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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

17 Aug 1990: Mabizela, Stanley

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POM. Stanley, I'd like to take you back to Mr de Klerk's speech on 2nd February.  Did it surprise you, and what do you think motivated him to move so broadly and so rapidly at the same time?

SM. Well, first of all, the speech by Mr de Klerk on 2nd February 1990 did, indeed, come as a big surprise.  And for me there was even disbelief that this could come from the leader of the Nationalist Party, a party which has been in power now for 42 years, propagating the ideology of apartheid.  I couldn't believe it.  But gradually we are beginning to accept Mr de Klerk as an honest person.  I think this is, of course, based mainly on what Mr Mandela keeps saying to us, that De Klerk is an honest man, that De Klerk is a man of integrity.  This is beginning to sink in now and it has become acceptable because, indeed, he didn't only make this pronouncement but has proceeded not only to unban our organisation and release our leaders from jail, people who have been sentenced to life, but he has proceeded to meet the leaders of the African National Congress to discuss a new dispensation in South Africa.

POM. What do you think motivated him to take these very dramatic moves at the time that he did?

SM. I think many factors.  Many factors.  First of all, this country has been under growing pressure, political pressures, economic pressures, the pressure of international isolation, and then, of course, there were other pressures, the growing militancy of the black and oppressed people of South Africa internally, demonstrations of all kinds, for justified reasons, e.g., demonstrations against bad living conditions all over South Africa.  And I must confess that the situation, the living conditions of blacks in many respects, is worse then when I left South Africa twenty-four years ago.  I was shocked, I am shocked by the squatter situation in the whole of this country.  A serious squatter situation in Johannesburg and I think it's worse in Port Elizabeth where I come from.  Now, these were demonstrations publicised, demonstrations against such and such and such and such an evil, and then people would go out and demonstrate even when there is a state of emergency forbidding such demonstrations.  And, of course, these demonstrations invariably led to very ugly situations, fighting situations between our people and the police.

. The other factor, of course, is that the ANC has a military wing.  And although our army has been the weaker of the two armies, comparatively speaking, but it is our army, uMkhonto, that plays a very, very important role in pressurising the South African government.  It was hitting targets, military targets, it was hitting strategic targets of this government, and it meant that this government was always under pressure, military pressure.  And from outside also, the ANC external relations mobilised the international community to apply very, very serious economic sanctions against this country.  Until the latest revelations, I wasn't aware of the damage sanctions were doing to the economy of this country.  But I now know that it was many factors that caused Mr de Klerk to change course away from apartheid to normal politics, to a normal democracy, as we all want.

POM. You had mentioned something earlier, too, that there was a  realisation by the government that it only governs the country with a point of a gun, and that that was becoming increasing repugnant to some members of the

SM. Oh, yes, oh, yes.  Oh, indeed, even internally, the fact that it was clear that the South African government could no more govern normally except at the point of the gun.  And this was repugnant to our people, even to the whites, some sectors of the white community inside South Africa.  And, of course, this was particularly repugnant to the international community.  It was completely unacceptable.  Yes.

POM. On the issue of majority rule, do you think that Mr de Klerk has now moved to a point where he unequivocally accepts majority rule?

SM. My own opinion is that Mr de Klerk has come to accept the policy of the African National Congress.  Because the African National Congress, although it is predominantly African, is not speaking of black majority, it is speaking of the majority of the people of South Africa.  Race does not come in.  Ethnicity does not come in to our politics at all.  But there are certain reservations which they still hold.  No, there is still fear, I think, in certain white circles that some kind of retribution would come their way once majority government or democratic government comes into play.  This is a fear which all of us would like to address and we are trying, that in the future, trying to do certain things already to assure the whites of this country that their future is secure.  We are going to prepare a constitution which will protect the rights of the individual as opposed to what is the result of favour, mainly group rights.  We are going to have a Bill of Rights in that constitution.  And we are going to make sure that the judiciary in the future is independent.  So that should there be a deviation anywhere in the future in the way in which we are ruled, then the judiciary would be in a position to declare past actions as null and void.  But it would appear, that is, I don't know how they are going to bring it - that is, Mr de Klerk, Mr de Klerk's government or Mr de Klerk's party.  They seem to think that there should be a clause which will protect the rights of what they call minorities.  And we will see that when they present it, if it is reasonable, if it does not contradict our own policies and principles, then there should be no problem.  But we would hate to have anything in the constitution that speaks of racism here.

