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News Briefs, part 2

Foreign Notables to Try To Mediate South African Impasse

Los Angeles Times

With only two weeks until this country's first all-race elections, a private business group announced Monday that seven foreign jurists, academics and diplomats would arrive Tuesday to try to mediate a last-minute solution to a constitutional impasse over battle-racked Natal province.

The group will begin meeting Wednesday with leaders of Nelson Mandela's African National Congress, which is expected to win the elections, and Zulu Chief Mangosuthu G. Buthelezi's Inkatha Freedom Party, which is seeking to delay the elections as part of its militant campaign for greater provincial autonomy and an independent Zulu state in Natal.

The mediation group includes former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and A. Leon Higginbotham Jr., a retired chief judge emeritus of the 3rd U.S. Court of Appeals. A U.S. Embassy spokesman said both men were coming here as private citizens and not as Clinton administration envoys.

Buthelezi first proposed using international mediation in March to bridge his dispute with the ANC. But the announcement Monday by the Consultative Business Movement, a private group of South African business leaders who have sought since the 1980s to foster political change, appeared to catch both the ANC and the government by surprise.

"We received information this afternoon that the mediators would be arriving tomorrow," said ANC spokesman Ronnie Mamoepa. He said the mediation would not affect the April 26-28 election. "Those dates are sacrosanct. They will not change."

The government of President Frederik W. de Klerk was also notified Monday, said spokesman Richard Carter. He said government officials will meet with the group but had not been involved with setting up its mission.

Schindler's Widow Honored At Simon Wiesenthal Center

Los Angeles Times

The tiny white-haired woman in the navy blue pantsuit was greeted with smiles and tears as she made her way, supported by two rabbis, toward the menorah-shaped monument at the Museum of Tolerance, where she lit a flame to remember the 6 million Jews killed in the Holocaust.

"Let me touch you," said one woman as she reached out to embrace Emilie Schindler, who as the wife of Oskar Schindler helped save 1,200 Jews during World War II.

In the Academy Award-winning movie "Schindler's List," Emilie Schindler was portrayed as the long-suffering wife of a man who did great good but had a fondness for high living, and a straying eye, that few spouses could endure.

In May, Emilie Schindler will receive the Wiesenthal Center's highest honor - the Righteous Amongst the Nations award - along with Miep Gies, who hid Anne Frank's family in the Netherlands and preserved her diary after the family was taken away by the Nazis.