Mandela asks UN to intervene

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The Independent Online
NELSON MANDELA told the Security Council yesterday that he would not resume talks for a non- racial government in South Africa until violence in black townships subsided. He accused President F W de Klerk's government of organising and orchestrating the violence specifically directed at democratic movements like his African National Congress.

'This constitutes a cold- blooded strategy of state terrorism,' he said.

Mr Mandela called on the Council to intervene to end the stalemate in South Africa, saying it was its obligation to act firmly. 'Failure to act decisively cannot but undermine its prestige,' he said. He called for the UN Secretary-General, Boutros Boutros- Ghali, to appoint a special representative with a view to stopping the violence and creating a climate conducive to negotiations. The Council, he said, had then to undertake 'continuous monitoring' of the situation and if necessary take further measures.

The emergency UN session was convened after Mr Mandela telephoned President George Bush and Mr Boutros-Ghali to complain that the De Klerk government was involved in the Boipatong massacre, which left at least 40 blacks dead. At a press conference before the session Mr Mandela said the report in yesterday's Independent that South African agents plotted with Ulster loyalists to kill the defector Dirk Coetzee 'is a confirmation . . . that the state security services are involved in the violence'.

However, the picture Mr Mandela painted of a vigorous UN investigation that will press Mr de Klerk to force the closure of hostels and ban the carrying of dangerous weapons was not shared by all the members of the Council, least of all Britain, or for that matter Mr Boutros-Ghali.

Britain had lobbied hard and apparently successfully to delete any attacks on Pretoria from the draft resolution and to ensure that it contained a call on the ANC and other parties to resume negotiations, with conditions. Mr Boutros-Ghali was also less than enthusiastic about a full inquiry into the Boipatong massacre by the special representative. UN sources said he wanted Mr Vance to pay at most a two-day visit.

The result may be that the ANC has left itself open to being cajoled into restarting negotiations before it is ready and being faced with an insipid report on the violence that in traditional UN style will neither apportion blame nor suggest remedies that go against the views of the host government. The Council meeting is expected to last three days and is to be addressed by more than 19 speakers including South Africa's Foreign Minister, Pik Botha.