About this site

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Foundation, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

16 Aug 1989: Sauls, Freddie and Kettledus, Leslie

Click here for more information on the Interviewee - Sauls

Click here for more information on the Interviewee - Kettledus

Click here for Overview of the year

FS. He's responsible for national organising in the automobile sector, that is the manufacturing of motor vehicles and repair shops, garages, filling stations, that sort of operation. Gavin Hartford is also a national organiser for the automotive industry. They are all involved in national activities. But Leslie Kettledus, he's the Collective Bargaining Co-ordinator. I'm Fred Sauls, I'm the National Secretary for the Automotive Department. We assist the head office of NUMSA but because we feel more comfortable staying in the Eastern Cape we don't move to Johannesburg. If you could put specific questions I think it will be a lot easier for us just to respond to that.

POM. What were the added restrictions that were put on unions under the recent amendments to the Labour Relations Act and what strategy are the unions developing to deal with them?

LK. I think that the key parts of the Labour Relations Act, as it was amended in September last year, concern basic rights in respect of retrenchment whereas previously it was last in first out; those provisions were taken out and people are now subject to indiscriminate dismissal for the first twelve months. That's one of the issues.

POM. So any worker can be fired without cause in the first twelve months of his employment?

LK. First six months without it following the procedures that were previously there. Secondly, in terms of the change of the law in respect of sympathy strikes and boycotts, there have been procedures for actually embarking on lawful industrial action which are far more complex. Fourthly the whole issue of the Industrial Court and the machinery of the Labour Relations Act is now far more complex and people can wait up to twelve months to two years or longer while their series of appeals from either side taking up to the Supreme Court, over and above, because previously the Industrial Court was the final level of adjudication in disputes. So this body of legislation combined, we view it as a very fundamental attack on the gains that the trade union movement in SA has made in the late seventies, early eighties in particular under the then COSATU. You should be aware that in the last year there was a protest, general strike, on 6, 7 and 8 June, the mass action, so that the workers can express their rejection of the provisions in the proposed amendments of the Labour Relations Act. We believe that was a highly successful mass action against the Act but the assessment that we have in COSATU as a whole was that we did not sustain that action and didn't do anything to follow the sixth, seventh and eighth action. As a result the unions have been re-mobilising around the issue up until the COSATU third national congress which was held about a month ago where a decision was taken that, together with NACTU and the independent unions, a further summit would be convened and ballots are currently under way. We've completed mostly within the trade union movement. Right now we're counting the ballots for this region. The idea is that there will be a Workers Summit of just workers from COSATU, there are 250 COSATU, 250 NACTU and 250 from the independent unions, which is scheduled to take place on 26th of this month, which summit will then decide on the form of action to be taken against the amendments to the Labour Relations Act. At the same time there have been negotiations with SACCOLA. We don't believe that SACCOLA, being an employer's organisation, we don't believe that those negotiations are going to support any concrete gains at this point in time.

POM. What are the three or four major challenges facing the union movement here in the next four or five years?

LK. I think that the Labour Relations Act is the key test. In NUMSA anyway we believe that it is an environment about negotiations, we believe that it would be a strategic error on the part of the Mass Democratic Movement to fail to defeat this law in a pre-negotiations environment. I think that to put us in a strong bargaining position a serious campaign to defeat the Labour Relations Act and get the contentious clauses withdrawn would put us in a position of strength in respect of any negotiated solution in SA. That is the key issue as far as we're concerned.

FS. Then the third point basically is how the union movement strategically can place themselves at the head of the movement developing in the communities, in the workplaces, to ensure that democracy and a new economic order comes out of whatever is negotiated with the government.

POM. Do you distinguish between what the unions must do to protect the interests of the individual worker and to advance strictly worker claims like high wages, better benefits and the role it's been called on to play in the national liberation movement?

FS. We don't actually see a serious difference between the two because the vast majority of the membership of workers that we represent are from the oppressed masses. So by fighting for material gains for them does not in any way, as we see it, contradict the struggle for a political settlement for a new political order in this country. We see in effect the organisational structures that are being developed through the union movement and the democratic movement where the union movement takes the initiative or the lead and can ensure that democracy and participation by the mass of people could be ensured and that is the crucial issue for us. So we do not see actually any difference between the struggle for a new political order and the struggle for material gains. We see actually the issue of factory struggles as a training ground for democracy and socialism in the country.

