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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

06 Dec 1993: Goldstone, Richard

Click here for more information on the Interviewee

Click here for Overview of the year

POM. Judge Goldstone three years ago if somebody had told you that three years on you would have an interim constitution just about, a Technical Executive Council which is really a power sharing arrangement, an election date set for next year and thereafter what effectively amounts to the transfer of power to the ANC, would you have been surprised? Would you have thought it would have taken longer or would you have thought it would have happened in a lesser period of time?

RG. I wouldn't have been surprised. I would have thought it was over-optimistic. I think what has happened is quite amazing in the fairly short period but it was inevitable. Obviously the path that de Klerk and the government set this country on in 1990 inevitably had to lead to a democratic form of government. That was stated at the time and some people might have doubted the sincerity of de Klerk but I must say I didn't because for any astute politician you can't start that sort of thing and stop it, it's an irrevocable path to tread. So I would have considered it an optimistic forecast even using hindsight and I say I think it's an extraordinary development.

POM. This year I think more people have been killed than last year and more last year than the year before, there's a slow escalation in the violence.

RG. Not really you know. Between 1983 and 1988 ten thousand people were killed in Natal. I'm not sure what the figure is this year but one thing I do know and that is that approximately 8% of criminal violence in South Africa is political. So if you're talking about people being killed across the board I agree with you and I think that's more economic than political. Taxi violence I think our Commission established conclusively has very little if any political input, it's an economic factor it's now accepted.

POM. Do you see this kind of violence dropping off or continuing more or less at its current levels with some kind of cycle to it that it dips and ...?

RG. Other levels compared with?

POM. This type of political and economic violence.

POM. Do you think if the current levels and patterns of violence continue through next April that you can have free and fair elections in the sense in which that term is used?

RG. I think free and fair elections is almost a hackneyed phrase. I think it's more important to have a legitimate election. I'll give you an example. I believe if you have a good turnout and by that I mean 70% plus of the electorate turning out to vote and you have a clear result, by that I mean a clear winner, then I think the result would be legitimate regardless of or notwithstanding fairly high levels of violence. If the National Party gets 60% of the vote on a 70% poll and the government party gets 20% support I don't think anybody with any logic could turn round and say this is not the result that would reflect the wishes of the vast majority of the people in South Africa. On the other hand if you get a 40% poll and there's a close result between the ANC and the National Party or Inkatha nobody is going to accept that result as a legitimate result so I think the key is to ensure a legitimate result and I'm talking about legitimacy specifically in South Africa but also internationally. Both are important and there's got to be a high turnout.

POM. Some people have suggested to us that it's more important to have elections even in the face of high levels of intimidation.

RG. We've got no option, we have to have this election.

POM. And that if the election results in a sufficient degree of legitimacy that's more important than postponing elections and waiting until it's ideal.

RG. I don't believe we've got any alternative. We've got to have this election otherwise the country is simply going to dissolve in the most unbelievable violence. The whole of what's happened in four years will have been a cul-de-sac and that will be the wide perception and I think the reality. I don't think it's debatable. If the election is called off because of violence we're never going to have an election because if you give in to blackmail and particularly violent blackmail then you can never recover from it.

POM. When you look at what came out of Kempton Park in terms of the constitution and Bill of Rights and the rest of that package, how would you rate it on a scale of one to ten? One would be very dissatisfied and ten would be very satisfied.

RG. I would rate it about seven out of ten.

POM. In which areas do you think it can be improved. I think the Bill of Rights has a number of flaws. There's loose drafting, there's a lot of vagueness, imprecision. In particular I don't believe that it has dealt adequately with horizontal - I don't know if you know this vertical / horizontal question that's arisen. The Bill of Rights expressly relates to relationships between state and citizen, it doesn't deal with citizen and citizen except in very vague terms. It's going to be left to the courts to work out what I think is a political question. If a private golf club turns round and says we're not having black members there's doubt as to whether that is something that would be taken to the Constitutional Court. If a public golf course says that there's no question, that would be unconstitutional and in a country like South Africa I think it's very important that there should be clarity on that issue. This is the sort of criticism I have. Seven out of ten in my book is a pretty good result. That's almost a distinction.

