South Africa issued a policy booklet today that seemed to rule out the possibility of early negotiations with the outlawed African National Congress, using selected quotes from what the government said were ANC documents to portray the black resistance movement as a violent, communist-dominated organization.
In Cape Town, the government introduced in Parliament the first of two tough security bills that it reportedly wants to rush into law ahead of nationwide demonstrations planned by black activists for June 16, the 10th anniversary of the 1976 Soweto uprising.
Local analysts said the two developments, coming after last week's military raids on alleged ANC installations in neighboring Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia, seemed to indicate that Pretoria has turned its back on the idea of negotiating with black nationalists and is opting instead for a tougher security crackdown.
The government actions also come as a mission of "eminent persons," representing the Commonwealth of 48 former colonies and Britain, is evaluating Pretoria's responses to a proposal by the group for negotiations with the ANC.
Presenting the 42-page booklet prepared by the government's Bureau for Information, Deputy Information Minister D. J. Louis Nel told a press conference here that the government was not prepared to negotiate with the ANC in its present form.
"The government will not negotiate with anyone who is committed to violence. Nor is it prepared to negotiate with communists for the constitutional future of our country," Nel said.
The booklet underscores both points. In a section on "conclusions" it states that the ANC does not comply "at the moment" with the requirements that have been laid down for negotiations.
When reporters asked if the booklet's publication was linked in any way to the Commonwealth mission, which currently is studying South Africa's formal reply to its proposal sent in a letter last week, Nel was reluctant to be drawn into making a connection.
"It is not the intention to jeopardize the initiative" of the Commonwealth group, he said. "The government has merely stated its position. We want to ensure that the debate on this question takes place on an informed basis."
Nel repeated a recent statement by President Pieter W. Botha that if "genuine" nationalists in the ANC were prepared to renounce communism as well as violence, the government would be prepared to negotiate with them.
The booklet claims 23 of the 30 members of the ANC's national executive are either members or "active supporters" of the small South African Communist Party, which was outlawed 36 years ago.
The ANC admits to an alliance with the Communist Party. Other nongovernmental observers said they believed the number of communists in the executive committee was much smaller.
The Commonwealth mission was appointed after a Commonwealth summit in Nassau last October to assess by mid-June whether South Africa was making progress toward ending apartheid or whether the alliance should apply sanctions. The group presented a plan two months ago to open the first direct negotiations between Pretoria and the ANC.
South Africa's initial response seemed encouraging, as did that of the ANC's imprisoned leader, Nelson Mandela, with whom members of the mission talked in prison.
But when the mission returned to South Africa on May 14 the mood in Pretoria seemed to have changed. Analysts here say this is because the government was beginning to react to evidence of a growing right-wing backlash against Botha's program of cautious reforms.
Botha did not meet with the group and instead made a speech in which he assailed the "unsolicited interference" of "meddling groups visiting the country." Four days later the raids were launched.
Newspapers here are saying, in reports they claim are based on leaks from government, that in its formal response to the Commonwealth plan, Pretoria has objected to a requirement that the ANC should "suspend" its commitment to guerrilla struggle before negotiations begin and is demanding that it "abandon" violence totally.
The same reports quote the ANC as saying it fears the plan would result in it abandoning its struggle in exchange for being locked into endless talks with South Africa similar to those on Namibia that Pretoria has spun out for years.
Law and Order Minister Louis le Grange presented the first of two bills in Parliament that will give the government sweeping powers in unrest areas and enable the police to detain people without charges for six months.
Le Grange said the bill introduced today, which empowers him to proclaim "unrest areas," would enable the administration to deal with unrest without causing the economic damage that resulted from last year's declaration of a state of emergency.
An emergency declaration gave the false impression that there was general disorder and chaos, le Grange said.
The opposition Progressive Federal Party is fighting the bill, and the segregated mixed-race and Asian houses of Parliament also are objecting, but the government has the power to override all opposition by referring the legislation to a President's Council where it has a built-in majority.