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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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

13 Aug 1990: Kathrada, Ahmed

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POM. I'm speaking with Mr. Kathrada on the 13th of August. Mr Kathrada will you please identify yourself for the tape.

AK. My position is that I'm in the Department of Information of the African National Congress.

POM. Going back to the second of February and Mr. de Klerk's speech, did it, one, take you by surprise and secondly, what do you think motivated him to move so rapidly and so broadly at the same time?

AK. The speech as such did not take me by surprise. There were details of course that took me by surprise. I had expected the relaxation but not in that order. I had thought that first of all they'd start with the state of emergency and things and then, what I did not expect, is the unbanning of the Communist Party and the ANC right at the beginning. So that aspect. But otherwise it was more or less expected in view of what preceded development in South Africa and the talks with Mr. Mandela while he was still in prison.

POM. And to his motivation, what motivated him to go that far?

AK. Well I personally don't believe he or the Nationalist Party for that matter have suddenly undergone a change of heart. Some of them are very astute politicians who have been able to see the trends in South Africa. The massive upsurge of political consciousness among the black masses, the rise of the trade union movement, the United Democratic Front, and I think they have been able to see the signs of the time and they have seen that this may be one way of, in some of their perceptions of delaying things and getting a best dispensation out of it. I don't think that their motives are altruistic.

POM. You think they have chosen the point when they are probably at their strongest to negotiate a settlement that is the best settlement they could negotiate now and if they waited any longer their power would start to decline?

AK. That could be a way of putting it, yes.

POM. Do you think that Mr. de Klerk has conceded fully on the issue of majority rule?

AK. No, far from it. You know every now and then different ministers have come out with what they perceive to be the best dispensation for South Africa so one doesn't know what is going to be on the table. This weekend for instance we read of the meetings within Cabinet ministers lead by what we call the Bantustans. Now in our view all those would be abolished. These are all ethnic bodies and in our perception they should be abolished as they are constituted at present. But one finds that he is still trying to find the room for them to continue in some form another.

POM. Would the ANC have a problem if the government said that the leaders of the homelands must be part of a negotiating process that they would have to sit at the table along with everybody else?

AK. Well, I wouldn't be able to give an ANC view there. I could give a personal view. We ourselves have been talking to the Bantustan leaders. I think I am correct in saying that our approach is to go to the negotiating table with as broad a representation as possible on our side. We'd go there obviously with certain proposals planned. And we hope to have on our side other liberation organisations plus Bantustan leaders and so forth. And those who do not agree with us we would see them sitting with President de Klerk on his side of the table.

POM. So you would see a process of consultation between the ANC and other liberation organisations on the one hand and the homelands on the other? And then do you see you all going to the table together or do you see the ANC speaking on behalf of a commonly arrived at position?

AK. No I foresee others joining our side of the negotiating table.

POM. Would that include Mr. Buthelezi?

AK. Well we don't know to what extent. So far he has not been part of our consultations. We do not know to what extent he will fall in.

POM. Would it be your own view that in order for negotiations to succeed that he would have to be represented at the table?

AK. Well we don't know at what stage, you know. We feel that we need to have, not necessarily at the negotiating table but at a Constituent Assembly, every shade of opinion in South Africa which has got some support. Now I have not any percentage cut off point, that an organisation should have certain percentage of the vote. I think they had it in Namibia, 5% I think it was. A similar situation should be tried out here. And if one approaches it that way, then every substantial viewpoint would be represented at a Constituent Assembly.

POM. The government appears to be adamantly opposed to a Constituent Assembly and a number of people that we have spoken to, including some in the government, said that they don't see a situation which the government would concede on that issue. Two things. One, if the government kind of digs in and says no Constituent Assembly, it's out of the question, we are a different government, we are not Namibia whatever, what alternatives do you see as being feasible? And two, what leverage at that point would the ANC, or the other parties sitting at a table, have to force the governments hand?

AK. Well again it is a personal view but let me put it this way. Our bottom line is the establishment of a unitary, non-racial democratic South Africa, where the question of adversity in voting and so forth does not arise at all. If we can find a way of achieving this I wouldn't be wedded to a Constituent Assembly. Again this is my personal view point. But I cannot see at this stage any other way of seeking a properly democratically debated, accepted constitution other than through a constituent assembly.