POM. It's 160 page document now that - if the whole constitution is no longer what one would call an interim constitution. When you go back over the last three years and look at the process, the negotiating process of CODESA 1, CODESA 2 and the negotiating forum, what to you were the critical turning points that moved the negotiations?

RG. The critical turning point, strangely enough, was I think the Record of Understanding between the government and the ANC. I think that was like everything important in life there are always advantages and disadvantages and one has to look at the bottom line. There's marriage or divorce or having children or emigrating, it never goes one way. But without the Record of Understanding, it was in September 1992, the CODESA 3, for want of a better description, would never have got on. Obviously the disadvantage of the Record of Understanding or the down side was the way in which it alienated Buthelezi but I think he would have been alienated anyway. I think that was an excuse more than a reason.

POM. What do you think happened that made the government change its strategy? Up to and through CODESA 2 the negotiations were the government and its allies on one side of the table, the ANC and its allies on the other side and they were battling with the other side. Then you had the stalemate at CODESA, Boipatong, the ANC walks out, mass stayaways. Then you have the government and the ANC meet and this Record of Understanding which clearly represented a shift in how the government was aligning itself. Why do you think it so conspicuously aligned itself with the ANC and turned the process into an ANC, NP, government process?

RG. Because they have a community of interest. I don't think politicians will do anything save out of self interest. It's one of the rules of the game and I think there was a community of interest, both of them wanted a negotiated peaceful settlement and I think the government realised and the ANC has always accepted and the government came to realise the only way to safeguard the rights of minorities is by having a Bill of Rights looking after individuals and not groups. So there was a community of interest and a great deal of fundamental common cause values that made it natural for them to come together.

POM. Yet most polls would show that the National Party has lost an awful lot of the support it enjoyed.

RG. On that basis I think it gives you an indication of the courage and the leadership of de Klerk in being able to keep his party and caucus together notwithstanding the loss of massive support from the quarter which they've always relied on for support. The interesting thing is they're picking up probably as much if not more support from other people, people on the other side of the colour line.

POM. Like?

RG. The Coloured community, the Asian community and black community. One doesn't know, I've got no confidence in opinion polls in South Africa. I'm not suggesting they're wrong but I don't know that they're right, I don't think anybody does. There must be a huge lie factor caused by fear if nothing else amongst many black South Africans who are not used to being questioned by people who do polls, certainly not in the political sphere, and if I lived in Soweto I'd be likely to tell somebody on the telephone or in the street outside a shop that I was going to vote for the National Party. I'm not suggesting that they are but I just don't know so I'm questioning it. I think there could well be some surprises at this election.

POM. After March of last year when the referendum was held, de Klerk was up in his popularity, he seemed to have that magic touch where nothing he would do could go wrong but since then there's been a big decline in his fortunes and not only his political fortunes. He seems less sure of himself.

RG. You're talking about de Klerk?

POM. Yes. Then in common with that his party has lost this mass of support in the white community and you've had the resurrection of the right. Why do you think the right, which appeared to be so discredited and on its last legs in March of 1992, is suddenly a player again in the picture?

RG. I don't think it's that firm. I spend five months a year in Bloemfontein and I've been amazed at the tremendous support for the whole process.

POM. I was asking you about the decline in the fortunes of the National Party and the resurrection of the Conservative Party and its allies.

RG. I'm not sure I agree with that analysis. I think, as I say, one of the exciting developments in South Africa is that with the exception of the white right all the major political parties have become non-racial in the very truest sense that they are actively going out to get support from people of a colour who haven't traditionally supported them. It's true of the ANC, the IFP, National Party and in the case of the National Party, as I say, not without success. For what they are worth the polls show that certainly more than half the Coloured population support the National Party and a fairly large proportion of the Indian community. So I think their support base has changed. They no longer can rely on Afrikaners for mass support but so what?

