February 1, 1994


LB 1066


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  ...  and members of the committee who are here.  Member of the committee, I'm Ernie Chambers, I represent the 11th Legislative District in Omaha and as I was going to say that the, the business portion of the brain doesn't take as much space as the rest of it, that's just kind of thrown in there for other purposes, and I feel the business portion of the committee is here now.  As you and Senator Hall may recall, I don't remember Senator Hall was here at the time or not, but in '79 a resolution was introduced calling on the state not to invest in companies that do business in South Africa.  There was a public hearing and in 1980 the resolution was adopted without a dissenting vote.  It was a nonbinding resolution so it became necessary to enact a bill, which the Legislature did.  I had, during that period of time, many discussions, some of them very acrimonious, with representatives and spokespersons of the South African government and I'm very pleased that a day such as this could arise and arrive that would see those of us who had been warring, now are on the same side to repeal the sanctions that were imposed by the legislation that I discussed.  LB 1066 is a very thick bill, but all it does is repeal the legislation that required the sanctions and detailed the process by which that would be done, and to find that reference, a person would have to look in the repealer clause and all that would show is that those sections of statute are repealed.  The irony is that I don't believe South Africa appears anywhere in this bill.  It is so thick because I had asked bill drafting to pick up every reference to those sections which would be found wherever funds are to be invested and referred to in the statute, and make sure that we repeal them all.  So that's what the bill will do, and so that there's something in the record for future generations to mark this momentous day and occasion I'm going to read my statement of intent because it's, it won't take much time, and it'll say just about


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everything I want to say.  In 1982, the Legislature adopted LR, it was actually 1980, LR 43 which condemned aparthe..i and declared that various financial institutions and corporations investing in South Africa should be removed from the approved list for investment of Nebraska funds.  Through passage of LB 553 in 1984, the Legislature enacted divestment legislation, which not only prohibited new investment in such institutions and corporations, but mandated the divestment of funds which had been so invested.  Having sponsored the initial legislative resolution, as well as LB 553, I've been in regular contact with organizations and individuals, including representatives of the South African government, who have monitored and reported to me on social, legal and political developments in South Africa.  Because Nebraska was the first American Legislature to take any formal action on the issue of divestment, my support was sought for repealing divestment legislation.  I agreed to allow my name to be attached to a statement for national distribution in support of repeal as soon as Nelson Mandela ask that such be done.  Legislative Bill 1066 is the culmination of that process.  It repeals the divestment legislation and all references to it throughout the statutes.  An example of the degree to which circumstances have altered can be found in the- fact that 1, who initiated divestment legislation and obtained its enactment into law, over the strenuous objection of the South African government, joined today with the representative of that government to request that the Banking Committee act favorably and expeditiously on LB 1066.  Passage of LB 1066 signals the closing of an old book, and, I hope, the dawning of new and better days relative to affairs within South Africa.  I've got one thing I want to read for those who may have not have been here at the time.  It is an editorial dated April 11, 1980 from the Rand Daily Mail, the South African newspaper.  Headline, "An Ominous Vote In America." This, this is the, the editorial:  The South African disinvestment vote by the Nebraska Senate is Ominous.  As we reported yesterday, not only is it the first time an individual American state has taken such action, but Nebraska is Midwestern and conservative.  it's vote could well set a band wagon rolling with incalculable consequences.  Two points need to be made:  firstly, while the vote by the Senate is a statement about the extent of their repugnance for apartheid and obviously makes them feel righteous, it must be ask whether they have full understanding of where it could lead.  For a disinvestment, it's taken to its logical conclusion and if it is applied on the sufficiently wide scale, it must create the danger of widespread social unrest in South Africa.  This is so