POM. So in your view how do you see the process itself unfolding over the next couple of years? We are now at a point where the obstacles to negotiation are out of the way; presumably the ANC and the government can get down to some real negotiations. What steps follow over the next couple of years?

AK. Well first of all the obstacles are not out of the way yet. I mean agreements have been reached, some undertakings have been given. We are unfortunately faced with a government which has a record of breaking promises, breaking undertakings. We all just hope that this time they will stick to their agreements so that by the end of this year the major obstacle will be out of the way. Should that happen then of course the parties will have to get together to discuss the next step in the process. According to our stand we'd have to meet to discuss the principles of arriving at a democratic constitution. We also envisage an interim government to supervise the election to and the proceedings of a constituent assembly. That is our stand at the moment. As I have said, and I repeat my personal view, if we can reach our bottom line which is the establishment of non-racial democratic South Africa, I wouldn't stick to these steps rigidly.

POM. At what point in the process do you see other organisations, other political parties being brought into the process?

AK. Well you know we have excluded nobody. We have tried already, we have indicated our desire to meet with other liberation organisations to discuss this. We have had meetings with AZAPO for instance, a Black Consciousness organisation. Not specifically to discuss this process but this has arisen in this discussion. We'll be seeing them. We hope to see the PAC. It is an ongoing thing.

POM. Would the fact that the PAC would stay outside of the process, simply refuse to get involved at all, could that pose a threat to the process itself? A number of people again have suggested to us that the threat of the PAC is that it could derail the process.

AK. I don't think they have got the strength to do it. So far the media has built up the PAC into a bigger force than it really is. That's my view. And while one cannot say that the huge rallies and so forth are the only criteria for judging the strength of the organisation, I think it is a very important measure of judging the strength of the organisation. We have had meetings throughout the length and breadth of South Africa, rural areas, urban areas, which have been attended by tens and in some cases hundreds of thousands of people. Just to give you an example, after his survey conducted under the auspices of the Institute of Race Relations, a survey with a sample of 50, they reported that the PAC has overtaken the ANC in it's support in Soweto. Now that is the type of thing we are used to from the ...

POM. It's a sample of 50?

AK. Yes a sample of 50. And on that basis the media gave it considerable publicity. Now we are used to organisations like these on race relations that give some of the white press boosting any organisation that would undermine the support of the ANC. Now soon after the survey was done there came June the 16th, which is a very emotional day now in history, and meetings were held. We held 50 rallies throughout South Africa. The others I think held one or two. But in Soweto itself, which is of concern to us now, there were three rallies. The ANC rally, the PAC rally and the Black Consciousness rally. Now we don't give our own figures here, we get it from foreign and local journalists which gave the PAC attendance at 3,000 as the very most generous of the PAC support which the foreign journalists stopped at. The Black Conscious thing was given as less than a thousand and the ANC was given at 80,000. Now that was just one example of support in Soweto. What I am trying to say is that, as we had experience in 1960, there is a section, if not the bulk, of the commercial white owned press, so called liberal, which for reasons of their own do boost any organisation that would in their view undermine the support of the ANC.

POM. When you say white liberal, what would be their objective in trying to undermine the ANC?

AK. Well in my view they find, I suppose, difficulties getting the ANC just to accept what the boss says all the time and with the other organisations, in spite of all their rhetoric, public rhetoric, they find them more pliable. It may be a simplistic view but it is my view and I base it more on personal experience then on any other.

POM. You have now a situation where the armed struggle has been suspended but there are many who still believe that there should be no let-up in seeking non-violent confrontations with the state, of continuing to force issues in terms of demonstrations, in terms of marches, in terms of keeping the pressure as much as possible on the government. Do you think that's a good way forward or do you think that the possibilities that it could spill over into a violent confrontation are such that it would be better to relax that kind of approach?

AK. We cannot possibly do that. Our people would have no channel of expressing their feelings, their desires. We are not in parliament so there are no channels open to us whatsoever except the streets and we cannot give that up. Once we let up pressure we are really encouraging the other side to sit down and stop in their tracks. So that pressures that is the local struggles and the international pressures we believe should continue.

POM. De Klerk has given a promise to the white electorate that when a new constitution is ready he will put it before them for their approval. This isn't a promise that he should keep is it?

