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Schaufele: Only on the first point. On all that gobbledygook-let them call it what they want.

Kissinger: The only point I think will be difficult is Point 4. They want it to be South Africa, SWAPO, and United Nations.

Botha: On Point 1, Point 2—they say “should," "insists," "has been and is still ready." There are no demands made. Maybe I'm reading too much into it.

Kissinger: My impression from Chona is it's softer than before. He said these are just SWAPO ideas. All of this.

I don't recommend we call a conference. I recommend we keep stonewalling until they give us an agenda we can live with. Botha: There is a contradiction between Point 3 and Point 4. This

a doesn't tally

Kissinger: I don't know if you've met Nujoma. I don't think precision of thought is the quality that brought him to his present eminence. Even though he treats me with more respect than you do. [Laughter]

Botha: Could there be an informal meeting of the U.S. and the four Presidents? To clarify the points.

Kissinger: Certainly. You could ask questions, which we could present as our own. I don't think the meeting would be helpful.

I think we've handled this issue well. They're getting no publicity out of it; this is softer than before.

Botha: If we come out with this ...
Kissinger: We shouldn't go public. Neither of us.

Botha: I haven't consulted with my government. But what if there was a private meeting between you, us and the frontline Presidents? To clarify the points.

Kissinger: It would be a disaster. First, they wouldn't agree to meet with you. Second, if they did, it would force the frontline Presidents to take a public position and it would be the most extreme SWAPO position. And third, the new Administration should be given a chance to get some experience before they take a public position. If not, they'd be taking a position on the basis of their previous experience.

Schaufele: I would add one more: If the Presidents agreed to meet with you, they'd insist SWAPO be present.

Botha: It was just a question.
Kissinger: All right. Can I meet with you alone for a minute?

My colleagues here are entering an era where this is the last Saturday they'll be working. [Laughter]

[The Secretary and the Ambassador conferred privately from 12:20 to 12:35 p.m.)


239. Memorandum of Conversation

Washington, January 19, 1977, 6:15–7:30 p.m.


Secretary Kissinger
Secretary-designate Vance
Dr. Brzezinski
Mr. Habib, Under Secretary for Political Affairs
Ambassador Schaufele, Assistant Secretary for African Affairs
Ambassador Reinhardt, Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs
Congressman Young, Ambassador-designate to the UN
Ms. Holloway, Ambassador Young's office
David Passage, Notetaker


Southern Africa

Mr. Vance: May I talk about the practical problems we face in Southern Africa?

Secretary Kissinger: Sure.

Mr. Vance: I talked to Peter Ramsbotham. He said Ivor Richard is in South Africa today and will be going to Salisbury either today or tomorrow. He said he thought it would be very helpful if we could say something encouraging to help Richard's mission.

Secretary Kissinger: (Turning to Schaufele) Did Botha call you on Monday??

Ambassador Schaufele: Yes, he sent this over (referring to the AF briefing memorandum on the South African note—Tab A). It's not a very encouraging message; they are very unhappy about Namibia.

Mr. Vance: The South Africans are apparently being very difficult with Richard saying the new Administration is not behind the initiative.

Secretary Kissinger: Well, this is your watch now. But by all means tell Bill what you want and we will be glad to do anything we can to help.

Mr. Habib: Richard is there now?

Mr. Vance: Yes, and he will be seeing people tomorrow. Andy, why don't you give us your views.


Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box CL 97, Geopolitical File, Africa, Chronological File, January 15–20, 1977. Secret; Sensitive; Nodis. Initialed by Passage. The meeting was held in the Secretary's office.

2 January 17.
3 Not attached.

Congressman Young: Well, I think if we could just sit and talk a bit, there are so many questions coming at us. I have been winging it too often. We need the benefit of your views.

Secretary Kissinger: Let me say first that I have asked Jack Reinhardt to join this group. Jack has been in on the initiative from the very beginning. I have sent him in addition on a number of missions to Africa. He has, I think, participated in just about every conversation with Kaunda.

Let me start by giving you a brief description of how we got to where we are.

After Angola, it seemed to me that if we did not take some definite action in southern Africa, events would soon get out of control. The moderates upon whom the continent depends to prevent radicalism from overrunning what democracy there is would be under increasing pressure to adopt guerrilla means in order to achieve majority rule throughout the southern portion of the continent. When we took our first trip, all the Africans wanted was our support for majority rule. I then delivered a major speech in Lusaka, which, I might note, did not get the unanimous approval of the Republican Party, but which had a very salutory effect in Africa. Most people thought we were just talking, but then we set out to implement the policy we had enunciated. We arranged for a meeting with Vorster in Germany. After coming to an understanding of the position he felt he was in and getting some feel for the room which he thought he had for maneuver, we then contacted all of the (Front Line) African Presidents. Up until that time, they had been operating solely in terms of the Nkomo/Smith meetings of last February—that is, within the general context of majority rule. They told us, "We, the African Presidents, think that Rhodesia is insoluble. We don't believe Smith will ever agree to majority rule. We strongly advise you to try to get Namibia out of the way."

We intended to get Nyerere behind us, then go to Lusaka, then have a conference, and then independence. This was the basis upon which I met Vorster.

