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Salient. Official Newspaper of Victoria University Students Association. Volume 40, Number 3. March 14, 1977.

Progress of the Talks

Progress of the Talks

After two months the talks have inevitably achieved little. Having agreed on a date for independence (March 1, 1976) they have been adjourned to allow another round of diplomacy during which the attempt will be to get enough compromises on the structure of an interim government for momentum to pick up in the New Year.

The talks are still foundering on the intransigence of Smith who seeing in the Kissinger plan the basis for maintaining white domination, is still regarding the structure of the interim government proposed in the plan as non-negotiable.

His hope is that the talks will break down and he will get outside aid including the lifting of sanctions, on the basis that they collapsed because of the "unreliability" of the black nationalists.

The Front-line states, though for reasons indicated wishing to see a quick solution, cannot at the mement compromise to the extent necessary to reach agreement with Smith.

On the question of the structure of the interim government an Anglo-American compromise has been hastily put together which involves a British Resident Commissioner and British officials holding the Ministries of Defence and Law and Order in the interim government.

The fact that the Patriotic Front has been pushing for a British presence indicates their willingness to go along with this compromise in their attempt to seize power.

It was reported that "unless South Africa is persuaded to force more concessions from Salisbury there is no hope of forming an interim government." (Australian, 14/12/76). Given Vorster's need in the face of continued upsurges in South Africa to pose as a statesman bringing "peace" to Southern Africa and to retain the support of US it can be expected he will bring such pressure to bear.

The leaders at Geneva Muzorewa, Mugabe, Sithole, Nkomo and the present ZIPA leadership — are not revolutionartes in their own right. However, it is only in the Muzorewa/Sithole coalition that the revolutionary movement will be allowed to develop without being physically eliminated.

Whether the talks succeed in setting up some sort of sham interim government or whether they break down, [unclear: necessitating] a further "detente" move in the near future, it is clear that any settlement reached under such conditions and as a result of the manoeuvring of a host of external influences in no way will represent self-determination for the Zimbabwean people.

This Article was reprinted from "Hakika", a news heet put out by the Southern African Liberation Centre, Sydney, Aust. Further information about this subject can be obtained from —

National Anti Apartheid Committee,

P.O. Box 9154,

Courtenay Place,