POM. Basically the Conservative Party now represents the bulk of Afrikaner sentiment?

RG. The CP? Not at all. I think, again, the indications are that it may be 50%, it's not more than that.

POM. The six pack package that became part of the constitution last Wednesday night, there are two things of which I have been unable to get a clear understanding, and that includes asking some of the people who were involved in the process themselves. One is the way in which decisions will be made at Cabinet level and the second is the deadlock breaking mechanism. What's your understanding of how each of those works?

RG. I've read it, I'm by no means the right person to ask. I've been following what's been happening at Kempton Park in newspapers. I've seen some of the documents but I haven't studied them, fortunately I haven't had to. My understanding, and this is by no means, I am sure, accurate, is that they have agreed on a Cabinet level on different majorities for different things. It's so much percent on defence matters and so much percent on economic matters and so on. The deadlock breaking mechanism on the constitution I understand is two thirds in the parliament/Constituent Assembly. Is that right? That's my understanding.

RG. In respect of?

POM. Of the negotiations. What did each side concede? What were the major concessions or comprises made by each side from their original positions?

RG. I suppose the major concession made by government has been to accept that there's no entrenched power sharing in the mould that I think they originally had in mind, vetoes and upper houses and all that sort of thing. I think the government has conceded, has agreed to a constitution which is a truly democratic constitution in the sense that a majority government will not be able to be blocked save by a Constitutional Court for breaching the provisions of the constitution. The ANC has conceded very little in that respect other than to be subject to a democratic Bill of Rights and constitution and I believe has conceded very substantially on economic policy, especially nationalisation and so forth. I think both sides have come to accept sensible, rational decisions which I have no doubt are in the interests of South Africa.

POM. Does it surprise you that they were able to come to this consensus so quickly, coming from such absolutely different positions?

RG. Surprise would be the wrong word. It's thrilled me more than surprised me. Again I think it would have taken a great optimist to have anticipated it, but looking back it's all had an inevitability that must be recognised.

POM. When you look back on the work that you have done on enquiries into violence over the last two and a half years, if you had to summarise what your findings were in general terms?

RG. Findings? I think the main thing the commission has done, it's found evidence in a number of areas to prove what everybody suspected anyway, that's one, and I don't think we made any findings, we haven't told anybody anything that they didn't suspect. We raided MI in November last year and people suspected that there were still dirty tricks being perpetrated by elements in the security forces. At the same time I think the absence of any proof of involvement since then is significant and I think it may well be that it has stopped and it wouldn't have stopped if we hadn't raided and if de Klerk hadn't dismissed 23 people in Military Intelligence even if they weren't the people who were involved. I think people in the establishment must have taken a great deal of fright and that made a big difference.

. I think too, ironically, the major beneficiary of our enquiry has been the security forces. I think as often as we've found them guilty of unacceptable conduct of one sort or another, on as many if not more occasions we've found allegations made against them incorrect. There's no other authority in South Africa that could credibly have found security forces not guilty of anything and I think that has kept a lid on ridiculous allegations being made. It hasn't stopped ridiculous allegations being made but it has certainly reduced the number. I think the fact that people know that there can be a quick response and people can be called upon to disclose their sources and justify what they are saying must have acted as some sort of brake. What's difficult with the commission, it's successes are all unprovable negatives, would it have been worse if we hadn't been a commission? I think the agreement on mass marches which we discussed a year ago has held, the letter and spirit of that agreement has been absolutely adhered to in the last 18 months, it was July 1992. But there have been many thousands of marches since then that have been peaceful and none that haven't. So all of these things I would regard as major contributions the commission has made.