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because of the conditions of economic decline with even greater unemployment than we already have which can ensue.  Proponents of revolution will welcome that, which is why such people are active in "propropegandizing" disinvestment, but it is no way to seek a peaceful resolution of our situation wanted as much by America as by us.  Far better to look for rapid economic development to force down the apartheid barriers.  Secondly, the Nebraska vote is significant in revealing how the words and deeds of Mr. P.W.  Bolta's government are not doing enough to persuade Americans, even conservative Americans, that sufficient change is under way here.  The gap between the expectations created by Mr. Bolta and what is actually being done grows wider.  The sense of letdown is accentuated.  Extravagant claims, such as were made by Dr.  Piette Koornhof, K-o-o-r-n-h-o-f, when he visited America last year.  Meaningful change, that is the only way to halt disinvestment, and to save our country.  I believe that meaningful change may be under way, but I'd ask that a representative of the South African government be here to address a couple of points.  One, that there is a right wing, white organization, which said it will resort to violence to derail the elections and even if they should occur, they will do what they can by violence, if necessary, to carve out what they call a white homeland.  And what troubles me about the statement they made is the following:  The military, the security forces, and the police are composed of white South Africans, and in a crunch, it's doubtful that they would turn on their own, meaning white people.  So I want to be assured that the government, the military forces, the security forces, and the police are not in league with this white, far right wing government.  One of the other concerns I have is that if the election does occur and should Mr. Mandela win, there may not be an acceptance of this outcome of the election and those are the two major concerns that I have.  If those are dealt with, then I think others minor issues along the way may kind of resolve themselves.  But regardless of what may happen in the future, I had stated that I would bring a bill such as this, those contingencies that I said had to occur before I would bring it, have occurred.  So, I'm bringing this bill to the committee, and I'm asking that you do act favorably upon it.  Which means, that since there are no amendments, I doubt that there will be opposition.  I hope it will be advanced today.


SENATOR LANDIS:  And, Senator Chambers, from that editorial referred to, conservative Americans, that was in reference to you...


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SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Yes, right ...


SENATOR LANDIS:  ...  I take it ...


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  ...  I'm the most conservative person...


SENATOR LANDIS:  ...  is that right?


SENATOR CHAMBERS: Nebraska, and if I'm against apartheid, you know what the rest of them must be.


SENATOR LANDIS:  Okay.  And, I know I, when I walk in and see that Rush Limbaugh poster there in your office, I know that you're a big admirer of him.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Well, actually what you saw was a rhyme that I wrote that angered the World-Herald so much it was critical of Mr. Limbaugh.


SENATOR LANDIS:  All right.  Are there questions for Senator Chambers?  Senator Hall.


SENATOR HALL:  Do you, do you still have that "ostrike" you brought back from New York City?


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Yes, you mean Ronbo?


SENATOR HALL:  Ronbo, yeah.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  I certainly have, with his machine gun and his head sitting on top of Sylvester Stallone's body, and I will never part with it.


SENATOR HALL:  Thank you, senator.  For the record, I'd, I was not here when you passed the resolution, but I was here and did support the, the bill when it became law in '84.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  And I want to thank you.


SENATOR LANDIS:  Other questions for Senator Chambers?  Senator Witek.


SENATOR WITEK:  Can I thank you really quickly for bringing this up?


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  I couldn't understand you, senator.


SENATOR WITEK:  I just wanted to thank you for bringing this


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bill in this year.




SENATOR WITEK:  I appreciate it.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  You're welcome.  That was easy.


SENATOR LANDIS:  Thank you very much, Senator Chambers.  First testifier in favor of LB 1066.  Oh, let's not be shy.  Come on, we can do this.


DON MATHES:  This won't take much time.  I'm Don Mathes, State Investment Officer in the...


SENATOR LANDIS:  And Don, would you spell your last name for our records so our transcriber can get it.






DON MATHES:  The Investment Council and I would, favor the bill.  It eliminates restrictions which we think is a good idea.


SENATOR LANDIS:  Thank you, Don.  Questions for Mr. Mathes?  Thanks for coming.  Next testifier in support of 1066.


JIM VAN HORN:  Senator Landis and members of the committee, I'm Jim Van Horn, Vice President for Business and Finance at the University of Nebraska.  I also would like to testify in support of LB 1066, this bill will be beneficial to the University by opening up for us a wider range of investment opportunities which, in the long run, we feel should improve the return or have the possibility of improving the return on our bond and stock portfolios.  It will also eliminate a very slight task where, which we had each year also, of* carefully screening our investments.  That's all.


