ANC cuts deal with Afrikaner right wing
Tuesday 21 December 1993
The ANC-Volksfront 'strategic interim agreement' paralleled attempts by negotiators in Cape Town to reach accord on a series of amendments to the draft constitution proposed by the Freedom Alliance, a coalition of Afrikaner groups and leaders of South Africa's semi-autonomous black homelands, including the Inkatha leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi. The 10 hours of talks ended last night without agreement. The goal was to bring the alliance back into the democracy process before parliament votes on the constitution tomorrow. Talks are to continue today.
The alliance boycotted the negotiations on the new constitution and demanded greater autonomy for the provinces, including powers of taxation, replacement of the proposed one-ballot system by two ballots, one for national and one for provincial governments, and for representatives of provinces to be resident there. It also wanted constitutional provisions allowing the provinces to write their own constitutions, subject to the endorsement of the Constitutional Court.
The alliance said it would boycott the country's first multi-racial elections on 27 April, unless its demands were met. Roelf Meyer, chief negotiator of President F W de Klerk's National Party government, set tomorrow as a deadline for parliamentary approval of the constitution, with or without the Freedom Alliance, although many believe a reconvening of parliament in January is possible should this week's talks fail.
Today's agreement between the Volksfront and the ANC, which is widely expected to form the next government, effectively postponed the day of reckoning over the demand by conservative Afrikaners for their own homeland, the Volkstaat. The accord, which said both sides supported a non-racial democratic society, was a set of principles that would acknowledge the desire of many Afrikaners for a homeland. It set up a task force to negotiate in January on a Volkstaat, and renounce the use of violence.
The accord was to be initialled by the ANC assistant Secretary-General Jacob Zuma, and Constand Viljoen, the former armed forces chief of staff who leads the Volksfront. Ferdi Hartzenberg, the hardline leader of the Conservative Party, was not expected to endorse the agreement. That could signal the beginnings of a leadership contest within the Afrikaner right between Gen Viljoen, regarded as the movement's moral conscience and Dr Hartzenberg, a gritty machine politician.
Gen Viljoen is thought to be open to compromise on what form Afrikaner self- determination takes, while more extreme Afrikaner sectors have demanded the immediate establishment of a white homeland to escape rule by an ANC-led government. The ANC president, Nelson Mandela, said the ANC would never concede an independent white homeland.
Inkatha has been opposed to the proposed one-vote system which denies voters a chance to choose one party for the national parliament and another for their provincial legislatures.
- 4 Frankie Boyle on Scottish independence: 'In the Interests of Unity, F**k Off'
- 5 Florida couple forced to register as sex offenders for having sex on public beach
Boston Marathon runner's search for mystery man she kissed ends with letter from his wife
Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
Florida couple forced to register as sex offenders for having sex on public beach
Mysterious 'X-Files' sounds heard miles above the Earth
Met Gala 2015: Beyoncé manages to out-skimp Rihanna, Miley and Kim Kardashian with near-naked ensemble
In defence of liberal democracy
General Election 2015: Post-election 'shambles' looms as 70 per cent of voters say SNP 'should not be able to veto UK government policies'
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000 ...
£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...
£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...
£60000 - £70000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...