AFRICA NEWS BRIEFS

White Plains, New York, United States
June 1990
Type: Report
Coverage in Africa: South Africa
Coverage outside Africa: United States, Europe, Hungary
Language: English
Contents: ANC AND GOVERNMENT FACE CLASH OVER VOTE • LOCAL BODIES TO TAKE POWER • ANC AND SA MILITARY LEADERS TO CONFER • HUNGARY AND SANCTIONS • JOE SLOVO ON POST-APARTHEID ECONOMY • BRINGING ANC MEMBERS HOME • RIGHTWINGERS STEAL ARMS • The report includes excerpts of newspaper articles that appeared in the Sunday Star, the eastern Province Herald the Guardian (UK), the Financial Times, and the Weekly Mail. The report says the information in this briefing paper has been reprinted from directly quoted press clippings published in ANC Newsbriefings; they have been selected to provide information on South Africa not generally available in the U.S. press; the opinions stated are those of the quoted newspapers and not necessarily those of the African National Congress or WESPAC. The report says a crucial difference of opinion which could set the government and the ANC on a collision course over a new constitution emerged this week; Gerrit Viljoen, Minister of Constitutional Affairs, told parliament the National Party government would demand special powers to prevent the country from being 'misled by an unsophisticated majority vote.' The report says the government also envisaged special protection for the right of people to live in specific communities and to have their own schools if they so wished; his speech has set the government on a collision course with the ANC after its deputy president Nelson Mandela had said the ANC was not prepared to discuss group rights in constitutional negotiations. The report says the top brass of the ANC's armed wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe, is due to meet high ranking SA Defense Force and Citizen Force officers in a historic military conference in Lusaka later this month; representatives of homeland defense forces are also scheduled to accompany the South African delegation to the conference, which has been initiated by the Institute for a Democratic Alternative in SA (IDASA); the ANC will be represented at the military conference by Mr. Chris Hani, Mr. Thabo Mbeki, Mr. Aziz Pahad and Mr. Ronnie Kasrils; the SA delegation will include Dr. J. de Villiers, a top military academic and security consultant, Major General Wally Black, General Bob Rogers, [and] Colonel Hilda Burnett. The report says SA and Hungary are to establish permanent missions in each other's countries, Pretoria said; it is SA's first formal move toward rapprochement with the Warsaw Pact; SA has long claimed that it has been engaged in 'covert' trade with the Eastern Bloc; but it is now anxious to exploit recent developments in Warsaw Pact countries, whose relatively unsophisticated markets are regarded as ideal targets for SA goods; the ANC bitterly criticized Hungary for allowing Mr. Botha's visit; South Africans are now able to obtain visas to visit Hungary within 48 hours and a few SA businessmen have already set up offices in Budapest. The report says one of the most implacable foes of the SA government, Mr. Joe Slovo, a top official of the ANC and one of its chief economic thinkers, believes Pretoria would concede black majority rule tomorrow if it could guarantee that white economic privilege would survive the end of apartheid. The report says faced with the huge task of bring members back home, the ANC is to conduct a census to find out exactly how there are outside the country’ a special committee has been appointed in Lusaka to carry out the count and investigate was of handling members return. The report says rightwing extremists are believed to have been responsible for a second raid on a military armory in SA at the weekend, fueling concerns about a violent white backlash against government reform moves; news of the incident came while neo-Nazi leader Eugene Terre'Blanche was holding talks with the government yesterday about the apparent mobilization of paramilitary extremists. The report discusses the Conservative Party, F.W. de Klerk, the Group Areas Act, local issues, the South Africa Defence Force (SADF), Nic Boraine, Foreign Minister Pik Botha, Chief Buthelezi, political organization, economic policy, the Freedom Charter, nationalization, the Afrikaners, mines, banks monopoly industries, Pallo Jordan, police, the Air Force, Piet Rudolph, Inkatha (Inkatha Freedom Party, IFP), and UDF (United Democratic Front).
Used by permission of a former member of the Westchester People’s Action Coalition.
Collection: Connie Hogarth collection