JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — The leader of the governing National Party said today that the party's plan to eventually give blacks a direct vote in national affairs will end South Africa's isolation.
Anti-apartheid activists and conservatives reacted with skepticism to the proposal, which envisions blacks having a vote in national affairs within five years. Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who won the 1984 Nobel Peace Prize for his fight against apartheid, rejected the plan outright.
The plan is part of the party's proposed election platform, which also holds out the possibility of giving the black majority a voice in writing a new constitution.
The party opened a one-day congress in Pretoria today to adopt the platform. Adoption would be informal, without a vote.
Party leader F. W. de Klerk, designated to replace retiring President Pieter W. Botha after the Sept. 6 parliamentary elections, opened the meeting by saying the party could lead the country back into the international community, which has condemned South Africa's system of racial separation.