POM. The National Party, senior spokespersons in the National Party, still talk about there being a sharing of power rather than a handing over of power.  What do you think they mean by that?

SM. I think that is sheer politics, sheer politics.  Perhaps it's better for them to make that kind of talk, in order to assuage white fears.  We are not going to share power.  Power will go to the majority party which wins in elections, democratically.  We would object to that.

POM. Do you favour a Westminster-style government?

SM. Yes, indeed, we do share a Westminster-type of a constitution.  Probably, we would probably be more interested in the American kind of constitution because the Westminster kind of constitution has certain areas which we do not share.  There are written, there are areas where the constitution is not explicit in the British constitution.

POM. I mean, in the organisation of the parliamentary system?

SM. Indeed.  The British system.

POM. The British system means that winner take's all, first past the post.

SM. That's right.  It will depend on what we ultimately agree upon when we draw up the constitution.  I sometimes think that proportional representation, rather than one man, one person, one vote is a better system because proportional representation makes sure that anyone who will get a certain percentage of votes will represent his constituents in parliament.  So it will depend.  We in the ANC wouldn't care whether it is, I don't think we would care whether it was one person one vote or proportional representation such as is exercised in France.

POM. This promise that De Klerk gave to the white electorate that he would take back any new constitution that was proposed and put it to a referendum.  This isn't a promise that he can keep, is it?

SM. It would be, as far as I'm concerned, that would be a very dangerous move.  Judging from press reports about the popularity of Mr de Klerk's party, it seems to me he cannot be sure of winning another election.  The right wing seems to be gathering strength very, very rapidly.  So, if, indeed, he lives up to his word to take whatever has been agreed upon to the white electorate for approval, to me that would be a cardinal mistake.  Our hope is that when we shall have agreed upon a new constitution, we should take that constitution to all the people of South Africa because it concerns the people of South Africa as a whole, not just the white people.

POM. You talked about the rising strength of the right wing.  How seriously is this taken by the ANC?  Do they see it as a passing but necessary phase, as something that will diminish when the outlines of the future constitution become more clear, or do you see it as a very real threat to the whole process itself?

SM. It is a bit of a delicate question.  Because the people who have formed the right wing are the Afrikaner people and they are the majority population amongst the white people of this country.  But their calculations to thwart the move towards democracy will depend ultimately for its success on whether it has the support of the security forces, that is, the army and the police.  If the army of this country is loyal to the constitution, then, of course, then the right wing threat can be ignored.  But if the army should reflect the white population ratios and they should sympathise with the right wing, in that respect, the threat of the right wing should be taken very seriously. It is, indeed, a serious matter confronting us all.

POM. But is it a serious matter right now with regard to the violence in the townships?

SM. At the moment, the army is not involved at all.  But certain sections of the police in South Africa are involved and are in collaboration with both the right wing whites and the black right wing.  Yes.

POM. That would be members of Inkatha?

SM. Inkatha.

POM. This wouldn't be happening with the tacit approval of Inkatha as an organisation and the police as an organisation?

SM. No, not at all.  But certain individuals, very high in the police force, very high in Inkatha, are involved.  Not organisationally, individually.

POM. If that kind of violence continues, the last couple of weeks have just been awful, the carnage has been horrifying, could that threaten the whole process itself, or do you think this process is at a point now where it's almost irreversible?

SM. No, this matter has been examined with the government.  And both the government and the ANC are working on this matter.  And the government has promised to give it utmost attention.  This is one of the areas where we are actually co-operating with the government.  We are going to have joint monitoring units in all the areas where there is this kind of violence or where there is this kind of threat.  So we hope that we can thwart it within a short time.  Because all that is needed is that these elements, both in government, in the government police, as well as in Inkatha itself, should be weeded out and dealt with.

