JTA) — South
Africa's Jewish community has
been caught up in the almost eu-
phoric feeling of the general pop-
ulation following the country's
first all-race democratic elections
The elections — extended to
three and even four days in some
areas to give all a chance to vote
— went off without intimidation
and violence for the duration of
There were long lines at the
polling stations — some stood for
up to seven hours waiting to cast
their votes — and people saw a
mingling of black and white in
a spirit of unprecedented cama-
With President F.W. de Klerk
conceding defeat after some 40
percent of the ballots had been
tallied, the new government of
national unity will have an
African National Congress ma-
jority, to be headed by ANC Pres-
ident Nelson Mandela. Mr. de
Klerk's National Party will be the
In recent days, members of the
Jewish communities in Johan-
nesburg and Cape Town, where
the vast majority of the country's
Jews live, voiced their hopes and
fears regarding the future — and
optimism was the predominant
sentiment they expressed.
Fueling this optimism, Mr.
Mandela, in a statement of reas-
surance and reconciliation to the
country's white population, stat-
Capetonian Eris Silke, a former
Ms. Resnekov added that the Israeli and one of South Africa's
Cape is different from the rest of top artists, said her optimism out-
the country, since there has al- weighs her fears.
"I admire both Mandela and
ways been more social contact
among the various races in that de Klerk personally. But I'm
scared of crime and violence
Although expressing "slight and hope the ANC can contain
nervousness" about the future, this ." ❑
PHOTO BY AP/DEN IS FAR RELL
South Africa Jews
Voice Their Optimism
ed this week that he will find
ways to bring Christians, Mus-
lims and Jews into his adminis-
tration to raise the moral tone of
Speaking from Cape Town,
boutique owner Charlotte
Resnekov, said, "Mazel tov on the
birth of democracy — something
we have waited for and worked
toward for so many years.
Throughout the apartheid era,
the blacks have lived with hard-
ship while we have lived with
Ms. Resnekov said she is hap-
py to be in South Africa "and not
any other place in the world" at
In her business travels abroad,
she said, she was tired of being
blamed for the evils of the
apartheid system. "Now South
Africa is no longer a pariah, we
travelers no longer have to pre-
tend we are Australian or British
to avoid international criticism.
We are free from the guilt and
Lines of people wait to vote in the suburbs of Johannesburg.
ats,t 4 4:)
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