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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

28 Jul 1992: Mdlalose, Frank

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POM. Dr Mdlalose, you represented the IFP on Working Group No. 4 which dealt with the TBVC states and you also served on the Ad Hoc Committee which dealt with the question of the admission of King Zwelithini and other traditional Chiefs to CODESA.

FM. Yes, I did.

POM. I've just noticed on going through my own papers that on April 24th the Financial Mail reported that agreement had been reached that traditional leaders would be represented by four delegations based on provincial lines and that King Goodwill Zwelithini would lead the Natal delegation. Now obviously the deal fell apart or didn't work. What I would like you to do in the case of Working Group 4 on the independent states is to go through the main issues that were raised, how they were resolved and what matters were left unresolved at the conclusion of CODESA 2 and secondly to talk about what breakdown occurred regarding a seat in CODESA for King Zwelithini?

FM. Can I start with the last one? Some time in April what appeared to be a point of agreement was that it would be helpful if the issue of traditional leaders, so-called, could be treated by way of provincial classification so that all the Amakosi or Chiefs or traditional leaders, whatever they are called, from the Transvaal could be put together, those from the Free State together, those from the Cape together and in Natal/KwaZulu it would be accepted that the King of the Zulus and the Amakosi in the area would be represented as such. So it was a provincial demarcation. Then the biggest issue that came about was the issue of what their function would be and how big would their representation be at CODESA. Then in the final analysis what came up was that there was no agreement on the form of participation that these people could have at CODESA. There was the ANC view that all that they needed to do was to talk about things that are pertaining to traditional leaders only and even then they would not have power to vote or take part in the decision making process about anything. That was, broadly speaking, their view.

. The IFP view was that these leaders have occupied a very important position in the country for centuries and that they cannot just be discarded off like that. In their involvement they were not really to talk only about what appertains to traditional leaders, whatever that might be thought to be, but they were interested intrinsically in the change of the government, the change of the constitution and they would have an input just like any other participating grouping, political party or organisation or government or whatever. That was our view that they should also take part fully in everything else because in fact they had been involved in everything that governed the country and we felt that they were the rulers long before the whites came here and in ruling they were ruling the whole country and when they were robbed of their country by being conquered there was never any negotiation about what happened and this we felt was their opportunity to come out and talk their piece among the political parties, taking no higher profile than any other political party or organisation but certainly no lower profile than any one of them.

POM. Where did the South African government come out on this issue?

FM. The South African government came out backing the IFP on this issue, but I think they came out more strongly later on than from the beginning. One wishes they had come out very strongly when we were at the preparatory committee meeting between 29th November and 20th December. They were not so very strong then. There was a lot of hesitancy on their part but in the course of the year, particularly round about April/May, then the South African government came out more strongly in support but I think the ANC/SACP alliance had taken a very different line against traditional rulers and particularly against the King of the Zulus.

POM. So would this be regarded as an issue where sufficient consensus wasn't reached and the matter remained unresolved but would be taken up again at some future time?

FM. Correct.

POM. OK. Now with regard to the TBVC states, what were the main issues that arose in those discussions?

FM. With regard to the TBVC states what came out clearly was that the four of them were not united in their approach to the negotiations. The Bophuthatswana and the Ciskei governments felt it must be very, very clear what the future of the South African constitution is going to be before they become completely absorbed, before they completely accept the transitional phase as well as the final phase. There was a lot of hesitancy about it. They kept reversing their positions but were anxious to discuss and see what can be done. They were not falling out and saying, "We are not interested". No, no, no, far from it. They were saying, "We are very much interested but we don't want to find ourselves being so bound with the whole issue and so absorbed that there will be no way of reneging afterwards. We want to keep our options open", and in fact that was a fundamental thing from their point of view and they were saying, "Let us see what the advantages would be of us being absorbed into the whole of the Republic of South Africa and what the disadvantages would be in that for us. Equally what the advantages would be and what the disadvantages would be on us keeping out of the Republic of South Africa as such." That was the main thing that they were concerned with, in varying degrees. Bophuthatswana was stronger than Ciskei in that direction, but those really were the fundamental issues. So what we did was to look into the implications from all angles and we even got to the point of saying we would agree to appoint some groupings for further study of those various implications in terms of the legality of it, in terms of the financial, the economic implications and so on.