AK. Well we certainly hope not, because one of our problems in this country is that the whites have to decide the future of the rest of us. And we would like to dissuade President de Klerk from pursuing that part of just getting white approval for everything that is happening in this country. If the moment he decides that there are 37 million South Africans whose opinions he should seek and not only 5 million whites, then that day will be for all of South Africa and that day will be for him. Because at the moment there is this right-wing threat which is again constantly being seen in the white context of 5 million people. It certainly is a big threat but when he starts seeing the whole of South Africa in the context of 37 million people then the right wing threat is lessened considerably.

POM. How serious are those, a) the threat of the Conservative Party and b) the threat of the right wing? Is the rise of support for the Conservative Party something that must be expected, is natural, that will abate as it becomes more clear what the future constitution is going to be. Or do you think it poses a real threat to the government? And if it does is that de Klerk's problem and not your problem or is it both your problems?

AK. Well I'd like to believe that being astute politicians as they are, when they set out on this course, this exercise of negotiation, they would have considered every possibility, including a white backlash. And I think they would have based themselves on that. They would have been quite confident that in spite of some sort of a right-wing white feeling they must be quite confident that they would carry the whites with them. Recent opinion polls seem to prove them right. No government will just undertake an exercise if it is going to lead to their own downfall. And these are shrewd politicians.

POM. About the threat of the violence on the right wing, do you think that will be sporadic and incidental more than ...?

AK. Well so far it is more sporadic. It is serious. Now here again we are in a bit of a dilemma. One questions the sincerity or the determination of the government in wanting to deal with the right wing threat. We have today 150 of our people detained under Section 29 of the Internal Security Act. Now Section 29 as you may know is the section under which people are held incommunicado, not even their lawyers are allowed to see them, assaults take place, we know that our people have been severely tortured already in Natal, held under this section. Here we get white right wing groups like this advocate from [the demons in Bach(?)] who was arrested with hand grenades and other things, is let out on bail the very next day. And they are charged under the ... Act not even under the Terrorism Act. So one questions their determination to deal with the right wing threat. They are trying to play it down all the time. In the meantime they are letting off bombs, they are killing blacks, all the time.

PK. In that respect is there a difference between the government and these forces?

AK. Well that is an explanation that is being given. Well then they should admit that they have no control over their police force. They maintain that they've got control over their police force. We say either President de Klerk or his ministers are unwilling to or unable to control their police force.

POM. Many say that we have seen the last whites only election. Under the present constitution an election is due in 1994, do you think this process must be largely completed before 1994 and that we have seen the last of whites only elections?

AK. Well we certainly would like to see it completed because our people are so impatient. They'll start questioning us. They'll start questioning our participation in this whole exercise unless we are able to give them something substantial. So that we certainly hope that there are no unnecessary delays in this process.

POM. One hears a lot about white fears, how do you see white fears and which ones do you think may be valid and which ones do you think are just imaginary?

AK. Well there again one has to sort of accept that these white fears are the logical outcome of 40 years of Nationalist Party rule. They have over the years built up this demon of the black menace as led by the ANC and the Communist Party and others organisations. They have built up this. They have, while we were illegal, and they had the advantage of the whole media on their side, they have built up the ANC into a demon. And even the Conservative Party and the white right is a logical outgrowth of what the Nationalist Party has done over the 40 years. Indoctrinated systematically in the schools, in the churches, in the work place, everywhere, on the black menace. But they don't put it as crudely any more on the superiority of the whites. They don't put it as crudely but even a very highly educated man such as Gerrit Viljoen head of the constitution, Minister of Constitution, just as recently as a few months ago talked about sophisticated white voters and less sophisticated black voters. So even he, at this stage, even thinks in terms of white superiority. So that is the position. They have built this thing up over the years.

. Now as a result of this we realise there is such a thing as white fear. We cannot discount it. We do not believe that it is a warranted fear. The ANC has got a track record which can not be matched by any other organisation in South Africa. A track record of non-racialism. I mean the breakaway of the PAC from the ANC, one of the direct causes of that was our co-operation with whites and so called Indians and communists. But we allowed that break to take place no matter how much we lost as a result. We had to stand firmly according to our policy. Now we have got that and we believe that we have to allay white fears and we are trying to reach out to whites as much as we can. In small numbers, in bigger numbers. We are trying to reach out to them.

