President F.W. de Klerk and ANC leader Nelson Mandela on Saturday said they agreed on the urgent need for an interim government, but they failed to remove all obstacles to constitutional talks.
The two leaders' first meeting in three months was aimed at combating new outbreaks of black-on-black violence that is holding up constitutional talks. Mandela wants more government help in ending the bloodshed before talks resume.But even as the leaders met, 10 people were killed when 30 unidentified attackers stormed into the black township of Gengeshe, 50 miles west of Durban in Natal province, the government-run South African Broadcasting Corp. reported.
Natal, which also includes the KwaZulu homeland, has been the scene of frequent clashes between supporters of the African National Congress and the rival Zulu-dominated Inkatha Freedom Party.
Inkatha and the ANC have accused each other of planning attacks Sunday at an annual Zulu festival at KwaMashu, near Durban.
The South African army chief, Lt. Gen. Georg Meiring, said Friday that ANC fighters had entered KwaMashu and would dress as South African police officers in a bid to blame the expected violence on government forces.
The ANC on Saturday denied the allegation as "outrageous propaganda."
The ANC suspended talks with the government in June over chronic fighting in black townships. More than 8,000 people have died in township disturbances since de Klerk took power in 1989.
An ANC march in the Ciskei homeland earlier this month left 28 protesters dead and almost 200 wounded when homeland soldiers opened fire on demonstrators.
On Saturday, de Klerk said his eight hours of talks with Mandela would "take us forward to resumption of negotiations" in the near future.
The two agreed the country needs a democratically elected constituent assembly that would write a constitution for a new multiracial political system.
Mandela said considerable progress had been made, especially on ending political violence, but stressed there was still no agreement on significant issues.
"There is obviously much work still to be done," he said.
Agreement was reached on a ban on most types of dangerous weapons and steps to contain violence at black hostels.
Mandela said the ANC, in light of government concessions on weapons and hostels, would re-examine its highly criticized mass action campaign of public protests and try to lessen the risk of confrontation.
Past agreements banning weapons and on the hostels failed to halt violence and ended in the breakdown of negotiations.
"I hope that when next we meet, we will be able to agree on dates for elections for a constituent assembly and the installation of an interim government," Mandela said.