POM. How will the process unfold?  How do you see it unfolding in the next couple of years?  Now we're at a point where the obstacles to negotiations are just about out of the way, so let's say they're out of the way.

SM. As far as I'm concerned we have a document that is guiding this process, the Harare Declaration, which, of course, was adopted unanimously by the world community, also as a UN declaration in December 1989.  However, I do not necessarily hope that we will get everything else described in the Harare Declaration.  They will address the areas where we may have to change from the Harare Declaration and adopt other methods of solving the problem and moving forward.  For instance, one of the prescriptions of the Harare Declaration is that we should form a Constituent Assembly.  We agree with this very much at ANC because that would mean that the people who would ultimately draw up the constitution would have derived a mandate from the people as South Africa as a whole.  They would be doing so democratically.  But if formation of Constituent Assembly is democratic, in other words going to elections to elect such a body, has the danger of eliminating the Nationalist Party, then we would not like to see that.  Because the next strongest party is the Conservative Party which is a right wing party which is against the process we are engaged in just now.  And therefore, we might have to accept what Mr de Klerk seems to favour, namely, that all political parties involved in the negotiations should nominate their representatives to the body which will draw up the constitution because we can't continue this process unless we have Mr de Klerk.

POM. At that table, do you think the PAC will come to the table or will they still stay outside the process?

SM. In my view, it will be to the advantage of the PAC to come to the negotiating table, no matter whether it is in the form of a Constituent Assembly or it is a nominated representative of political parties.  It would be to their advantage.

POM. Among the people that we've talked with in the last six weeks, we've talked to people in AZAPO and in the PAC and in the Black Consciousness Movement, and we often find a complaint that they haven't been consulted, that the ANC has just kind of taken this process and run with it on their own and are neglecting to bring in other elements of the liberation movement.

SM. It's not true.  The ANC has been represented here, even during the time that it got banned and outlawed, through various fronts and acting through other organisations, like UDF, like COSATU.  And last December, December the 12th, 1989, we called for a conference through UDF and COSATU, we called for a conference, we called it the Conference for a Democratic Future, and invited all other organisations, including the PAC, which operated as the Pan Africanist Movement.  And they came in for a start, but later at the eleventh hour when the conference began, they walked out.  And this was in line with ANC policy, that much as we differ with PAC and differ with AZAPO or BCM or the Unity Movement, still we think that we are always consulting them.  An example of this is that when Mandela returned from his visit to the United States, he reported to all organisation, including the churches, and all other organisations came to get a report of Nelson Mandela and his tour to the United States and Europe and Africa except the PAC.  They are very quick to say the ANC will not consult.  It's not true.

. You see, even this Harare Declaration that is an OAU document, is actually the brainchild of the ANC, in fact, the brainchild of our President, Comrade Oliver Tambo.  And we did not go out alone with it.  We took it to the OAU so that it should emerge and come out as an OAU document.  The PAC has got the same status as ourselves in the OAU.  It has an observer status.  And we discussed this document in the OAU with PAC and went on to adopt it together, and took it to the Non-Aligned Movement, took it to the Commonwealth, and took it to the United Nations.  And we were with the PAC throughout that process.  How come they say we do not consult?  Now, the result of us drawing up this document known as the Harare Declaration has been the process which is under way right now.  How is it that now they are retreating from negotiations, they are pooh-poohing the negotiations?  And they say they will go on with the armed struggle.  What's wrong with them?  We are independent, they're independent, we've consulted with them.  It's not true that we do not consult and that we have just taken the process and run away with it alone singly.  It's not true.

POM. Do you think that if they stay outside, there is a chance that they could make things difficult?  Derail things?

SM. No, I don't think so.  And it would be to their disadvantage to try and derail the process.  It would be to their disadvantage.  And if you read the history which is coming, I don't think that there is going to be any country in Africa which is going to entertain guerrilla warfare against a democratic government in South Africa.  Africa has shown us over the last thirty years that it has never been to their advantage to shelter liberation movements in their country, it is very, very costly.  These countries to the north of South Africa have rendered a tremendous sacrifice for the liberation struggle of South Africa.  And I think they are very keen to get out of that situation and settle down to economic development of their countries, which at the moment is not doing well at all.  The economic development of these countries is not doing well at all.  And we think that once we have normalised the situation in South Africa, we think that one of our major duties will be to be involved in the development of the southern African region, not just our country, but the whole region and as far north as it shall be possible.