. I think the other is an indication that judicial process can work credibly and I think that's important. I think it's been a plus for judicial process in the country which is obviously fundamentally important and I think if confidence in the Constitutional Court and the courts generally is going to be built up a lot quicker than it might otherwise have been had there not been some sort of successful initial process over this transition period.

POM. Would it still be the case that you are finding that the major cause of the conflict was political competition between the ANC and IFP?

RG. Absolutely, the major cause of political violence. No question. That's generally accepted.

POM. Except by the ANC.

RG. It's accepted by the ANC.

POM. Maybe behind closed doors.

RG. It's only Mr Mandela who has been making statements saying that the major cause of the violence is the government. But he doesn't believe that.

POM. Electioneering?

RG. It's a matter of definition. If by saying that it is a major cause because of government policies in the past then that's correct. Apartheid has produced the rivalry between the IFP and the ANC, look at the people who have been killed. It's not government forces killing policemen. Over 200 killed this year and it's hardly government killing hundreds of IFP supporters. By the same token I don't believe it's government who have been responsible for murdering hundreds of ANC supporters.

POM. When you look at the Freedom Alliance as it's called, breaking it up into bits looking at Buthelezi first, do you think at the end that he will come into the process and that if he doesn't it creates the potential for far greater violence?

RG. Oh absolutely. I'm pessimistic about him coming in, whether Inkatha will come in without him is I think a more real question. I don't think he can come in without losing too much face and for a man of his sensitivity to lose face is, I would imagine, fairly unthinkable. I think he's shot himself in both feet now, he's put himself right into a corner he can't get out of. I hope I'm wrong because I think it's very important for as many parties as possible to come into the process because if they don't it's obviously going to increase the potential for more violence. I've stopped being surprised at many things that happen in this country because crazy things have happened. I could see absolutely no, and I still can't see any, possible basis for the Afrikaner Volksfront to be accommodated. If they want a volkstaat on the apartheid model with only rights for white Afrikaners it's just not on, nobody is going to agree to it so I wouldn't have thought and yet it's not public and I'm not privy to any of these things. I don't know what they talk about but they obviously have something real to talk about. It just amazes me that they've got things to talk about with the ANC and they've been having obviously fairly successful and friendly meetings with the ANC. They obviously are prepared to make this fundamental compromise by doing that and if the ANC is prepared to make suitable compromises and we get them on board that could be a wonderful development.

POM. If they don't come on board do you see a man like Constand Viljoen giving the right a credibility and respectability that it didn't heretofore have?

RG. If they don't come in?

POM. Yes.

RG. But who is he appealing to, the Volksfront is appealing to the lower strata of Afrikaner society. They are not supported by professionals, businessmen, educated people. So if you are talking about credibility, his credibility with those people will probably have increased. If they don't come in, they were voicing hard attitudes, but those aren't the things I think that determine political development.

POM. Could you just elaborate a little on that?

RG. If Viljoen comes on board he's going to leave a lot of the people who have been supporting him leaderless. The AWB may well end up the only white organisation and parties even to the right of it who will be opposing the system. Viljoen will then obviously lose a lot of support from the rabble that I don't believe he particularly enjoys getting support from. I hope I'm right.

POM. But if he does not come in, given his stature, does it give more credibility to the threat from the right?

RG. I wouldn't have thought so.

POM. So would you see the threat from Buthelezi as being more serious?

RG. More serious, absolutely, for a number of reasons. Firstly there are more people involved and five million people in KwaZulu and he's got support outside KwaZulu. I'm not suggesting he's got the support of five million in KwaZulu but that's the number of people in the area that we're talking about. I don't know, the poll that was done on the right wing I think was significant and makes sense, less than 50% remaining interested in a volkstaat.

POM. It was 14%.

RG. But that makes sense. You're not going to get right wingers who happen to live in Cape Town packing up and getting into their wagons and trekking north. People don't react in that way. He's appealing more to racial prejudice than people's sense or appealing to what was economically viable.

