Upon their arrival, Lord Carrington and Mr Kissinger had expressed the hope at a buoyant press conference on Tuesday that they would succeed in bridging the gap between the African National Congress (ANC) and Inkatha, the last, biggest and potentially most violent obstacle South Africa needs to surmount if the elections of 26-28 April are to be a success.
At noon yesterday, at the very same hotel in Johannesburg, Lord Carrington and Mr Kissinger declared their enterprise a failure. They had expected to begin work on Wednesday morning but the talks never got off the ground. They made it plain they felt they had been lured to South Africa under false pretences.
'We dropped everything in order to contribute to progress towards a non-racial, non-sexist, democratic society in South Africa,' Mr Kissinger said. 'Last Sunday we were told that our consolidated terms of reference had been agreed and on the basis of that we came. When we arrived we found the terms of reference had been either reopened or not as fully agreed as we had believed.'Reuse content