POM. What about the youth?  Many people talk about a whole generation of young people who have had no education, who are unemployed, maybe unemployable, who are used only for confrontation, only for protest, and are like a volatile element out there which the ANC hasn't yet gotten under its control, and maybe nobody can control them.  Is this discussed?  Is this a potential problem?

SM. This is a very serious problem which you are raising and it is a fact that we are going to be faced, this government is faced with this problem already, and the government of the future is going to be faced and saddled with this very, very serious problem.  There is a whole generation, there are generations of youth - for something like 37 years our youth have been subjected to an evil system of education called Bantu education.  It is a system that was calculated from the beginning to stifle the development of the African; a system of education calculated to serve the interest of the farming industry and the economy of South Africa as a whole with cheap labour.  And to produce very few educated Africans.  And though they would have been educated, they would have been people with really standard minds who would be subservient and serve the interest of this government.  But it has had the opposite effect.  It has produced a generation of illiterate and semi-educated, very violent people, because their educational system has never fitted them in any way.  Some of them cannot even get jobs.  And so for these generations of our youth, life is meaningless.  It's the type of person who was perhaps just walking down the street, but on coming across a situation where some youth are fighting the police, they do not ask questions, all they do is to pick up stones and direct those stones to the police.  That situation needs to be addressed very quickly.  And that is why the agency of the ANC Youth League and Women's League to form themselves in order to address these problems politically.  If we come into government, this is an area we intend to address very, very urgently, if we are not going to be seen as having merely come into the boots of the government of the past.  We intend to address this question.

. One thing which we are going to do immediately is to change the system of Bantu education into a universal system of education.  But with this generation that have never had education and, in many cases, who are going to be difficult to take back to primary or secondary schools, we intend to set up all kinds of institutions.  We intend to set up institutions of learning which will give these people at least manual skills.  That's one area.  We intend to set up police academies which will not only teach them the ways of a professional policeman, but to reorient these people in order to make them as normal as possible.  We intend to open up military academies and take them into the army and not only teach them how to be professional soldiers, but to reorient them.  We have to include a syllabus which we make these people accept, that society is interested in them and their welfare and their development.  And then, of course, there are other areas: we have to address the question of housing in the whole of South Africa; we have to give our people decent living conditions; we have to address the question of land.  So that those who can be given skills in, let's say basic skills in agricultural projects, I'm having in mind teaching them, for instance, a skill like animal husbandry, I'm having in mind that we would teach them how they could be, for instance, taught how to run a piggery or a poultry farm, that type of thing.  We have to.  It is a tremendous undertaking.  The social problems that will be facing us are big and we have to really work very hard to correct and address these areas of our society.

POM. Do you think this process - ?

SM. If you'd let me just finish one point.  In truth, to live up to the expectations of our people and to fulfil these objectives, we might even have to import skilled people to come and impart this skill to our people.  Others will be sent abroad, but we also have to import teachers of all kinds to come and assist us in the social problems which we will be facing.

POM. I've got just follow-up questions, really.  If, say, the ANC were in government tomorrow, what difference would it make in the life of the average person who lives in a squatter camp or in a township in the next four to five years, given the enormous backlog of services that are required and the quite scarce resources that are there to meet them?

SM. I would hope that in a democratic government, and the ANC believes in a multiparty system of government, so that should we fail the test, the ANC itself would be kicked out by the people of South Africa.  But, for instance, if you took the squatter situation, the ANC is trying very hard to involve itself in the community politically and we are going to involve ourselves in all respects.  One of the things we are going to address is housing.  I would imagine that the members of parliament would involve themselves and address the people and tell the people what we are going to do or what we are doing.  One would expect that the ANC unit, the ANC divides itself not only into regions, but each region is divided into districts, into zones, into branches, and what are called units, this is the smallest; a unit is something like an area.  And then our people should be able to tell our people what we are going to do, to invite our people what they must do.  You will have to involve the community, in my view, as far as I'm concerned.  We have to put up clinics.  And once they can see these squatter or shacks disappearing and being replaced by decent houses, particularly in the form of decent flats, rather than this proliferation of small matchbox houses, in the form of flats that go up into the sky, decent flats, then our people, I am sure, will see the difference between us and the outgoing government.

