ANC, Government to Hold Second Meeting Next Month
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AP) _ President F. W. de Klerk and Nelson Mandela of the African National Congress met for an hour Friday and agreed the government and the black nationalist movement would hold a second round of talks next month.
Friday’s meeting was their first since just before Mandela left on a six- week, three-continent tour urging the world to maintain sanctions on South Africa until irreversible changes in apartheid have been achieved.
The Aug. 6 meeting, announced by de Klerk’s office, is to discuss obstacles in the way of formal negotiations on a new constitution and the end of white minority rule. The ANC and members of de Klerk’s Cabinet reached preliminary agreements in their May 2-4 meetings on such issues as violence, political prisoners and returning exiles.
A joint committee since then has made recommendations on how to overcome disagreements, such as defining political crimes and who would qualify for amnesty from prosecution.
The two sides will consider the recommendations at the Aug. 6 meeting.
De Klerk partially met one ANC demand by lifting the 4-year-old national state of emergency in three of the country’s four provinces. He also signed executive orders allowing all members of the ANC executive committee and many other officials to return to South Africa without being arrested.
The ANC says South African exiles number about 20,000, including about 5,000 guerrilla fighters who would be subject to prosecution under current law.
The release of prisoners convicted of politically motivated crimes or of acts connected to their affiliation with the ANC has stalled recently after scores were freed earlier.
De Klerk and his ministers have said they want speedy progress toward negotiations with the ANC and other groups representing the black majority. Mangosuthu Buthelezi’s Zulu-based Inkatha party and some other groups say they are ready to negotiate now. The Pan Africanist Congress and some other groups insist on elimination of apartheid and other demands before they will agree to talks.