The Conservative Party is formed

Andries Treurnicht

Saturday, 20 March 1982

The Conservative Party (CP) was founded in the Skilpadsaal in Pretoria, with Dr Andries Treurnicht as leader. It brought together, in alliance with Dr. Treurnicht and the National Party rebels, the National Conservative Party (NCP or Nasionale Konserwatiewe Party) and the 'Aksie Eie Toekoms' (AET), a breakaway group from the National Party, opposed to the reforms and the idea of racial integration. The new party outlined fifteen guiding principles, of which the most important was that every group should have its own political structure and authority. Initially rapidly growing in support, the CP soon became the leading representative body of the White right-wing. The party's first test at the ballot box came in the all-White 1983 referendum. Although voters could not vote for political parties, the "No-vote" advocated by the CP eventually constituted 35,5% of the total number of votes.

References:
• Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau; Kalley, J.A.; Schoeman, E. & Andor,
• L.E. (eds)(1999). Southern African Political History: a chronology of key political events from independence to mid-1997, Westport: Greenwood.

Last updated : 16-Mar-2017

This article was produced for South African History Online on 16-Mar-2011