'Whites only' trusts deracialised

12 December 2011 - 01:52 By NASHIRA DAVIDS

Three educational trusts reserved for whites have been amended to include all races and women.

Judge Patricia Goliath found that the wills that created the trusts were "executed before the advent of our democracy" and the testators did not foresee that their scholarships would be rendered unconstitutional and unlawful.

"Furthermore, they did not foresee that the charitable purpose of the trust would be hampered by the discriminatory conditions imposed."

The Board of Executors, which administers more than 300 trusts, including the Heydenrych, George King, and Houghton trusts, asked the Cape Town High Court to amend those sections of the trusts' deeds that discriminated on the basis of race.

Wording in the trust deeds that was changed included:

  • "European" in the last will and testament of Benjamin Godlieb Heydenrych;
  • The phrase "members of the White Group" in the last will and testament of George King;
  • The phrase "I envisage that the bursary will be made available to members of the white population group" in the last will and testament of Dorothy Helen Houghton.