POM. Must this process be completed by 1994?  How much time is there?

SM. Well, it must be completed by 1993.  It has to be completed during the term of office of the current government, the government of President de Klerk.

POM. So, during that period between now and 1993, you would see this body coming together with representatives of every political party in it?

SM. I expect so.  I expect so.

POM. Would you also see in the same period, maybe closer relationships between the ANC and the government, where the government might start taking members of the ANC into the government and there would be - ?

SM. Well, I expect that there could be an interim government under Mr de Klerk.  I expect that really before the process is out it will only be fair that Mr de Klerk's government should have what we call an interim government.  And we as ANC will be glad to see every other political party in that interim government, not just the Nationalist Party and the current government but all other legitimate parties in this country.  The PAC may be a small organisation, but it certainly represents a certain section of the people of this country.  The same applies to the conservatives, the right wing.  The same applies to Gatsha Buthelezi in the northern part of Natal; he does represent some people.  So I expect that there will be an interim government and that would, to me, that would be a very good sign that Mr de Klerk could further give about his credibility.

POM. At what point does the process become irreversible?  At what point is the government no longer in control insofar as they can't stop the change that is occurring, that it's just developing a momentum?

SM. I think the moment we can agree on the formation of an interim government.  I think so.  Because once the constitution is going to be drawn up by appointment, which I'm inclined to think that it will be the correct thing, taking into account the current situation, political situation in the country.  I would expect that the moment we can agree on the formation of an interim government and that is instituted, then that is, in my view, that will be the point of irreversibility because if we agree on broad principles of the future constitution I'll take it that then, of course, we shall have to call elections and every party goes to the electorate on the basis of his own polices.  By that time, the point of irreversibility will have been reached and we shall call upon the international community to lift sanctions altogether.  And I think, in my view, particularly following the visit of Comrade Nelson to Europe, Western Europe, and North America, I think our case, and the reason why our economy has fallen, was understood and there is a lot of sympathy for the future South Africa and I'm inclined to think that we shall get a lot of economic boosting.

POM. Boosting?

SM. Yes.

POM. You think there will be a big inflow of foreign capital?

SM. There will be inflow, I have no doubt that there will be. I think there will be a lot of economic assistance which we shall get, both in the form of investments and loans and possibly grants.  I think some important financial institutions have already indicated their readiness to assist in the future of South Africa.  Of course, we shall do our part to try and coax all those who were asked to leave the country to please come back, things are right.  I don't think there should be much difficulty.  I think even, in many countries, we have very good relations already with many countries and governments in western Europe, in North America.  And since we are going to be non-aligned, I want to assume that we shall have a lot of assistance throughout the world.

POM. White fears, we hear a lot about them.  What does the phrase mean to you and how would you differentiate between the fears that are totally imaginary and fears that might have some validity to them?

SM. Yes, some fears are real.  And, indeed, these fears must be addressed.  Mr Mandela keeps saying so to us, that these fears are real and they must be addressed.  You see, there are a lot of imbalances in the life of the black and white South Africans.  You see, the whites took 87% of the land here.  And the blacks only have 13% of mostly barren land.  And as you know, the blacks of this country are very poor.  Now, we want to, we would like to proceed by way of consultation and conferences as much as possible.  Mandela has started, he addressed a meeting of big business on the 23rd of April 1990.  And he was appealing to the whites, he was outlining some of these imbalances, like, for instance, in the area of land, and saying to them, "But can we solve them by consultation?"

