Dr. Kissinger, I Presume?
Dr. Kissinger, I Presume?
The 1976 Initiatives
Abstract and Keywords
Chapter 7 focuses on the Kissinger Initiatives of 1976, during which Washington made a belated—but nearly successful—effort to stave off a Cold War conflict in Southern Africa through encouraging an end to minority rule in Rhodesia and South-West Africa. It argues that John Vorster, increasingly beset by opposition to his state-building agenda grounded in a reconceptualization of the relationship between black and white, effectively exploited Kissinger’s involvement to hide the true nature of South Africa’s commitment to the Initiatives. This left him once again seeking to promote his vision for the white polity covertly and without widespread domestic support. Interweaving the failure of these Initiatives with the Soweto unrest and domestic turmoil at home, the chapter charts the collapse of white political commitment to multinationalism as the roadmap for South Africa’s future both at home and abroad.
At the end of April, American Secretary of State Henry Kissinger delivered the Lusaka Address, seemingly heralding a reversal of Washington’s long neglect of both Africa and the issue of majority rule.1 No sooner had he done so than Pretoria announced an end to additional military aid to Rhodesia—a clear signal to Salisbury (and the Frontline states of Tanzania, Mozambique, Botswana, Angola, and Zambia) that the American initiative had prima facie South African support.2 Over the subsequent weeks, Smith repeatedly sought a meeting with Vorster. But the South African prime minister kept his distance, presumably hoping time and isolation would help his counterpart realize that a transfer of power at last had to be effected.3
Finally, ten days before he was due to meet with Kissinger in West Germany, Vorster invited Smith to Libertas, the official prime ministerial residence in Pretoria. He again tried to convince the Rhodesian leader that a settlement was in his own best interests. Vorster “pointed out the alternatives” once more, repeatedly suggesting that Smith preempt an escalation of the insurgency and avoid the prospect of Soviet or Cuban intervention by offering the black population a better deal at the negotiating table. He also issued a stern warning about the dangers of conducting cross-border operations into Mozambique, which increased the risk of escalation and attracted negative publicity internationally. Smith was as inflexible as ever. He maintained that the insurgency was well under control; the only acceptable solution was an orderly transfer to responsible majority rule (that is, a qualified franchise); no real progress in the negotiations could be obtained until the insurgency had first come to a halt; his government was actually attracting steadily increasing levels of black support; and “the alternative to what he was trying to do was a certain communist take-over.”4 The regime, he improbably assured his South African counterpart, “could go on indefinitely, as it was not on the verge of collapse.”5
(p.226) An exasperated Vorster asked Smith to give him something tangible to take to Kissinger. Under Smith’s plans, what would “responsible government” look like? What specific voting arrangements would be acceptable? And most importantly, what sort of time period was Salisbury willing to accept for a transfer of power? The questions came thick and fast, but Smith steadfastly avoided providing any concrete answers that might limit his scope for negotiation in the future. For Pretoria, Lusaka, and Washington alike, the threat of expanded communist intervention in Rhodesia may have served as a powerful incentive for a settlement, but for Salisbury, events in Angola had merely made the consequences of hastily agreeing to an unfavorable settlement all too real. “Premature handover to black government would make Angolan-type chaos certain with ZANU enjoying full Marxist backing and RSA as hamstrung as they are in Angola,” Jack Gaylard told Harold Hawkins. “Continuing white government is the only insurance against that situation.”6 The Rhodesians also saw American involvement as a valuable new factor in the equation, one that would increase the resonance of their anticommunist message and strengthen their hand at the negotiating table.7 The tense and unproductive meeting between Vorster and Smith only served to expose the chasm between the two regimes’ priorities in any Rhodesian settlement. Brand Fourie recalled that so little had been agreed upon during the meeting that the ensuing press release noted only that “[t]he two prime ministers had discussed the situation in Southern Africa.”8 The experience was a timely reminder for Vorster of the scale of the challenge he had before him.
Reminded of just how difficult it was going to be to convince Smith to abnegate power, Vorster traveled to meet Kissinger in West Germany over June 23 and 24. In addition to two private meetings with the secretary of state, at which no minutes were apparently taken, two plenary sessions were held.9 The first of these focused on Rhodesia; the second, held the next morning and considerably shorter, on SWA. The encounters, held in the Bavarian villages of Bodenmais and Grafenau in an effort to avoid anti-apartheid protesters, were surreal. They produced a large amount of substantive progress; featured lengthy iterations of the unique Nationalist view of Southern African politics and history, punctuated by the prime minister’s idiosyncratic humor and homespun wisdom; and took place in an unmistakably convivial atmosphere, replete with banter and jokes from both sides. “The rapport established between Vorster and Kissinger was quite remarkable,” recalled Donald Sole, present as South Africa’s Ambassador to West Germany.10 At no stage did Kissinger criticize apartheid or suggest that (p.227) separate development was not sustainable. Instead, he simply sought—and obtained—Pretoria’s support for his Southern Africa plan.
As for Vorster, he had five aims in West Germany and achieved all of them. First, he wanted to emphasize the strength and resilience of the Salisbury regime to Kissinger, who saw a sharply deteriorating situation in Rhodesia. “They [the Rhodesians] can liquidate the terrorists, and they’re doing quite well,” Vorster purred.11 Based on his dismissive attitude toward Smith’s similar arguments just ten days earlier in Pretoria, such statements went far beyond what Vorster believed to be true. He was exaggerating in order to persuade the Americans that Salisbury was not on the verge of collapse and therefore would not accept any deal that was too unfavorable to white Rhodesians. Second, Vorster sought to emphasize Pretoria’s indispensability to any settlement: “You have to realize it was South Africa that brought them [Salisbury and the nationalists] together and South Africa that created the climate. Kaunda asked us to get Nkomo and Sithole out of detention. We did it. We arranged the meeting at the bridge and we provided the amenities at the bridge. I brought Smith and Kaunda together (p.228) for the first time since 1962. Everything they’ve [the parties] asked us to do, we’ve done.”12 Far from being coerced, Vorster was eager to get involved. Third, he wanted to see exactly what framework Kissinger planned to utilize to produce a settlement. He must have been elated to find that the Americans did not want him to take the lead in effecting Smith’s downfall. “Majority rule was in their opinion unavoidable and it was for Mr. Smith to decide whether he wanted to bring it about himself,” Fourie, present at the meetings, recalled.13 Fourth, Vorster wanted more meetings with Kissinger in order to gain international respectability.14 Securing the limelight was crucial not only to halting the ongoing deterioration of South Africa’s international reputation, but also to bolstering his own credentials within his party. Finally, and most importantly, Vorster wanted concrete progress toward a Rhodesian settlement amenable to South Africa. This last was achieved with remarkable speed and ruthlessness, as Kissinger and Vorster quickly came to an understanding to help the supposedly pro-Western Nkomo take over. This understanding included a package of financial aid and property rights designed to encourage the white community to stay, thereby contributing to the economic viability and stability of the new state. The package was a key ingredient for the South Africans, who were keenly aware that any premature suggestion that they were preparing to ditch Smith without adequate guarantees for the whites would prove explosive within the electorate. “Our people are very emotional about Rhodesia,” Muller pointed out. “Once this issue gets into the emotional field and I play it wrongly, I’m out,” Vorster bluntly concurred.15
Vorster ultimately agreed to use his influence with Smith so long as a suitable package could be designed. However, the South Africans repeatedly emphasized that while the details of such guarantees were still being figured out, secrecy was vital. “It’s absolutely essential this be kept quiet,” Pik Botha stressed.16 “If anything leaks beforehand to suggest that Vorster is preparing to sell out Smith, the South Africans say the whole deal is off,” Kissinger reported back to Ford after the meetings in West Germany.17 This suited Washington just fine. For their own domestic reasons, the Americans were hardly keen to have the arrangement with the South Africans publicized either.18 Moreover, it was important to Kissinger’s overall strategy that South Africa’s acquiescence be seen to be outstanding, thereby comprising a bargaining chip that he could use to urge cooperation from independent Africa later.19
As Vorster returned from West Germany, Salisbury strove frantically to find out what had transpired in the meetings with Kissinger. At the first of two post-summit meetings with Hawkins, Fourie concealed that Vorster and Kissinger had essentially come to an agreement to support Nkomo. The talks, he said, had been merely “exploratory.” The veteran Secretary for Foreign Affairs then crafted something of a “good cop, bad cop” scenario, in which it was the United States, (p.229) rather than South Africa, that was insisting on Salisbury taking substantive steps toward majority rule. He (accurately) related that Vorster had put Rhodesia’s position to the Americans, namely, that Salisbury had enjoyed substantial successes against the insurgency and it should never be forgotten that “the aftermath of a terrorist victory, or of a poor settlement, would be economic chaos and a break down of law and order.” However, Fourie continued, “the points made by Vorster did not have any great impact.”20 Instead, Kissinger—whose position Fourie described as “amazingly tough and utterly cynical”21—had insisted that the only means of averting an escalated conflict was substantive and immediate movement by Salisbury toward majority rule.
The ploy worked. With no equivocation, Hawkins relayed to Salisbury: “The Americans had emphasized they were not prepared in any circumstances to come in on our side. They believed the only way to avoid chaos and to thwart Marxist ambitions was for us to come to a quick solution to our constitutional problems ourselves… . They had said again and again the only way to avoid chaos was for us to reach a solution.”22 Pretoria had tried for two years to persuade Salisbury to take what it saw as a realistic approach to negotiating Rhodesia’s future. Now, it was shamelessly coopting Washington’s substantial diplomatic heft to push Salisbury in the desired direction. In a second meeting with Hawkins a week later, Fourie spelled out the way forward. Observing that “the [Kissinger] initiative represented the very last chance for Rhodesia,” he encouraged Salisbury to open negotiations with Nkomo. “This would be [the] only hope for [a] settlement of our own making,” a resigned Hawkins cabled home.23
This became a central tactic for Vorster over the ensuing months. Despite having been burned by America during the Angolan Civil War, he enthusiastically supported Washington’s efforts to engineer a transfer of power in Rhodesia and construct a framework for independence in SWA. Observers thought he did so to avoid American interference in the apartheid program. Scholars have likewise perceived American leverage at work, even speculating that Kissinger had manipulated the gold market to bring Vorster on board.24 However, far from being coerced, Vorster was just as eager for settlements in Rhodesia and SWA as the Americans. He therefore not only fell into Washington’s slipstream and let Kissinger make the running for him, but also exploited America’s involvement to neutralize the opposition that had plagued his plans in 1974–75.
The meetings in West Germany also yielded substantial progress on SWA. Unlike on Rhodesia, Pretoria was eager to take a visible role in designing a stable settlement in SWA, and was already doing so. “The big difference from Rhodesia is that [Vorster] is in the driver’s seat,” Bowdler noted in one cable. “[T]he [Turnhalle] conference is so structured that by proxy nothing will be decided that is not generally acceptable to him.”25 However, Turnhalle was substantially (p.230) hampered by its lack of international acceptance. It featured representatives from no fewer than eleven designated ethnic groups; the paramountcy of group rights and the importance of separate ethnic identities were concepts as difficult to transcend in SWA as they were in South Africa. However, whites formed the dominant faction and drove the agenda. As for the non-white groups, “most of the representatives were indoctrinated homeland leaders and well disposed toward the South African government,” Mudge reflected.26 Pretoria also liaised frequently with Mudge’s white delegation so as to protect South African interests.
Accordingly, the international community saw Turnhalle as essentially Pretoria’s puppet. It demanded the inclusion in any independence process of SWAPO, whom the OAU and the UN had designated the sole legitimate representatives of the SWA people. However, the South Africans were implacably opposed to the participation of what they saw as a Marxist terrorist group (p.231) with no domestic legitimacy. The NP cultivated a SWAPO creation myth that focused heavily on the role of white communists in the movement’s foundation; just months before, Vorster had referred to SWAPO as being “born in communist sin.”27 Equally, the Nationalists saw SWAPO’s claim to represent everyone in SWA-Namibia as ample proof that it represented no one nation or people; it therefore could scarcely be a legitimate political actor in a world of nation-states. Vorster held a personal repugnance of the organization that transcended the usual South African hostility to communism. In an interview with the SABC, the prime minister’s loathing of SWAPO and its leader, Sam Nujoma, was unmistakable:
[Nujoma] is not an elected leader of SWA, he is not even a genuine leader of SWA and SWAPO is but one of twenty or more political parties which do not enjoy majority support in SWA, but rather who enjoy minority support in SWA. One must clap one’s hands together that a body like the UN can take it upon themselves to say that a specific organization and a specific person is the organization and the man to whom SWA must be entrusted.28
Thus while SWAPO’s inclusion remained taboo for Pretoria, its exclusion all but guaranteed that a resulting settlement would lack international acceptance. What one side saw as a deal-breaker, the other saw as a sine qua non, hardly a recipe for a successful settlement.