POM. If you took the situation that existed in the country on the eve of the first emergency, say July 1985, and the situation that exists today three weeks before a national election, how would you compare and contrast the two situations?

FS. Looking at the organisations of the people, that within a short space of time there has been a sense of majority, they've gone through a phase and they had to adapt quite speedily to address the situation and not to be smashed. I believe that before the state of emergency we were actually riding on the crest of the wave. The mass organisations were leading the struggle and there was nothing that could stop them. When the waves reached the coastline, then we found out, look, we've now got to stand up and walk around to see that we survive or else there would be nothing left over. Within a short space of time, as I say, the organisations had reached majority where they can continue to exist, where second and third tier leadership has been developing in most of the organisations so that even if the top leadership are being removed a new group of leadership is there to move forward. More people are more clear about what the struggle is about in SA. So I believe that that is the clearest difference between what happened before the state of emergency in the organisations.

. As far as the economy is concerned, look I think everybody is fully aware that the economy in SA has really gone down since the state of emergency, really gone down.

POM. Would this be attributed mostly to the impact of sanctions or to internal developments? Have these sanctions, through their effect on the economy, been an effective weapon to use against the government?

FS. Well I wouldn't say it has been an effective weapon as we would understand sanctions and disinvestment to have an impact. We feel that if it had been implemented as the people of SA expressed it, that a number of governments should have adopted the Swedish example, then it would have been different.

POM. The Swedish example was?

FS. Where for quite a number of years already they have stopped money coming in for new equipment, trading with SA, all those sort of activities. Our view was that a number of more countries should implement that practice and many could have really pressurised the SA government to address the situation in the country. So our view is although sanctions had an effect on the attitude of the people inside here, they were concerned about it, we believe it has not had the effect of changing the SA government because the big countries like America, big business, they still have SA capital. That hasn't really changed. Instead of actually putting more money into the manufacturing sector it's gone more into banks and that sort of institution.

. So sanctions basically, as we see it, have not been effective because loopholes were created and loopholes were seen by the capitalists in this country and those loopholes have been used like, for instance, the disinvestment of Delta, the disinvestment of Goodyear. Goodyear still remains and operates making tyres. General Motors products are still being manufactured here but the company has disinvested so to us that is not really an effective pressure or change on the SA government.

POM. Were they both in the Ford situation in which large numbers of workers were also laid off? I think somebody mentioned to us like 2500 workers.

FS. I think Ford was the only one where that actually happened.

POM. That's between Samcor and ...?

FS. That took place in 1985 when at that stage there wasn't that much pressure in terms of disinvestment.

POM. Looking at the elections that are coming up, I'd like to outline to you three scenarios and tell me what might be the role of unions in the processes that will come from each scenario and what you think will happen in the country. The first is one in which the NP is returned to power with a majority a little bit reduced but nevertheless a comfortable majority. The second would be where the NP are returned to power with a small minority of votes or small amount of votes and the bulk of the other support has gone to the Conservative Party. The third scenario would be that of a hung parliament. What kind of policies do you think would come in the wake of those three scenarios and what would be the role of the trade union movement?

LK. I don't know whether parliament is a place where decisions are made in this country. Whilst obviously there's a lot of debate about whether it's going to be a hung parliament, whether it's going to be more of a rightwing gain or a leftwing gain or whatever, the real decisions in respect of politics and economics will be taken in places like the National Security Council and other places. Obviously at the end of the day parliament does have an impact on those decisions. I think it would be a misnomer in fact to think in that the SA situation parliamentary majorities by themselves are going to fundamentally influence the direction of the country.

POM. Do you not think that a perceptible turn to the right would result in policies that are different from I mean with its pledge to would the ruling party not be looking over its shoulder?

LK. What I am saying is that, yes, sure, that will happen and the ruling party will look over its shoulder but the Security Councils and Regional Services Councils and so on are the actual institutions that are governing people's lives at a day to day level inside the country. They are bodies which are largely meeting in secret and taking all the key decisions. Parliamentary democracy and so on is there on the surface and it is influential in that process but I don't believe that it is the key place that is going to influence the future.

FS. There's very little if any difference between the thinking of the NP and the thinking of the CP. It may be because of the election manifestos that it seems that there is any difference. The whole period that PW Botha was at the head of affairs, De Klerk was actually in control of the conservative arm of the NP. But just by maybe one morning paper coming out De Klerk seems to be the great reformist. I mean it's painful for journalists. In the NP the Afrikaners are exactly the same, they want to secure Afrikaner rights, they want to secure minority rights and as far as the union movement is concerned that is something that is just not on in this country. We don't want a range of powers or an agreement to protect white rights or Coloured or Indian minority rights.

