SA parties fail to reach deal on April poll: Deal eludes SA parties on taking part in April poll

FIRST prize yesterday, as the South African government and the African National Congress saw it, would have been for all political parties to meet under one roof and agree peacefully to participate in the April elections.

As it was, those already in favour of participation met in Johannesburg, the rejectionists met in Pretoria and never, despite some last-minute efforts, did the twain meet. The Johannesburg meeting, at the World Trade Centre, brought together the 19 parties that approved South Africa's first democratic constitution in November. In Pretoria, at the embassy of the nominally independent republic of Bophuthatswana, delegates of the black and white right-wing Freedom Alliance coalition held a meeting of their own.

The Johannesburg group, the Negotiating Council, agreed to approve constitutional concessions put forward last week by the ANC. These will be taken to parliament, where next week they will be passed into law and introduced into the national constitution. The Pretoria group agreed that the concessions did not go far enough to persuade them the new democratic order would be sufficiently to their taste to obviate the need to resort to violence.

Since the point of the Johannesburg exercise was to convince the Alliance partners - Inkatha, the Afrikaner Volksfront and the Bophuthatswana government - that they should join the election and drop threats of war, the day was, a government official said, 'no more or less frustrating than what we've become sadly accustomed to over the last three months'.

When the documentation was placed on the table at the World Trade Centre yesterday, grounds seemed to exist to believe that the Alliance might be persuaded by the end of the day to drive down from Pretoria and talk. In deference to Volksfront demands for a separate Afrikaner state, it was agreed a 'Volkstaat Council' would be established to examine the option of Afrikaner self-determination. The council, a legally entrenched constitutional body, would be financed by the state and run by 20 members, whose task would be to define the boundaries and powers of a volkstaat and submit its plans to the parliament that emerges after the April poll.

Responding to demands by Alliance partners, it was decided each provincial government would be given greater taxation powers and guarantees that these would not be diminished by a new government. A switch from a single to a double ballot, one poll each for the national and the provincial parliaments, was also approved for insertion into the constitution.

The Alliance partners were studying the same documentation. The chairman of the Negotiating Council in Johannesburg won approval for a proposal to fax the Alliance, inviting the delegates to attend their meeting. The response was a sharp 'No, thank you.' The Alliance said the ANC's concessions did not go far enough, that they wanted more regional powers and more certainty a volkstaat would be carved out within South Africa's boundaries.

The Alliance chairman, Rowan Cronje, said if no more concessions were made, 'they leave us with no alternative but to look at alternatives'. An indication of what he might mean was provided on Saturday, when 15 ANC youths were killed by suspected Inkatha gunmen.

PRETORIA (Reuter) - South African police said yesterday they had arrested 46 people in one of the biggest exposures of a crime syndicate in the country.

Police spokesman Captain Evan Johnson said the arrests were made on Sunday after a two-year investigation into a syndicate known as the 'Boere mafia' due to its many Afrikaans-speaking members. He said the arrests followed a joint operation by more than 300 police officers in the Transvaal and Natal regions.

Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
art
News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleActor, from House of Cards and Benidorm, was 68
News
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsEnd-of-year leaver's YouTube film features staging of a playground gun massacre
Travel
travel
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Voices
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
News
i100This Instagram photo does not prove Russian army is in Ukraine
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
Sport
sportVan Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
Life and Style
Martha Stewart wrote an opinion column for Time magazine this week titled “Why I Love My Drone”
lifeLifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot... to take photos of her farm
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
filmReview: Sometimes the immersive experience was so good it blurred the line between fiction and reality
News
i100
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Environment
Tyred out: should fair weather cyclists have a separate slow lane?
environmentFormer Labour minister demands 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists
News
people
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

VB.Net Developer - £40k - Surrey - WANTED ASAP

£35000 - £40000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: .Mid Level V...

Digitakl Business Analyst, Slough

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Competitive Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Dig...

Mechanical Estimator: Nuclear Energy - Sellafield

£40000 - £50000 per annum + Car, Medical, Fuel + More!: Progressive Recruitmen...

Dynamics NAV Techno-Functional Consultant

£50000 - £60000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: An absolutely o...

Day In a Page

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices