/ 23 February 1990

FW to the ANC: Let’s talk

President FW de Klerk yesterday welcomed the decision of the ANC’s National
Executive Committee to send a delegation to meet him, signaling that ”talks
about talks” could begin soon. However, in a press statement released on
his behalf yesterday afternoon, De Klerk also criticised the ANC for its
continued support for armed struggle and its ”pre-conditions” on

De Klerk described the decision by the NEC to send a delegation
to meet the government as a ”positive step” which was
”consistent with an attitude to search for solutions through peaceful
means”. Last week the NEC decided that it would send a delegation to
discuss setting a ”climate for negotiations” through the release of
political prisoners, removal of troops from the townships and lifting of the

But De Klerk’s statement also raised the possibility that the
meeting between the two sides could be delayed. ”Obviously, legal uncertainties
which members of the National Executive Committee may have in regard to visits
to South Africa will have to be addressed beforehand,” he said. The state
president went on to express ”disappointment” that the ANC leadership
continued to set preconditions.

This article originally appeared in the Weekly Mail.


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