Washington’s involvement offered a way out of this impasse. The United States sought much the same moderate and stable government in Windhoek that South Africa desired.29 It also needed Pretoria’s cooperation on Rhodesia. Washington therefore resolved both to allow South Africa a free hand on SWA and to work behind the scenes to secure international support for the process, thereby offering Pretoria an alternative route to legitimacy.30 Kissinger told Vorster in West Germany: “I couldn’t care less whether [the new state is] unitary or federal. Whatever is internationally accepted, we’ll accept… . We have no fixed ideas about how the constitution is drafted, as long as it leads to independence.”31 Kissinger was more concerned with the appearance of a democratic or at least pluralist process rather than the reality. However, he made it clear to Vorster that concessions would need to be made on South Africa’s part to achieve international acceptance. Specifically, Turnhalle would need to convene outside of SWA or South Africa in order to appear independent of Pretoria, while SWAPO would need to be included in some form.32 Pretoria balked at both proposals. However, Vorster realized that while the Ford Administration would allow South Africa substantial control over the independence process, all indications were that if Jimmy Carter were elected, he would seek direct UN (p.232) involvement and a much more prominent role for SWAPO.33 Vorster was therefore receptive to both of Kissinger’s suggestions.
“Not a nightmare which will disappear”
These behind-the-scenes discussions over the future of white rule in Southern Africa played out against a dramatic backdrop: on June 16, systematic repression gave way to wholescale rebellion in the Soweto township. Over the subsequent weeks and months, unrest spread rapidly to other urban areas, where it was met with a violent crackdown.34 The sudden, spiraling chaos caught the government off-guard. Just the month before, Manie Mulder, chairman of the West Rand Administration Board (and Connie’s brother), had reassured the media that “the broad masses of Soweto are perfectly content, perfectly happy. Black-white relationships at present are as healthy as can be. There is no danger whatsoever of a blow-up in Soweto.”35 The regime had also somewhat recovered from the fallout from the intervention in Angola and was looking ahead with cautious optimism. Just the day before, Vorster had briefed his caucus on what he saw as a critical turning point in the fortunes of the volk. The Transkei was about to become independent. This would allow the regime to finally display the feasibility and virtue of the much-maligned separate development model. Simultaneously, Washington needed the regime’s help, seemingly highlighting Pretoria’s centrality to Africa’s future. The timing could scarcely have been more fortuitous, extolled the impassioned prime minister to his caucus. “This is where we want to be, [at the center of] the world’s attention. We have never had such good publicity,” he said. “We did not arrange it so. Someone higher than us made it so.” The regime was on the verge of great success, Vorster concluded. “There is hope for the future.”36
Within just twenty-four hours, this remarkable optimism had dissolved as events buried the Nationalist pretension that the grand apartheid vision was moral, just, and wanted by blacks. “One thing should be abundantly clear. South Africa can never be the same again,” declared a newly ebullient World. “By its divisionary nature the present policy of separate development creates mistrust and does very little to eliminate tension among the various race groups.” What was needed, the newspaper suggested, was a jettisoning of the homeland framework in favor of convening “an immediate national conversation” representing all of South Africa’s peoples.37 Moreover, the uncompromising international response to South Africa’s subsequent ruthless crackdown, culminating in unanimous UN Security Council condemnation, underscored Pretoria’s status as a pariah in the global community. The regime was under a level of global pressure not experienced since the Sharpeville massacres sixteen years earlier.
(p.233) How these events affected the regime’s long-term viability was the subject of a post–winter break Cabinet meeting on August 3, one of the most crucial in Vorster’s twelve-year tenure as prime minister. The unusually detailed minutes provide a unique window onto the intellectual debate within the corridors of power in Pretoria over how the apartheid regime might secure its future.
The atmosphere in the Cabinet room was very tense. South Africa’s leaders were plainly worried that they were on the brink of losing control entirely, none more so than the prime minister. The meeting quickly agreed on a predictable crackdown at home. “Domestic order must be maintained,” Vorster summed up. There could be “no more Sowetos.” But what about the bigger picture, long-term viability for the volk? The Cabinet saw the challenge before South Africa as an integrated one, with internal unrest intimately interconnected with the negotiations with the Americans, regional security, and the separate development state-building agenda. Vorster insisted that his grand plan remained viable and that movement on Rhodesia and SWA remained prudent policy. The nation was indeed subject to “icy winds,” he told his colleagues, but “[w]e must not become panic stricken, or take crisis decisions.”38 His basic argument that settlements could lead to long-term regional stability stood on two pillars: first, that South Africa’s cooperation would be seen by the international community, and Africa in particular, as proof of the regime’s ability to be a constructive force on the world stage; and second, that the new majority black governments in Salisbury and Windhoek, having seen first-hand the benefits of working with the apartheid state, would not promptly turn around and help undermine the regime themselves. By reinforcing the breadth and depth of anti-apartheid sentiment in the world, recent events had gravely undermined the credibility of both notions.
The prime minister proceeded to handle the situation deftly, turning the crisis to his advantage. Prior to the meeting, he had circulated a key cable that he had just received from Pik Botha in New York. Botha’s “Long Telegram” constituted a seven-page wake-up call explaining South Africa’s position in the post-Soweto international environment.39 This cable constitutes perhaps the most comprehensive and considered assessment of how South Africa’s renewed isolation in the post-1976 environment was understood at the highest levels of the apartheid regime. As a rule, Vorster’s ministers had very little experience of international affairs or feel for global events. In contrast, Pik Botha had been a diplomat for most of the previous sixteen years. He was worldly and well read. Though the rising star of the party was widely mistrusted in verkrampte circles for his free-thinking ways and pragmatic instincts (and valued by Vorster for the same reasons), his knowledge of international affairs relative to other party members’ was unquestioned.
Pik Botha recalls that the aim of the Long Telegram was to “suggest which national and international activities or actions will give us the best chance to (p.234) survive… . What we can do to avoid the actions against us while we still have the power to take the decisions to avert our own destruction.”40 The tone was suitably bleak and direct. He reported that following the UN Security Council’s post-Soweto resolution, South Africa was in dire straits. Pretoria had to face up to the full extent of global opposition to its system: “Even among those who believe that our internal order can be maintained, there is nevertheless a fear that repetitions of Soweto will soon lead to international sanctions… . A final warning has now been issued to us.”41 Moreover, Botha emphasized, whatever lingering hope there was in Pretoria that the United States would come to South Africa’s rescue in the case of a Cold War conflict had to be jettisoned. A more realistic appraisal of American attitudes and politics should be adopted:
The current American government is seemingly the only Western government which still displays a willingness, however vague, to consider as a possibility a political solution in the Republic which is not necessarily based on one man one vote. A new USA government under Carter will not support such a favorable policy which is not based on [the] political integration [of ethnic or racial groups]. We are now reaching the stage, therefore, where we are not only not going to have any support for our policy, but when it is actively combatted by the whole world.42
Botha’s message was unmistakably ominous: “It is my considered opinion, based on personal knowledge and evaluation over a period of 16 years that the above explanation is a realistic analysis of what stands right in front of us [onmiddellik voor die deur]. It is not a nightmare which will disappear. It is the harsh reality of waking up.”43 All of this, Botha concluded purposefully, underscored the urgency of prompt progress in the ongoing regional negotiations. South Africa could “buy a little time to control our domestic situation only if we can coldbloodedly and urgently get rid of the Rhodesian and SWA problems.”44
This was precisely the argument advanced by Vorster early on in the Cabinet meeting, setting the tone for the subsequent discussion. Through facilitating settlements in Rhodesia and SWA, he declared, “We can buy time to see through the implementation of the [separate development] policy.” Emphases and approaches differed, but his Cabinet colleagues concurred overall. Even the hardline Mulder, though skeptical as to whether South Africa’s post-Soweto international position was quite as grim as Pik Botha had suggested, recognized that South Africa “had to dispose of [the] Rhodesian and SWA issues… . [I]n Rhodesia a moderate government of white and black had to be formed. This applies to SWA too.” P. W. Botha also eventually supported the prevailing consensus, though without enthusiasm. “We must find a solution for the Rhodesian question,” the defense minister parroted. “We must buy time.”45 (p.235)
On the surface, Vorster had skillfully coopted Pik Botha’s expert and independent analysis to gain support for his diplomatic agenda and preempt opposition amongst his colleagues. Yet upon closer inspection, there was in fact little resolution of the underlying differences within the Cabinet over the direction and focus of South Africa’s geopolitics. The hawks, for instance, read Botha’s cable very differently. In the middle section of the Long Telegram, the ambassador had asserted that the UN resolution served to confirm both that most African states (p.236) accepted that the Soviet Union and its satellites would provide the manpower and equipment to combat majority rule in Southern Africa and that there were “clear and even eager” indications coming from Moscow that it was prepared to fulfill these expectations.46 Noting that P. W. Botha and Magnus Malan had told him that South Africa could not withstand a conventional assault along the entirety of its borders, the ambassador reasoned: “There is no doubt that the Russians are aware of this, that they are planning such an assault under the pretext of the African clarion call [Afrika wekroep] and that they have considered that the West, including the USA, will not come to help South Africa. This is the reality which we now must stare in the face and [which] within the next few months will be put into action.”47 Such predictions of impending Soviet penetration into Southern Africa were predictably seized upon by the hawks.48 Military Intelligence’s analysis of Botha’s cable focused entirely on his characterization of an opportunist Soviet Union exploiting local liberation movements, neighboring black states, political and economic crises, and international incidents to further its influence in the region and ultimately provide a pretext for direct intervention.49
Thus, although Pik Botha and Vorster saw Soweto and the resulting international obloquy as reinforcing the need for immediate progress on SWA and Rhodesia, South Africa’s hawks saw in events a confirmation of the need for a strengthening of conventional security measures. Never one to miss an opportunity, P. W. Botha promptly informed Cabinet that in the new climate “South Africa had additional defense problems along its borders which must be defended.”50 Although numerous budget increases had been approved over the previous months, Botha nevertheless asserted that “[t]he Defense budget is R200 million too little” and “if the R200m is not forthcoming” then the military’s “preparedness on land and in the air” would be compromised.51 For years, he had tried to draw attention to South Africa’s strategic vulnerability and seek approval for increased funding and responsibilities for the military. Often, he had been ignored. How times had changed. At the August 3 meeting, four more ministers openly echoed his call for stronger defenses. These included three senior figures: Louwrens Muller, Deputy Leader of the Cape NP and a very close ally of the minister for defense; Jimmy Kruger, Minister for Police, a hardline verkrampte supporter of Mulder and a member of the Transvaal NP; and S. P. “Fanie” Botha, a verligte Transvaler who would run against Mulder from the left in the contest for the NP leadership in September 1978. Evidently, policy was more of a coagulant in this unlikely coalition than politics. Through his advocacy of total onslaught, Botha had effectively monopolized the conceptual framework for the long-time Nationalist proclivity for externalizing opposition to the regime as a communist project. Now, in a moment of crisis, Botha’s assertive, radical prescriptions were finding a warm reception from right across the Nationalist spectrum.
(p.237) Enthusiasm for Vorster’s détente endeavors within the Cabinet therefore coexisted uneasily with the desire for stronger conventional defense measures. For the time being, both could be pursued. This was the compromise course that Vorster followed in the wake of Angola to maintain Cabinet support for his détente diplomacy; hence the large increases in the defense budget during the first half of 1976.52 But the two policies in fact represented fundamentally divergent approaches to the security challenges that South Africa faced. One approach was constructive, cooperative, and multilateral, the other assertive, defiant, and unilateral. One was derived from the idea that South Africa could change the world’s views of apartheid and ultimately erode international hostility; the other saw little point in trying. And as long as the prospect of successful, completed settlements in Rhodesia and SWA seemed nebulous, the Cabinet was decidedly ambivalent over the feasibility of the diplomatic route and reticent to apply the requisite serious pressure on Smith and the SWA whites.
That ambivalence was not restricted to the Cabinet. In winter 1977, Broederbond Chairman Gerrit Viljoen, a close ally of P. W. Botha, wrote a circular to the Bond chapters. Drawing on briefings from “government figures,” the verligte Viljoen explained and endorsed Vorster’s renewed effort at reshaping South Africa’s regional context: “We must not subordinate our interests to those of Rhodesia, however tight the ties between us might otherwise be.” However, the arguments mustered behind this position were of two distinctly different types. Vorster’s unique brand of idealism was not overlooked. Rhodesia comprised “a painful dilemma,” Viljoen wrote, but those African leaders who were prepared to acknowledge that Afrikaners “had a right to exist as an African volk” nevertheless saw the white governments in SWA and Rhodesia as “colonial remnants.” This argument, however, featured less prominently than the rationales of hard-headed realism, articulated in emotive tropes. A move on Rhodesia was necessary “to try to keep the wolf from the door” and prepare for a “hot confrontation” when it eventually materialized, Viljoen stressed.53 The language in which the policy of regional settlements was sold to Afrikanerdom had shifted from the inexorable optimism of summer 1974–75.