POM. So are you pessimistic about Buthelezi?

RG. Well I'm feeling more optimistic that Inkatha's going to come in whether Buthelezi wants them to or not. I hear this afternoon that King Zwelithini has denied that he ever signed the Freedom Alliance.

POM. He has?

RG. But I think his speech was a fair indication that there clearly is a split there. It's interesting that the people who have defected from the National Party and Democratic Party to Inkatha are probably at the very heart of the split. They don't want to be left out of the political process. They went there precisely because they thought they'd do better in the political process.

POM. On the matter of the Constitutional Court, the single ballot, I was disappointed in the ANC more so on the Constitutional Court than on anything. Essentially they were giving to a single person, a president, the right to ...

RG. Obviously it was a pact. What's happened since is a great improvement. I must say I didn't get particularly uptight or excited about what they had agreed to. Even that was far better than the system we've always lived under and even if one leaves the appointment of judges to the president, which means to the Cabinet, it's not very likely they are going to appoint people in whom the country generally wouldn't have confidence. Politically that's an unacceptable thing to do. I think a great deal of fuss was made about it and there's no doubt that the system they eventually came up with is a great improvement.

POM. How about the issue of the single ballot?

RG. I think there are two views on that. I think the main reason that drove the ANC to a system of single ballot is a very real one, that a lot of people won't understand this double ballot and there is evidence of that in some European countries and the United States where there are complicated ballot forms and double ballot forms, there are a tremendously high proportion of spoilt papers and they didn't want that. They want people to understand them and to vote in a meaningful way and I think that is important. Again, there's a disadvantage and that is that it will be very difficult for regional parties who aren't part of a national party to have any hope of coming in. But again one's got to look at the bottom line. I don't think it was a mistake to have a single ballot.

POM. In your commission did you find any, not any direct correlation, but a correlation of sorts between unemployment and violence?

RG. It's really an area we haven't looked at but my understanding from what I've read is that generally there is such a correlation.

POM. We were talking to Derek Keys earlier this afternoon who seems to be quite emphatic in saying if the level of unemployment can be brought down by 1% a year, South Africa will be ahead of itself which means ...

RG. No doubt there's a correlation but in my view there's only one way to stop violence effectively and that's by having good policing. If people think they're going to get caught they don't indulge in criminal behaviour, but it's violence, criminal violence, economic violence, speeding on the roads, over staying parking meters. If you think you're going to get away with it then you do it. If you think you're going to get caught you don't and I think that's true of any society. I don't believe South Africa is different to any other society in that respect.

POM. But the level of expectations among the disenfranchised is so high that ...

RG. How high is it? It's not something that anybody is able to tell me. From the people you interview, how high is that expectation?

POM. It's high.

RG. What do they expect?

POM. Jobs, houses, education.

RG. But you see I think a lot of those things can be met. I think the ANC, to its credit, has not raised expectations. I think Mandela particularly has gone out of his way to try and tell people it is not going to be all roses after the election. But the greatest challenge I think in South Africa and the whole of our future will depend on whether the first government of national unity is going to be able to produce sufficient goodies for enough people to make them realise that democracy is not such a bad idea. If it produces nothing for them then what's in it, what's this democracy, what's it done for me lately? I believe that if we use just a small fraction of the money that's been wasted on apartheid and independent states and all the rest of the nonsense, I believe that a great deal can be done, I believe that homes can be built for millions of people and if you're building homes for millions of people you're creating good jobs for hundreds of thousands of people. I think education can be provided, certainly by African standards we're not a poor country and I believe the new government could well make an impact in many parts of the country where people will be able to see that good things are happening.

POM. In all areas except employment.

RG. If you do any of the things that we've been talking about it creates employment, not sufficient, but still the very fact that employment has been reduced by 5% in the first year would be important. You're reversing the trend.

POM. Derek Keys says it won't happen. Coming on to the labour market every year you have nearly half a million people [and that the capacity absorbed then the new activities].