POM. So the matter was again left? There was no ...?

FM. There was broad agreement that there would have to be further study along those lines and there was just that difference that not everybody was of the same mind. You see Transkei and Venda said, "Yes, yes, we're in it and we want it to be over and done and we want to take part in transitional elections now. We want to have complete absorption into South Africa. We are ready for it and we are not interested in having even elections or undertaking a poll among the people to say 'Do you want to or do you not want to?' We are not interested in that. We just want to go in." But the other two felt that there would have to be a plebiscite among their people on exactly whether they want to go into South Africa or they do not. Transkei maintained that "No, no, no, we have done all that, all the people want to go in." But the others said, "We are not so sure, we must ask the people".

POM. Now you were at CODESA as the leader of the Inkatha Freedom Party. You are also a Minister in the KwaZulu government and the KwaZulu government had been excluded from CODESA. Was the exclusion of the KwaZulu government, again, done at the insistence of the ANC/SACP or was it done at the behest of both the ANC/SACP and the South African government?

FM. When we were at the preparatory committee state, that was from 29th November last year, we put up a request to the preparatory committee to the effect that His Majesty the King be represented at CODESA and that the KwaZulu be also represented at CODESA. There was no consensus on that. The ANC together with the SACP strongly rejected that. We then later on moved to try and reach a compromise by saying all right then, we would accept the situation where both His Majesty the King and the KwaZulu government could have one delegation instead of the two that we had been asking for. We would go for a compromise then except then as such because both we felt were entitled independently to be represented, but then this as a compromise was again not accepted by the ANC/SACP alliance and they would not accede to it as I already mentioned earlier.

POM. And the government was again more ...?

FM. The government, I must say, at the beginning they were very weak in supporting us. They had originally at earlier meetings, from 1990 up to early 1991, there they made no difficulty at all. Whenever this point was raised by Dr Buthelezi, Chief Minister of KwaZulu, the South African government said, "Yes, of course, it's obvious they must take part in those discussions as those two separate entities. There's no question about it." But when we put it now to a plenary session of the preparatory committee on November 29th, to everybody, the ANC and SACP objected and the government wasn't so strong in supporting us. They were very weak. In fact when we held a meeting, Dr Buthelezi held a meeting and I was present, held a meeting with the State President and Dr Viljoen (I think it was on the 5th December 1991) when we pursued this point it became clear that the government had reneged on their original position. It was as a result of that, the reneging of the government, that we said rather then have a compromise of having the two combined instead of those two coming to represent their separate entities. Then they coldly accepted that compromise but they were not so strong in pushing it really in support of us. We were the only ones who were strongly pushing this idea and later on, of course, we were supported by a number of other parties.

POM. What do you think accounts for the government's wavering? One theory put to us some time ago was that in the beginning the government saw the ANC as the party that was going to be the major party in the country and began to focus its attention on forming some kind of partnership with the ANC. It would be a power sharing partnership. And then as events in the country moved on and changed and they saw the ANC wasn't as strong as they thought it initially was, they began to think in terms of putting together an alliance of other parties which in fact could win an election so in fact it shifted away from being pro-ANC to being pro-developing alliance politics. How do you read that?

FM. The latter part of your analysis I differ with, but the earlier part I agree with. I would say this: at the beginning of the preparatory committee meetings, that was November 29th, it became clear that the South African government and the ANC had had talks about many things and that the South African government had become somewhat influenced by the ANC and when we began with CODESA talks and all we found was that ANC and the South African government were very near each other and there were many things that also had happened in their bilateral talks and we don't know what was being spoken in their corners. But it became clear that they were more in alignment than we were with either of them.

