HC Deb 01 July 1992 vol 210 cc848-9
17. Mr. Pike

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with representatives from South Africa on the progress of dismantling apartheid.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

We maintain a close dialogue with all the parties in South Africa. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister keeps in contact with President de Klerk and Mr. Mandela. We are also in close touch with Chief Buthelezi.

Mr. Pike

As the former Prime Minister said in this House that the Government of post-partheid South Africa would have to be acceptable to all the people of South Africa, will the British Government make it clear to President de Klerk that when negotiations resume after their suspension it is crucial that the power of veto be overcome? The veto must not preserve apartheid and privilege in a different form in post-apartheid South Africa.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

It is precisely because the future Government of South Africa must be accepted by all the parties there that this question is a matter for the Convention for a Democratic South Africa to decide. It would be quite wrong of me to comment on the matter.

Mr. Temple-Morris

As part of this process, is my hon. Friend entirely satisfied that the South African security forces are doing all that they can to police the Zulu hostels in the townships? If he shares my concern about that—it is widely shared—will he communicate it to the South Africa Government?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

It is clearly most important that the South African security forces should police those areas in the way that my hon. Friend has described. The South African Government are in close contact with my right hon. Friends, who have discussions with them on these points.

Mrs. Dunwoody

Does the Minister agree that unless Her Majesty's Government make it clear to the South African Government that the South African security forces must be wholly divorced from political incitement to violence—that is the only way in which anyone can ever begin to negotiate—there will be a tradgedy to which the inaction of the British Government will have contributed?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary dealt extensively with that point. Obviously, the escalation of violence is the real and terrible problem in South Africa which is preventing meaningful negotiations. My right hon. Friend said that he was in touch with the Foreign Minister of South Africa only yesterday and discussed the very matters to which the hon. Lady has drawn attention.

Back to
Forward to