Madiba walks with Laurent Kabila into a press conference [Thabo Mbeki is there too]
MANDELA: I just want to make a brief statement. As you know I was in the Congo yesterday with the Deputy President Thabo Mbeki. We met President Mobutu and made certain proposals to him which he requested to take to, back to Kinshasa to consult his advisors. We are expecting an answer from him on Monday. The President of the Alliance of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo-Zaire Comrade Kabila came to see us today to give us the opportunity of briefing him on the discussions we had with President Mobutu. We have done so and we are all waiting for the response from President Mobutu. Now as you know in the past we have been very candid in placing these matters before the media but we are engaged in very sensitive and complicated negotiations and we don’t want any party to hear about the discussions that we have had with the other from the media because that further complicates our negotiations. All that I want to say is that matters are going according to plan and we are confident that a solution will be found because we are getting co-operation from both parties but I hope you won’t probe us for details. Because it is in the interest not only of the people of Congo-Zaire that there should be a settlement; it is in the interest of the whole continent of Africa. Zaire, as we have pointed out, has nine borders, has borders with nine different countries and instability in that country has a ripple effect which affects all the neighbouring countries. And it is for that reason that we think it is absolutely crucial for us to bring about peace in that country and we are confident that we are making progress. Thank you.
[MADIBA OFFERS KABILA THE ‘HOT SEAT’]
KABILA: What is being done in the negotiation for our country. We shall wait till Monday to receive another answer from the other side, that is Mr Mobutu’s side. That is the only thing I can say now. It seems we are bound of not revealing anything we have discussed a few minutes ago so let us stick at that position till Monday. Thank you.
Q: Are you going to halt the attack on Kinshasa?
KABILA: I have nothing to say about it
MANDELA: Well thank you
SABC Information Library, Johannesburg.