Right-wing African leader requests time



PRETORIA, South Africa (AP)—The government and the ANC risk inciting armed action if they wrap up a new constitution as planned this week, a leader of South Africa’s white right wing said Tuesday.

In New York, a Zulu leader said that the nation could face civil war if the government approves a new constitution that fails to give his Zulu people regional autonomy.

Retired Gen. Constand Viljoen pleaded for the majority parties to allow one or two more months to work out an ‘‘all-inclusive’‘ deal with his followers and conservative blacks who have joined them in the Freedom Alliance.

The six-party Freedom Alliance, led by the right wing and the Zulu-dominated Inkatha Freedom Party, refuses to join the negotiations on a post-apartheid constitution.

Viljoen said he opposes violence, but anger from Afrikaners was likely to spill out if they were ignored in formulating a new constitution.

‘‘Don’t press on regardless,’‘ he said, addressing a foreign press luncheon. Otherwise, ‘‘There is no way this process can bring us peace.’‘

Viljoen leads the Afrikaner Volksfront, the major umbrella group for the right wing.

Mangosuthu Buthelezi, leader the Inkatha Freedom Party, warned of possible civil war in remarks at U.N. Headquarters in New York.

If negotiations fail, ‘‘the sheer magnitude of the opposition . .. could heighten the levels of the present tension and violence to the extent that South Africa is threatened with civil war,’‘ Buthelezi said.

More than 11,000 people, the vast majority of them black, have died in political violence in South Africa in the past three years. Most of the killing has been linked to the ANC-Inkatha rivalry.

President F.W. de Klerk told reporters later he would keep trying to involve conservatives so the constitution would have as broad a base as possible. He said that those who stayed out of the process could later attack the constitution’s validity, and that could lead to ‘‘insurrection.’‘

‘‘The Freedom Alliance has the capacity to become an important security risk,’‘ he said.

In a public letter addressed to white rightists, African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela said threats of violence were an admission that right-wing policies had failed. He asked whites to look to the opportunities ahead, and not fear the future.

Government and ANC negotiators have set a Friday deadline to finish work on the draft constitution, bill of rights and election law, following nearly three years of multiparty talks.

Talks with the Freedom Alliance ended Monday with no apparent headway in satisfying the Volksfront demand for an autonomous homeland for white Afrikaners.

The Inkatha Freedom Party also wants ‘‘self-determination’‘ for blacks in the Zulu homeland of kwaZulu.

An agreement between de Klerk’s governing National Party and the ANC envisages South Africa’s first fully democratic elections on April 27, followed by a five-year government of national unity.

In Bisho, capital of Ciskei, meanwhile, lawyers for the black homeland’s military chief, Brigadier Oupa Gqozo, argued Tuesday that Gqozo was like a ‘‘king who can do no wrong,’‘ so murder charges against him should be dismissed.

Gqozo is being tried for murdering the brother of the president he overthrew.

In opening arguments, Gqozo lawyer Dup de Bruyn said Ciskei law was derived from British common law, which held that a monarch, or head of state, could not be held personally responsible for acts done in an official capacity.

But Ciskei’s attorney general said he was accusing Gqozo ‘‘as an individual.’‘

Ciskei, on the southeastern coast, is one of four black homelands the South African government considers independent. No other nation recognizes their sovereignty. The homelands were created under apartheid to segregate blacks by tribe.

In Rome, the Food and Agriculture Organization became the first U.N. agency to readmit South Africa since de Klerk’s government acted to dismantle apartheid.