. Now we complained about this and we indicated that we felt the two were hiding certain things from us and they were meeting in their so-called bilateral talks and reaching certain agreements to which we were not privy. In fact the Inkatha Freedom Party was left virtually alone as you will remember that on 20th December when we had CODESA 1 we stood up against the signing of the Declaration of Intent and the government tried hard to persuade us to sign and even though earlier in the day when we discussed with other parties, I won't mention their names, when we discussed with other parties about the Declaration of Intent it became clear that many parties were of the opinion of Inkatha Freedom Party, that the Declaration of Intent was not worth signing as it was. It had to undergo certain modifications. But when we discussed it and we told the government how we felt, there was a flutter of talks among the government people and the various parties who had been agreed with the IFP view that the Declaration of Intent must not be signed as such and then suddenly those parties had changed their minds because of the intervention of both the South African government and the ANC and so we were left not signing the Declaration of Intent together with Bophuthatswana and Ciskei, but then Ciskei was again prevailed upon so that the following day then they signed. So we stood alone except for the Bophuthatswana delegation who were with us.

. So clearly we started from a position of being virtually alone and the government and the ANC being over that side. We developed our own resilience, we developed our own stands on a number of issues, we would not be browbeaten and as time went on we gathered a number of parties that were rallying behind us. I want to emphasise that because the perception that we were giving just now was that the government changed its mind and then started making its alliance. It's absolutely wrong. We, all the Inkatha Freedom Party, stood alone and started gathering support from other parties. The other parties started coming in. A typical example of this was shown when we were busy with the TBVC Working Group 4 when differences were coming up as we were discussing, we would have breaks and we would have lobbying among the parties. It became clear that IFP lobbying was gathering momentum and from one to two to three to five parties together then suddenly we saw an additional two coming in, then at long last the South African government and the National Party came over to us. We found them coming in to join our lobby. They were in fact the last to join the IFP led grouping in that TBVC Working Group 4 situation.

. So we were, as IFP, increasing our influence and we were getting more people supporting us and even out in the country we think that was the reaction. Ultimately when we were way on with our CODESA discussions, even with other Working Groups, Working Group 2, Working Group 1, Working Group 3 and so on, it became clear that there were two opposing poles, ANC with its SACP and Transkei and Indian Congress, that grouping was one side. IFP on the other side had its grouping and the government and the National Party had joined our grouping. But because they are the government and they are powerful and because of the propaganda it was all changed over, there was a presentation now to the mass media that the South African government has formed its own alliance and as if we were just coming in behind it. It was the other way around.

POM. Did the same apply, did it not, to the question of thresholds, that it was the IFP that initially had proposed a threshold of 80% for the inclusion of items in the constitution?

FM. Exactly. That was our stand and later on of course the mass media, influenced by ANC propaganda, was saying, "Oh the South African government is wanting to preserve its white minority control and therefore it has asked its followers to back it up so that it would have a minority control, hence their insisting on the 80%." It was not so. In fact it was IFP that insisted on that and the other parties agreed with IFP. The government also agreed with IFP on that.

POM. Now the government and the IFP after turning down the 70% offered by ANC, the government subsequently said it would accept the 70% veto threshold. I would gather that your position is unchanged, that you would still hold out for the 75% but that it is a figure that is subject to negotiation or is it a figure that you will insist upon?

FM. We had said 80% and the government accepted our position. We were not accepting the government's position. They accepted the IFP position. And after discussion we made a compromise because we were negotiating, we said we can come down to 75% and that was not acceptable to the ANC. They moved up to 70% and this was already at the point where CODESA 2 was upon us and there was no further negotiation, not that there was not going to be any further negotiation, but at the time when CODESA 2 came up that was the position, 70% and 75% and that's where everything stopped so far as we are concerned. We are prepared of course to discuss anything further on that. To our surprise, of course, the government thereafter announced that it was accepting the 70% position. They are entitled to do so, they are independent, they don't have to take instructions from us nor do we have to take instructions from them.

POM. How do you read the strategy of the government at CODESA? What are its goals and has it been using CODESA to achieve those goals?

FM. I don't think I understand you.

POM. What does the government want out of CODESA? Does it want a power sharing government? It has a list of proposals that it has put on the table, some of which it will compromise on and some of which it will not compromise on. But you say you saw it shifting from aligning itself with the ANC in one way then moving towards the alliance which the IFP had been forming around itself. What are its strategic interests in moving from one to the other?

