S. African Conservatives Split on Multiracial Talks
CAPE TOWN — SOUTH Africa's right-wing Conservative Party expelled the leader of a pro-negotiation faction yesterday and said he would be expected to resign his parliamentary seat. CP senior member Frank le Roux said Koos van der Merwe, who advocates joining the multiracial Convention for a Democratic South African (CODESA), had defied party discipline.
Mr. Van der Merwe was the CP's second pro-negotiations parliamentarian to be dismissed since the party's stinging defeat in a white referendum last month on political reform. Koos Botha was expelled earlier this month.
At least a dozen CP members are believed to support Van der Merwe's position, but Mr. Le Roux said he did not expect anyone else to be dismissed.
Le Roux said the CP decided at a weekend summit to consider an invitation by President De Klerk to discuss its objections to CODESA. But he said Van der Merwe spoke out of turn when he told the Afrikaans newspaper Rapport Sunday that the CP should back De Klerk. A source at the summit said the pro-negotiation faction had gained the advantage over hard-liners, who advocate only white self-determination.