The ANC has noted Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi's letter of 10 April 1995 to ANC President Nelson Mandela and strongly condemns the IFP's futile attempt to alter the meaning and intention of the 19 April 1994 Memorandum of Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation signed by the leaders of the ANC, NP, IFP, the South African Government and Prof W.A.J. Okumu.
To help it overcome deliberate amnesia, the April 19 "Agreement for Reconciliation and Peace" says about international mediation: "Any outstanding issues in respect of the King of the Zulus and the 1993 Interim Constitution as amended will be addressed by way of international mediation which will commence as soon as possible after the elections."
"Outstanding issues" and the "Constitution as amended" arise because the same Agreement contains the new provisions indicating how the matter of the King of the Zulus should be dealt with, for which specific reason the Constitution had to be amended.
Hence the conclusion and commitment that should there be any outstanding issues with regard to this matter, international mediation would commence after the elections, possibly leading to the further amendment of the 1993 Constitution. Consequently, an enabling clause was written into the Agreement.
The question, therefore, stubbornly begs an answer: What are these outstanding issues which were not identified in the 19 April 1995 Memorandum of Agreement?
Another important [...]
None of this involved either the NP or the South African government.
Accordingly, the negotiations between March 5 and April 6, 1994 were between the ANC and the IFP.
An effort was made during this period to keep the NP/SAG informed. Messrs Zuma and Mdlalose were therefore instructed to maintain contact with Mr Roelf Meyer, solely for the purpose of briefing the latter.
The only time that a representative of the NP/SAG was present at our bilateral negotiations was on April 10, 1994, when Mr Fanus Schoeman attended as an observer.
It is exactly because Mr Schoeman had no mandate to negotiate anything on behalf of either the NP or the SAG that the agreement arrived at that day, in the presence of Mr Schoeman, said, as stated above, that "the African National Congress and the Inkatha Freedom Party... agreed to involve an international mediation panel..."
And yet the IFP continues to insist, contrary to the truth, that the National Party and the then South African government was party to what is explicitly stated as a bilateral agreement.
In pursuance of this strange course, in your letter to President Mandela, you say:
"The fact that agreement on this list of issues was finally achieved among all parties involved, including the National Party and the South African Government, was certified in writing to the mediators by the Consultative Business Movement which was acting as the Secretariat of the mediation process".
The reality is that there is neither such a fact nor such certification from the CBM!
At the ANC/IFP meeting at which the "Consolidated Terms of Reference" were agreed, it was also agreed that the NP/SAG could send up to 3 observers to the negotiations who would also be granted speakIn the same letter to President Mandela, you make another strange statement that "this list of outstanding issues... was almost entirely based on the terms of reference originally proposed by the ANC".
This seeks to overturn the truth stated in page 3 of your document headed "The Status of International Mediation...etc".
In this document the IFP states correctly that "These were the very issues which were listed in the Yellow Paper of the Freedom Alliance which in December 1993 both Mr J Mentz of the IFP and Mr D Schutte of the NP introduced as amendments to the constitution being debated in Parliament. The same issues engaged the Freedom Alliance, the NP and the ANC in three months of very intense negotiations between the beginning of January and the end of March 1994".
It is extremely puzzling that it should now be asserted that "the very issues which were listed in the Yellow Paper of the Freedom Alliance" were "originally proposed by the ANC".
In reality, what is presented as agreed "outstanding issues" was the range of matters listed in your Yellow Paper on which agreement could not be reached in the Freedom Alliance/NP/ANC negotiations to which the paragraph above refers.
You are aware that the ANC's own position communicated to the mediators was stated as follows:
"The ANC submits that the said Constitution is consistent with and is expressive of the objective of the establishment of a united, democratic, non-racial and non-sexist South Africa, the realisation of which objective has been, from the beginning, the agreed aim of the multi-party negotiations, as reflected in the Declaration of Intent that was adopted at the first session of the Convention for a Democratic South Africa in December 1991".
The ANC went on to say:
"The ANC further submits that through any party, including the ANC, may find that various elements in the constitution are not to its liking, no grounds exist to reject the Constitution as a whole, on the basis that it is offensive to the achievement of the objectives contained in the said Declaration of Intent".
It should be clear from all this that the claim that the "outstanding issues" you mention could have emanated from the ANC can have no basis in fact.
All that happened was that we listed matters which the IFP had identified, we having nothing which we thought should be subjected to any international mediation.