FM. As I understand them, the South African government and the National Party, they have given up apartheid. I am convinced of that. They are wanting to have a new South Africa which will be by negotiation. I am convinced of that. They would naturally as politicians not like to throw in the towel and say, "We are retiring, we are throwing in completely, everybody take over." I don't think any politician likes to do that. I think they want to negotiate and make sure that they are not marginalised in the political milieu as such. I think that is generally what every political party is in fact trying to do. I don't think that they are necessarily wanting that they should retain power, that they are necessarily wanting to get everybody coming under their wing where they should remain the government of the day. I think they want to get into a position of what they call power sharing so that they, together with others, may govern. They are not, and I can understand it, they are not giving up to say, "We are now no longer going to govern. Take over you so-and-so or whatever. We are no longer prepared to govern." I don't think that's their attitude. I think there attitude is, "Well, let's be open to everybody by negotiation to get into some compromise, some constitution which may allow us also to take part in the government."

POM. Would you see their demand that a Cabinet be a multi-party Cabinet, that this be entrenched in the constitution, as one of the basic demands around which they will be slow to negotiate?

FM. Well that is a view that they should do that sort of thing, but that is not quite our view. They are, for example, as you know wanting to have three or four or five Presidents and those Presidents to be in rotation. That's what they mean by power sharing, that's what I understand them to mean by power sharing. Now we do not quite see it that way.

POM. How do you read the ANC? I'd like you to look at the period and give me your analysis of what you think was going on. If you take the deadlock at CODESA you had Mandela and de Klerk putting the best face on the thing. Yes, there was a problem but it wasn't insuperable, there could be more talks. Six weeks later you had the ANC breaking off all talks, you had fourteen more demands on the table that had to be met before they would go back to negotiations and their demand that a 66,67% be the threshold for a constitution had now become non-negotiable and you had plans announced for mass action across the country that would immobilise the whole country. So it looked as though the dynamics within the ANC/SACP had changed. What's your analysis of what's going on in there?

FM. My analysis is as follows. When we went into and out of CODESA 1 the ANC had a very high profile. It had the support of the government in many respects and viewed it that way and it was very near the South African government and, as I said earlier, the two had had lots of bilateral talks, they had lots of agreements behind locked doors and we IFP were out of that and other parties who were not involved were perhaps prepared to see what the future is going to be and the ANC had a very high profile stand. But as negotiations went on month after month it became clear that ANC was not getting its way all the way through. It became clear that many parties were no longer going to be influenced by ANC and it became clear that they were not calling the shots. That was evidently clear by April, I would say, and I think from about that time ANC had to change their strategy.

. One must realise that in their philosophy they came to seize power. They came to South Africa to seize it either by negotiation or by force of arms, but the final end point was that they must be in power. If they were going to do it by negotiation, fine, then they don't have to use the gun. If they can't do it by negotiation then they've got to use arms. That's exactly the philosophy of saying, "We suspend the armed struggle. We don't call it off but we suspend it. We will call it up if needs be if we can't get our way." That is my analysis of ANC/SACP thinking. So by the time CODESA 2 - in fact you will remember that they wanted to have CODESA 2 before the end of March and they were quite sure that by then they will have their way through, everybody will agree with them and they will have control over everything and CODESA 2 will come up in their favour. It didn't and we objected to getting on to CODESA 2 without basic agreements having been reached. So the next move was to have it before the end April. We again said no. Then of course they started labelling us as people who wanted to prolong the process unnecessarily. OK then let's have it in the middle of May then, by which time we hope we shall have reached sufficient agreement to be able to present to the world whatever agreements we have reached. But in fact by then we hadn't even reached agreement.

. I shudder to think what CODESA 2 would have been like if it had been put up in March. I shudder to think of it. But the ANC wanted to have it in March because they thought they had the upper hand, they are winning and everybody is coming their way. But then they were disappointed. Even by the middle of May not everybody was going their way. In fact it was getting worse and worse as time went on. They were losing more and more power and the division among the nineteen participating organisations became clearly nine and nine and one in between. The one in between was the Democratic Party which didn't know whether to fall towards the IFP or to fall towards the ANC and it remained somewhere in the middle. The IFP had eight behind it. The ANC had eight behind it. And so there was that impasse, deadlock.

