ANC dons gloves for poll fight
Saturday 20 February 1993
The US boxer Riddick Bowe, the world heavyweight champion, and the former world chess champion Anatoly Karpov were among 500 guests from all around the world. Bowe, who arrived at the event with his personal television crew, said he sought to provide the ANC with more than symbolic muscle.
'If by chance the negotiations don't go well, I am a fighter and a champion and I am prepared to go to the bush with you to make them succeed,' he told the International Solidarity Conference.
The chances that Bowe's pugilistic services might be required had receded considerably 24 hours earlier, however, when the ANC's National Executive Committee (NEC) ended a three-day meeting with a victory for moderates pushing not for immediate majority rule, but for a coalition government to rule South Africa for the first five years after the first multi-racial elections.
Open dissent earlier this week by hardliners within the organisation, especially from the radical Natal branches, was squashed at the meeting. Cyril Ramaphosa, the ANC's Secretary-General and chief negotiator, said the NEC had unanimously endorsed preliminary agreements in discussions with the government for an interim government of national unity to serve for up to five years after elections, expected to be held in about 12 months.
Eager not to be seen to be capitulating to the government, he said that the ANC had rejected the government's formula for power-sharing which, he claimed, included a demand for a minority veto. To this the government's chief negotiator, Roelf Meyer, the Constitutional Development Minister, said: 'I can't see what is the difference between power-sharing and a government of national unity.' The chief government spokesman, Dave Steward, said the differences between the sides amounted to 'semantics'.
Oliver Tambo, who in the absence of Nelson Mandela through illness delivered the keynote speech at yesterday's conference, indicated just how close, in fact, the ANC and government visions were. He said the ANC's central concern today was with national unity and nation-building. Mr Tambo said the ANC had to ensure 'the oppressors' were freed from their 'guilt-ridden fear of retribution'.
A brochure from Mr Mandela distributed to the conference delegates said that to fight the elections freely and fairly the ANC could well need in excess of R130m rand ( pounds 30m). Should Mike Tyson win his appeal and get out of jail, Riddick Bowe's income from the expected fight should cover that amount comfortably.
Mr Meyer said after a three-day meeting with the Inkatha Freedom Party in Natal that Inkatha leaders had requested that the multi-party planning conference, planned to start on 25 February, be delayed until 5 March. The ANC and the government had agreed, Mr Meyer said.
- 2 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Driving while dehydrated can be just as dangerous as drink driving, study suggests
- 5 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
Ben Affleck asked TV chiefs to hide slave-owning ancestry, new hacked Sony emails published by Wikileaks claim
Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...