PRETORIA, South Africa -- Responding to widespread concerns that South Africa's peace process has run into serious trouble, President Frederik W. de Klerk and black leader Nelson Mandela expressed their joint commitment yesterday to a negotiated political settlement.
The two men, the key players in this country's unfolding political drama, met for nearly two hours in Mr. de Klerk's office but refused to revealdetails of their conversation.
Mr. Mandela said the meeting was "cordial" and "productive," and the two leaders issued a joint statement saying they outlined their priorities and concerns about "developments threatening this process."
Government officials and leaders of Mr. Mandela's African National Congress have clashed the past few weeks, with each side accusing the other of jeopardizing the 9-month-old process aimed at ending apartheid and drafting a new constitution.
More than 3,000 people, mostly blacks, have died in political violence this year, including factional fighting between supporters of the ANC and backers of rival black organizations.
Mr. Mandela has charged repeatedly that police and army troops have aided and protected the ANC's political enemies and that security forces were involved in the killing of blacks during township violence.
In the latest outbreak, the bodies of 11 blacks were found shot and hacked to death yesterday in the township of Katlehong about 30 miles southeast of Johannesburg.