. After that deadlock, which was particularly surrounding Working Group 2, then we said we meet on a particular day, that was about the 25th May, we had to come together and meet to resolve a number of things. When we met they specified that they don't like to discuss the issues of Working Group 2, the very issue that brought about the impasse. They wouldn't. The next meeting was to be on 1st June and again we met but they wouldn't discuss the issues around Working Group 2. We said, "Next week will be the 8th June, we meet." They said, "No, no, no, we won't meet on the 8th June. We will be busy organising." Clearly they had already decided to organise this mass action. Clearly they had already decided they are not going to negotiate, they were coming out of negotiation from the failure to control everything on 15th May which was a culmination of developments as I have just outlined to you.

. So then the next meeting was to be on the 15th June and there we met on 15th June, there was a terrible deadlock because by then we should have already elected the Daily Management Committee. There again we had a problem, we couldn't get to a Daily Management Committee because there was just this head on collision amongst us, we couldn't agree. They had had full control of the Daily Management Committee prior to CODESA, everything was going their way. The only opposition that they had really within the Daily Management Committee came from IFP, perhaps led by me, and to some extent the South African government represented by Mr Meyer. I want to say 'to some extent'. Then this Democratic Party was again somewhere in between. The other five, including the Chairman, were all ANC/SACP combination, that's what it was. That's why the old Daily Management Committee was like that. So when we had to form a new Daily Management Committee we said, "Ah we've got to form a new one and we'll have to be careful how representation is going to be done", and so we couldn't reach a compromise.

POM. So there's no doubt in your mind that the ANC had decided at some point along the line, when it became clear to it that it couldn't get its way that it was going to find some reason to pull out of CODESA altogether?

FM. Absolutely. I'm quite sure of that.

POM. Did you think this signified a shift of power within the movement from what I would call the moderates, the negotiating types to the more militant radical types who believe the street is where this thing will be resolved?

FM. Well I never know what goes on in their meetings. I'm not privy to their discussions inside but from appearances it does look as if their negotiating members of the ANC have taken the back seat now, those that incline towards negotiating are losing power and those that are inclined towards militancy are gaining power in that grouping. I must say when I say 'in that grouping' I'm talking primarily of the ANC/South African Communist Party. Thereafter followed the Indian Congress who are strongly supporting. Those are the three front line groups. The others are followers all. The groupings Transkei, Venda, Lebowa, Kwandebele and so on, I think those just will say yes whenever ANC says something. I have seen this happen at meetings. ANC puts up something and the others say, "Ja, ja, ja." And if IFP puts up some idea they watch, they don't know what's going to be and the moment SACP or ANC shoots it, "Ja, ja, ja" then they support it. You don't get them coming out up front as people who have got ideas to say, "These are our ideas, what does anybody else say?" So the main thing that I'm trying to say is that the main players on the ANC ground is the ANC and the SACP and to some extent the Indian Congress. And that's where the decisions are made and within that cabal it's a question of who is stronger now, the militant lot have become definitely stronger than the negotiating lot.

POM. Do you think in that regard that Dr Mandela is in full control of his own constituency? For example, in talking to people in the ANC we found quite senior people saying that if the government and the IFP had accepted the 70% threshold for the constitution and 75% threshold for a Bill of Rights that the ANC would have had a real problem selling that to its rank and file, that they would have regarded that as a sell-out and to that extent the activists, the grassroots people are driving the movement rather than the leadership?

FM. My view is slightly different. My view is that they would not have been able to sell it within the upper echelons of power within the ANC/SACP itself, not the grassroots people. I think the grassroots people generally in South Africa accept what we proposed but within the ANC/SACP camp the National Executive Committee itself and whatever you call it in the SACP, whether its the Politburo or whatever I don't know, but their head committee, I think that is where the problems arose.

