JOHANNESBURG — The South African government and the African National Congress (ANC) have urged the Afrikaner Volksfront (AVF), the right-wing's umbrella group, to return to talks on self-determination in an Afrikaner homeland.
The joint appeal to South Africa's restive right wing followed a decision by the AVF on Wednesday to withdraw from talks they had been conducting independently with the government and the ANC.
The AVF cited reported statements by President Frederik de Klerk and ANC President Nelson Mandela, made during their current visit to the United States, that they did not recognize the Afrikaner's right to self-determination and an Afrikaner state.
The AVF said it would now be forced to consider ``other methods'' to ensure the Afrikaners' ``freedom.'' Right-wing leaders have frequently threatened violent rebellion if their demands are not met.
But an official of the ruling National Party, Marthinus van Schalkwyk, claimed the AVF statement was a desperate bid to maintain right-wing unity after a rebellion by the right-wing Conservative Party, which dominates the AVF executive, and the neo-Fascist Afrikaner Resistance Movement.
ANC Secretary-General Cyril Ramaphosa said the ANC remained committed to the negotiations and would seek an official explanation from the AVF leadership for calling off the talks.
The AVF statement followed a Sept. 24 Monitor report that the AVF and ANC had reached an agreement-in-principle that the white right would take part in the first democratic election in return for a guarantee that their demand for self-determination in a demarcated territory be met after the ballot.
The rapprochement between the two adversaries was hailed in political and diplomatic circles as a sign of hope that a democratic election could be held as scheduled on April 27, 1994.