Hope And Death

South Africa's negotiations resume, but the bloodshed doesn't stop

DUBBED A MERE "PLANNING CONFERENCE," THE gathering was in fact historic. When negotiations resumed near Johannesburg after a nine-month deadlock, the meeting included 26 delegates from the widest spectrum of antagonists ever put together on South African soil. Besides the African National Congress and the governing National Party, the talks included such ex-boycotters as the apartheid-forever Conservative Party and the black-power Pan Africanist Congress. The conferees reached agreement on the agenda's main item: a resumption by April 5 of formal talks on constitutional issues like power sharing. Said A.N.C. secretary-general Cyril Ramaphosa: "A torch of hope has been lit."

Yet as...

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