POM. You are not only the leader of the IFP delegation and representative at CODESA but you are also a Minister in the KwaZulu government and Dr Buthelezi is on record as saying that KwaZulu and the Zulu people will never be bound by decisions reached in a negotiating forum and of which they are not a part. Does this mean that even if tomorrow morning by some miracle CODESA got back together, the ANC said, "OK we're coming back", and the government came back and you thrashed out some arrangement on an interim government and transitional elections or whatever, but there was broad agreement among you that those arrangements would then have to be in some way re-negotiated with the government of KwaZulu or that the KwaZulu government would have to put their seal of approval on them before they could be applicable to KwaZulu?

FM. Precisely. Because the KwaZulu government is not represented and the KwaZulu government is an entity that is it's own structure. Even though I'm a participant in KwaZulu government I am not KwaZulu government. I am a participant on behalf of the IFP and IFP is not KwaZulu government. IFP is a wide party representing many people in South Africa, Zulus and Xhosas and Swazis and English people and Afrikaner people and Coloureds and so on. That is what IFP is.

POM. So those who believe that if only they could have found a way to bridge those percentage points, CODESA 2 could have worked and we would be having an interim government in a couple of months and maybe an election for a Constituent Assembly within six or seven months.

FM. It could have been so.

POM. But it could only happen if KwaZulu agreed?

FM. KwaZulu would have to be told what is agreed upon and KwaZulu would have to decide whether it agrees with that or it does not.

POM. And if it didn't agree with it, it would then simply withhold itself from that government?

FM. KwaZulu would decide what KwaZulu would do. KwaZulu government would decide what KwaZulu government would do.

POM. So if you see CODESA being reconvened: (i) do you see it being reconvened and (ii) do you see it being reconvened in the form that it's already in and (iii) are there lessons that can be learned from the process that CODESA went through that will allow a better negotiating forum to be set up?

FM. I cannot say when it will be reconvened. You know that so far as IFP is concerned we never pulled out. So far as we are concerned we could have covered a lot of ground by now on many points that were outstanding. Who knows, we might have come to an understanding that favoured the ANC idea. Who knows, they might have come to an understanding that favoured our idea on these issues of the votes. We don't know, but we have stopped short of negotiating and therefore there is no way of saying how far we would have gone. But it was not our stopping it was their stopping. Now if we got into a situation where we had negotiated and we had come through somewhere, maybe things might have gone faster after that. I don't know. How to get them to the negotiation process, I of course cannot say which is the best way because I didn't pull out of it. It is the ANC that should stipulate how they could see themselves coming back to negotiating. So far as we are concerned it could have been game all the way through, so we would not be able to answer that.

. But what we are considering now, the latter part of your question, what we have in mind now is that in fact CODESA as such had many problems and that CODESA perhaps was having so many problems that we ought to look at it from outside. We think if we had a national multi-party conference to review CODESA as such, if we could have the nineteen parties opinions of CODESA together with open rooms for other parties that are presently not participating, to have their views, to look at CODESA from outside. What was CODESA all about? What was wrong in CODESA? How can it be restructured if needs be? How do we look at the whole issue in which case we will have maybe the wisdom of the PAC, of AZAPO, of the Conservative Party, of other parties like that. If they could come in and, "Uh uh, where things went wrong in our view is this and that". If we did this I think it might get better. But also if there could be a way of safeguards, safeguards within the CODESA structure so that a similar pull out, breaking down everything by ANC again or any other party would not put us into this situation. If we could look at that general issue it might help.

POM. Can you point to two or three things that you specifically would like to see addressed, problem areas that need attention if a reconvened CODESA is to make real breakthroughs?

FM. The issue of inclusivity, inclusiveness as opposed to limitation of CODESA participation is, in my mind, looming very high. We have insisted for years that when we have this CODESA, we didn't call it CODESA, a multi-party conference, if we had this multi-party conference focusing on who is to participate we agree that parties should come together and then start seeing who should participate, but not limit participation to themselves who initiated the process. The problem is that those that initiated the process without our being there then started saying, "We want nobody else except PAC", and they stipulated who else could come in. But I think we made it an exclusive club. I cannot, for example, justify why His Majesty the King would be excluded. I cannot justify why the Amakosi or Chiefs, as they are called in other places, why they would be excluded. I cannot justify that. These were the rulers of these places, they still have power and their followers among the population. Why should they be excluded? I cannot justify that. These are the things that I think CODESA fell short of.