. So for us the election on 6th September means nothing whether the DP comes in or the NP or the CP. We're struggling for society where the people will participate in the government for a socialist style of an economy and a country. That is what we're struggling for and our whole approach is based on that and geared for it.

POM. Do you see any difference between the DP and the NP?

FS. I personally don't see any difference between the DP and the NP. If you look at Wynand Malan where does he come from? Worrall, where does he come from? Zac de Beer? I mean what are they doing to the mineworkers? They are conservatives in dealing with workers even though they speak English and their attitude is worse than the Afrikaner. To me there's basically no difference.

POM. Take the white community first, have there been any significant changes in its attitude in the last five years or are they still where they were five years ago?

FS. I would say that a significant change is observed among a large number of white youth. Tremendous changes observed there. And in certain church groups you see people are seriously considering the issue.

POM. Which church would stand out among church groups?

FS. Basically the Anglican, Catholic, those sort of churches. The question is, are they going to show, or put it a different way, the crunch is going to come when they would have to confront, look, if there is going to be a majority black government in this country what then? Will they accept it? If their white daughters want to marry a black guy are they going to accept them? So the crunch will still come. They are showing positive events. They have democratic leanings but the time will come when we will have to judge and say, look, is this sincere or is it just because the people see now a majority black power and they have got no choice? It could be that when they have to face reality like in Namibia they would like to say let's do everything to undermine SWAPO instead of saying let us join with SWAPO for democracy and peace and justice. Let us join the ANC for peace and democracy and justice in this country. That choice they will have to make but the point is that you can see, you can know that a lot of youth are becoming involved in the mass democratic movement. They are expressing in papers when they write. OK the discussions at certain universities, even maybe like Stellenbosch University, you know you find those people are speaking about certain things, they are condemning certain things, but at a certain point in time when they would have to be called upon to indicate where they stand then we'll see.

POM. Do you think that if the white community in general had to make a choice between a fairly substantial lower standard of living, a situation where they still held on to political power, that they would choose that over a situation where they would have to concede political power to the majority?

FS. I think if you had to look at the situation now, my impression is they would cling to holding on to power with a lower standard of living, that would be my impression.

POM. So in fact the economy would have to sink quite a bit before there would be a serious change in attitudes?

FS. What I think would maybe change that perception would be if there's a clearer position of the outside world because whites in this country still think Thatcher is never going to drop us, Thatcher will always support us, Bush will always be on our side and Kohl will always be on our side. So they still have that confidence. Look, there's just a rugby team that's come into SA instead of all of the opposition, so they're confident that because the one guy made a statement that he's going to use his plane to go over to get people and then Danie Craven comes forward that he's standing up for principles. But both of them are working together in the international community. So the whites are confident. Until they see they are on their own now and they've got to address the black majority here, they're going to try to cling to power even if it means a loss of ...

POM. You were going to add something?

LK. What I was just going to say is that a reduction in the standard of living of the white sector, to add to the point that Fred is making, is just that it doesn't necessarily mean that they're going to become more progressive, they can become more rightwing. In fact there's quite a substantial drift amongst white working class people to the right. People tend to look at the white sector and look at professionals and academics but the majority of the white sector is working class and the trend, as I understand the situation there, is that those people are getting more impoverished and they are undoubtedly moving more to the rightwing which is clearly an effort on their side to cling to power and to restore all forms of apartheid in SA.

POM. It's like they want to hold on to their marginal privileges up to the bitter end.

LK. Yes.

FS. Look at what's coming through from Namibia now, that even the whites from SA must try to arrange a special vote in Namibia to try and boost the opposition against SWAPO.

POM. One thing that I was particularly intrigued with and comes out of our experience in Northern Ireland and the role that the IRA plays, it's a paramilitary organisation which is supported at best maybe by 20% of the minority population, Catholic population, yet it has been able to mount a very effective guerrilla campaign against the security forces with no more than about 50 or 60 operatives and with a support system of maybe another 400 or 500 people. They have sanctuaries within the Catholic ghettos and the British Intelligence have never been really successful in penetrating the IRA. I want to compare that to the ANC, to its armed struggle which to me on the outside seems very sporadic, rather ineffectual and not highly organised. First I'd like to know whether you think that's an accurate characterisation of it and if it is why you think that is so? What role does the armed struggle play in the whole liberation movement?