Vorster nevertheless pressed on. With renewed though hardly fulsome Cabinet approval for his strategy for the regime’s survival, he decided to withdraw South Africa’s air crews from Rhodesia, which were integral to Salisbury’s counterinsurgency efforts.54 The Rhodesians were piqued rather than persuaded. The South Africans had told them nothing of the details of the Kissinger Plan. All they knew was that Kissinger had declared his support for the British timetable of independence within two years, which seemed incompatible with Salisbury’s own insistence on an “evolutionary” transition. It was becoming clear to Salisbury that what Kissinger was proposing was to be a diktat; Hawkins (p.238) could only plead with Fourie that it was “obscene to discuss our proposed fate without our participation.”55
The Rhodesians responded by taking matters into their own hands in an effort to torpedo the emerging diplomatic momentum. On August 9, Rhodesian forces destroyed a major insurgent camp at Nyadzonya in Mozambique. Perhaps over eight hundred guerrillas, including twenty-eight Frelimo fighters, were killed.56 Pretoria was enraged.57 In just the past few months, Vorster, Fourie, and van den Bergh had each stressed to the Rhodesians the need to refrain from controversial cross-border actions.58 Although the operation had clearly been meticulously coordinated, the Rhodesians claimed it had been a “hot pursuit” raid rather than a cross-border attack and, as such, was not covered by their prior assurances of restraint.59 Moreover, Hawkins reminded Fourie, the Nyadzonya operation “closely paralleled the recent attack by RSA forces against the SWAPO base camp in Zambia, and other hot pursuit operations carried out by them.”60 He spelled out the corollary: “If we were to concede the principle that we could not hit back at our attackers in hot pursuit we would be crippled… . Furthermore, a precedent would be set that would certainly be applied against South Africa in due course.”61
Rhodesia’s intransigence only strengthened Vorster’s resolve. Just as Vorster never understood Smith, the Rhodesian leader never grasped that it was clear setbacks that brought the defiant gambler out of the naturally cautious South African prime minister. Vorster immediately instructed Pik Botha to work with Kissinger on the wording of a public statement indicating South African support for the Kissinger Initiatives.62 Just four days after the Nyadzonya attack, on August 13, Muller read from the supplied script at the annual Natal NP congress in Durban. “[A]lthough it is not for the South African government to determine how the problem should be tackled and solved, I want to declare once again that the South African Government welcomes this initiative and that we are prepared to comply with the request to demonstrate our commitment to Africa by giving our full support for a peaceful outcome.”63 Muller’s speech had the desired effect. The South African diplomatic mission cabled from Salisbury: “We believe that the overall impression left here by Dr. Muller’s speech is that South Africa regarded a settlement as urgent and that Rhodesia could not rely on South Africa much longer to sustain it in the absence of progress toward a settlement.”64 Salisbury was finally getting the message that Pretoria was serious about prompt progress toward majority rule.
By September, Kissinger had laid the groundwork and was ready to bring the various stakeholders together. His strategy was to first draw the various (p.239) parties—the UK, the Frontline states, Rhodesia, and South Africa—into a loose agreement, and then use their support to bring Salisbury and the nationalists to the negotiating table, where they could hammer out the details. Kissinger told Pik Botha: “My experience in negotiation is, once the parties have made the decision to settle, they have [a] vested interest in settling the details. If they haven’t agreed to settle, every detail is insuperable.”65 Swift progress was vital. With presidential elections in November, the Ford Administration might not be in office in a few months’ time. Whatever momentum had been built up could not be allowed to dissipate. And with South Africa finally on board, progress in the negotiations over Rhodesia, so often elusive and illusory, suddenly seemed within reach. At the same time, the parties realized that in the post-Soweto environment Pretoria’s support was tenuous. In a conversation with British Foreign Secretary Tony Crosland, Kissinger mused:
Is his [Vorster’s] domestic situation strong enough? Especially because some in his country can plausibly say his getting into this negotiation has weakened his situation in South Africa. In June [that is, before Soweto] my argument to him was that this would buy him time for his own problems. I can’t tell him this now.66
As a British adviser pointed out to the secretary of state, South Africa had just received television. Images of the “kidnapping and killing of white women” in a lawless Rhodesian transition would rapidly corrode public support for South Africa’s role and make Vorster’s cooperation untenable.67
With such issues in mind, Vorster and Kissinger met again in Zurich in early September.68 Kissinger outlined the details of the package for the Rhodesian whites. Existing land ownership rights would be protected. If citizens wished to sell their homes or farms they would be able to sell them to a public authority underwritten by an international Zimbabwe Adjustment Fund for a percentage of their preindependence market value. That percentage would rise every year for five (later adjusted to ten) years, a clear incentive to remain in the new Zimbabwe. Vorster approved; the package was just what he needed to sell the deal to his domestic electorate.
The meeting was not, however, without its surprises. Vorster was under the impression that South Africa would move last in Kissinger’s choreographed initiative; that is, the African presidents were to have signed onto the Kissinger Plan before he persuaded Smith to accept it. The secretary of state instead stipulated that Vorster secure “99 per cent” of Smith’s agreement first. For all his frustration with Smith and the urgency of avoiding a major Cold War conflict on his borders, Vorster still had serious reservations about taking on the role of Salisbury’s executioner as opposed to facilitating an international process.69 He (p.240) told Kissinger: “[W]e cannot be seen to be deposing Ian Smith. The Rhodesians can depose him but not us… . [I]t’s immoral for me to do it.”70 Morality aside, Vorster knew that given verkrampte sentiment it might well prove political suicide. Kissinger assuaged Vorster’s concerns by appealing to the bigger picture—and by issuing a crucial, implicit, but hollow assurance:
What we’re doing is preventing Communist foreign penetration into Rhodesia… . If the war continues, even a Rhodesian victory has the paradoxical consequences that it brings nearer foreign intervention, which we won’t be able to resist, given our domestic situation… . [But] If we have brought majority rule, with British cooperation, and there is still foreign intervention, then it’s not in the name of white against black.71
The implication was clear: if communist intervention occurred against a predominantly black, post-Smith Zimbabwean government, Washington would find it easier domestically to intervene. Vorster fell into line, later telling his Cabinet: “If all this leads to conflict, he [Kissinger] can give no guarantees because it is the US Congress that must decide. However, [the Ford Administration] will be especially amenable [toward intervention].”72 Kissinger cabled back to Ford: “It is clear that Vorster has not swerved from his earlier promises to us; this is an extremely courageous decision for him, particularly in light of the domestic problems erupting in his country. It looks now as if real progress on Rhodesia is possible unless the black side collapses on us.”73
Vorster was similarly amenable on SWA. He agreed to both of Kissinger’s requirements: holding the constitutional conference in Geneva, rather than Windhoek; and allowing SWAPO participation. As seen, the latter ran counter to Vorster’s every instinct. But he was eager to conclude a settlement on SWA that sidelined the UN, which he saw (with some justification) as biased in favor of a transfer to SWAPO rule. Even as Vorster met Kissinger in Zurich, Sean McBride, the UN Special Representative on SWA, publicly stated that South Africa should first withdraw from SWA and then initiate talks with SWAPO and only SWAPO.74 Vorster therefore agreed to Kissinger’s demands, while attaching three conditions of his own: first, SWAPO could take part only if they were “prepared to state publicly they will support peaceful solutions in South-West Africa and will stop terrorism immediately”; second, Vorster himself would not negotiate with SWAPO, but the Turnhalle representatives could do so if they chose; and third, SWAPO would be present in Geneva as just one of several bodies representative of the peoples of SWA. He told Kissinger in no uncertain terms: “If SWAPO and Sam Nujoma think they can come to negotiations, (p.241) whether in Geneva or in Timbuctoo, as the only recognized representative then the Conference will be in a shambles on the first day.”75 Kissinger raised no objections.
On his return to South Africa, Vorster promptly convened his Cabinet. It had been just a month since the tense August 3 meeting. Yet as he divulged the results of his discussions with Kissinger in Switzerland, the mood could hardly have been more different. The prime minister reported progress on every front. On Rhodesia, South Africa would not be required to be the hangman: “South Africa’s position was that interference in Rhodesia’s internal affairs, such as to remove Ian Smith as Prime Minister, could not be permitted. This was accepted.” On SWA, “South Africa has won,” Vorster declared. There would an all-parties conference, with both the UN and South Africa as observers, designed to achieve independence for SWA by the end of 1978. On South Africa’s position at the UN, at a new low after Soweto, Vorster announced that Kissinger had committed to blocking any move at the UN to declare apartheid a threat to world peace: “[The] US will veto any decision under Chapter 7 [of the UN Charter] so long as the Ford Administration remains in power.” Finally, Kissinger had agreed to visit South Africa itself—and would meet with homeland as well as Indian and Colored leaders. The validation that this last might provide for South Africa’s besieged separate development policies could not have gone unnoticed. The minutes concluded: “The result that has been achieved is almost unbelievable… . [T]he cause of peace has been substantially promoted.”76
Vorster must have been ecstatic. His colleagues had responded to his briefing with rapturous praise for what they saw as his skillful diplomacy and mature statesmanship; “our Prime Minister’s integrity and capability are accepted [internationally],” the minutes purred. He was about to complete ten years as prime minister, more than any of his apartheid-era predecessors. The first homeland in the Transkei was due for independence in October. And to crown it all, South Africa seemed on the path back to acceptance by the West. In public, however, the Ford Administration continued to keep Pretoria at arm’s length. Kissinger told Bowdler that acquiescing to Vorster’s request to mention to the press a “drawing together” of the two countries would be “a most unwise move.”77 But in private, what Kissinger told Vorster was music to his ears: “In my judgment our meetings over the past months have laid more solid foundations for relations between the United States and South Africa.”78 After the devastating disappointment of Angola and the arresting shock of Soweto, Vorster’s stock had once more returned to near the heady heights of summer 1974–75. “I do not want to put it any higher than this [hoër stel as dit nie],” the ebullient leader told the Free State NP congress a few days later, “but it can possibly flow from this that the matter of Southern Africa is settled.”79
(p.242) Safari Diplomacy
Having secured South Africa’s commitment to persuade Smith to accept his settlement proposals, Kissinger embarked upon his “safari diplomacy” in sub-Saharan Africa. Nyerere and Kaunda were both more than receptive to the unfolding scheme.80 Meanwhile, Smith headed to Pretoria. For the first time, the South Africans revealed to him the details of the Kissinger Plan. The Five Points, often referred to as Annex C, were:
1. Salisbury would accept majority rule within two years.
2. Salisbury would meet immediately with nationalist leaders at a conference to organize an interim government.
3. The interim government would consist of two bodies. The Council of State would consist half of blacks, half of whites, with a white chairman with no casting vote. Functions would include passing legislation and supervising the drafting of the new constitution. The Council of Ministers would be the executive branch of the interim government and have a black majority and a black first minister. Decisions would be taken by a two-thirds majority.
4. The UK and Salisbury would both enact the necessary legislation to give effect to the interim government.
5. Upon establishment of the interim government, sanctions would be lifted and all guerrilla violence would cease.81
The Five Points were not unattractive to Salisbury. The Zimbabwe Adjustment Fund in particular, which essentially constituted a Sixth Point, was a major and concrete reassurance that Rhodesia’s white community would have a future in the new Zimbabwe. Pretoria made it clear what they expected Smith to do and reiterated that no last-minute assistance to the regime would be forthcoming. The South Africans repeated Fourie’s earlier tactic of pretending that the real pressure was coming from Washington, rather than Pretoria. “It is not Ian Smith who is being pressurized so much as it is a case of John Vorster having his arm twisted,” van den Bergh told Flower disingenuously.82 The Rhodesian leadership “accepted in principle,” but insisted on discussing the details with Kissinger before they took it to Cabinet.83
Kissinger duly arrived in South Africa on September 17. His presence was a landmark experience for both the South African electorate and its government, still reeling from the waves of civil disorder sweeping through South Africa’s townships. Now, the American secretary of state—“Super K,” the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, one of the most famous and powerful people in the world—had arrived in sleepy Pretoria to ask for white South Africa’s help. Die Burger (p.243) covered the arrival of “Superman Kissinger” in no fewer than six articles across the first two pages.84 Yet the same day that Kissinger touched down at Waterkloof Airport, police in Soweto killed six demonstrating children and injured thirty-five more.85 “[T]here is a definite anti-American feeling among many Blacks,” editorialized the World. Black youth, in particular, viewed Kissinger’s enterprise with “deep suspicion” and “fear[ed] another American ‘sell out’ of their aspirations.”86 It was a stark reminder of the vast and growing distance between Vorster’s vision and African hopes.
With his state-based view of geopolitics, Kissinger considered Pretoria’s domestic policies essentially extraneous to his need to engage with its leaders on the diplomatic level. However, the negotiations were not occurring in a vacuum, but were intimately connected to the imperative to restore domestic control. One Broederbond circular from the time makes this all too clear:
During a recent meeting with a friend in a responsible position [read: a high-level NP official or government minister] it became clear that, depending on the development of foreign relations, considerably increased action can be expected in the interest of the restoration of law and order in black townships, especially in Soweto. In this connection the [Broederbond] Executive wants to stress that our black population is substantially different from the white Westerner, especially in terms of respect for power, violence, and strong action. It has become urgently necessary to give conclusive proof to the vast majority of non-rioting blacks of the Government’s will and power to maintain law and order in everybody’s interest.87
As in West Germany and Switzerland, Kissinger and Vorster quickly found common ground in Pretoria. Vorster fulsomely agreed to deliver Smith: “On Annex C … I think I can persuade him to come in. And if he does come in, I am prepared to guarantee personally that he will go through with it—as a person and as a party. I am prepared to stand in as guarantor for his commitments, in toto.”88 This was much further than he had gone in 1974–75. But if Kissinger’s central role in the overall settlement architecture was liberating the prime minister from his domestic political restraints, Vorster was performing a similar function for the Americans: the secretary of state was loath to sit down with Smith, thereby according Salisbury a measure of recognition and perhaps offering the Rhodesians room to maneuver, unless he was assured that a positive outcome would ensue.89
With Vorster covering him, however, Kissinger sat down alone with Smith at the American ambassador’s residence on Sunday, September 19. The secretary of (p.244) state again hit the right emotional notes, expressing his sorrow at what needed to happen.90 The two then drove across town to Libertas, where they carefully went over the details of the Five Points. Vorster said very little, but his presence spoke volumes to Smith. The Rhodesians emphasized that they wanted the Defense and Law and Order ministries in the interim government to be controlled by whites so as to ensure a “stable transition.” Kissinger would not guarantee this, but he repeatedly assured the Rhodesians that he would strongly support their wishes on this point:
I’ll tell them [the African presidents] orally [that] you insist on the Law and Order and Defense Ministries, and I will support it …
The conversation soon circled back to this central point, with much the same result:
MINISTER FOR FINANCE DAVID SMITH:
It is essential that the two security ministries be white. There is no alternative.