You are aware of the fact that the mediation process for which the "Consolidated Terms of Reference" were intended collapsed and the international mediators (Dr Kissinger et al) returned to their countries.
The subsequent negotiations which resulted in the April 19, 1994 agreement were not a continuation of the aborted negotiations, as you claim in you letter to President Mandela in which you say "we agreed that international mediation would resume as soon as possible after the elections and that therefore, it would be the same process which began before (the) elections".
No such decision was taken that the mediation agreed in terms of the April 19 Agreement "would be the same process which began before the elections" for the reasons already stated in this letter, including the fact that the NP was not party to the process which began before the elections.
It is necessary that we abandon the futile attempt to alter the meaning and intention of the April 19, 1994 Agreement reached by five (5) parties as opposed to the earlier aborted effort which involved two (2) parties.
As you know, the April 19 "Agreement for Reconciliation and Peace" has this to say about the issue of international mediation:
"Any outstanding issues in respect of the King of the Zulus and the 1993 Constitution as amended will be addressed by way of international mediation which will commence as soon as possible after the said elections".
The matter of "any outstanding issues" and the mention of the "Constitution as amended" arise because the same Agreement contains then new provisions indicating how the matter of the King of the Zulus should be dealt with, for which specific reason the Constitution had to be amended.
It may have been that these new provisions were not sufficient to address all concerns relating to the role, etc. of the King.
This led to the conclusion and commitment that should there be any outstanding issues with respect to this matter, international mediation would commence after the elections, possibly leading to the further amendment of the 1993 Constitution. Consequently, an enabling clause was written into the Agreement.
The question therefore remains to be answered - what are these outstanding issues, which, as you know, were not identified in the April 19 Agreement!
The next important point to make with regard to this Agreement is that it refers specifically to the 1993 Constitution and not a future Constitution.
The Constitutional Assembly is not discussing the 1993 Constitution. The suggestion that this Assembly would have to stop its work while the 1993 Constitution was being amended, if this were agreed as a result of international mediation, is without rhyme or reason.
It is therefore necessary to avoid the confusion which leads the IFP to reach the utterly wrong conclusion that the mediation referred to in the April 19 Agreement has anything to do with the ordinary work of the Constitutional Assembly, and therefore with the future "final" Constitution.
The Agreement refers specifically to the current Interim Constitution.
When all is said and done, the real problem does not reside in differences of opinion about what was agreed with regard to international mediation.
In your document "The Status of International Mediation..." (page 1) you say:
"Simply put, the IFP rejected the notion of an election to empower a Constitutional Assembly charged with the task of writing a new Constitution by virtue of majority rule...".
Further in the same document you say:"The IFP always opposed the notion of a Constitutional Assembly charged with the task of drafting a constitution for the country by virtue of majority rule. There are fundamental issues, such as those of federalism and pluralism, which cannot be decided by majority rule, no matter how large is the majority concerned". (page 6)
From all this we understood that you wish to make the following points:
We would like to say most categorically that the ANC cannot accept any of these proportions, which are contained in the documents you sent to President Mandela.
The democratically elected Constitutional Assembly must negotiate the Constitution, as provided for in the laws of the country, including the Constitution.
None of us has a right to claim adherence to democracy and pluralism and then seek to deny other parties elected into the Constitutional Assembly their right to participate in the constitution making process.
The members of the Constitutional Assembly have the ability to consider the merits of any idea and will undoubtedly, arrive at "right" decisions which, among other things, will be determined by the binding Constitutional Principles.
As far as we are concerned, the Constitutional Assembly will and should proceed with its work uninterrupted until it has discharged its mandate.
We are very interested that the IFP representatives in the Constitutional Assembly should return to the Constitutional Assembly to carry out the work for which they were elected and trust that the IFP will heed this appeal.
The ANC is ready to look at the merits of any ideas which the IFP and all other parties may have and would hope that the IFP would also be willing to look at the merits of any ideas which the ANC and all other parties may have, leading to the adoption of a constitution which enjoys the widest possible base of support and acceptance.
The Constitutional Assembly is the only legitimate and democratically mandated forum within which this exchange of ideas on constitutional matters should and can take place.
In your letter to Mr De Klerk you say that "the majority of the Zulu voters... are quite angered by the games that are being played now on this issue (of international mediation)..."
I would like to assure you, sir, that neither President Mandela nor the rest of the ANC are involved in any games.
Throughout its history, we have sought to treat the issue of international mediation with all the dignity due to it. We will, in future, continue along the same path.
cc Mr F.W. de Klerk
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