SENATOR LANDIS:  Van Horn, two capital letters, "V" and "H"?  JIM VAN HORN:  Yes, two capital, V-a-n, capital H-o-r-n.


SENATOR LANDIS:  Thank you.  Next testifier in favor of 1066.


STAN SIBLEY:  Senator Landis, members of the committee, my name is Stan Sibley, I represent the Omaha Public Schools


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and the purposes of this testimony the Omaha Schools Employee Retirement System.  I'd very much like to go in support of LB 1066, thank Senator Chambers for bringing this issue, and I would like to point out that action with the international investments are occurring rather rapidly, I'm told.  And, to the extent that perhaps an emergency clause on the bill would be helpful.  I would urge that you consider placing the emergency clause on.  I understand that a number of the pension funds and so forth are moving their funds out of the South African Free International Trust, that's leaving fewer funds in there.  To delay seems not to be unnecessary, and I would urge you to put the "E" clause on.  Again, we do support the bill.


SENATOR LANDIS:  Thank you.  Questions for Mr. Sibley?  Thanks, Stan.  Next testifier in support of 1066.


ERIC BROEKHUYSEN:  Good afternoon, senator, my name is Eric Broekhuysen, I'm the South African Consulate-General in Chicago.


SENATOR LANDIS:  And Eric, if you'd spell your last name for our transcriber.






ERIC BROEKHUYSEN:  I'm, indeed, honored to be here and to be associated with Senator Chambers.  I must admit I never thought I'd saw the day, I'd see the day that we would support the same measure.  But I hardily concur with his sentiments, and I would strongly urge the committee to, to repeal this, the sanctions measure against South Africa as soon as possible.  And Senator Chambers I referred to the question of right wing violence and in this regard, I must share his concern for the potential disrupting influence that such violence might have.  It is a fact of life in South Africa today that violence exists at all levels of society.  It's perpetrated by all parties concerned in the negotiation process.  And nothing can be pointed at anyone in particular.  And I think it is the responsibility of all the leaders of South Africa to try and clamp down on the violence and to prevent it.  I also believe that once we have an, a, a democratic election in South Africa which is scheduled for the 28th and 29th of April this year.  The, the questions of violence will, hopefully, decrease.  As far as the right wing violence is concerned, there is no doubt in my mind that the government of the day, and I must point


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out, that we have, in fact, a transitional government in place in South Africa.  Of the, the transitional executive council came into being on the, on the 22nd of December, and it has taken control of most of the major legislation in a 11 South Africa.  The TEC is on record as being against violence from any quarter for whatever reason as being totally unacceptable.  And there is certainly evidence indicating that the TEC is going to deal with that whenever the issue comes up.  I may point out to you that there are a number of issues which have been taken up by the TEC which have been quite surprising.  One of them is freezing of the salaries of senior civil servants.  Another one is freezing financial payments to the territory of, of Bophuthatswana, which is one of the nominally home, independent homelands.  Which, in terms of the new constitutional dispensation in South Africa, will revert to a, a, a uni, unity state.  So there, there is in, there are indications that the TEC is, is clamping down on, on these contentious issues.  And I, I have every faith that the TEC will clamp down on the issue of violence as well.  As far as right wing support in the military forces is concerned, and the security forces, I'd like to point out for, for, for the committee's attention that there is already agreement on the establishment of a national peace keeping force which is being established to, to police the country in the run up to elections and I'm sure we'll have a part to play in, in the peace keeping process after the elections.  That consists of ten thousand members drawn from various organizations in South Africa, including Umkhonto we sizwe, which is the ongoing of the ANC.  It is meant to include the, the Quazulu police, who are basically Inkatha-orientated, and it will also include present members of the South African police force.  There is also a basic agreement that the South African defense force is going to be remodeled into a multiracial force and actions are already in progress to get that force on the ground.  So I would imagine that within a very short period off of time there will be no white defense force and there will be no white police force which could circumvent the activities and the , the options and policies of the, of the Transitional Executive Council.  So I would like to point out that I, I think that the major peace keeping forces in South Africa will be firmly on the side of government in trying to clamp down on violence.  As far as the acceptance of the election result is concerned, I frankly, cannot imagine that a party not accepting the election results will, will have any credibility.  There is no doubt in my mind that the ANC will win the majority of the votes in South Africa.  The national party of, of President De Klerk is running as second with around 15 to 20 percent.  The