POM. Just two more questions and thank you for the time. I know you are pressed and have another meeting to go to. One is on the National Peace Accord. This time last year when I talked to you, you were hopping back and forth between Pretoria to late night meetings and sitting around the tables hammering out all kinds of positions with members from the other parties and the church and business and the agreement was signed with great fanfare and yet this year has probably been the bloodiest year since 1990. On the face of it the agreement simply hasn't worked. What happened?

FM. Well I wish I could give a full answer to that one, what happened. I can only say it is as you have described. There has been bloody masses all over, there have been killings and murders all over.

POM. But did the structures not work or did the violence happen irrespective of whether the structures were in place or not in place?

FM. 14th September was when the Peace Accord was signed. The National Peace Committee was formed within a week or so of that signing but then the actual structures to get started with the National Peace Secretariat, the National Peace Secretariat only came into being more than a month after the signing of the Peace Accord. There were problems in agreeing to the formation of the National Peace Secretariat. We were ultimately landed with seven members, the maximum was, according to the Peace Accord, nine members and to get the first five was a struggle and to move on further, we moved on until we had seven and we couldn't get any further. OK, seven can work. So the National Peace Secretariat was formed, I can't give you the exact date, but as far as I can remember it was early in November when we said, "We have now the National Peace Secretariat", and only then could the regional structures be formed. Again there were problems over that.

. Now the Regional Dispute Resolution Committee of Natal/KwaZulu was formed in December, early in December last year. Others happened, I think we have now got a dozen or so throughout the country, Regional Dispute Resolution Committees, and they have taken time. Ours in Natal was only the second to be formed. So after that then there had to be the formation of the Local Dispute Resolution Committees. These are still being formed even now but some of them are formed today and they break up tomorrow. We have, for example, in the Natal Midlands region we had the Local Dispute Resolution Committee had been formed but the murders that occurred, the killings of IFP leadership and those that had taken part in the formation of those Local Dispute Resolution Committees made many people feel, well, look, if we come up to be participants in this peace endeavour we become targeted for killing. We might as well pull out. So there are definitely certain people who have been making it their job to snuff off whoever is wanting to generate peace and that's how many Local Dispute Resolution Committees have failed to be formed or having been formed have broken down.

POM. Because people are afraid that if they join them they become targets?

FM. People have been killed, people have become targets.

POM. Two very quick things. One, at any time in the foreseeable future do you think there is a climate in this country and particularly in this part of the country where you could have free and fair elections? And, two, what are the essential steps would you believe must be taken in order to bring the violence under control?

FM. First, I don't see that there could be proper elections when there is so much violence. So our first and foremost issue is to wipe out the violence. Well we have tried to wipe it out. Over years we have tried and you know we have tried. We haven't succeeded. So what the answer is to it, I am sorry, I cannot just now tell you. It would have been nice maybe two, three, five years ago to say, "What's the answer? Oh, one, two, three, four." But we have tried all those one, two, three, four, fives and they haven't worked. We'll keep trying.

POM. What steps at this point do you think are the essential steps that must be taken to bring the violence under control, or at this point does nobody really know?

FM. Well, I think it would be the strength in the National Peace Accord structures. I'm going to be meeting this very afternoon with the National Peace Committee Executive. I was in one National Peace Executive Committee on the 24th. We are still busy, desperately trying, you say I was running up and down, to and fro last year when you saw me. I'm afraid it hasn't stopped. As I am saying, this afternoon there is a meeting that is starting at five, when it will end in the night I don't know. Last Friday the meeting started about three or something like that and it went on until about eight p.m. There's another one that's come up today and there will be another one which will be a National Peace Committee combined on the 11th August. Now that one will deal particularly with the problems that have been created so far.

