Prenegotiation in South Africa (1985-1993) : a phaseological analysis of the transitional negotiations

Kruger, Botha W.(Botha Willem) (1998)

Thesis (MA) -- Stellenbosch University, 1998.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The perception exists that the South African transitional negotiations were initiated by events during 1990. This study challenges such a perception and argues that prior to formal contact there existed a crucial period of informal bargaining. This period, known as prenegotiation, saw members of the National Party government and the African National Congress (ANC) attempt to communicate in order to gauge the possibility of a negotiated settlement. By utilising a phaseological approach to bargaining/negotiation, this study analyses the transition in order to ascertain the structure and functions of South African prenegotiation. The following three negotiation phases are identified: bargaining about bargaining, preliminary bargaining and substantive bargaining. Both of the first two phases are regarded as part of prenegotiation. This study argues that the first phase started as early as 1985 under conditions of immense secrecy and stayed that way until its conclusion in 1990. Three different avenues of communication were established during this time. The first avenue existed between government officials and the imprisoned Nelson Mandela. Regular meetings were held in an attempt to create an understanding of what was needed to normalise South African politics. The second avenue operated mostly on international soil, through intermediaries, and became an indirect channel of communication between exiled ANC officials and officials in the government's National Intelligence Service. The third avenue consisted of independent efforts by extra-governmental role-players to establish communication with the exiled ANC leadership. All three avenues impacted differently on the negotiation process, yet all are regarded as part of the bargaining about bargaining phase. The second phase was initiated by F.W. de Klerk's opening of parliament speech in 1990. In this phase new negotiators came to the fore and it signified an ongoing attempt by the government and the ANC to establish a contract zone for substantive bargaining. Prominent agreements included the Groote Schuur Minute, the Pretoria Minute, the D.F. Malan Accord and the National Peace Accord. The establishment of a multi-party negotiating forum, Codesa, ended preliminary bargaining, but only temporarily. After deadlock occurred in May 1992 it became necessary to revert back to prenegotiation issues before further progress could be made. The bilateral discussions that ensued between the government and the ANC saw the most prominent bargaining relationships of the transition develop, notably between Roelf Meyer and Cyril Ramaphosa, and between Nelson Mandela and F.W. de Klerk. With the signing of the Record of Understanding and the establishment of the Multi-P~ Negotiating Process ·m1993, ~ ,--· .. . ~ ~-- prenegotiation came to an end. In focussing primarily on prenegotiation, this study attempts both to refine existing prenegotiation theory and to identify possible recommendations for other deeply divided societies. For the success of a negotiation process it is an imperative that lasting good faith and a workable contract zone are established prior to any form of substantive bargaining.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die opvatting bestaan dat die Suid-Afrikaanse oorgangsonderhandelinge geinisieer is deur gebeurtenisse tydens 1990. Hierdie stuC.:ie betwis so 'n opvatting en argumenteer dat 'n noodsaaklike tydperk van informele onderhandeling voor formele kontak bestaan het. Gedurende die voorafgaande tydperk, wat bekend staan as vooronderhandeling, het lede van die Nasionale Party regering en die African National Congress (ANC) gepoog om kommunikasiekanale daar te stel en sodoende die moontlikheid van 'n onderhandelde skikking te ondersoek. Deur van 'n fase-benadering tot onderhandeling gebruik te maak, analiseer hierdie studie die oorgangstydperk met die doel om die struktuur en funksies van Suid-Afrikaanse vooronderhandelinge te bepaal. Die volgende drie onderhandelingsfases word onderskei: onderhande/ing oor onderhandeling, voorlopige onderhande/ing, en substantiewe onderhandeling. Beide fases een en twee word beskou as deel van vooronderhandeling. Volgens hierdie studie het die eerste fuse so vroeg as 1985 onder uiters geheime omstandighede begin, en het dit so voortgeduur tot met die finalisering daarvan in 1990. Drie verskillende kommunikasiewee het ontstaan gedurende hierdie tydperk. Die eerste weg was tussen regeringsamptenare en die gevange Nelson Mandela. Gereelde ontmoetings is gehou in 'n poging om 'n verstandhouding te kweek oor wat nodig sou wees om Suid-Afrikaanse politiek te normaliseer. Die tweede weg het meestal op internasionale grondgebied afgespeel deur middel van tussengangers, en het 'n indirekte kommunikasiekanaal tussen uitgeweke ANC lede en amptenare van die regering se Nasionale Intelligensie Diens bewerkstellig. Die derde weg het bestaan uit ona:thanklike pogings deur rolspelers buite die regering om kominunikasie te bewerkstellig met die uitgeweke ANC-leierskap. Alhoewel die wee op verskillende vlakke die onderhandelingsproses beiinvloed het, word al drie as deel van die eerste fase beskou. Die tweede fase is ingelei deur F. W. de Klerk se parlementere openingstoespraak in 1990. In hierdie fase het nuwe onderhandelaars na vore getree en dit is gekenmerk deur 'n deurlopende poging van die regering en die ANC om 'n kontraksone vir substantiewe onderhandeling te skep. Prominente skikkings het ingesluit die Groote Schuur Minuut, die Pretoria Minuut, die D.F. Malan Verdrag, en die Nasionale Vredesverdrag. Die totstandkoming van 'n veelparty-onderhandelingsforum, Codesa, het die einde van voorlopige onderhandeling aangedu~ alhoewel slegs tydelik. Na 'n dooiepunt bereik is in Mei 1992 het dit noodsaaklik geword om terug te keer na voorlopige onderhandeling. Die daaropvolgende bilaterale ontmoetings tussen die regering en die ANC is gekenmerk deur die ontwikkeling van prominente onderhandelingsverhoudings, veral tussen RoelfMeyer en Cyril Ramaphosa, en tussen Nelson Mandela en F.W. de Klerk. Met die ondertekening van die Rekord van Verstandhouding en die totstandkoming van die Veelparty-onderhandelingsproses in 1993, het vooronderhandeling tot 'n einde gekom. Deur hoofsaaklik op vooronderhandeling te fokus, probeer hierdie studie om beide bestaande vooronderhandelingsteorie te verfyn, asook moontlike riglyne vir ander diepverdeelde samelewings te identifiseer. Vir 'n onderhandelingsproses om suksesvol te wees is dit noodsaaklik dat blywende goedertrou en 'n werkbare kontraksone tot stand gebring word voor die aanvang van enige vorm van substantiewe onderhandeling.

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