FS. It's actually a question that I'm not very qualified to even respond to. I don't even want to venture a wild guess on that, but to say that I think there are quite a number of ANC activists internally in SA. What their instructions are I don't know. If you look at what has happened just recently, Cape Town with two young Coloured youths they were blown to pieces for making a technical mistake. And look at all the trials taking place here. So it's a question that we're not very clued up to respond to you but we believe that there are a quite a lot of ANC cadres in SA. What their instructions are, what they should do, that is an operational question.

PAT. I was wondering can we not see it or should we try to define it as something other than what is conventionally taken to a conventional sort of view one has of liberation armed struggle, the SWAPO operation, the IRA, Zimbabwe, the Tamils in Sri Lanka, the forces in Chile, Palestinians, the PLO. Those are sort of conventional patterns of operating, you see it, you hear about it and yet that doesn't seem to be coming through, at least in our view of SA, relative to the ANC's armed struggle. I guess it's not a question to build into where are their cells and do they have them and what is their strategy, but as a person who is a leading activist in this community? Could you advise us on things that we should be looking for that we're not looking for?

FS. No we're not, I'm not sure ...

LK. It's difficult to make these kind of comparisons. I think the Irish situation is totally different. The Irish situation, as I understand it, is based much more in an urban warfare situation than we are in SA.

POM. Sorry which, an urban?

LK. Urban guerrilla warfare situation than historically in the South African situation. We're not really in a position to comment specifically on that question.

POM. To go back to the question I started with, the problems facing trade unions. One was getting over the amendments to the Labour Relations Act. What other ones in terms of organising workers are being accepted by industry or whatever?

LK. We're overworked. There are other problems. There are ongoing attacks from government and state in the form of deregulation, privatisation; that's a major issue.

POM. The informal sector is it?

LK. The whole push by big business and government in SA to deregulate the economy and privatise. It's a major offensive that is of concern to specifically the trade union movement because it's affecting our members. Unemployment is a major problem in SA and it's a major problem for the trade union movement as well. In this region alone there are official estimates of 60% unemployed and it's probably higher. So I don't know if the other people would like to comment but these are things that I see as the major issues for the trade union movement. Politically to get the trade union movement, because I think if you compare to your earlier question about 1985, the previous state of emergency, and now, the one thing that we can say quite clearly is that the state of emergency was aimed to crush the spirit of the people. It failed. It effectively crushed community organisations on a wide scale through repression but it did not kill that spirit. We've seen that spirit growing up again now quite strongly and we also COSATU was launched right in the middle of that state of emergency and it's grown from the then 350,000 members to a million paid up members today under those very conditions. So that's tying in the threads, people have become more mature I think about the situation that we're facing and organisations, particularly the union movement, is in my view anyway more consolidated than ever before. There are lots of problems but we're stronger.

POM. Is the relationship between the unions and management here like the relationship between British unions and management which is essentially confrontational rather than co-operative?

FS. Very much so confrontational. There's a heavy push from management to adopt more the German sort of co-opt top leadership instead of from their side the heavy push to divide and take the workers in the plant as part of management as the Japanese have done.

PAT. Does the Japanese system make it difficult to organise?

FS. No it's not that really. It's the way in which they tend to use this to try and co-opt workers to have what they term an 'open door' policy, establishing structures of communication within the companies which is geared to undercut and undermine progressive shop steward within the plants. Take the example of Delta, after they had to disinvest, General Motors, the strategy of the company has been to co-opt. Parallel to the shop steward structure within a company they developed a communication structure which are handpicked people through which they communicate and get feedback from those individuals, not representing any constituency. That is the one thing. Bringing the families of the workers into the plant, making them feel part of the organisation, that paternalistic attitude, running concerts on company premises to create that atmosphere and feeling amongst the workforce there that they are working for a company that cares, they socialise together with management, that sort of thing. It's a blatant example of co-option but then in other companies you find a more subtle form of co-option.

POM. Like?

FS. Like, OK, shares, they're selling off 10% of the shares to the workers, so the workers become, so to speak, shareholders for a little, very small amount which isn't even significant. As such they try to change the thinking of people that at least we have got something in this company, I'm not going to jeopardise that. That is taking place in a silent way, not very public, in a lot of companies.