RG. Even so I understand that in absolute terms but if at the end of the first year the government can say we have created 100,000 new jobs, the fact that they haven't found jobs for another 150,000 who have come on to the labour market is not a happy thing. But I think if people generally in communities know that more people are working and that houses are being built and that schools are being built and money is being spent on education, [I don't want to sound like a ... but] I think it does make a difference.

POM. I suppose what I'm getting at is that the difference between this country and other African countries is that while other African countries still have the very well-to-do sector and the mass of the people living in poverty or close to poverty, there has never been any expectation in these countries that a change of government was going to change their economic position whereas here you have an entire population who have been told that the only thing that prevented them from getting a house, a good education, a job was the colour of their skin and that will change the day their own people take over.

RG. I think it will change.

POM. But if it doesn't change?

RG. If it doesn't change then we're in big trouble.

POM. So you're an optimist about the future?

RG. I am, I think it's difficult not to be with all the things that have happened, the attitudes of the people and I think it would almost be irrational to be a pessimist. I would describe myself as a cautious optimist, I think things can still go very wrong but I think they are more likely to go right than wrong.

POM. Even if Buthelezi stays out.

RG. Yes, absolutely.

POM. With regard to Mandela and de Klerk who are both putting this very high premium on attracting foreign investment, I was saying to Patricia it's like the Irish who believe if they settle their little problem that the world is going to be so happy they did that they are going to pay for all their reconstruction. In the last couple of weeks one gets the sense that there's almost euphoric belief that a lot of foreign investment is going to flood in.

RG. I don't think any foreign investment is going to come here for idealistic reasons. Either it will be good business or it won't be good business, but I think from the point of view of individual investors, speak to Derek Keys he will know a hell of a lot more about it than I do, but it seems to me that international institutional investors I think will be coming in here because if South Africa doesn't make it I think Africa is either going to have to be abandoned, the whole continent, to stew in its own juice, or a hell of a lot more money is going to have to pour into the continent to save people from starving. So I think there's a selfish interest, certainly in World Bank and foreign governments, in ensuring that South Africa goes well because I think it'll start lifting up the whole region. And if the World Bank starts putting in money and the IMF and the United States and the European Community I think that in itself is going to attract institutional and private investors.

POM. Even in the face of continuing violence, instability?

RG. Again I think that, unfortunately, it's one of the effects of the media and it's unavoidable but in how much of South Africa is there violence? Certainly less than 15%. Come and live in Bloemfontein, you leave your car and you're not afraid to walk in the streets at night, you don't lock your front door. It's amazing the different level of fear as a result of violence. Not very pleasant on farms outside in the Free State but that's another matter.

POM. OK. That's it.

RG. How have people done on a scale of one to ten, generally, in the years you've been interviewing?

POM. There's no doubt that people associated with the ANC, particularly their negotiators, you've got a much higher mark than people on the government side, so to that extent the ANC is more pleased with what they have got out of it ...

RG. With good reason.

POM. - than the government is. Around 7. There is concern about the Bill of Rights.

RG. I believe that white South Africans are far more secure under a democratic constitution than they would be under one with veto rights and all the rest of it. I think the most stupid thing, for example, was in Zimbabwe with whites demanding and getting for ten years twenty seats in the parliament. If anything is going to prejudice whites it's that, it's setting themselves up as a separate group and one of the healthiest things here is that the major parties aren't appealing to one group. One benefit I think we've got from Buthelezi is that he's demonstrated that the problem in South Africa is not white versus black. The whole Freedom Alliance in fact, if anything, is more dominated by black parties, certainly as far as numbers are concerned, than it is by whites. I think that is probably a good healthy thing internally and in the international community. Don't you think so? It puts a very different face on the problem.

PAT. This air of optimism, I think you either get people being cautiously optimistic or optimistic in the better educated elite groups, but a cynicism about the future.

