Buthelezi vows Zulus will fight the power pact

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The Independent Online
Mangosuthu Buthelezi, chief of the Inkatha Freedom Party, warned yesterday of bloodshed if the South African government and the African National Congress go ahead with a new power- sharing deal.

He accused F W de Klerk of lying to him, and said Nelson Mandela and Mr de Klerk would have to deploy their armies to force his Zulus to comply with the agreement, in which the ANC and the government will share power until the end of the century.

What Chief Buthelezi is suddenly facing, and will not accept, is the prospect within the next 18 months of serving under a Mandela presidency.

The deal, revealed in last week's Independent on Sunday, was confirmed on Friday by a senior government negotiator, Fanie Schoeman. South Africa's two leading players have agreed to defer majority rule until 1999 - five years after elections next year for an 'interim government of national unity'.

The task of the coalition government will be to draft a new constitution and run the country through parliament and a cabinet in which posts will be distributed in proportion to election results. It is seen as a foregone conclusion that the ANC will emerge from the polls as the majority party.

Mr Schoeman said that the government and the ANC had decided to make public their pact irrespective of the inevitable outcry from Inkatha, a long-time rival of the ANC and former government ally. 'It's not a proposal, it's a fact.'

Chief Buthelezi responded yesterday morning: 'If the ANC/

South African Communist Party alliance and the government are serious in proceeding along the lines described, they will have to factor into their plans the need for using the South African Defence Force and the private army of the ANC/SACP alliance, Umkhonto we Sizwe, to achieve compliance in KwaZulu/Natal. I have a duty to say that the government and the ANC/SACP alliance are now dangerously toying with all our lives and the lives of our children and grandchildren.'

Chief Buthelezi declared: 'There is no possibility whatsoever of the Inkatha Freedom Party, the KwaZulu government, traditional structures and the majority of the people of KwaZulu/Natal accepting that a constituent assembly will decide on the boundaries, powers, functions and structures of the region. It is simply out of the question.'

He went on to say that President De Klerk had deceived him into thinking that the federal dimension of the new constitution would be determined before elections took place.

As for Mr Mandela, Chief Buthelezi issued a separate statement yesterday morning denouncing the ANC president for remarks he made in a television interview with Sir David Frost on Friday night concerning plans for a meeting between the two leaders. The issue did not seem to be particularly important in the context of the historic ANC-government agreement but his response served to illustrate a rather fraught state of mind.

'I was somewhat astounded at the alacrity and aplomb with which Mr Mandela fictionally pronounced on issues relating to me as fact,' he said. 'Mr Mandela is clearly having trouble with the truth.'

JOHANNESBURG - Nelson Mandela late last night denied the ANC had agreed to share power with the government for five years after the country's first democratic elections, AFP reports. 'I wish to categorically deny the statement made in the press that the ANC had agreed to power- sharing until the year 1999,' he said at a banquet in Johannesburg. 'What the government has proposed is a form of power-sharing. The ANC on the other hand proposes an interim government of national unity which would include those parties that have won a certain proportion of the seats in a constituent assembly,' Mr Mandela said. 'An interim government of national unity is not power- sharing.'

(Photograph omitted)