So I can tell them [the African presidents] that you accept a two-thirds majority of blacks, with a veto for the whites, in the Cabinet [the Council (p.245) of Ministers], provided the two security ministers remain white for the two years of transition?
That is not unreasonable.91
The copy of the Five Points sent to the Rhodesians by Kissinger on September 22 duly stipulated in writing that the two ministries would indeed be controlled by whites.92 It also reiterated the agreed-upon structure for the Council of State: equal representation between blacks and whites, with a white chairman with no casting vote. Yet even as Kissinger visited Pretoria, the British were reminding the secretary of state that they were far from committed to the Five Points and had serious reservations over the make-up of the Council of State in particular.93
Kissinger proceeded regardless. He made it clear to Smith that he had only two choices. “Our option was to accept or reject. If we rejected, the next offer would only be worse,” Smith recalled.94 Kissinger promised Smith that if the interim government came under communist attack, “we would at least give you diplomatic support and look favorably on others who give military support.”95 However, if a Democrat were to win the US presidential election, he pointed out, things would be different. For his part, Vorster warned Smith in a private side-meeting that South Africa was no longer going to support Rhodesia either economically or militarily.96 To bolster the point, South Africa closed its border with Rhodesia while Smith was in Pretoria, leaving less than twenty days of oil in the country’s stockpiles.97 Smith would later lament the “South African eagerness to throw us to the wolves in their desperate panic to try to buy time and gain credit for solving the Rhodesian problem.”98 But Vorster continued to obscure the nature of his involvement. In November, in his first interview on American television, he told Face the Nation:
All that I did was to give Mr. Smith the position as I saw it. We discussed the various alternatives, but the decision—and I want to make that quite clear—the decision that Rhodesia arrived at was its own decision, and Rhodesia wasn’t pressurized [sic] in any way by South Africa at that time or at any time before that… . I’ve always adopted the attitude … that I was not prepared to twist Mr. Smith’s arm, but that any decision arrived at would be his own.99
None of this was true.
Smith agreed to recommend the Kissinger Plan to his Cabinet. The parties concurred that pending its approval, the Rhodesian prime minister would make a public announcement on the Friday, less than a week later. Kissinger’s entire strategy hinged on this moment. If Smith publicly committed to a transfer (p.246) of power, the secretary of state believed that the skeptical but long-suffering African Presidents and nationalists, as well as the increasingly apprehensive British,100 would embrace the entire process. Accordingly, as deliberations continued in Salisbury in the lead-up to the Friday announcement, Kissinger sent Smith numerous messages designed to sweeten the deal for the Rhodesian whites. In these, he indicated to the Rhodesians that both a qualified franchise and a white blocking mechanism in parliament, the two means that Salisbury had proposed to maintain additional white control in the new state, were not precluded by the Kissinger Plan and would remain on the table at any subsequent conference.101 Kissinger was also at pains to stress that there would be no bait and switch. He assured Smith in a cable: “It is our considered judgment that the best course for the Rhodesians at this moment is to accept the Five Points as they are, coupled with our assurance that we will not repeat not allow new demands to be raised from the other side beyond what is agreed in Annex C [sic].”102 He told the South Africans the same thing: “Whatever the British do, we will not deviate from or ask for any more concessions than we’ve agreed to.”103
On September 21, Smith duly advised his Cabinet to accept the Kissinger Plan. Although the deal amounted to “an ultimatum,” he nevertheless told his colleagues that “[t]hese proposals represented the best offer Rhodesia could expect from the free world. Furthermore, South Africa had emphasized the need for a settlement now otherwise Rhodesia would be faced with a deteriorating situation with the prospect of being forced to accept a less favorable settlement at a later stage.”104 As Central Intelligence Organization head Ken Flower later recounted: “The South African political, economic and military arm-twisting, which had been growing steadily more painful, had finally proved too much for Smith, his government and his country to bear.”105 Smith recalled the experience more dramatically: “On that fateful day in Pretoria, Vorster placed the proverbial pistol to our head.”106 After further discussion the next day, the Rhodesian Cabinet backed Smith’s position.107
The Side Deal: SWA
Kissinger’s visit to Pretoria also yielded major breakthroughs on SWA. Vorster and Kissinger swiftly agreed upon a Seven Point structure for a transition to independence by the end of 1978:
1. A constitutional conference in Geneva.
2. The UN would have observer status only.
(p.247) 3. South Africa would send a representative to maintain contact with the participants and negotiate on issues that bore directly on South Africa’s relationship with an independent Namibia.
4. The conference would decide the modalities of the SWA election and the nature of its supervision.
5. The agenda would be entirely open to whatever issues the participants might wish to raise.
6. Pretoria committed itself to accepting the outcome of the conference.
7. Independence would be obtained by December 31, 1978.108
Vorster agreed that SWAPO could attend the constitutional conference, provided it first gave an undertaking to renounce violence and ceased all insurgent activity.109 Having spoken to Mudge, he told Kissinger that “if SWAPO should make a declaration that they seek a peaceful solution and call off their dogs and stop the terrorism, he [Mudge] feels there is no question the [Turnhalle] conference will talk to SWAPO.”110 South Africa’s acceptance of Kissinger’s SWA framework was therefore explicitly conditional on this matter, yet it was not included in the Seven Points themselves. This mirrored how the financial guarantees for white Rhodesians, equally important to Pretoria’s acquiescence there, were not included in the Five Points. Kissinger’s tactic of prioritizing bringing the parties to the table, coupled with his eagerness for a swift settlement, meant that major areas of disagreement were being papered over or obscured.
The Seven Points gave South Africa a number of tangible benefits. First, the withdrawal or reduction of the SADF presence in SWA was not a precondition of any stage of the envisaged political process. This would allow South Africa, whether through the SADF or UNITA, to continue to eradicate SWAPO cadres in the border area even as constitutional discussions took place. Second, the Seven Points provided the first international acknowledgment of the legitimacy of the Turnhalle delegates as representatives of the SWA people and of their centrality to the drafting of a constitution. This development correspondingly diluted SWAPO’s importance and implicitly negated its claim to be the sole representative of the SWA population. Third, the Seven Points enabled SWAPO to be brought into the process, but on South Africa’s terms. SWAPO would have to lay down its weapons simply to gain a seat at the table, and as one of many parties present, it would not gain any of the recognition that would have accompanied bilateral negotiations with Pretoria. Finally, the deal was accompanied by an American promise to veto any UN resolution calling for sanctions over South Africa’s ongoing presence in SWA—a major lightning rod for international pressure—while Kissinger also agreed to bring the French and British on board at the Security Council.111
(p.248) Overall, the Seven Points thus constituted a very good deal for South Africa. However, the likelihood of the framework producing a durable settlement depended on two assumptions, both of which proved rash: that Turnhalle would conform to Pretoria’s wishes, and that SWAPO could be forced to settle for a lesser role at the constitutional conference. In August 1976, Turnhalle had agreed to create an interim government with a view to independence by the end of 1978. At its annual congress, the SWA NP had then given approval for a three-tiered structure that shared power between national, regional-ethnic, and local authorities.112 But over the ensuing months, major differences arose between Mudge and his more reactionary and doctrinaire fellow white Turnhalle delegates, led by A. H. du Plessis and Eben van Zyl. The central issue was how racial differences would be represented in the new polity and what the precise role of the second-tier structures would be. Mudge wanted a multiracial, pluralistic, and unitary state, in which the second-tier ethnic structures had limited authority over each group’s “own affairs,” defined narrowly. By contrast, du Plessis and van Zyl prioritized the preservation of white privileges, identity, and control. Accordingly, they supported strong second-tier structures that attached SWA’s various ethnic groups to geographically-based units in keeping with the ideology of separate development. As in South Africa, these would splinter the black majority into a series of ethnic minorities. If independence had to come, then they wanted a central government that amounted to little more than a federation of these second-tier entities.113
The differences amongst the white delegates were not only based on divergent intentions for the role of race in the new polity, but were also informed by different conceptions of political identity. Mudge envisaged Namibia as an independent, mutiracial country with links to both South Africa and other states. He was something of a Namibian nationalist at a time when such an identity was inchoate and undeveloped. Blacks are asking us to “decide whether we are South-Westers or South Africans,” Mudge vented in private. “We must throw in our lot with the future of this country, regardless of the consequences.” After all, he continued, “we get so little out of this association with South Africa… . The party here needs to walk its own path.”114 By contrast, the old guard saw strong links to Pretoria as essential to the white community’s future. They struggled to countenance any real divergence from the policy of the South African NP, let alone reconcile themselves to the need for discussions with SWAPO about Namibian independence.115
Publicly, Pretoria insisted that the Turnhalle delegates were largely in agreement and on the verge of implementing an interim government.116 The reality was very different. At one Cabinet meeting in October, a despairing Vorster told his colleagues that regardless of the public line emphasizing Pretoria’s noninterference in the process, Turnhalle “had to be pressured to draft a constitution.”117 (p.249) Indeed, the divide at the heart of the SWA NP was only growing wider. In October, part of a transcript of a conversation between Mudge and a Mr. X, later revealed as P. W. Botha’s biographer Daan Prinsloo, ended up on du Plessis’s desk. “[T]he whites of South-West must identify themselves with South-West, number one. Second, they must identify with the black man’s desire for independence and do so with enthusiasm,” the transcript recorded Mudge as saying. They had to “avoid ending up in the same position as the white man elsewhere in Africa” by being seen as opposing black freedom. Instead, vehicles like Turnhalle offered a great opportunity to build a “multi-racial politics” that could serve as a “counterweight” to SWAPO and provide for an inclusive future.118 Mudge’s frank remarks severely damaged the already fraught relationship between the two factions. While insisting in a subsequent letter to du Plessis that the conversation had been both “private” and “informal,” Mudge did not distance himself from his comments.119 Instead, in a speech at Kamanjab a few days later, he declared his opposition to two pillars of SWA’s apartheid structures, the laws on mixed marriages and interracial sex.120 These were seen as essential elements of the existing social order by the right wing of Nationalist politics on both sides of the Orange River.
These incidents rendered compromise among the SWA whites improbable. The American embassy in Pretoria observed: “Frustration at Turnhalle mounts as [the] anticipated new white position has yet to materialize… . Turnhalle talks [have] teetered on brink of collapse for weeks.”121 On November 24, an exasperated Vorster convened a crisis meeting.122 As well as the white Turnhalle delegates, he also invited Magnus Malan, the new Chief of the Defense Force, to attend the meeting and help illuminate for the feuding leaders the concrete consequences of not reaching an accord. Malan obliged. He detailed at length that SWAPO would soon have three thousand trained insurgents, while the likelihood of a Cuban-supported conventional attack would increase as the MPLA consolidated its rule in Angola. To ensure that the SWA delegates were under no illusions, he added that in the coming years the SADF would likely face problems on multiple fronts and would inevitably prioritize a threat on the eastern flank near the industrial heartland of the Transvaal over one in distant northern SWA. His conclusion was crystal clear: the likelihood of South-West Africans escaping the full force of the total onslaught “depend[ed] on the political progress made by the [Turnhalle] Conference.”123
For all Malan’s warnings, the distance between the two white factions remained vast. Du Plessis stressed that “the blacks in the [Turnhalle] Conference were becoming ever more aggressive and uncontrollable,” while SWAPO’s influence was increasing in the relatively populous north.124 In a private letter to Vorster written a week earlier, he had pointed out that a recent visit to refugee camps in northern SWA had been exploited by the non-white Turnhalle groups (p.250) to convey that the camps “ought to be a lesson … of what could happen to the Whites if we did not satisfy their demands. This was indeed said in so many words.”125 Du Plessis insisted that the stability and viability of the future state in SWA ultimately depended on a constitution that was acceptable to whites.126 Mudge agreed that Turnhalle was increasingly divided, but rationalized that this was only to be expected: each of the ethnic groups had their own priorities and constituencies. To him, the only viable solution was a division of power between them in the constitution. However, he stressed, “if the outcome of the Conference amounts to anything that looks like a homeland, the Conference will be rejected by the various population groups.”127
Despite South Africa’s best efforts, Turnhalle had developed a life of its own. Not only were different population groups expressing their own views on the construction of the new multiethnic state, but the one faction Pretoria thought it could rely upon to stick together and dictate proceedings was deeply divided. Such differences could not be swiftly resolved through some seven point agreement between Washington and Pretoria, because they reflected a much deeper normative fluidity sweeping across the entire region. The rules of what constituted a legitimate political and social order were falling apart. Angola and Soweto had contributed to this sentiment among African groups, certainly. But in questioning old shibboleths of unbridled white dominance Vorster had also done his part to break down ironclad certainties among the descendants of white settlers across the region. Mudge’s vision of a multiracial, nation-state based politics coupled with a prompt scaling back of petty apartheid clearly owed much to Vorster’s own hesitant signposting of this model for Southern Africa’s future.
Just as SWA’s whites were not fulfilling the role envisaged for them by Kissinger and Vorster, the feasibility of the Seven Points was also being undermined by SWAPO. In early November, Ford lost the American presidential election. The incoming Carter Administration was both less willing to compromise on the prospect of a genuinely broad-based successor state in SWA and more open to an active American role on the issue.128 Both were good news for SWAPO. Meanwhile, as Turnhalle struggled to reach an agreement, SWAPO leaders spent the last months of 1976 consolidating their support from the USSR and Cuba and entered the new year galvanized in their desire for total control in SWA. On the battlefield, SWAPO units proved increasingly effective against UNITA and soon regained the initiative.129 From a position of military strength, SWAPO had no incentive to lay down its arms and accept a lesser role alongside Turnhalle in Geneva. Mudge remembers: “SWAPO’s attitude was ‘Why should we talk to Dirk Mudge? He’s got no army, he doesn’t control the country. Who is he? We talk to South Africa. And we only talk to South Africa about handing over Namibia to us.’ That was their point of view.”130 By January 1977, Bowdler observed, “[t]alk of bringing SWAPO into the Turnhalle (p.251) discussions, or a meeting between SWAPO, South Africa, and South Westers, has vanished.”131 By early 1977, the process on SWA that Kissinger and Vorster had sponsored had collapsed entirely, while the new Carter Administration swiftly distanced itself from the Seven Points and everything connected with them.132
The Five Points Unravel
The negotiations on Rhodesia fared little better. On September 24, Smith had announced his reluctant acceptance of the Kissinger Plan on both radio and television:
I would be dishonest if I did not state quite clearly that the proposals which were put to us in Pretoria do not represent what in our view would be the best solution for Rhodesia’s problems… The American and British Governments, together with the major Western powers, have made up their minds as to the kind of solution they wish to see in Rhodesia and they are determined to bring it about. The alternative to acceptance of the proposals was explained to us in the clearest of terms, which left no room for misunderstanding.133
Two days later, the five Frontline presidents met in Lusaka. They publicly rejected the Kissinger proposals, objecting particularly to white control of the two security ministries.134 For Pretoria, this was the first sign that anything was amiss. Only Kissinger had been in contact with the Africans and had any idea what they were thinking. Vorster had energetically fulfilled his obligations and thought everything was running smoothly. Smith had even acquiesced to the plan, and in public too. Now everything was in jeopardy.
On the surface, the impasse existed over just two issues: who would control the security ministries in the interim government, and the racial balance of the Council of State. This divergence was, however, representative of a more fundamental problem, namely, that Kissinger had represented the status of Annex C differently to different parties. The Rhodesians perceived it as an immutable contract representing the full extent of their concessions and believed they would not have to concede any more ground.135 The African presidents saw it as a basis for negotiation.136 And the British understood it as merely a working draft.137 On the basis of the documentary record (and in contrast to Kissinger’s memoirs), all parties were justified in their views.138 Accordingly, although Nyerere and Kaunda had been initially receptive to Annex C, neither felt committed to it as an ironclad framework for a final settlement.
(p.252) This was not the only flaw in Kissinger’s settlement framework. The decision reached by London and Washington to allow Smith to make the initial announcement, though in wording meticulously vetted by them, was a tactical error. For the African presidents to sell the deal as a victory for decolonization and African nationalism, the initiative for a final settlement had to at least appear to come either from them or the international brokers, but certainly not from the hated Smith.139 Similarly, in order for the enterprise to have credibility in Africa, London and Washington needed to be in lock-step, when they rather resembled a three-legged race.140 Their differences could not have passed unnoticed by their interlocutors in the Frontline states. In one remarkable exchange in mid-September, for instance, Callaghan told Kissinger, with more than a little snark, that “we cannot from 5000 miles away, and without any Cabinet (or Treasury) commitment, publicly endorse every particular proposal that you may make.”141 Kissinger replied pointedly: “There is no way you can avoid involvement. If the conference fails, you will have Rhodesia on your hands again and the options now open to you will be closed.”142 The working relationship between the two never recovered. Finally, Kissinger had not consulted all of the Frontline presidents, much less the nationalist leaders themselves.143 He had shunned the more radical Machel and Neto, so they had no direct stake in the Kissinger Plan’s success. Both had plenty to gain from championing the militant pan-African cause and banging the anti-American drum; doubtless their presence at the multilateral Lusaka meeting contributed heavily to the ultimate rejection by the presidents of the Five Points.
Vorster suddenly found himself politically exposed by the prospect of the Kissinger Plan’s failure. Smith, he acknowledged to Cabinet, had done everything that was required of him. However, with the Africa having “repudiated the agreement,” there was now “a great deal of confusion.” Vorster endeavored to limit his political liability by again emphasizing to his colleagues that “South Africa [had] exercised no pressure on Rhodesia, [but only] handed over the written proposals to Smith.” Demoralized and uncertain, he sought further cover, telling his Cabinet: “As for Rhodesia, we have to give them the weapons to maintain their position, regardless of the cost.”144 Smith was stunned to find Vorster suddenly offering to train Rhodesia’s Mirage pilots free of charge and authorizing a long-delayed 20 million rand loan.145 Meanwhile, Kissinger met with Pik Botha in Washington and assured him that a Rhodesia conference convened by the British would go ahead as planned: “[T]he way to a negotiated settlement is open… . There has been no significant rejection of the five points, nor, in fact, has there been a conclusive rejection of the two ministries being held by the Europeans.”146 This was a decidedly optimistic interpretation of the Frontline presidents’ expressed views, but it was enough to persuade Vorster. Much like in December 1975, he had little choice but to stay the course. From (p.253) Pretoria, William Schaufele, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, assured Kissinger that the South Africans were still on board and would continue to “use their substantial influence” to keep Smith in line.147
When the Rhodesia conference convened in Geneva on October 28, a consistent dynamic quickly emerged. As each nationalist delegation presented its proposals, the Rhodesians stuck firm to Annex C. The minutes of one typical session recorded: “Mr. [P. K.] van der Byl [Rhodesian Minister for Foreign Affairs] stressed that the Rhodesian Delegation was present in Geneva purely to assist in the implementation of those proposals [Annex C], anything else being outside what the Rhodesian Government had accepted. Concessions had been made beforehand and no more could be considered.”148 Much like the Africans, the British saw the Five Points as decidedly pliable and their chairman, former UN Ambassador Ivor Richard, was disinclined to force the nationalists to stick closely to them. With progress proving elusive, the South Africans realized that the Geneva Conference was not going to produce a settlement.149
“It is time for reassessment”
With the Geneva Conference deadlocked, Richard visited Southern Africa in an endeavor to persuade Salisbury and Pretoria to agree to a new, British-designed deal. The Richard Plan differed from the Kissinger Plan in two important respects, each designed to address the major impasses between the parties: it proposed an interim government under black control, effectively constituting an immediate transition to majority rule; and it provided for Britain to assume the contested security ministries and temporarily to resume its colonial role through a Resident Commissioner.150 The Richard Plan thus both minimized the role that whites would play in shaping the contours of the future state and featured a humiliating handover of executive power by Smith to the distrusted British. On both counts, the new proposals amounted to a substantially worse deal for Salisbury than the Kissinger Plan that had already been agreed to.
As for South Africa, the problem for Vorster was that the already fragile domestic support for a settlement was collapsing. Throughout 1976, he had been increasingly hemmed in on two fronts. First, repeated Rhodesian raids into Mozambique, the Soweto insurrections, and the post-Angola resuscitation of anti-Pretoria norms had together fueled a marked rise in militancy in black Africa. In one editorial typical of the new era, the Times of Zambia stated that South Africa’s system meant “a ruthless subservience to domination by an alien people… . The salvation of the black man lies in his total refusal to co-operate with apartheid.”151 Victoria Falls must have felt a long time ago, though Vorster and Kaunda had in fact prayed together just a year earlier. This sentiment (p.254) resonated well beyond Southern Africa too. Liberia’s President William Tolbert, who had been very receptive to the outward policy, issued a similar verdict on South Africa to a joint session of the US Congress in September 1976: “I am convinced Africans would prefer death to continued repression.”152 If the violence of Soweto had not made it hard enough for even moderate African leaders to engage with Vorster, then the government’s response, infused with all the kragdadigheid (literally, vigor; more colloquially, uncompromising toughness) of traditional Nationalist political culture, had made it impossible. M. C. Botha, the deeply conservative Minister for Bantu Administration, displayed all the callousness toward Africans that Vorster was trying to purge from his regime: “I do not react to statements which Bantu leaders make in public.”153 The year of 1976 was notable for the paucity of the government’s direct contact with independent African leaders and Vorster’s reliance on Kissinger as an intermediary instead.
Second, Vorster was subject to increased pressure from his right wing. In January, he had attempted to neutralize criticism from the right by bringing Treurnicht into his outer Cabinet to replace Punt Jansen, a renowned verligte pragmatist. The move did nothing to silence the ambitious and articulate arch-conservative. Instead, it only succeeded in giving Treurnicht a platform closer to the center of Nationalist political circles from which to express his dissent—often subtly and while staying just within the limits of party policy. In June, for instance, he publicly criticized the recent opening of the Nico Malan Theatre in Cape Town to non-whites. The prime minister responded by bringing up the issue in caucus. But when Treurnicht subsequently offered an apology, unconvincingly suggesting that he had been trapped by insistent newspapermen, Vorster could only lamely reiterate that MPs should not “disturb [party] unity.”154 As the government considered limited reforms in the wake of Soweto, the emboldened verkrampte leader resolutely opposed any and every measure, galvanizing the right wing of the party. Koos van der Merwe, who followed Treurnicht out of the NP in 1982, recalls the right-wing’s ethos toward the broad coalition of enemies of the volk: “We’ll show the bastards!”155 Yet it was Treurnicht who as Deputy Minister of Bantu Administration and Development had insisted on the instruction of Africans in Afrikaans, the trigger for the Soweto unrest. Vorster could easily have made his bête noire the scapegoat and dropped him from the Cabinet. Or, when Treurnicht inevitably defended his actions, Vorster could have engineered to expel the renegade from the party and used the isolation of the right-wing to energize his own agenda.156 He did neither.
Vorster’s overall response to this signal challenge of his tenure was a microcosm of his leadership. Although he had utilized the Soweto emergency to furnish momentum for his cherished campaign for legitimacy and rehabilitation abroad, his creativity in statecraft was matched by a chronic inability to use domestic crises and the flux they created to fulfill his vision at home, rather than (p.255) perceiving them solely as challenges to his ability to maintain support within the party. Verligtes were clamoring for reform within the overarching separate development framework: home ownership for urban blacks; an acceleration of homeland development; investment in training and education for Africans; increased black living standards as an exemplar to radical Africa. “It is time for reassessment,” declared Volkshandel.157 “Greater power for urban blacks over their own affairs must come,” echoed Die Burger.158 The annual Broederbond Bondsraad, held at the end of September 1976, epitomized the prevailing climate. In the shadow of Soweto, verkrampte Carel Boshoff, the new chairman of the Broederbond’s Committee on Relations with the Bantus and Verwoerd’s son-in-law, dominated discussion of new avenues for the future. What was needed, he said, was a return to Verwoerdian apartheid: the rigid application in policy of the theory of full separation, grounded in biblical norms, and a renewal of Afrikaner unilateralism based on the unique mission of the volk (as opposed, by implication, to recognizing the rights and goals common to all national communities, as emphasized by verligtes). However, under Gerrit Viljoen’s chairmanship (1974–1980), the Broederbond had already accepted, within the bounds of multinational thinking, the essentially interdependent reality of South African society. “The likelihood of maintaining political control over our White homeland depends on the degree to which Blacks—including those who are located in White areas—can exercise meaningful political rights in their [respective] homeland, as an alternative to political partnership within our White fatherland,” read one memorandum.159 Accordingly, when Boshoff’s proposals came up for discussion, unconvinced senior Broeders responded that they were unrealistic. From the chair, Viljoen summed up (and doubtless shaped) the overall feeling. “We are not immobile people of granite,” he said, deliberately invoking Verwoerd’s famous metaphor. The goal had to be to further adapt the separate development model to economic and social realities.160
Polls likewise showed that the pulsating violence in the townships was breaking down entrenched attitudes within the electorate. A survey in the Afrikaans weekly Rapport showed that 57 percent of whites were willing to abolish job reservation by race, the central pillar of apartheid in the economic sphere. Another poll found that as many as 44 percent of whites were willing to support a form of restricted franchise for blacks. Importantly, this poll also indicated that support for the NP itself remained constant.161 The message to Vorster should have been crystal clear. “White opinion was badly shaken; was willing to consider reforms if that was what was required to make the troubles go away; but was clinging tight to its party allegiances,” scholar R. W. Johnson assessed at the time. “[F]aced with crisis and uncertainty, [the electorate] looked to strong government and a strong leader as never before. This left the ball very much in Vorster’s court.”162 There were plenty of prominent Nationalists who increasingly saw the (p.256) verkramptes for what they were: obstructionist flat-earthers without any feasible template for the future, playing relentlessly to the basest racist instincts of the electorate. These included P. W. Botha, Fanie Botha, and Piet Koornhof, as well as rising stars of the next generation, like Pik Botha and Barend du Plessis. However, just as Vorster was unable to free himself from the millstone of right-wing dissent, equally he was unable to fully articulate a coherent reformist vision and rally support around himself on that basis. When he met with the Broederbond Executive Council in November, he could only offer that after serious self-examination and reflection, he had concluded that “separate development” was the way forward.163 This formulation avoided all of the important questions on the minds of Afrikaners, not least the elites. If P. W. Botha was already upset with what he saw as Vorster’s disorganized style of governance and reluctance to take the fight to global communism, then the prime minister’s refusal to pioneer much-needed reform spelled the irreversible breakdown of their relationship.
Vorster’s failure to exploit this atmosphere of change in spring 1976 was the final, fatal mistake of his premiership. He understood the crucial importance of reducing petty apartheid for his project of relegitimization. Time and again, he had taken politically damaging stances on perhaps the most emotive issue for grassroots Afrikaners: playing sport, especially rugby, with other races. In the aftermath of Soweto, he did so again, pushing through legislation to allow clubs, if they so chose, to be multiracial at all levels of competition. He also announced the wholescale abolition of “hurtful” and “discriminatory measures serving no purpose,” an express commitment that would have been invaluable in bolstering his African outreach just two years before.164 When Louis Nel energetically took up the reformist mantle in caucus, the prime minister was equally unequivocal in his support of the verligte agenda in principle. “What do we want to keep?” Nel inquired rhetorically. “1) Principles 2) Security 3) Sovereignty 4) Identity. Thus far we have done this through ‘peoples policy’ [read: separate development] and ‘separation policy’ [read: petty apartheid]. The problem is where separation exists ‘on the grounds of color.’ … [I]t is this that the world holds against us. They question whether our racial policy does not in effect damage our separation policy.” Vorster concurred and in pointed language: “Mr. Nel is right in his views on racism.”165 Such was the atmosphere of flux in party circles that racism itself had become a designated negative.
However, the embattled Vorster did not understand that the time had come for more, much more. Soweto had broken the sense of stasis in South African politics, thereby providing a unique opportunity to head in new directions. But instead of leading, Vorster tried to keep the peace: sports reforms and a number of ad hoc concessions toward urban blacks for the verligtes, juxtaposed with ruthlessness toward the protesters and strong law and order rhetoric for (p.257) the verkramptes. The overall result was dysfunction, rather than balance. At one Nationalist rally in September, he carelessly remarked that extra funds originally earmarked for improving non-white living conditions would now have to be directed to the repairing of property damaged during the disturbances.166 For all his unexpected skill at discerning and shaping what foreign African leaders wanted, Vorster had a remarkable lack of understanding of how he could use his power and political weight to reorient African demands at home. This was just one of the many ironies and contradictions of his premiership.
Exasperated verligtes responded by taking matters into their own hands. In November, editors from Die Transvaler, Beeld, and Rapport launched a coordinated attack on Treurnicht’s obstructionism. Minister for Water Affairs Braam Raubenheimer vigorously defended his colleague and accused Willem de Klerk, the editor of Die Transvaler, of disloyalty to the cause.167 In the Nationalist lexicon, there were few bigger insults: nothing short of labeling the man who had coined the very terms “verligte” and “verkrampte” an enemy of the volk. Such a breach of Cabinet solidarity could not have occurred without Vorster’s tacit consent, and the prime minister lent weight to such conclusions by refusing to repudiate Raubenheimer’s accusations.
The divisions that had been papered over since 1969 had turned into a gaping fissure. Nationalists both within and outside the political arena disagreed on the importance of racial separation to the Afrikaner nationalist project, and what form it should take. In this context, Vorster’s attempts to straddle the divide and keep the peace did nothing but take the ground out from underneath his feet. Even powerful hardliners like Mulder had previously supported Vorster’s lead out of deference to his prime ministerial authority, his achievements on the international stage, and his prioritization of party unity. But Vorster’s refusal to use this unique moment to bolster his vision with a platform of reforms that simultaneously took the initiative away from the protesters in the townships and Treurnicht’s verkramptes sapped his authority within the party. Vorster, so effusively, even obsequiously, praised in September by his Cabinet, never again commanded the same respect among his colleagues.
“We have stuck our necks out as far as we can”
These events had a major impact on the pending settlements for Southern Africa. In January 1977, Richard traveled to the prime minister’s holiday house at Oubosstrand to ask Vorster to persuade Smith to accept his plan. He found his host in two minds. On the one hand, the geopolitical equation was still essentially the same.168 If a transition to majority rule in Rhodesia could not be achieved peacefully, then the guerrilla war would escalate, communist powers (p.258) might increase their African commitments, and Pretoria would come under pressure to intervene. All of this militated in favor of ongoing South African pressure on Salisbury. On January 3, Vorster told Richard that if there was a “bankable assurance” that under the Richard Plan guerrilla activity would stop upon the establishment of an interim government, then he might be willing to try to persuade Smith to comply.169 However, by January 11 he had changed his mind. He had already assisted Smith in publicly ending his regime. But there were “limits” to what he could do that “could not be exceeded,” Fourie recalls. The prime minister “had to guard against a ‘backlash.’ ”170 Indeed, the day after Smith announced his capitulation by radio, a group of HNP supporters had even broken into Libertas to protest the sell-out of Rhodesian whites.171 Vorster’s willingness to defy both public opinion and substantial rumblings in his Cabinet over his pursuit of an internationally brokered settlement in Rhodesia had reached its full extent.
Vorster also felt deeply disenchanted by the way in which the Kissinger Plan had unraveled. He was especially dismayed that in Geneva Richard had allowed the Africans to escape the commitment to the Five Points that he had been led to believe that they had made.172 The prime minister was “unhapp[y] with the fact that every concession on Rhodesia and Namibia had been met by escalating African demands,” Pik Botha frankly told the Americans.173 Further, Richard was offering none of the courtship or respect that Kissinger had skillfully deployed to woo Vorster and accord his government the recognition it craved. When the prime minister suggested to Richard that his new proposed transition government, featuring ten whites and twenty blacks, “looked like majority rule at once,” Richard tactlessly replied that the change was necessary because “the Africans did not trust [the Rhodesians] to carry the deal through to majority rule in the agreed timeframe.”174 This, as Vorster quickly pointed out, ignored that the South African prime minister himself had explicitly been Smith’s guarantor under the original plan.175
Ultimately, Vorster was only willing to pressure the Smith regime, defy his Cabinet and his party, and risk public opprobrium if he felt that South Africa’s cooperation would bring about both a stable Zimbabwe and international respect and appreciation. Achieving a settlement was desirable, but what really mattered was how a transition to majority rule could be leveraged into regional détente in the medium term and international rehabilitation in the long term. Unlike Kissinger, Richard had failed to appreciate the importance of this equation to obtaining Pretoria’s assistance and ultimately securing a durable settlement.
For all these reasons, Vorster ultimately told Richard that he was not prepared to reprise the same role he had played for Kissinger.176 While stressing his ongoing desire for a settlement, he stressed that “in this matter we have gone as far as we can possibly go. If you can agree with the Rhodesians, fine, but we have (p.259) stuck our necks out as far as we can.”177 He did promise that he would suggest to the Rhodesians that they not reject Richard’s proposals outright.178 But while Pik Botha told the Americans that Vorster had put the hard word on Hawkins to accept the Richard Plan,179 the Rhodesian minutes of the meeting show he did no such thing.180 Without South African leverage, the Richard Plan was a nonstarter. When Richard met with Smith a few days later, the Rhodesian leader rebuffed him in no uncertain terms, insisting that the new proposals “would have such a devastating effect on Rhodesian morale that it was incomprehensible how the British side could expect him to accept them.”181 The meeting broke up acrimoniously. Vorster’s détente vision, long on life support, was finally dead and buried.
The collapse of the Kissinger Initiatives on Southern Africa constituted a major turning point in the evolution of Pretoria’s approach to regional security, the regime’s survival, and the international community. In the first half of the 1970s, Vorster had tried to make the running himself, strengthening Cold War identities in Africa and then exploiting them in an effort to increase South Africa’s legitimacy. Now, he had exploited more familiar models of Cold War power relations, allowing Washington to act as the superpower while simultaneously maintaining enough agency to maneuver for every advantage he could behind the scenes. The context had, however, changed. Not only were the expectations of other parties—from Lusaka to SWAPO, and from Soweto to Havana—much higher, but Vorster’s own constituency increasingly understood the connection between regional settlements and its future prospects in different ways. The discrete goal in 1976 was the same as it had been a year earlier: creating stable multiracial states in both Rhodesia and SWA. However, for all Vorster’s salesmanship, the way in which the Afrikaner power structure articulated the broader goals of the enterprise was changing. Whether in the arresting Broederbond circular spelling out how progress for the Kissinger Initiatives would facilitate a more brutal and efficient crackdown in the townships, or in Cabinet’s effusive commitment to a security buildup, there was a shift away from a faith in the construction of a long-term conceptual and political architecture for the region based on multinationalism to a more hard-headed pursuit of the narrower goal of buying time at home. These two lines of thinking about the regime’s future coexisted through 1976, but the collapse of the Kissinger Initiatives rendered the former a mirage. With the evaporation of his grand vision went Vorster’s authority. By 1977, the prime minister had run out of ideas and energy. To a degree heretofore unappreciated, South Africa’s cooperative stance on the Kissinger Initiatives was a highly personalized endeavor—and Vorster took the failure of those initiatives personally. He never again took the lead on national security. Deeply disillusioned, he would soon completely reevaluate South Africa’s security strategies and reluctantly follow the more unilateral approaches advocated by his hardline colleagues. (p.260)
(1.) DNSA, Transcript of Kissinger’s Speech in Lusaka, 27 April 1976.
(2.) DFAA, 1/156/3, 14, Rhodesia: Relations with SA, “South Africa to End All Military Aid to Rhodesia,” London Times, 10 May 1976.
(3.) ISP, Deposit 4, Box 6, Détente: Official Communications with South Africa, Volume 3, Hawkins to Gaylard, 30 April 1976.
(4.) ISP, Deposit 4, Box 2, Records of Meetings 1973–1978, First Record of Meeting between Smith, Vorster, and others, Pretoria, 13 June 1976.
(5.) ISP, Deposit 4, Box 2, Records of Meetings 1973–1978, First Record of Meeting between Smith, Vorster, and others, Pretoria, 13 June 1976.
(6.) ISP, Deposit 4, Box 6, Détente: Official Communications with South Africa, Volume 3, Gaylard to Rhodesian Diplomatic Mission, 9 February 1976.
(7.) ISP, Deposit 4, Box 2, Records of Meetings 1973–1978, First Record of Meeting between Smith, Vorster, and others, Pretoria, 13 June 1976; Fourie, “Buitelandse Woelinge om Suid-Afrika, 1939–1985,” p. 215.
(9.) Kissinger’s memoirs do provide some detail of the private meetings: Kissinger, Years of Renewal, pp. 968–972. It must be stressed, however, that Kissinger’s memoirs repeatedly deviate from or do not accurately reflect the existing archival record, especially in instances where American power was closely aligned with that of the apartheid regime. Therefore, where no archival record exists or is available, as for the private meetings with Vorster, the memoirs should at least be read with caution.
(11.) GFL, National Security Adviser Memoranda of Conversations, Ford Administration, Box 20, Minutes of Meeting between Kissinger, Vorster, and others, Bodenmais, Bavaria, West Germany, 23 June 1976.
(12.) GFL, National Security Adviser Memoranda of Conversations, Ford Administration, Box 20, Minutes of Meeting between Kissinger, Vorster, and others, Bodenmais, Bavaria, West Germany, 23 June 1976.
(14.) GFL, National Security Adviser, Presidential Country Files for Africa, 1974–1977, Box 6, South Africa: State Department Telegrams: SECSTATE NODIS, Bowdler to Secretary of State, “Vorster-Kissinger Meeting: Strategy Considerations,” 12 June 1976.
(15.) GFL, National Security Adviser Memoranda of Conversations, Ford Administration, Box 20, Minutes of Meeting between Kissinger, Vorster, and others, Bodenmais, Bavaria, West Germany, 23 June 1976.
(16.) GFL, National Security Adviser Memoranda of Conversations, Ford Administration, Box 20, Minutes of Meeting between Kissinger, Vorster, and others, Bodenmais, Bavaria, West Germany, 23 June 1976.
(17.) GFL, National Security Adviser, Trip Briefing Books and Cables for Henry Kissinger, 1974–1976, Kissinger Trip File, Box 38, June 20–28, 1976—Paris, Munich, et al., HAK Messages for the President, Scowcroft to Ford, 24 June 1976.
(18.) DNSA, Kissinger Transcripts, Minutes of Conversation between Kissinger, Botha, Scowcroft, Schaufele, and Rodman, 26 July 1976.
(19.) DNSA, Kissinger Transcripts, Minutes of Meeting between Pik Botha, Kissinger, Scowcroft, and Rodman, Washington, D. C., 13 July 1976.
(20.) ISP, Deposit 4, Box 6, Détente: Official Communications with South Africa, Volume 4, Rhodesian Diplomatic Mission to Gaylard, 29 June 1976.
(21.) ISP, Deposit 4, Box 6, Détente: Official Communications with South Africa, Volume 4, Rhodesian Diplomatic Mission to Gaylard, 29 June 1976.
(22.) ISP, Deposit 4, Box 6, Détente: Official Communications with South Africa, Volume 4, Rhodesian Diplomatic Mission to Gaylard, 29 June 1976.
(23.) ISP, Deposit 4, Box 6, Détente: Official Communications with South Africa, Volume 4, Rhodesian Diplomatic Mission to Gaylard, 8 July 1976.
(24.) R. W. Johnson, How Long Will South Africa Survive? (New York: Oxford University Press, 1977), pp. 216–220.