. Mr Mandela, as you know, at the United Nations Security Council went all out to attack IFP and said IFP is a surrogate of the government and that they cannot as ANC come to any agreement with IFP because it is no organisation. These are the things that we just cannot let go by. If there had been an agreement to a signatories' meeting, again trying to resolve the issue of violence, there was to have been a signatories' meeting on the 30th, day after tomorrow, 30th July, where all these heads would come together, Mandela would have been there, Buthelezi would have been there, Makwetu would have been there and de Klerk would have been there and so on. They would have come together with there followers, you say, "Good people, what can we do? What went wrong? Why is violence escalating so much?" But then with the bombshell which was deliberately put in the United Nations, clearly Buthelezi cannot attend that if he is rated a surrogate of somebody else with whom no agreements can be made.

. So how could that be so? You've got to clear that mark first. And I think it was deliberately put, it was not just an off the cuff remark, it was part and parcel of a prepared speech. It is on page 11 of his fourteen, fifteen pages of prepared speech. So now that was given as a bomb to break off the meeting of the 30th July. So all our attempts meet with frustrations like that. So before the meeting of the signatories can come together to look at this violence we have got to clear the decks by having a meeting of the National Peace Committee. And again, having been there at the past meetings of the National Peace Committee Executive, I know how difficult Jayandra Naidoo is, I know how difficult Sydney Mufamadi is, I know how difficult the other side is, so that when we do come together on the 11th August, it won't be an easily resolvable problem. We will probably have to push this on to arbitration and that arbitration will take some time. Again, that delays the process, more killings will happen. It's as if certain people don't want us to reach an agreement and certain people want to prolong the killings. They are on the winning side I must say in terms of the amount of killings that they are doing. The ANC/SACP with their uMkhonto weSizwe are definitely killing more Inkatha people than Inkatha people, not on our instructions but on their own initiatives they fight back too and we can't prevent that, but they are killing less than the other side. So as long as that goes on the other side will be wanting violence to go on.

POM. I was just going to ask you that finally. Do you have a situation of where for both the ANC and for the IFP, that even though the leadership levels might have recognised the necessity for finding structures to bring the violence to a halt, that this violence is now so endemic at the grassroots that neither organisation has control over the actions of individual members?

FM. There's a lot of truth in what you are saying. Violence has really become endemic and to actually stop it it's going to be a terribly difficult thing. I don't think that it is impossible to stop it, but I think it's getting more and more difficult as it becomes endemic because now there is violence out of hatred, there's violence out of anger, there's violence out of seeing poverty, robbery, people are stealing and so on, all of it escalating. Now coming to the leadership, so far as Inkatha Freedom Party leadership is concerned I have no doubts that we are clear we don't want violence. Violence is not ever going to help us in our mission for peaceful negotiation and resolution of things on the table. The same can't be said of ANC I'm afraid, even though I must admit some of them do want to have negotiations. But I think among them are many who do not want negotiation, there are many who want to win by force of arms. There are many who feel there will never be success in South Africa until they have seized power. They must seize power, not in negotiating a new constitution, not in negotiating a new South Africa. No, no. They must seize power. So if they can't seize it by negotiating so other people will say, "You are the boss, the big boss. We are out. Take over." If negotiation arrives at that then hey presto ANC has negotiated. But if the others say, "No, man, let's come to an agreement", then they will resort to arms.

POM. After a year of the National Peace Accord, CODESA 1, CODESA 2, are you more or less hopeful now that all these problems can be resolved peacefully or are you more apprehensive that more large scale violence may break out? Dr Buthelezi in his speech to the conference in Ulundi two weeks ago said that if we don't negotiate now the violence will escalate and if the violence escalates, the violence may have to run through its course before we get back to negotiations again, which is a kind of a terrible pessimistic view of the future.

FM. Well he said "if". Well I would say we are optimists. We are not optimists that are starry-eyed in saying "Hey presto, tomorrow all is golden. It's nice and rosy." We can see that things are bad and they may still get worse. We accept that but we believe that in the final analysis there will have to be negotiations, in the final analysis there has to be peace. We wish peace had been on five years ago, we wish it had been on ten years ago. We wish it had been on yesterday. But the reality of it is that peace is not on today. We hope it's on tomorrow but when that tomorrow is going to be I cannot tell you, but I know in the final analysis there has to be peaceful resolution of our problems.

POM. Thank you ever so 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.