ANC plans talks with rival and South Africa

November 11, 1990|By Jerelyn Eddings | Jerelyn Eddings,Johannesburg Bureau of The Sun

SOWETO, South Africa -- Black nationalist leader Nelson Mandela said yesterday that the African National Congress will hold talks soon with its main black political adversary and the white government to stop the violence that threatens to turn South Africa into "another Lebanon."

Mr. Mandela said he would meet with President Frederik W. de Klerk on Nov. 27 and with Zulu leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi as soon as possible to ensure that the peace process continues.

"We are concerned about the increasing tensions in the country, the violence that has erupted again," Mr. Mandela told a news conference yesterday, one day after he returned from a major trip to Europe, Asia and Australia.

"We want to prevent South Africa from slipping into another Lebanon. We are very concerned precisely because we are the architects of this peace process, and anything that threatens to derail that peace process is something which we feel we should immediately attend to."

The meeting with Mr. Buthelezi, president of the Zulu-based Inkatha organization whose members have been battling ANC supporters in various parts of the country, is to take place as soon as a date can be worked out, he said. The long-awaited en

counter will not be the "one-one-one" meeting that Mr. Buthelezi had requested, but a summit between the executive committees jTC of the two powerful black political organizations.

Mr. Mandela said Mr. de Klerk asked to meet him this month. ANC leaders and government officials have been holding preliminary talks since last May to clear the way for formal, multiparty negotiations aimed at ending apartheid and drafting a new constitution giving blacks the vote.

Meanwhile, Mr. Mandela said the ANC would continue to call on blacks to hold demonstrations, boycotts and other "mass actions" aimed at keeping pressure on the government and expressing grievances.

The ANC recently called for a new mass action campaign, despite the fact that negotiations are ongoing.

"The government must accept the fact that there is going to be continued mass action. We have reached the position in which we now are precisely because of mass action," he said.

Mr. Mandela spoke to reporters at his home in the large black township of Soweto, one of several townships that erupted in bloody factional fighting in August and September between ANC and Inkatha supporters.

He said his eight-nation tour was a goodwill visit to countries that had supported the long anti-apartheid struggle and also a fund-raising mission for the ANC, which has been trying to establish itself as a political party after nearly 30 years of being banned in South Africa.

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