POM. These are ESOPs are they? Are these called ESOPs Employees' Stock Ownership Plans?

FS. Not even really that. It's in a very, very small way without real participation by workers in the process.

POM. We're tomorrow seeing some people from Volkswagen. How would they rate as an employer? What kinds of questions should we be asking the management side?

FS. Why do they lock workers out when they strike for increased wages?

POM. When there's a strike there's a lockout?

FS. This is an example, a recent example. The workers demand, they know that there are negotiations on for increased wages and improved working conditions. They report back, they go out on the grass, they discuss their employer's offer. They fully (discuss) that and the employer says, Uh-uh, now you're on strike. You just walked off the lines, you're on strike now. We're closing the factory. We are not opening this factory until you come back and say to us that you will continue, you will go back to work and you will work normally and will not engage in the action that you engaged in yesterday.

POM. How would they have rated as an employer? Are there good employers and bad employers?

FS. You only get one sort of employer. All bad. Generally they're all the same. Their main purpose is to make profits and the workers' main purpose is to get a fair share, better conditions. The employers' argument has always been the same, when there's an economic boom or an economic downswing in both situations they say to you that the money, the surpluses that we have now in the boom period we've got to protect in case things go bad down the road. And when you get down there again they don't now assist you when it really is battling. Sometimes they just tell you that they plough the excess profits back into the business so there's never really a time when they can say that they have a lot of money that they want to give out to the workers. Every time you sit down with them, We haven't got money. We can't afford it.

POM. Because the money is expatriated to the home country? Profits are taken out?

FS. Alternatively they will argue that they have put it back into the business again, we have built that, we have made some extensions and improvements to the factory.

POM. When I was here in 1987 one of the things that was being said was that in companies where disinvestment had happened invariably the plant or the company would be bought by white South African interests cheaply and that often advances made by the unions under the American company or whatever were taken away and unions had to start from scratch all over again, gaining recognition and bargaining power. Has that been a problem?

FS. Well it is a problem I think. Sometimes they're concerned about the militancy of the union side so this is an opportunity now to pull the carpet from under them and try to win back some of the gains which the unions have made. So it's an ongoing battle all the time. I don't think it's going to change. The issue now that we have achieved actually a minimum of R5-50 in the auto industry, we're aware that sooner or later in another way the companies would want to win something back. So that is how we feel. The one point that was made is about why we say that all companies are basically the same is that we don't look at the individual personnel manager or personnel director, we're looking at the decisions that management takes are based on the capitalist principle of exploitation. So unless they change and, look, where's a company based on free enterprise they won't change. So that's ongoing conflict, it won't change until our whole economic system is changed and that is what our struggle is about and we're not scared to say that. That is a COSATU principle, it's a MAWUSA principle, we're struggling for socialism and the two are not comparable.

PAT. Do you agree with the ANC's new economic policy as in the constitutional guidelines?

FS. As we understand it the ANC's economic policy still has to be discussed to clearly understand what they mean by their economic policy, the same way that we understood maybe what SWAPO's political policy was until they come now and say that it's slightly different from the socialist sort of ...

PAT. Well they're standing an election.

FS. So it's not exactly clear what the ANC's position is on that. I think that basically they will be guided by the wishes of the vast majority of the people in this country.

PAT. If there is down the road, in say four or five years, a negotiating process, do you think COSATU will sit at that table wearing its political hat or its trade union hat or will it sit there at all? There's this debate now going on within the trade union movement in Namibia that its role as a political vehicle now that SWAPO is back and operational, versus its role as a trade union, and what happens in the independent government and what decisions get put off until after the election? I don't want you to necessarily comment about that but in this process if what is set up, and there's a big 'if' about that, what role does COSATU play?

FS. Well we definitely see that whatever negotiations take place that we must guarantee or ensure that whoever sits there, whether he's got his ANC hat, he must further our policies and he must get a mandate from us. Whether he has got a COSATU hat he must get a mandate from the workers and that is on the socialist agenda. So to us it doesn't really matter whether he is an ANC representative, he's put there by our structures in this region. Also to us we don't see COSATU as separate, NUMSA as separate, the ANC as separate, the UDF as separate. Our struggle as the working class must be to ensure that our worker leaders are playing a leading role in all of these organisations otherwise there will be no freedom for workers, there will be no democracy and no socialism in this country. That is how we see it. We must accept that some people would say, look, COSATU must be, as COSATU, separate but in life it's just not like that and in SA, far more than in many other countries, it's our task to make sure that our representatives are in strategic positions within the ANC or any organisation that's going to sit around the negotiating table with PW Botha and be accountable to the masses and leading the masses while we organise workers or the industrial working class in this country.

