Mandela Considers Afrikaner Homeland

Associated Press

In an effort to ease tensions with right-wing opponents, President Nelson Mandela called Wednesday for negotiations on setting up a white-dominated region. He said he will consider an amnesty for white extremists, including those accused of bombings that killed 21 people.

Mandela, the nation's first black president, met separately with right-wing leaders Ferdi Hartzenberg and retired army Gen. Constand Viljoen in an effort to keep channels open with whites opposed to black rule.

Mandela said his government will begin talks with right-wing leaders seeking a homeland for Afrikaners, the Dutch-descended white settlers of South Africa.

Hartenzberg had sought an independent, whites-only state, an idea ruled out by Mandela's African National Congress. But after meeting with Mandela, he seemed to give up that goal in return for assurances that talks would begin on a white-ruled region within South Africa.

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