POM. A large number of the whites we have spoken to, whether the National Party, the Conservative Party or other organisations, have talked about their fears regarding their standard of living, in a majority rule of South Africa that the economy will go the way the economies have gone in other African states. Do you think that the white community above all wants to protect its economic future? That is that they want to do as much as possible to insure that the existing economic system is perpetuated. In a new South Africa that that consideration is almost a greater consideration than the one of political institutions and structures?

AK. Well I mean that would be so but they would have to protect their political power in order to protect their economic power. Now we have the situation where white privilege means 87% of the land belongs to them. 90% of the economy is controlled by them. So we cannot accept the position where granting minority rights, so-called group rights, would perpetuate this type of thing. So they would have their fear. Now we cannot, now we'd find unacceptable a situation which perpetuates this white privilege, white power. They will have to shed a lot of their white power.

POM. Do you think that they would attempt to have guarantees written into the constitution that would protect present economic structures? That is they would invoke provisions regarding the rights of property. They would look for provision regarding the extent to which certain sectors of the economy could be nationalised. Do you think they will look for these things?

AK. Well they certainly are looking for it.

POM. You say they won't get them.

AK. Well you know we have got this strange situation in South Africa. You have in America minority groups who are not in government who are seeking minority protection, minority rights. Here we have a minority in government which is seeking to perpetuate white guarantees, guarantees for whites. We are saying that this position, this imbalance is unacceptable in any of South Africa. Whites will simply have to give up a lot of their privileges, economic and political. But we are not for a moment saying we are going into wholesale confiscation of white property, white interest. Some formula will have to be worked out. We are advocating nationalisation of what we call the commanding heights of the economy where we are talking of monopoly industries.

POM. Would that include Anglo-American?

AK. Well we haven't sorted out, but obviously Anglo would have to be one of them. We are talking here of five or six conglomerates which control 85% to 90% of the stock exchange. These are white. Now that is a gross imbalance. So we are talking of that. But on the other hand, we have said that we are not wedded to nationalisation. It is not a holy cow. We are saying that you, the white establishment, have used nationalisation, and nationalisation has been here for years, I mean the railways, the post offices, the steel industries, all the certain nationalised industries all this time. They have effectively used these industries to lift the quality of life of whites. The poor white problem is no longer there because they have given employment, sheltered employment, to whites in these industries. Not necessarily on grounds of merit but on grounds of colour. You will find of course the upper echelon, the highly trained people who are white. But the bulk of those workers are not highly trained. But they are white. And we are saying give us a chance to uplift the quality of life of our people. If you have got a better solution to this than nationalisation, give it to us. Now we, this was put to a gathering of some 400 top businessmen at the Council of , Mr. Mandela and Mr. Mbeki. They have not come with anything other than eulogising the advantages of free enterprise and so forth. But we have had free enterprise in this country and we have got this position in South Africa where the masses of the people have not benefited from this.

POM. Many would say though that if there is this continuing uncertainty as to the structures of the economy in a new South Africa that foreign investors will hold off. How much of a problem would that be? Would you be counting on a lot of investment, foreign investment, a lot of foreign capital to flow in in a new South Africa?

AK. Actually if you saw the most recent tour of Mr. Mandela to America, there he met top business men there who are already planning to invest in a post-apartheid South Africa. We are very conscious of that and we don't want foreign capital to leave the country. We want more foreign capital to develop this country.

POM. I think noises about nationalisation, break up of monopolies and conglomerates kind of send signals to the international business community to wait and watch and see what happens.

AK. As it happened in the New York meeting, the bogey of nationalisation was there but in spite of that our leaders have been able to persuade these American big business people to look to post-apartheid South Africa. We are trying to convince them that nationalisation doesn't mean a threat to every foreign investment. What we are trying to get rid of is the monopoly industries. And everyone has taken to mention one sort or another.

POM. Just with relation to that is the role of the South African Communist Party, what is the difference between a member of the ANC and a member of the SACP? How would you define the difference between the two?

AK. Well I am a member of both. In fact I was a member of the Communist Party before I was a member of the ANC. As you already know the ANC has only opened its doors to non-Africans just recently. The Communist Party has always been a non-racial organisation. We have seen no conflict. Historically there have been members, leading members of the Communist Party on the National Executive of the ANC, and in the time of Dr. Xuma, the so called moderate, certainly not communist, some of them anti-communist. But there has never been any conflict.