. I will give you an example of how, for instance, we want to proceed on the question of land.  Whites have got huge farms here, really big farms.  And when you examine some of these farms, you will find that invariably some of these farmers use only about a third of the land that they possess.  But you find they are very sentimental about this land, particularly the Afrikaners, they are very sentimental about this land  and they will tell you that this land was occupied, was obtained, or bought, by his grandfather, or grand-grandfather in such-a-such a year.  They are very sentimentally attached to this land, that is, their farms.  But what we are hoping to do is that we could go sit down with them and say, OK, but you are not using three-quarters of this farm, why not surrender the part of the farm which you are not using?  So this is how we hope to proceed, to persuade them to surrender those portions of their farms so that we can settle people, the blacks, the coloureds, the Indians, onto these unused pieces of land.  They are huge, very huge, sometimes a train can take ten minutes before it can cross one farm.  You find that most of the land is just wild forest.  So this is one example we hope to use.

. Obviously, of course, we shall also have to deal with big businesses in this question of land.  The biggest landowner, single landowner, is Anglo-American in South Africa.  We are going to sit down with them and see how best to settle these matters as peacefully as possible.  This is how we hope to proceed.  But, of course, it's only when they are going to be impossible and difficult that we shall have to legislate.  And this is when Nelson speaks about this option of nationalisation. We would hope that we shall never be compelled to resort to that option.

POM. So it's an option of last resort.

SM. It's an option for us, nationalisation is an option of last resort.  We wouldn't like to destabilise our country by having the whites leave this country.  It would have adverse consequences for us economically.  It is the whites who have the know-how.  It is the whites who have the skill.  It is the whites who are running the industry.  We have to stay here, all of us. South Africa is big and rich enough for all of us to be happy, ultimately, if we can proceed along a reasonable line.

POM. What about white fears about their economy?  You know, you hear that they are afraid that South Africa is going to go the way of what they say is the rest of Africa.

SM. Well, you see all these fears are caused by the reckless talk of such an organisation, for instance, as PAC where they say they will take the land away from the white people.  Now, that's reckless talk.  But I think that is sometimes even just propaganda.  That is, I just think it is political propaganda which, of course, remains reckless, all the same.  I think at this time in history, we ought all to be careful about what we are saying, in order that our society should remain stable.  But vis-à-vis the example I gave about land applies equally to the rest of the economy.  The whites have got big investments.  Whites have got very deep investments, they are very rich, and they are naturally concerned, so they do need to be assured that their investments are not going to be recklessly nationalised from them.  And I think in truth, if the government, the current government, could stop the process of privatisation, there would be very little need for us to think about nationalising  because the ANC policy envisages a public sector.  This government, prior to the process of privatisation, commanded up to a little over 31% of the economy from the public sector.  Now, that is not the ANC - that public sector, for us, it's big enough to enable the government to address some of the problems which I pointed out earlier.  If we could also have this public sector, there would be no need for us to even think about nationalisation.

POM. Do you think the structures of the economy will play a major part in negotiations?  That, for example, the government will be seeking to get guarantees that the economic structure written into the constitution will have to be a free enterprise system, that there will be an attempt to put limits on the types of nationalisation that may occur, and things like that?

SM. In truth, the economic policy of the ANC is in line with the economic policy of this government.  We are going to have a public sector, private enterprise, a co-operative sector, a small businessman sector.  It is exactly what obtains at the moment.  But now where we are disturbed is that now that they are aware that they are about to relinquish power they have started privatising the public sector.  And we have indicated to them already that we are very, very, very concerned and worried and we have asked them to stop that.  Because by the time we come into power, all that public sector - if it's gone, then the future government is going to be at a tremendous disadvantage.  If airlines, harbours, railways, roads, electricity, are going to be privatised, then that is the type of thing which will force the future government to resort to this option which we would not like to exercise, namely nationalisation.

POM. Do you think that the government knows that it's going to lose political - that the white electorate is going to lose political power anyway, that that's inevitable, and that what they want to do is kind of to maintain control of economic power?

SM. I think actually they have a good chance to maintain economic power for a very long time.  We have nothing.  And it is not our intention to interfere with private enterprise.  We need it to go on as fruitfully as possible.  But the future government, especially the ANC, will want to have this public sector in order to address the areas which I mentioned earlier, namely, the system of education, the question of housing, the question of medical services, etc., etc.  If this public sector is allowed to continue, then that is what possibly the ANC government will be content with.  And as for the question of private enterprise, I don't think they have any reason to interfere with it.  I don't think so at all.