RG. I couldn't agree with you more, the level of optimism is in direct proportion to knowledge and involvement in the process and that's one of the problems because it's been a process behind closed doors. Very few people in South Africa, a fraction of 1%, know what's happening and I think there's a tremendous fear and pessimism which comes from lack of understanding and lack of knowledge and I hope we're going to enter into a period now where there will be much more transparency. The TEC meeting, elections, people being told, people feeling they are participating. There will be no alternative. It's amazing that 21 parties behind closed doors could agree on what time to have lunch let alone on a 150 page constitution.

PAT. ....

RG. That will depend entirely on the Independent Electoral Commission. I'm not prepared to commit myself, even to myself, as to what we're going to do or what we're not going to do. I think it's vitally important the minute that body is created that everybody in South Africa who wants us to succeed and wants legitimate elections should do everything they can to give that body as much credibility instantly. One hasn't got time. As far as I'm concerned the commission must play second fiddle to the Independent Electoral Commission and I wouldn't get involved unless I really was forced to and it won't happen, I won't allow it to happen. I would not like to get involved in anything that relates to the election at all without saying, "At the request of the Independent Electoral Commission that the commission is having an enquiry into so-and-so." So it's going to depend a lot on the personal relationship that I am able to establish with the chairman and members of that commission but I've no doubt I'll have no problem in doing that. I think there are some things that obviously we are better able to do than they will be although they've got a lot of power and they are going to have a lot of people assisting them. But they are going to call the shots and I'll accept that. And the first meeting was interesting, and that's the reason incidentally, our international panel on elections called on me to convene a meeting of all local and international organisations involved with monitoring. I refused to do it. I didn't want in any way to pre-empt what's happening at Kempton Park or the IEC and I'm pleased on Wednesday evening, Thursday and Friday, I don't know if you know, there is a meeting at World Trade Centre.

PAT. I want to ask you about that because it's agenda was slightly changed, it's dates were changed by a couple of days. Once the organisation requested the government and the negotiating council to become a sponsor to the tune of about R250,000, the idea of an independent agency monitoring, non-government agency monitoring elections becomes so much questionable [... sponsored by, whatever the integrity of the government.] Do you think it's essential that there be a truly independent body of South Africans that monitor these elections or are these so unique,[ given the commission ... we've looked into all these areas and had people ...] Do you think there now needs to be set up another NGO operation?

RG. I think it must all be done under the auspices of the Independent Electoral Commission and I think the monitors, local and foreign monitors, must be the tools that they are going to use.

PAT. They must have credentials but in most countries the Election Commission is one of the entities used to observe monitoring.

RG. That will happen. That's why it's a good idea to have the international members of the commission as non-voting members. Our commission could not have had investigation units without international police involvement. I wouldn't have done it and if I would have done it, it wouldn't have worked. I don't know if you saw our report on the first year? In over 250 investigations not a single allegation has been made against the fairness or the independence of those investigations and all of them have been sensitive investigations. The reason is that people know we've got top EC police experts involved 24 hours a day on every single one of those investigations. We've got some very sensitive investigations going on in Cape Town at the moment and there's absolute confidence on the part of the people who we are assisting, who have every reason not to trust police. But they trust the police that we are using because there's international supervision and I think the IEC would be making a mistake if they didn't learn from that. I believe that the SAP is going to play the vital role in policing the election and they're not going to succeed if they haven't got, I believe, international supervision at the top and middle. It's more important than monitors. And accepting that they are 100% honest, accepting that they are the best police force in the world, neither of which is correct, even then the fact that there are international people involved just gives confidence in a country where there are suspicions. We're not going to satisfy everybody but we will satisfy a hell of a lot.

POM. OK. Thank you once again. I'll see you more often now that we're living here.

RG. How long are you going to be around?

POM. We're going to be around, well we'll go home for Christmas, but then we'll be back till the end of May.

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.