Pretoria agrees to observers for strike
Friday 31 July 1992
Pik Botha, the South African Foreign Minister, said yesterday in Pretoria that President F W de Klerk had no objection to UN observers monitoring the week of protest, which will include a two- day general strike starting on Monday.
Mr de Klerk believed that if the UN sent observers to South Africa for the mass action campaign, 'there should be enough observers to be present in the major metropolitan areas of South Africa', Mr Botha said. The observers should enjoy freedom of movement, so that the UN Secretary- General, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, remained fully informed of the progress of the campaign and of any resulting incidents.
According to Mr Botha, Cyrus Vance, the United Nations special envoy, told Mr de Klerk in a meeting yesterday he was concerned that the mass action campaign might generate a new spiral of political violence and urged him to do all in his power to stave off such an eventuality.
Cyril Ramaphosa, the ANC Secretary-General, confirmed yesterday evening that the UN had agreed 'in principle' to such a mission but that the details would be discussed later in the night in a telephone conversation with Mr Boutros-Ghali.
The proposal, initiated by the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), received a rapid response owing to the presence in South Africa of Mr Vance, who achieved another breakthrough earlier in the week, it emerged yesterday, when he persuaded an ANC delegation to meet the government on the question of political prisoners.
Mr Vance, who is due to return to New York today after a 10-day fact-finding mission, managed to persuade the ANC to break its moratorium, imposed six weeks ago, on all contact with the government. On Tuesday the ANC's director of international affairs, Thabo Mbeki, met Mr Botha to discuss the release of more than 400 political prisoners.
Mr Ramaphosa, who reaffirmed that the prisoners issue remained a stumbling block to the resumption of constitutional negotiations, confirmed yesterday that the meeting had taken place at the express bidding of Mr Vance.
'The visit by the UN special representative, Mr Cyrus Vance, has facilitated contact between the ANC and the government to ensure the release of all remaining political prisoners on the basis that the government understood and accepted the need for this matter to be finalised immediately,' Mr Ramaphosa said.
'It is our view,' he added, 'that all political prisoners should be released before Mr Vance returns to New York.'
Mr Vance told reporters in Pretoria after meeting Mr de Klerk that he hoped to hand a report next week to Mr Boutros-Ghali, with recommendations on how to end the violence and break the political deadlock in South Africa.
- 1 Secret Cinema: Why were Back to the Future screenings cancelled?
- 2 Christians: The world's most persecuted people
- 3 Israel-Gaza conflict: The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
- 4 Thatcher ‘was warned of Tory child sex party claims’
- 5 The Simpsons Family Guy trailer: First look at crossover episode after Comic-Con debut
A new Russian revolution: The cracks are starting to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Thatcher ‘was warned of Tory child sex party claims’
Lauren Goodger sex tape: Reality star calls for tougher laws on revenge porn after intimate video leaks online
Israel-Gaza conflict: President Obama presses Netanyahu to call ‘immediate and unconditional’ Gaza ceasefire
Iraq crisis: End 'very near' for Christianity after Isis takeover, says Bishop
Israel-Gaza conflict: The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Opponents of Israel's military operation in Gaza are the real enemies of Middle Eastern peace
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
£45000 - £50000 Per Annum + excellent benefits package: Clearwater People Solu...
£21000 - £23000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Copywriter - London As a Copywrite...
£15 - £18 per hour: Randstad Education Nottingham: As a result of our successf...
£15 - £18 per hour: Randstad Education Nottingham: Randstad Education are succ...