POM. I just have a couple of more questions.  One is, what, if you look at the black community and the ANC and Mr Mandela, what are the main obstacles that lie in the path of Mandela, in the black community, as he tries to manage this process through to a fruitful conclusion?

SM. If matters continue as they are doing just now, constant consultation between the ANC and the government through Mr Mandela.  I don't think there is going to be any problem with Mandela.  He is a very popular man and his integrity is not doubted.  People have got absolute confidence in a man like Mandela.  People have got confidence in the ANC, it has always served and stood up for the people.  This is what the people of South Africa know.  And you know, recently I went to the Eastern Cape and it is amazing, the enthusiasm for the ANC was just amazing.  I was requested to go and launch a branch there and, well, my name was announced all over by the stewards and the people organising for this launch, and when I went to that hall, my God, even the aisles were just full of people.  I, of course, know that not all our people know English.  And for the first time in 24 years I had to deliver a speech in Xhosa, which is my native language, and it was not easy.  Somehow the language - I addressed that meeting in Xhosa.  Now, I must confess I was very pleased with my Xhosa except a few words which I did not know.  I did not know how to put the word 'economy' in Xhosa and I had to ask the audience what is economy, and they told me, and I proceeded and I gave them my speech.  So it was, I want to say that people have got tremendous enthusiasm for the ANC.

POM. Are there any stumbling blocks?  Like, is this violence that is going on a stumbling block?

SM. Yes, there are stumbling blocks which are very disturbing.  This bloody violence, it's an agenda different from what the ANC and the government are trying to pursue.  And I think that it will be faced by the ANC squarely as we have faced far more difficult situations.

POM. Will it be faced by the government?

SM. Fortunately, the government has promised to co-operate in solving the problem.  That is really what gives me hope that we will get over this hurdle as well.

POM. What about Natal?  Buthelezi?

SM. Well, you see we have asked all our areas where there is violence to go back to the leadership of Inkatha people.  I sometimes wonder, really, why Inkatha indulges in this type of thing.  It proves suicidal, politically speaking.  But we have been telling our people, after this fight they should go, the regional leaders or branch leaders, to go to their Inkatha people, who are the head of the vigilante fights, to speak to them.  Address them politically.  And convince them that what they are doing is wrong.  And it is not to our advantage in any sense.  And a good example of this type of thing has already emerged where there was Inkatha, ANC/UDF faction fighting.  And the leaders of both sides, of both parties, spoke and agreed to observe a ceasefire and peace.  And it is now about four days and the situation is normal.  We are very careful to continue politicising these people in order to win them over to the democratic movement.  Because they are our people, that is led by certain leaders who have ulterior motives.

POM. Could there be a successful negotiating process if Buthelezi wasn't at the table?

SM. Well, at the moment Buthelezi is screaming for a meeting with Mandela.  But we are not in a hurry to meet him.  We will meet him, perhaps, if we feel that it is correct to meet him.  But not a summit because of a call he is making over the radio, over TV, I mean, newspaper.  We are not going to meet him.  I don't know, he's obsessed with being seen standing side by side with Mandela.  For us, that's not important.  We are going to judge the situation and at the right time, if there is need to do so, we will meet him.  But not just because he is calling on us for a meeting.

POM. Last question.  Where will we be this time next year?  Any predictions?

SM. This time, I think I'll be in Johannesburg.

POM. How fast will things be, will people be around the table?

SM. We see that it's high time, we involve ourselves more vigorously in the process of negotiating the future constitution with the government.  We are the initiators of this process.  We are the ones who from the start have asked the government to agree to a meeting.  Now that process is gathering momentum, we think that we should, it should be the ANC that should lead, not leave things to the government.  We should not allow ourselves to always be involved in the negotiations only when the government says so.  So we must not be reactive.  Our intention is to move faster and call upon the government for serious negotiations on the future constitution.

POM. Thank you very much.

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.