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parties who are opposed to the present constitutional dispensation, which has been agreed on, 'are the right wing conservatives and Inkatha, and the opinion polls indicate that they don't have much more than 10 to 12 percent support countrywide.  So I can't imagine that nonacceptance of the election results will have a tangible influence on any government that comes to power after that.  Having said that I would, I would like to reiterate that there have been tremendous developments in South Africa, we're on the, the, the edge of a, of a democratic solution.  That solution will come at the end of April and I have every hope that once we have a dis, once we have a democratic dispensation in South Africa allot of the underlying problems that lead to the violence in our society can be addressed.  Thank you very much for your attention.


SENATOR LANDIS:  Are there questions for Mr. Broekhuysen?  Arafat and Perez, Chambers and Broekhuysen, amazing.  Things that we have not expected in a long time.  And I personally was here in 1980, 1, 1.  look forward to the advent of a democratically chosen solution, congratulations.


ERIC BROEKHUYSEN:  Thank you, senator.


SENATOR LANDIS:  Thank you very much for coming, and Eric are you signed the record you'll need to do that so we have that on our permanent record.  Here it is.  Other testifiers in favor of 1066?  In opposition?  In neutral testimony?  That'll close the hearing...


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Just briefly ...  may I?


SENATOR LANDIS:  Of course you may, of course you may close, yes ...


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  This will never happen again in light.


SENATOR LANDIS:  So you've got to revel in it right now, and to think the photographers aren't here.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  I want to relish this moment.


SENATOR LANDIS:  Life magazine has ...




SENATOR HALL:  A bill that he will get out without an opp...


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  You're right. 


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SENATOR HALL:  ...  without a closing.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  And I do want to say that I, I agree with the addition of the emergency clause and one point I would like emphasize, and this is in all seriousness, there's allot of times I, I throw a little humor into what I say.  The fact that we could reach a day when Mr. Broekhuysen and myself, Mr. Mathes and I, we have battled on this issue too, have reached a point where this agreement can be reached should indicate that there can be people who seem unalterably opposed to each other and their position, but if they have a goal in mind and that goal is working toward realization and they are large people, in the sense of understanding, they'll forget all of those disagreements and combine to achieve this goal we all said we wanted.  Frankly, I've had correspondence from people who.  said that since I got my foot, and talking about me, your foot on South Africa and they need you because Nebraska was first, why we let the sanctions go.  And I had to explain that those of us who try to be reasonable do things for a purpose and when we do these things for a purpose and the purpose has been achieved, there is no longer any need for them.  So although I think there'll be universal agreement in Nebraska in repealing sanctions, because there was not universal agreement in imposing them, there has not been universal agreement among the people with whom I deal that ought to do what it is I'm doing.  But I think it's essential, I think it's necessary, and I've got my fingers crossed hoping that the things we've been told will happen that will bring a better situation in South Africa will really occur.  And I hope you all cross your fingers and my friend, Senator Witek, I hope you'll cross your horns as I'll cross mine.  That's all that I have, though, and thank you.


SENATOR LANDIS:  Questions?  Thank you, Senator Chambers.




SENATOR LANDIS:  That closes the hearing, and we'll move to Senator Haberman's bill.  Merle, we're gonna take you up right after Senator Haberman's bill is, looks to be rather, relatively short.  Senator Haberman, you're here to introduce for us LB 867.  In a show of hands prior to your coming there were two people who wanted to testify on the measure at the time that we took that, that show of hands about 25 minutes ago.