ANC welcomes 'confession'

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(First Edition)

The ANC issued a statement yesterday welcoming President FW de Klerk's 'confession' that South Africa had manufactured six nuclear weapons but described as 'disingenuous, perhaps even cynical' his contention that their purpose had been to deter Soviet expansionism, John Carlin reports from Johannesburg. 'It is clear that the only thing the weapons were designed to deter was democracy and votes for all in South Africa', the statement said. Given Mr de Klerk's 'laughable' claim that the nuclear arsenal had been developed without outside help 'when evidence abounded of assistance from such countries as France, Germany and Israel', the ANC wished to record its 'deep dismay over the role of certain countries in helping to arm the apartheid government with weapons of mass destruction'.