POM. No conflict. I'm saying if I'm a member of the ANC and you're a member of the ANC and the SACP. What is the practical difference between us? What is it that you stand for that I don't?

AK. At this stage of our struggle the programmes of the two organisations coincide. The ANC stands for what you'd define as a non-racial democratic South Africa. The Communist Party has got a two phase program. The important phase which would end in the Freedom Charter like the ANC. If that state is achieved the Communist Party has got a second phase of socialism which is not part of ANC's programme. So that at this stage the programmes are identical and we are comfortable being members of both, some of us who are members of both.

POM. Now we are going to assume that that is not socialism in terms of the communism that was practiced in Eastern Europe by the Soviet Union. I mean how does the SACP view itself and its ideology in the light of the collapse for all intensive purposes of Communism in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union?

AK. Well you see the SACP has admitted, acknowledged that it was wrong for it to seriously support and defend the socialist countries within the Soviet Union without seeing the mistake there, the wrongs that were going on. It has now seen that. Now it has not, it does not advocate transplanting that system into South Africa. It says that it is not socialism that has failed, it is the application of socialism that has failed. It hopes to correct that in the South African situation by learning from what has happened in Eastern Europe.

POM. Well in that context a lot of these Eastern Europe economies and the Soviet economy are now trying to move to free markets. Would the SACP support liberal free market economies?

AK. I think Mr. Gorbachev said recently, even when they talk of socialism it doesn't mean just immediate systementation of socialism. It would take some time to transform.

POM. If tomorrow morning there was a majority government, what difference would it make in the life of the average person who lives in the township or squatters camp? Or what could they reasonably expect to see within the next five or six years?

AK. Massive state intervention to improve the quality of life. Naturally with such a backlog in every sphere, housing, employment, schooling, in every sphere, health, there's a tremendous backlog. So in a matter of five years we won't see such tremendous differences.

POM. But where would the resources for doing that come from? If you take the rate of growth of the population and it takes South Africa a 5% growth rate per year just to stay steady, and it has been declining for most of the 1980s, the tax base is relatively narrow, where will the massive resources that are required to make such a huge impact in a pretty short time period come from?

AK. I unfortunately am not qualified to speak on economics. You will be meeting our economics people I am sure. But I'd say that one of the reasons for the, and I'm not saying it is the only reason, but in my understanding one of the reasons for the sluggish South African economy growth is economic sanctions. The lack of confidence on the part of the world in the South African economy. We hope that with majority rule will come a return of confidence in the South African economy. And we hope that that will go to some extent toward helping the situation. But again one can't be too idealistic. I mean we are faced with massive problems and very high expectations as in other racial struggles.

POM. How do you temper that? How do you bring expectations into line with what reality may produce?

AK. Well one hopes to do that through constant political education among the members. It is not easy. It is a formidable task. I don't even know of one success.

POM. In particular the youth, we have heard a lot about this generation of young people who are uneducated, who are unemployed and perhaps unemployable and yet have been a very potent force in the last 10 years in terms of the role they've played in the whole struggle. In the absence again of employment opportunities being created and change being perceptible to these people, what threat do they pose to the stability of a new government or they could so easily become a source of disaffection.

AK. Well that danger will certainly be there. Now we have the position here where the strongest component of the United Democratic Front for instance is the South African Youth Congress. Then we have the student organisation. So far through these organisations we have been able to gauge the responses of young people. Organised young people. And they have accepted the present process that is going on. But as I say it is going to need constant contact with the young people. Constant political education. And we will not be able to reach out to the unorganised young people who form the majority of the people. So it is certainly dangerous. But we feel confident that with all the dangers that it poses we will be able to meet it with our political work that we can do.

POM. When you look at the future, the next couple of years, I would like to take in turn Mr. Mandela and Mr. de Klerk, what do you think will be the major problems or obstacles or stumbling blocks that lie in the path of Mr. Mandela and the ANC as they try to guide this process through to fruition? What will be the major problems they will face in their own community?

AK. Well in the immediate future, as I have mentioned, is the complete removal of the stumbling blocks, the obstacles. We'll face problems if they are not removed.

POM. Assuming they are removed and that real negotiations ...?

AK. Then of course there are going to be questions of the economic policies, there are questions of the political dispensation for a new South Africa. There is the question of groups rights which group given the present positions taken by the two parties.

