The white minority government pledged a "clear commitment" to racial reform, but a spokesman for the family of imprisoned black nationalist leader Nelson Mandela quashed hopes for his immediate release.

Chris Heunis, minister of constitutional development, said Monday he would do everything possible to bring together leaders to rewrite the nation's constitution, and hinted at the participation of Mandela, South Africa's longest-serving black political prisoner.Mandela, 70, is recovering from tuberculosis in a Cape Town clinic. There has been widespread speculation President Pieter W. Botha will free him soon.

But the Rev. Allan Boesak, a spokesman for the Mandela family, said there was no indication that Mandela would be released.