(25.) GFL, National Security Adviser, Presidential Country Files for Africa, 1974–1977, Box 6, South Africa: State Department Telegrams: SECSTATE NODIS, Bowdler to Secretary of State, “Vorster-Kissinger Meeting: Strategy Considerations,” 12 June 1976.
(26.) Dirk Mudge, “From South-West Africa to Namibia: My Experiences Along a Crooked Road to an Unknown Destination,” (Unknown), p. 3.
(27.) Hansard, House of Assembly Debates, 30 January 1976, col. 361.
(28.) ARCA, PV 203, P. W. Botha, 1/V9/1, 1 Onderwerpslêers, 1/V9 Vorster, adv. B. J., Onderhoud met sy Edele Die Eerste Minister deur Morkel van Tonder, SAUK, 13 September 1976.
(29.) GFL, National Security Adviser, Presidential Country Files for Africa, 1974–1977, Box 6, South Africa: State Department Telegrams: SECSTATE NODIS, Bowdler to Secretary of State, “Vorster-Kissinger Meeting: Strategy Considerations,” 12 June 1976.
(30.) SANDFA, Group 3—HSAW Chief of Defense Force, Box 168, SWA I, “Samesprekings Eerste Minister,” 24 November 1976.
(31.) DNSA, Kissinger Transcripts, Minutes of Meeting between Kissinger, Vorster, and others, Grafenau, Bavaria, West Germany, 24 June 1976.
(32.) DNSA, Kissinger Transcripts, Minutes of Meeting between Kissinger, Vorster, and others, Grafenau, Bavaria, West Germany, 24 June 1976. Kissinger later told Pik Botha that during their private meeting on June 24, Vorster agreed “with extremely bad grace” to allow SWAPO participation: DNSA, Kissinger Transcripts, Minutes of Meeting between Pik Botha, Kissinger, Scowcroft, and Rodman, Washington, D. C., 13 July 1976.
(33.) SANDFA, Group 1—HSAW Chief of Defense Force, Box 164, HSAW/11/5/1, Volume 1, Bedreiging Teen die RSA: Beleid, R. F. Botha, SA Permanent Representative to the UN, New York, to Sekretaris van Buitelandse Sake, 31 July 1976; ISP, Deposit 4, Box 2, Records of Meetings 1973–1978, First Record of Meeting between Smith, Vorster, and others, Pretoria, 13 June 1976.
(34.) Of the substantial literature on Soweto, see especially Alan Brooks and Jeremy Brickhill, Whirlwind before the Storm (London: International and Defence Aid Fund for Southern Africa, 1980); Kane-Berman, Soweto: Black Revolt, White Reaction.
(35.) Christi van der Westhuizen, White Power & the Rise and Fall of the National Party (Cape Town: Zebra Press, 2007), pp. 102–3.
(36.) ARCA, PV 408, NP Caucus, Notule, 15 June 1976.
(37.) “They must act to save South Africa,” editorial, World, 21 June 1976.
(38.) SANA, 1/1/6, Kabinet Notuleregister, 3 August 1976.
(39.) SANDFA, Group 1—HSAW Chief of Defense Force, Box 164, HSAW/11/5/1, Volume 1, Bedreiging Teen die RSA: Beleid, R. F. Botha, SA Permanent Representative to the UN, New York, to Sekretaris van Buitelandse Sake, 31 July 1976.
(40.) Interview with Pik Botha, Pretoria, 11 August 2011.
(41.) SANDFA, Group 1—HSAW Chief of Defense Force, Box 164, HSAW/11/5/1, Volume 1, Bedreiging Teen die RSA: Beleid, R. F. Botha, SA Permanent Representative to the UN, New York, to Sekretaris van Buitelandse Sake, 31 July 1976.
(42.) SANDFA, Group 1—HSAW Chief of Defense Force, Box 164, HSAW/11/5/1, Volume 1, Bedreiging Teen die RSA: Beleid, R. F. Botha, SA Permanent Representative to the UN, New York, to Sekretaris van Buitelandse Sake, 31 July 1976.
(43.) SANDFA, Group 1—HSAW Chief of Defense Force, Box 164, HSAW/11/5/1, Volume 1, Bedreiging Teen die RSA: Beleid, R. F. Botha, SA Permanent Representative to the UN, New York, to Sekretaris van Buitelandse Sake, 31 July 1976.
(44.) SANDFA, Group 1—HSAW Chief of Defense Force, Box 164, HSAW/11/5/1, Volume 1, Bedreiging Teen die RSA: Beleid, R. F. Botha, SA Permanent Representative to the UN, New York, to Sekretaris van Buitelandse Sake, 31 July 1976.
(45.) SANA, 1/1/6, Kabinet Notuleregister, 3 August 1976.
(46.) SANDFA, Group 1—HSAW Chief of Defense Force, Box 164, HSAW/11/5/1, Volume 1, Bedreiging Teen die RSA: Beleid, R. F. Botha, SA Permanent Representative to the UN, New York, to Sekretaris van Buitelandse Sake, 31 July 1976.
(47.) SANDFA, Group 1—HSAW Chief of Defense Force, Box 164, HSAW/11/5/1, Volume 1, Bedreiging Teen die RSA: Beleid, R. F. Botha, SA Permanent Representative to the UN, New York, to Sekretaris van Buitelandse Sake, 31 July 1976.
(48.) SANDFA, Group 1—HSAW Chief of Defense Force, Box 164, HSAW/11/5/1, Volume 1, Bedreiging Teen die RSA: Beleid, Military Intelligence Section to Chief of Staff Intelligence, “Komentaar op Ambassadeur Botha se Telegram van 31 Jul 76 tov die Militêre Situasie,” 17 August 1976
(49.) SANDFA, Group 1—HSAW Chief of Defense Force, Box 164, HSAW/11/5/1, Volume 1, Bedreiging Teen die RSA: Beleid, Military Intelligence Section to Chief of Staff Intelligence, “Komentaar op Ambassadeur Botha se Telegram van 31 Jul 76 tov die Militêre Situasie,” 17 August 1976.
(50.) SANA, 1/1/6, Kabinet Notuleregister, 3 August 1976.
(51.) SANA, 1/1/6, Kabinet Notuleregister, 3 August 1976.
(53.) Stals, “Geskiedenis van die Afrikaner-Broderbond, 1918–1994,” p. 435.
(54.) In accordance with his desire to avoid a total Rhodesian Front (RF) collapse, Vorster instructed the South African Air Force (SAAF) to begin training Rhodesian helicopter and light aircraft crews to take their place and later donated to Salisbury the South African aircraft that the SAAF flight crews were currently operating. See SANDFA, Group 3- HSAW Chief of Defense Force, Box 182, HSAW/101/15/1, “Minutes of First Meeting of the SADF Command Council: 9 August 1976,” 12 August 1976; Smith, The Great Betrayal, p. 196.
(55.) ISP, Deposit 4, Box 6, Détente: Official Communications with South Africa, Volume 4, Rhodesian Diplomatic Mission to Gaylard, 8 July 1976. The Rhodesians made similar pleas to the Americans. “Hawkins argued that if moribund Rhodesian patient is to be disposed of, he has right to know what is to be done with his remains”: DNSA, US Embassy, Pretoria, to Secretary of State, Washington, D. C., “Vorster-Kissinger Talks,” 10 July 1976.
(56.) SANDFA, Group 3—HSAW, Box 137, HSAW/311/1/23, Verdediging Samewerking: Rhodesië: Korrespondensie, Volume 1, “Minutes of Third Meeting of the SADF Command Council: 9 August 1976,” 16 August 1976.
(57.) ISP, Deposit 4, Box 6, Détente: Official Communications with South Africa, Volume 4, Rhodesian Diplomatic Mission to Gaylard, 12 August 1976.
(58.) For Vorster, see SANDFA, Group 3—HSAW, Box 137, HSAW/311/1/23, Verdediging Samewerking: Rhodesië: Korrespondensie, Volume 1, “Minutes of Third Meeting of the SADF Command Council: 9 August 1976,” 16 August 1976; for Fourie, see DNSA, US Embassy, Pretoria, to Secretary of State, Washington, D. C., “Vorster-Kissinger Talks,” 10 July 1976; for van den Bergh, see ISP, Deposit 4, Box 6, Détente: Official Communications with South Africa, Volume 4, Rhodesian Diplomatic Mission to Brice, 1 July 1976.
(59.) ISP, Deposit 4, Box 6, Détente: Official Communications with South Africa, Volume 4, Gaylard to Rhodesian Diplomatic Mission, 13 August 1976.
(60.) ISP, Deposit 4, Box 6, Détente: Official Communications with South Africa, Volume 4, Gaylard to Rhodesian Diplomatic Mission, 13 August 1976.
(61.) ISP, Deposit 4, Box 6, Détente: Official Communications with South Africa, Volume 4, Gaylard to Rhodesian Diplomatic Mission, 13 August 1976.
(62.) DNSA, Minutes of Conversation between Kissinger, Botha, and others, Washington, D. C., 12 August 1976.
(63.) ARCA, PV 528, Hilgard Muller, 3/2/56, Toesprake, speech, “Suid-Afrika se Verhoudings met die Werêld as Bydrae tot Interne Stabiliteit,” Congress of the Natal National Party, 13 August 1976.
(64.) DFAA, 1/156/3, 14, Rhodesia: Relations with SA, P. Snyman, SA Diplomatic Mission, Salisbury, to Secretary for Foreign Affairs, “Minister Hilgard Muller’s Durban Speech,” 19 August 1976.
(65.) DNSA, Kissinger Transcripts, Minutes of Meeting between Kissinger and Botha, 17 August 1976.
(66.) DNSA, Kissinger Transcripts, Minutes of Meeting between Kissinger, Crosland, and others, London, 4 September 1976.
(67.) DNSA, Kissinger Transcripts, Minutes of Meeting between Kissinger, Crosland, and others, London, 4 September 1976.
(68.) DNSA, Kissinger Transcripts, Minutes of Meeting between Vorster, Kissinger, and others, Zurich, 4 September 1976.
(69.) Fourie, “Buitelandse Woelinge om Suid-Afrika, 1939–1985,” pp. 219–220.
(70.) DNSA, Kissinger Transcripts, Minutes of Meeting between Vorster, Kissinger, and others, Zurich, 4 September 1976.
(71.) DNSA, Kissinger Transcripts, Minutes of Meeting between Vorster, Kissinger, and others, Zurich, 4 September 1976.
(72.) SANA, 1/1/6, Kabinet Notuleregister, 7 September 1976.
(73.) GFL, National Security Adviser, Trip Briefing Books and Cables for Henry Kissinger, 1974–1976, Kissinger Trip File, Box 39, September 3–7, 1976—London, Zurich, HAK Messages for the President, Scowcroft to Ford, 5 September 1976.
(74.) GFL, National Security Adviser, Trip Briefing Books and Cables for Henry Kissinger, 1974–1976, Kissinger Trip File, Box 39, September 3–7, 1976—SECTO (1), Secretary of State Delegation, Zurich, to US Mission to the UN, “Namibia: Public Statement by Sean Macbride,” 5 September 1976.
(75.) DNSA, Kissinger Transcripts, Minutes of Meeting between Vorster, Kissinger, and others, Zurich, 4 September 1976.
(76.) SANA, 1/1/6, Kabinet Notuleregister, 7 September 1976.
(77.) DNSA, Secretary of State to US Embassy, Pretoria, “Vorster Speeches,” 7 September 1976; DNSA, Bowdler, US Embassy, Pretoria, to Secretary of State, “Prime Minister Vorster’s Speeches on September 8 and 13,” 7 September 1976.
(78.) DNSA, Secretary of State Delegation, Lusaka, to US Embassy, Pretoria, “Message to Prime Minister Vorster,” 20 September 1976.
(79.) ARCA, PV 203, P. W. Botha, 1/V9/1, 1 Onderwerpslêers, 1/V9 Vorster, adv. B. J., “Toespraak Deur Sy Edele Die Eerste Minister Tydens Die Nasionale Party Kongres in die Callie Humansaal, Bloemfontein,” 8 September 1976.
(80.) GFL, National Security Adviser, Trip Briefing Books and Cables for Henry Kissinger, 1974–1976, Kissinger Trip File, Box 41, September 13–24, 1976—South Africa, London, HAK Messages to the President, Scowcroft to Ford, 15 September 1976 and 17 September 1976.
(81.) Paraphrased from ISP, Deposit 4, Box 6, Rhodesia: Official Communications with South Africa, Volume 5, Rhodesian Diplomatic Mission to Gaylard, “International Economic Support for Rhodesian Settlement,” 15 September 1976.
(83.) ISP, Deposit 4, Box 6, Rhodesia: Official Communications with South Africa, Volume 5, Rhodesian Diplomatic Mission to Gaylard, 17 September 1976.
(84.) Die Burger, 18 September 1976.
(85.) Elsabé Brink, Soweto, 16 June 1976: Personal Accounts of the Uprising (Cape Town: Kwela Books, 2006), p. 10.
(86.) “Our Blacks will watch Dr K closely,” editorial, World, 17 September 1976.
(88.) DNSA, Kissinger Transcripts, Memorandum of Conversation between Kissinger and Vorster, 17 September 1976.
(89.) GFL, National Security Adviser, Trip Briefing Books and Cables for Henry Kissinger, 1974–1976, Kissinger Trip File, Box 41, September 13–24, 1976—South Africa, London, HAK—Messages to the President, Scowcroft to Ford, 19 September 1976; Fourie, “Buitelandse Woelinge om Suid-Afrika, 1939–1985,” pp. 220–223.