POM. Looking at things like, are there potential points of difference between the ANC and say COSATU on economic policy, where what is good for the trade unions may not be precisely what is good for others, what cannot be negotiated?

AK. At present we have an alliance with COSATU which is a very stable alliance. We have had no problems with COSATU. But we believe that even in a new South Africa the trade union movement is going to exist and it will continue to look after the best interest of the workers. We do not envision in the near future any conflict within COSATU and the ANC, as I say it is a very strong alliance.

POM. Do you think that the pace of change moves slow, that again young people might become a problem? Do you think this is a generation that is used to protest and continuing protest and that the longer the process drags on without anything tangible coming out of it the more you might hear the cry of sell-out?

AK. Oh yes. We are very conscious that if we are not able to deliver the goods in good time, some tangible results, we will be faced with people questioning the advice and wisdom of the negotiation exercise.

POM. What do you call tangible benefits in good timing?

AK. Well in the immediate future obstacles must be removed so that we are able to say, at least this we have done.

POM. Now you get down to renegotiations. What must you produce in ...?

AK. Now, for instance, I haven't given thought to it but what immediately comes to mind for instance is if the Group Areas Act is abolished. If some of the security laws are abolished. That will be something for us to go to the people with. While talks are going on about the new dispensation. So that we constantly need to go back to our people with some tangible results.

POM. When the ANC became unbanned and it began to organise on the ground, what were the major obstacles it had to face? What have been the most difficult problems to overcome? The process of organisation itself.

AK. On the process of organisation? Well you know that is a practical thing. The ANC has been unbanned six months now and just the process of setting up the structures have been a formidable task. The setting up of these very offices, we have not yet completed because things have moved so fast and have continued to move so fast. There is a question of transition from what was a national de facto committee of the ANC, there is the question of Lusaka still being the headquarters. So those are problems we are facing but we are ironing them out. As far as public responses are concerned, the only problem we have faced is our inability to attend all the meetings, gatherings, rallies, that have been held over the country. A lot of our people are still in exile and in prison and a lot of our Lusaka people are not back and there is constant demand for these people to be present at various meetings throughout the country. So that is the problem. But otherwise we are facing no political problem. People have accepted the policies of the ANC, the present exercise of negotiation.

POM. Two last things, one, since the 2nd of February there's been a pretty dramatic increase in violence all over the country, not just in Natal. Do you think that if this violence continues that it makes the climate in which negotiations can be conducted less, that the country would be less conducive to productive negotiations? What do you think must be done to bring that violence under control? Even taking what happened in Port Elizabeth a couple of days ago. And in particular, what kind of a threat does the violence in Natal pose?

AK. Well, most of the violence that is taking place now, the police are involved. I mean they have spotted several people who have been killed in Port Elizabeth, are killed by the police. And we have ever since the 2nd of May when we met at Groote Schuur, we have been bringing this to the attention of the authorities all the time. It is the role of the police, even in Natal. Even in Natal we have the role of the police. We have presented massive evidence to the government on the role of police in these incidents. So naturally the continued violence from whichever side can foul the whole negotiation process.

POM. But the government hasn't taken any action?

AK. Again we say we don't know whether they are unwilling to or unable to do so. I mean there are white vigilantes parading the streets of free state towns with guns. Nothing is done to them. They have been whipping people, they've been assaulting people, even killing people, nothing is done to stop them.

POM. The Tongaat affair, is it your belief that this was something concocted at fairly senior levels in the government or something that began at lower levels and there is an over reaction to it at higher levels?

AK. I think President de Klerk has been mislead by his police, either through inefficiency or deliberately. Because in spite of it being established that Tongaat did not even discuss this operation with us, Operation Vula is an ANC document since 1987. Even ministers keep on saying or giving the impression that this is a communist plot hatched at Tongaat. Now, one doesn't know what the motives are. Whether there was a conscious attempt on the part of some of his ministers or the police to delaying the talks. In spite of the fact that they have been proved wrong, Minister Vlok still seems to justify everything the police have done.

POM. Finally, at what point does the process of negotiation become irreversible? At what point can the government no longer rigidly control the process?

AK. When we are satisfied that we have now reached a state where it has become difficult to do. That will be some time.

POM. What things will have to have happen for you to be able to say that?

AK. Well, we should be well on the way towards the establishment of an interim government or something even more than that for us to be persuaded that now it's irreversible.

POM. Thank you very much for giving us the time.

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