South Africa, now in its first "teenager" year, has to abide by the tried and tested values in the Constitution to weather the turbulent years ahead successfully, former president FW de Klerk said on Friday.

Addressing a conference at Sun City, he said 2007 might well determine the future for the next 30 or 40 years.

Much depended on the outcome of the current "struggle for the soul of the African National Congress [ANC]" between the Congress of South African Trade Unions, the South African Communist Party and the ANC Youth League on the one hand, and those who would like to maintain the general direction laid down by presidents Thabo Mbeki and Nelson Mandela on the other.

This struggle would be fought out at the ANC's forthcoming national policy conference and, particularly, at its national conference in December.

"Unfortunately, those of us who are outside the ANC alliance will have little or no say in this process, which will nevertheless determine the environment in which we will all have to live and work for the foreseeable future," De Klerk said.

"Perhaps, like concerned relatives, our role should be to give friendly but discrete advice ..."

Among other things, the values on which the new society was based had to be maintained, as articulated and entrenched in the Constitution, he said.

The new South Africa would succeed or fail according to the ability to adhere to the Constitution and the national consensus it represented.
full story from M&G here