(90.) Smith, The Great Betrayal, pp. 201–202. Smith’s recollection is inconsistent with other accounts that suggest that Kissinger berated Smith into compliance: Andrew DeRoche, Black, White, and Chrome: The United States and Zimbabwe, 1953 to 1998 (Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 2001), p. 220.
(91.) DNSA, Kissinger Transcripts, Memorandum of Conversation between Smith, Kissinger, and Vorster, 19 September 1976. See also Fourie, “Buitelandse Woelinge om Suid-Afrika, 1939–1985,” pp. 224–225.
(92.) ISP, Deposit 4, Box 6, Rhodesia: Official Communications with South Africa, Volume 5, Rhodesian Diplomatic Mission to Gaylard, 22 September 1976.
(93.) Sue Onslow, “Dr Kissinger, I Presume?” (unpublished paper).
(95.) DNSA, Kissinger Transcripts, Memorandum of Conversation between Smith, Kissinger, and Vorster, 19 September 1976.
(99.) GFL, Ronald H. Nessen Files, Box 64, Transcript of Interview with John Vorster on Face the Nation, 7 November 1976.
(100.) Onslow, “Dr Kissinger, I Presume?”
(101.) ISP, Deposit 4, Box 6, Rhodesia: Official Communications with South Africa, Volume 5, Rhodesian Diplomatic Mission to Gaylard, 20 September 1976.
(102.) GFL, National Security Adviser, Trip Briefing Books and Cables for Henry Kissinger, 1974–1976, Kissinger Trip File, Box 43, September 13–24, 1976—South Africa, London, SECTO (6), Secretary of State Delegation to US Embassy, Pretoria, “Smith Speech,” 21 September 1976. See also ISP, Deposit 4, Box 6, Rhodesia: Official Communications with South Africa, Volume 5, Rhodesian Diplomatic Mission to Gaylard, 22 September 1976.
(103.) DNSA, Kissinger Transcripts, Memorandum of Conversation between Kissinger and Vorster, 19 September 1976.
(104.) ISP, Deposit 3, Box 1, Rhodesia Government: Cabinet Minutes (Secretary’s Standard File), Volume 5, Annexure to 35th Meeting, 21 September 1976
(107.) ISP, Deposit 3, Box 1, Rhodesia Government: Cabinet Minutes (Secretary’s Standard File), Volume 5, Annexure to 36th Meeting, 22 September 1976.
(108.) Paraphrased from GFL, National Security Adviser, Trip Briefing Books and Cables for Henry Kissinger, 1974–1976, Kissinger Trip File, Box 41, September 13–24, 1976—South Africa, London, HAK—Messages to the President, “Basis for a Proposal for Namibia,” 21 September 1976.
(109.) GFL, National Security Adviser, Trip Briefing Books and Cables for Henry Kissinger, 1974–1976, Kissinger Trip File, Box 44, September 29–30, 1976—USUN: TOSEC, State Department to Secretary of State Delegation, “Namibia: South Africa Positions,” 29 September 1976.
(110.) DNSA, Kissinger Transcripts, Memorandum of Conversation between Kissinger and Vorster, 19 September 1976.
(111.) DNSA, Secretary of State, Washington, DC, to US Embassy, Pretoria, “Message for Fourie,” 18 October 1976.
(112.) SANA, 1/1/6, Kabinet Notuleregister, 31 August 1976.
(114.) ARCA, PV 698, A. H. du Plessis, Korrespondensie NP 1 NP 2, NP 8: NP van SWA: notules, omsendbriewe ens., Interview with Dirk Mudge and Mr. X, Windhoek, 15 September 1976.
(116.) SANDFA, Group 5- Minister van Verdediging, Box 78, MV/28/14, Politiek Ander Departemente: Buitelandse Sake, Volume 2, Billy Marais, Sekretaris Staatkundige Beraad, Windhoek, to Sekretaris van Buitelandse Sake, “Persverklaring,” 9 December 1976.
(117.) SANA, 1/1/6, Kabinet Notuleregister, 19 October 1976.
(118.) ARCA, PV 698, A. H. du Plessis, Korrespondensie NP 1 NP 2, NP 8: NP van SWA: notules, omsendbriewe ens., Interview with Dirk Mudge and Mr. X, Windhoek, 15 September 1976.
(119.) ARCA, PV 698, A. H. du Plessis, Korrespondensie NP 1 NP 2, NP 8: NP van SWA: notules, omsendbriewe ens., handwritten note, Mudge to du Plessis, 7 October 1976.
(121.) DNSA, US Embassy, Pretoria, to Secretary of State, Washington, DC, “Namibia: Turnhalle at Fragile Stage,” 15 November 1976.
(122.) SANDFA, Group 3—HSAW Chief of Defense Force, Box 168, SWA I, “Samesprekings Eerste Minister,” 24 November 1976.
(123.) SANA, MEM, 1/572, I15/2, P. W. Botha to Vorster, 26 November 1976.
(124.) SANDFA, Group 3—HSAW Chief of Defense Force, Box 168, SWA I, “Samesprekings Eerste Minister,” 24 November 1976.
(125.) ARCA, PV 698, A. H. du Plessis, Korrespondensie NP 1 NP 2, NP 8: NP van SWA: notules, omsendbriewe ens., handwritten note, A. H. du Plessis to Vorster, 17 November 1976.
(126.) SANDFA, Group 3—HSAW Chief of Defense Force, Box 168, SWA I, “Samesprekings Eerste Minister,” 24 November 1976.
(127.) SANDFA, Group 3—HSAW Chief of Defense Force, Box 168, SWA I, “Samesprekings Eerste Minister,” 24 November 1976.
(128.) Jimmy Carter Library (JCL), Donated Historical Material: Zbigniew Brzezinski Collection, Subject File, Box 24, Meetings—PRC 3: 2/8/77, Special Coordination Committee Meeting on South Africa and Rhodesia, 8 February 1977.
(129.) DNSA, US Embassy, Pretoria, to Secretary of State, Washington, DC, “Namibia: Turnhalle at Fragile Stage,” 15 November 1976.
(130.) Interview with Dirk Mudge, Otjiwarongo, 1 August 2011.
(131.) DNSA, Bowdler to Secretary of State, “Turnhalle Adjourns Without Finding Solutions: SWAPO Threatens Greater Pressure,” 7 January 1977.
(132.) JCL, Collection 7, NSA Brzezinski Material, Subject File, Box 34, Memcons: President, 3/77, Memorandum of Conversation between Carter, Mondale, Vance, Brzezinski, Schaufele, Pik Botha, Jeremy Shearar, 23 March 1977.
(135.) ISP, Deposit 4, Box 5, Kissinger Proposals: Geneva Conference—Background Papers, Statement by Smith, 6 October 1976.
(136.) In the days preceding Smith’s announcement, both Kaunda and Nyerere had assented to the Five Points providing the basis of any future settlement. However, Kaunda had said he needed to talk to the other presidents, while Nyerere signposted that the nationalists would probably wish to bring up both the security ministries and the Council of State (the two issues that ultimately became problematic). For Kaunda, see GFL, National Security Adviser, Trip Briefing Books and Cables for Henry Kissinger, 1974–1976, Kissinger Trip File, Box 41, September 13–24, 1976—South Africa, London, HAK—Messages to the President, Scowcroft to Ford, 21 September 1976; and for Nyerere, see GFL, National Security Adviser, Trip Briefing Books and Cables for Henry Kissinger, 1974–1976, Kissinger Trip File, Box 41, September 13–24, 1976—South Africa, London, HAK—Messages to the President, Scowcroft to Ford, 21 September 1976.
(137.) Onslow, “Dr Kissinger, I Presume?; Susan Crosland, Tony Crosland (London: Cape, 1982), pp. 362–365.
(139.) David Scott, Ambassador in Black and White: Thirty Years of Changing Africa (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1981), p. 189.
(140.) The evidence consistently shows that Kissinger tried hard to bring London with him, including conducting very regular briefings and keeping them in the loop. However, when the British responded by showing little sense of urgency, Kissinger pushed ahead regardless.
(141.) UKNA, FCO 73/224, S/S Messages to & From the USA, Part I, FCO to UK Embassy, Dar es Salaam, 21 September 1976.
(142.) UKNA, FCO 73/224, S/S Messages to & From the USA, Part I, Kissinger to Callaghan, 21 October 1976.
(144.) SANA, 1/1/6, Kabinet Notuleregister, 28 September 1976.
(146.) GFL, National Security Adviser, Presidential Country Files for Africa, 1974–1977, Box 6, South Africa: State Department Telegrams: SECSTATE NODIS, Secretary of State to US Embassy, Pretoria, “Secretary’s Response to Personal Message From Ian Smith,” 1 October 1976.
(147.) GFL, National Security Adviser, Presidential Country Files for Africa, 1974–1977, Box 6, South Africa: State Department Telegrams: To SECSTATE NODIS (2), Schaufele, US Embassy, Pretoria, to Secretary of State, “Meeting with Brand Fourie,” 5 October 1976.
(148.) ISP, Deposit 4, Box 5, Geneva Conference: Record of Meetings (British)—Informal, Record of Bilateral Meeting, Palais des Nations, Geneva, 1 December 1976.
(149.) Fourie, “Buitelandse Woelinge om Suid-Afrika, 1939–1985,” pp. 232–233.
(150.) ISP, Deposit 4, Box 6, Rhodesia Settlement: Communications with South Africa, Volume 7, Rhodesian Diplomatic Mission to Gaylard, 19 January 1977.
(151.) “SA explodes,” Times of Zambia, 18 June 1976.
(152.) “Support reforms in Southern Africa, says Tolbert,” Malawi News, 25 September 1976.
(153.) “South African Cabinet Reshuffle Likely,” London Times, 25 June 1976.
(154.) ARCA, PV 408, NP Caucus, Notule, 8 June 1976 and 15 June 1976.
(155.) Interview with Koos van der Merwe, Pretoria, 13 October 2014.
(156.) Botha did something similar in 1982 and, while costing him a schism, the move made it much easier to push through the party room reforms far more controversial than anything Vorster was considering.
(157.) “Dit is tyd vir herwaardering,” editorial, Volkshandel, July 1976.
(158.) Die Burger, “Nuwe magte vir swartes,” 21 October 1976.
(159.) Stals, “Geskiedenis van die Afrikaner-Broderbond, 1918–1994,” p. 375.
(160.) Stals, “Geskiedenis van die Afrikaner-Broderbond, 1918–1994,” pp. 379–382.
(163.) Stals, “Geskiedenis van die Afrikaner-Broderbond, 1918–1994,” p. 382.
(165.) ARCA, PV 408, NP Caucus, Notule, 16 February 1977. Emphasis added.
(167.) “Redakteur is dislojaal, sê Raubenheimer,” Die Burger, 27 November 1976.
(168.) JCL, Collection 24, NSA Brzezinski Material, Country File, Box 69, South Africa 1–4/77, Bowdler to Secretary of State, “Comment on Talks with Scott and Hawkins,” 22 January 1977.
(169.) GFL, National Security Adviser, Presidential Country Files for Africa, 1974–1977, Box 6, South Africa: State Department Telegrams: To SECSTATE NODIS (4), Edmondson, US Embassy, Pretoria, to Schaufele, “Richard Sees Vorster on Rhodesia,” 3 January 1977; Fourie, “Buitelandse Woelinge om Suid-Afrika, 1939–1985,” p. 236.
(173.) JCL, Collection 24, NSA Brzezinski Material, Country File, Box 69, South Africa 1-4/77, Secretary of State to US Consulate, Cape Town, “South African Ambassador’s January 25 Call on the Secretary,” 26 January 1977.
(174.) ISP, Deposit 4, Box 6, Rhodesia Settlement: Communications with South Africa, Volume 7, Rhodesian Diplomatic Mission to Gaylard, 11 January 1977.
(175.) ISP, Deposit 4, Box 6, Rhodesia Settlement: Communications with South Africa, Volume 7, Rhodesian Diplomatic Mission to Gaylard, 11 January 1977. See also Fourie, “Buitelandse Woelinge om Suid-Afrika, 1939–1985,” p. 235.
(176.) ISP, Deposit 4, Box 6, Rhodesia Settlement: Communications with South Africa, Volume 7, Rhodesian Diplomatic Mission to Gaylard, 11 January 1977.
(178.) ISP, Deposit 4, Box 6, Rhodesia Settlement: Communications with South Africa, Volume 7, Rhodesian Diplomatic Mission to Gaylard, 19 January 1977.
(179.) JCL, Collection 24, NSA Brzezinski Material, Country File, Box 69, South Africa 1-4/77, Bowdler to Secretary of State, “Rhodesia: Smith May See Richard Twice,” 20 January 1977; JCL, Collection 24, NSA Brzezinski Material, Country File, Box 69, South Africa 1-4/77, Secretary of State to US Consulate, Cape Town, “South African Ambassador’s January 25 Call on the Secretary,” 26 January 1977.
(180.) ISP, Deposit 4, Box 6, Rhodesia Settlement: Communications with South Africa, Volume 7, Rhodesian Diplomatic Mission to Gaylard, 19 January 1977.
(181.) ISP, Deposit 4, Box 5, Geneva Conference: Record of Meetings (British)—Informal, Record of Meeting held in Cabinet Room, Milton Building, 24 January 1977.