De Klerk takes stand on 'morals' groun stand on 'morals'

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The Independent Online
Johannesburg (Reuter) - The outgoing Deputy President, FW de Klerk, warned President Nelson Mandela yesterday that his National Party would act in opposition as the guardian of economic discipline and morals in post-apartheid South Africa.

The new post-apartheid constitution adopted on Wednesday, which caused his white-led party to announce its early withdrawal from Mr Mandela's transitional coalition government, lacked commitment both to fiscal discipline and moral values, Mr de Klerk said.

"It does not show enough appreciation that fiscal discipline and macro- economic stability are the keys to strong capital-account investment [and] sustained growth." he said.

"On issues which affect all South Africans, such as our moral and ethical basis, we are also deeply disturbed by some aspects of the new constitution," he said.

The National Party voted for the new constitution, which completes the transition from white rule to democracy, but announced two days later that it would leave the transitional coalition on 30 June.

Mr de Klerk said the NP, which will be out of government for the first time in nearly half a century, would push for privatisation and the quick dismantling of remaining foreign exchange controls restricting local residents and business.

"We believe that we should, in a dynamic way, walk the road of privatisation ... We're taking too long," he said.

He said that his party also would oppose the right to abortion and the abolition of the death penalty.

The NP secretary-general, Roelf Meyer, said the party had decided to pull out of the government because its views on economic management were being ignored.