The ANC, Inkatha and the South African government have held many rounds of talks in the past six months to try to reach a solution. The decision to call for international mediation offers a measure of their failure.
The risk of embarrassment is high. The statesmen have mixed records in the international peace stakes. Lord Carrington steered Zimbabwe to independence, but in act one of the Yugoslav civil war failed to prevent Serbia walking away with a large chunk of Croatia. Mr Kissinger's efforts to negotiate a ceasefire in Vietnam won him a Nobel Peace Prize in 1973, but the war raged on for another two years. His shuttle diplomacy in the Middle East was even less successful.
If their visit turns out to be a fiasco, the pair may take solace in the likelihood that, after the initial fanfare, few people in South Africa will be paying much attention to it.Reuse content