Perspectives on negotiations: Two views on the process
This document contains two articles: The first article, by Dr. Oscar Dumisani Dhlomo, discusses the current South African situation, particularly Natal. The Pretoria Minute (6 August 1990) between the South African Government and the African National Congress clears the way for discussions on the process of negotiation. The ANC made a big concession by suspending the armed struggle, and so did Government, by negotiating with the ANC. The next stage is discussing the negotiation process itself and will have to include potential negotiating parties that have stood on the sidelines until now. Both the Government and the ANC have committed themselves to address the violence in Natal – their first-ever joint commitment to bring peace to the region. The author hopes that the solution will not exclude the President of the Inkatha Freedom Party, Dr. Mangosuthu Buthelezi. The second article, by F.A. Sonn, describes the basis of negotiations between the Nationalist government and the ANC, discussing the balance of power between them, and that the government chose coming to terms with the popular power, giving rise to the current negotiations. For meaningful negotiations, there must be recognition on both sides of each other’s power and willingness to accept each another’s equality. The parties need to seek a common cause, and the process depends on a climate for negotiation. Negotiation should occur in all sectors of the community and socio-economic realities should be taken into account. Answers will not come from the negotiating table; the real problem should be addressed, not historical inequities. The negotiations signify the convergence of Afrocentric and Eurocentric worlds in Africa, and the article concludes that the constitutional model forms the parameters for one South African nation.