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Mandela Expects No Talks for Guerrillas, De Klerk

February 06, 1990|From Associated Press

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — Nelson R. Mandela called President Frederik W. de Klerk's concessions to the anti-apartheid movement "courageous" but does not believe that they will lead to talks between guerrillas and the government, a Mandela associate said today.

The Rev. Allan Boesak, president of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, spoke after meeting with Mandela today.

Later, Boesak said the jailed African National Congress leader described De Klerk's speech on Friday--during which he legalized the ANC and lifted many emergency restrictions--as "bold, courageous and hopeful."

But Mandela does not believe that the speech cleared the way for negotiations, Boesak said. He "has not given up on any of his principles," Boesak added.

He also said that although Mandela has presented demands to the government, he will accept freedom whether they are met or not.

"His release is not in his own hands," Boesak said. "It is the responsibility of the South African government to release him."

Earlier, Mandela's wife, Winnie, had indicated that Mandela had demanded a complete lifting of the state of emergency as a condition of his release.

Boesak said Mandela wants the government to end the 3 1/2-year-old state of emergency and release all political prisoners, including guerrillas convicted of acts of violence.

If these conditions are not met, Mandela would still agree to leave prison, "but he will state his unhappiness with the government," Boesak said.

Cabinet ministers said today that Mandela will be released "very soon" but that the date hasn't been decided yet.

Earlier today Walter Sisulu, an ANC leader who was freed in October after 26 years in prison, said the ANC has no intention of starting negotiations with the government and called on De Klerk to make further reforms.

He said the ANC will pursue its guerrilla campaign despite De Klerk's decision to legalize the group, which had been banned since 1960.

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