POM. How do you think the international community could best advance the interests of trade unions in SA?

FS. I'm never sure on this question who is the international community? America?

POM. America, Europe, say Canada.

FS. I most probably would say that I would be very scared for any involvement by that sort of international community looking what is happening in Nicaragua and all of the other countries.

PAT. What about the Soviets and the Eastern bloc countries? What role can they play here to advance trade union interests, that part of the international community? I mean right now, as you know, the US and Soviets are trying to figure out a way in which they can better assert this new relationship that they're trying to work out among themselves. So you don't want to deal with the US, you don't want to deal with Thatcher, you don't want to deal with Kohl, what about the Soviets, what role can they play?

FS. The same would apply. You see what happened in China the other day. That is why we say, who is the world?

POM. Are you saying the sanctions that exist really make no difference? If they hadn't come about, who cares? Are they that worthless? Would you prefer that they weren't there rather than that they are there? If the international community is that bad, why not say ...?

LK. I think COSATU's position has always been that we support mandatory economic sanctions against SA, but that's not the case because it gets vetoed by the big powers and so we don't see it as coming into being, mandatory sanctions. We see that there will be partial sanctions here and there of arms embargoes and so on, and that the pressure on the regime will be through public policies. But I think the point you're trying to make is that the policy positions of the mass organisations inside the country and outside have been for mandatory sanctions and that it doesn't seem that that is ever going to come about. I think America in particular and France have been instrumental in blocking ...

POM. America and France?

LK. Well isn't it that in the Security Council?

PAT. Sure. But there's something confusing about that in a way relative to what's going on now in the US. The movement among the blacks in the US is to push for comprehensive sanctions and to push the new administration to the wall on this. Then what comes through is that South Africans aren't interested in comprehensive sanctions this time around, they're interested in the loan repayments and putting a short lease on the renewal of loans. That threw off the leadership, the political leadership in the US that was looking to push comprehensive sanctions. Now what you seem to be saying is that it should be comprehensive sanctions and what people in Washington are saying is that we're not getting a clear message what people inside want. So what about the loan repayments?

LK. That has just come recently. It's a new development that in the absence of getting what we've been asking for the last X amount of years, we've sort of conceded that OK, well at least you can sanction this and you can sanction that, and it's more targets and so on. That is a piecemeal solution to the actual problem. The actual problem is to try and get mandatory sanctions, comprehensive mandatory sanctions. We don't seem to have made progress on that issue.

POM. As you look forward to the next four or five years, what do you see happening both in terms of the development of the trade union movement and in terms of development towards majority rule? In other words if I came back here five years from now would we be having more or less the very same conversation with very much the government structures that are in place now still in place?

FS. Maybe you'll have to try and contact us in parliament then. Come and see us in parliament. I think maybe from the union side the main issue that I see in the next couple of years is still the question of unity because what percentage of organised workers do we represent? About 23%. There is still that sort of division and to have a clear position for the working class in this country, the issue of unity is still critical in that the task and the role of the union movement is going to play within whatever comes through this process of negotiation. I think that is the crucial issue that we will be confronted with and we will just have to prepare ourselves for that development. As far as the elections are concerned and what takes place after that to us, nothing dramatic will change. That's why we don't see that as a crucial issue. So it's a question of building a solid working class organisational movement in this country and, secondly, the process of negotiations around that and we strategically put ourselves in positions where we can state our objectives.

POM. But it wouldn't be your expectation that five years from now actual negotiations would be going on between the government, the ANC and other organisations?

FS. Our view is that the process of negotiations has already started by the academics visiting, others talking, laying the groundwork for this, PW Botha meeting certain leaders, De Klerk going to meet and all of that is, as we see it, the start of that process. It could happen that within that five years the people would sit down to negotiate. It could be that it's going to take longer but within the next ten years I think definitely there would have to be negotiations in this country otherwise there will be a situation very, very much worse than the last state of emergency that we've gone through.

LK. I think the issue doesn't depend just on the goodwill of various international and local forces, it depends essentially on the power of the mass movements inside SA. So it's hard to say that in five years it will be like this or like that because it's clear that prior to the mass upsurge ...

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Foundation, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. Return to theThis resource is hosted by the site.