HL Deb 11 March 1991 vol 527 cc1-2WA
Lord Hylton

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they are using their influence with the Government of South Africa to; (a) speed up the release from prison of unconvicted detainees and the return of exiles; (b) secure the ending of political trials; (c) achieve the repeal of emergency legislation, including the Internal Security Act; (d) increase the accountability of the security forces and disband special forces and hit-squads; (e) bring about the election of a constituent assembly.

The Earl of Caithness:

The Government maintain full and regular contact with all sides in South Africa. We will continue to urge the speedy removal of all remaining obstacles to negotiations. In this regard we are encouraged by the further agreement, between the South African Government and the ANC announced on 15th February, which will speed up the release of political prisoners and the return of exiles. It is also encouraging that there is growing support in South Africa for a multi-party conference to discuss the way forward to a new constitution. Our hope is that full constitutional negotiations begin soon to create through peaceful means a democratic non-racial society. It is not for us to prescribe how South Africans should decide their future: for example, it is for the parties themselves to decide on the appropriateness of a constituent assembly.