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Reply by Nelson Mandela to letter from FW de Klerk, 16 September 1992

16 September 1992

Mr F.W. De. Klerk
The State President

Dear Mr De Klerk

Thank you for your letter received per facsimile at 19h06 on 16 September 1992.

The third paragraph of your letter reveal. a failure on your part to appreciate the consistency in the approach of the ANC with regard to the proposed summit. My letter of 13 September 1992 was intended precisely to ensure that there is no misunderstanding between us about the process. There can be no doubt in anyone's mind by now that the ANC's position contains substantial flexibility. We are determined to ensure that if and when the summit takes place it must be based on a firm Foundation which will assure its success.

We have responded to your proposal because we noted that you now appear to appreciate that negotiations cannot resume given the current level of violence. At the same time, as I publicly stated on 15 September 1992: "The negotiation process has lost credibility, ha. become discredited". Our approach to the summit therefore is based on the urgent need for your government to make "some visible, practical move to restore the credibility of negotiations".

We are of the view that there should be no delay whatsoever in finding an adequate basis between your government and the ANC to move the country forward. The issues we raised in our statement of 23 June 1992 and our memoranda are pertinent and need to be addressed. We believe that the meetings between Messrs Meyer and Ramaphosa should address all of them satisfactorily.

However there are three critical areas, which I have referred to publicly, and which need firm agreement and commencement  of pratical steps by your government as the minimum basis for the summit to take place.You will appreciate that our insistence government's failure to implement agreements that were reached in the past with regard to hostels.

The three issues I refer to are the release of political prisiners, the question of hostels and the need for the prohibition of the display and carrying  of weapons on all public ocassions throughout the country. We are convinced that between Mr Meyer and Mr Ramaphosa these matters can be resolved and acted upon speedily. Should they fail to do so, there would be little point in holding the summit.

It should be clear that the ANC  is showing  substantial flexibility in order to make the summit possible and succesful . We trust that you will respond accordingly.

Yours sincerely


N.R. Mandela