Zaire's rebel leader Laurent Kabila has met South African President Nelson Mandela in Cape Town in a last-ditch attempt to avoid a bloodbath in Zaire's seven-month-old civil war.
The rebel leader has given an ultimatum to Zairean President Mobutu Sese Seko.
Mobutu has now until Monday to respond to a peace proposal.
Journalists waited outside the South African President's Tuynhuys office for the result of a meeting which nearly didn't happen.
Laurent Kabila had agreed to met President Nelson Mandela in South Africa after refusing to attend South African brokered talks with Zaire's President Mobutu.
After the two hour meeting Laurent Kabila said he will give Zairean President Mobutu Sese Seko until Monday to respond to a peace proposal, but refused to commit his troops to stopping the military advance on the capital in the meantime.
The Thursday night meeting came as time appeared to be running out in the Zairean capital Kinshasa, where many had expected President Mobutu to hand over power to the rebels on Wednesday.
Mandela and Kabila met with reporters after their session.
"The president of the Alliance of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo Zaire, comrade Kabila, came to see us today to give us the opportunity of briefing him on the discussions we had with President Mobutu. We have done so and we are all waiting for the response from President Mobutu. No as you know in the past we have been very candid in placing these matters before the media, but we are engaged in very sensitive and complicated negotiations and we don't want any party to hear about the discussions that we've had with the other from the media because in effect that complicated our negotiations. All that I want to say is that matters are going according to plan and we are confident that a solution could be found"
SUPER CAPTION: South African President, Nelson Mandela
Kabila says Mobutu has until Monday to respond to the peace proposal, but wouldn't elaborate on what the proposal included.
"I think I have nothing to say out of what has been said by President Mandela the chairman of what is being done in negotiation for our country. We shall wait till Monday to receive another answer from the other side, that is Mr Mobutu's side. That is the only thing I can say now. It seems we are bound of not revelling anything we have discussed a few minutes ago. So let us stick to that position till Monday."
SUPER CAPTION: Laurent Kabila, Rebel leader.
Kabila wouldn't rule out a weekend move on the Zairean capital Kinshasa, but it's now up to Mobutu to accept the South African peace proposal or face a bloody conclusion to his country's civil war.