When I first met with Vorster, I explained to him that I saw two possibilities for the unfolding of events in the southern part of the continent. The first was that the problems would simply be solved by force. Matters would be taken out of the hands of those leaders who preferred moderate solutions, and would gravitate towards the hands of the radicals. Sooner or later, foreign forces would probably appear. Or, there could be negotiations.

Vorster asked me what my ideas were. I said I had no solutions. I gave him Nyerere's proposals on Namibia. He agreed. He said he could not go to Lusaka, but would be willing to go any place in Europe. He said he'd also consider SWAPO participation.

I then went from Germany to Britain and met with Callaghan and Crosland in the Cabinet Room. The British, you should know, have a new theory on the conduct of international relations. It is that once they have prepared a paper and handed it over to you, they feel they still have the right to completely disavow it on the grounds that it has not been cleared by the Cabinet. Callaghan prepared a paper which he handed over to me in the presence of Crosland and several others of their senior people. The two papers that they prepared were, first, one setting forth the constitutional arrangements for the evolution of power in Rhodesia, and second, the economic arrangements. I then sent Schaufele back to Africa. He was generally well received. Nyerere quite frankly didn't think that Rhodesia would work out, but he agreed to give it a try. There were three annexes, A, B, and C—the first two of which were relatively inconsequential. The first related to protection for minorities; Annex B were some proposals for the composition of Parliament and voting qualifications. Isn't that right, Phil?

Mr. Habib: Yes, I think so.

The Secretary: Anyway, Annexes A and B were relatively inconsequential. Annex C was what I proposed in Pretoria. You have Annex C I believe, don't you.

(Mr. Vance nods affirmatively.)

The British then sent a team here to Washington, where we tried to polish up a few of the details. We then sent two of our people to London to try to make the thing more acceptable. Then Schaufele and Duff went off with Annex C to Africa. The basic proposal was for a Council of State, a Council of Ministers, and two years to independence. Bill (to Schaufele), is it correct to say that all of the essential elements were presented to the presidents.

(Schaufele nods assent.)

We gathered that Annex C would be generally acceptable to the South Africans and to the Presidents. Schaufele and Duff returned to London. I then arranged a meeting with the South Africans in Zurich. On the way to Zurich I stopped in London. Crosland handed me a revised Annex C which, that evening, I handed to Vorster. You have that Annex C in your files. .

Vorster accepted this version of Annex C. He undertook to sell it to Smith and said that he would threaten to cut off aid to Rhodesia if they didn't accept it. He said he would see to it that Smith would not wiggle out of it. The British had said in that draft that the Council of State would have a majority of whites. Vorster said he didn't think the blacks would accept that, so Callaghan changed it that night to a black majority. This was done in a hasty exchange of cables with London. We then said we doubted that Rhodesia would accept a black majority on the Council of State. We agreed to leave things slightly indefinite. It was against this background, then, that we went to Africa. First we met with Kaunda and Nyerere. Nyerere's attitude was very clear. He said, “If you think you can perform miracles, go ahead. But I can tell you now it won't work. Smith won't accept it.” Kaunda had no major objections to Annex C. They all preferred a Governor General, but no one objected to a Council of State.

Reinhardt, I should tell you, pulled one of his more outrageous stunts on this trip by pretending to be one of the soul brothers of the African tribes. (laughter)

Kaunda raised a number of practical problems, which were relatively inconsequential. He suggested that the timetable for independence be shortened. He also suggested that the Council of State have a British chairman. These were minor problems-nothing of any particular consequence. Regarding Namibia, Kaunda was absolutely delighted. Vorster had accepted precisely what he wanted; all the Africans wanted was a United Nations role and some South African participation.

We then went off to South Africa, and I must say we had a bit of a rough time with Vorster, persuading him to accept the revised proposals. But the most painful negotiations I have spent in my eight years in Washington were the seven hours with Smith. It was really painful. I don't think I will ever be able to describe exactly how painful it was. For him and his colleagues, there was no question that this represented the end. We were asking them to accept the destruction of everything that they and their fathers had built. They were being asked to sign their own suicide pacts. It may well be that they are actors (omission in the original] were there thought that they were acting. Smith saw major problems in selling this to his people. He thought that perhaps if the chairman of the Council of State could be white and if the Defense and Law and Order ministers were white, he would have a slightly better chance. I said I would undertake to try to sell it to Kaunda and Nyerere.

I then went back to Nyerere and said that the proposal was for a Council of State of five ministers with a white chairman and two white ministers. Nyerere was absolutely ecstatic. He said, “My God, you've performed a miracle. There is no need to go through all the details; we'll work them all out at the conference." Both he and I held a press conference that same afternoon, and he said essentially the same thing. After Nyerere, I saw Kaunda and I told him that I wasn't really very confident. I sent a message to Smith that evening through the South Af

a ricans, telling him what I had learned about Nyerere's and Kaunda's thoughts on the Council of State. After the two meetings with Nyerere and Kaunda, we (referring to those who were on the trip) met to discuss what had taken place. We decided to pass a message to Smith to go ahead and put in the proposal for a Council of State of five with a




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