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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.
12 Nov 1994: Holomisa, Bantu
POM. General, just walking in here and seeing the opulence of the way in which ministers live, do you not think this is a little bit out of touch with the struggle everyone fought for the people in the townships? What would they think if they knew you lived like this?
BH. Obviously the public is aware that we have inherited structures of government. That includes departments, that includes the government houses. The difference is that unlike our predecessors we pay rentals here, market related.
POM. You pay rent?
BH. Rent per month yes. The government says if you have two houses, one in Pretoria and one here you must pay rental in one of them unlike before when South Africans instead were given allowances for staying here. To us now you must pay, this house is between four and six thousand rand per month. So at least in that sense I think the public would understand. In fact that was also published in the media so they do expect that we have got to stay somewhere and be safe. So I think we would have had a lot of complaints if we were living free, part of the gravy train.
POM. Are you saying there is no gravy train here?
BH. No, no.
POM. I look out the window at the swimming pool and tennis courts.
BH. You buy your cutlery, you buy your linen and so on. Groceries you buy. So I wouldn't say the people would complain that much.
POM. And you also have a house in Pretoria?
BH. Yes. During the parliamentary session we are here in Cape Town, so one lives here with his or her family and when the session is closed we move to administrative headquarters in Pretoria so we live there. Obviously people like some of us were not used to living like this before. You remember in Transkei I had a bigger mansion than this which I've rented as a guest house so I am not sure whether I will stay in houses like these for ever. I always like privacy, just have an ordinary house in town.
POM. But do you think it would be a good thing if in time the government sold all these houses and had each minister responsible for, as they do in other countries, for providing his own housing? That would keep you in touch with your constituency better than getting used to a lifestyle like this.
BH. Like I was doing in Transkei?
BH. Well I think you would have to, a certain category say at Cabinet level downwards, deputies, they can have their own houses but you still have to maintain that ceremonial outlook of the President and Vice Presidents. The state must provide for them. So I think in the long run under this new programme of selling state assets, I mean places like this could be sold out to the public and then you are required to look for a house but you take such a decision when you are sure there is stability in the country. So one has got to weigh if you spread ministers all over town, say about how many? About forty something. So how much will it cost you to place security in each house as opposed to now, you group now, this is a ministerial complex so all the ministers are in one place, you just guard the various main entrances. So one has got to look at that and on the other hand you look at the overall threat, security. But in principle I think this is what we will eventually come up with, that houses like these will be dished out and one will also have to demarcate the homes for Presidents and so on. Because if you move across the street this is a ministerial village.
POM. Across the street? People are over there?
BH. Yes, ministers next to each other, so I was just lucky to be given this one. They were giving me the benefit of the doubt being a former dictator! We deserve a little bit of a separate house, but they didn't know that a bigger house like this I didn't stay in it. But I think there was of course also a democracy in the state because ministers chose their houses first.
POM. The ministers chose their houses?
BH. Yes, you had to choose the house you want to stay in and then when they have finished deputies.
POM. So Deputies also stay ...?
BH. Deputies had to, it was our turn so we had to move around and choose our house. So there are deputy ministers close by who are sharing the tennis courts and the gardens.
POM. You just talked about security a couple of minutes ago and as I recall you have been recently appointed to one of the Boards of one of the Intelligence Services, it is headed by De Klerk.
BH. That is the State Security Council.
POM. That's right.
BH. Oh yes. I'm one of the members of the Cabinet Committee on security.
POM. But my understanding of it was that De Klerk has control of that council and is not prepared to give up control.
BH. No, he has no control. He is chairing the meetings. So he has no control over it. He is not a Minister for Intelligence, he is not a Minister of Defence, he is not a Minister of Police, so what control has he got? He just chairs the committee on security delegated by the President. The President doesn't sit in that committee. He only sits when there is a special item to discuss but otherwise he is delegating De Klerk to chair. Our meetings, the Cabinet is chaired by the President, Cabinet Committee on economics is chaired by De Klerk or Mbeki. The Cabinet Committee on security, that one is De Klerk, if he is not there Thabo. But Thabo is the senior, he chairs the Economics Committee.
POM. Thabo does.
BH. Yes, Thabo chairs the Cabinet Committee on economics. And then they alternate on another committee which includes ... and administration and so on. So he has virtually no power, he cannot overrule, the majority is ANC. So he cannot force anything on us. He is just a token, ceremonial by virtue of his office being one of the executives, otherwise he has not been given a sole ...
POM. Does he have to go to funerals and things like that? That's what Vice Presidents in other countries do. You have been here now for seven months and you were living in Umtata for a number of years in a modest house, your kids at school and your wife has now finished university, right?
BH. She finished her Masters, she was lecturing.
POM. And then you come down here. How did it feel? It's a big change.
BH. It's a big change and it's a very awkward arrangement for us, young people separated from your family because you've got to be in one place, the family, we have got to be in one place. So they are staying in Pretoria then I am here during the parliamentary session, sometimes at weekends I go up or they come down. It's a little bit of an awkward arrangement. That won't do. I like the Eastern Cape, the climate there, the landscape. I think pollution free area. I like that area so I am not adjusting well honestly to both Cape Town and Pretoria. You always feel that sense of insecurity also here because we are operating in a different environment, an environment which only yesterday you were at loggerheads with them and they were planning attacks and counter-coups against us, so you don't know when. And even if you go to the main gate here, we are still guarded by the same guys who were harassing us only yesterday. So I am a little bit uneasy. Once we have full integration of our forces and when they are trained, the Transkei Defence Force and police are integrated, then you can say all right. But now it's still the same old people who were plotting against us so sometimes I always get afraid when I get back.
POM. You get what?
BH. I get nervous when I open my door. I say to my security, "Can you check all these cameras, is it safe?" Because these guys are guarding here, they might be having duplicate keys and visit you whilst you are showering and say, "Ja, count one, two." It's an awkward arrangement. We've got to respond to the clarion call of President Mandela and the ANC followers.
POM. Do you think there are still elements outside the government that are trying to destabilise the government?
BH. Because of the arrangement we have entered into, the government of national unity, this is an experiment and I guess that we don't trust each other. We are still sceptical of one another. We may appear as if we are coming closer but we are still alienated from one another and in particular that even the forces have not yet been integrated and even the civil service is still intact. Obviously there will be certain elements who cannot change overnight so we have not yet engaged the whole society into transformation proper. Let's say, for instance, demobilisation, demilitarisation and map out the way forward for the rest of South Africa and say all right, guys working in this phase now this is the plan then we take the following and accomplish it by a certain time. We have not yet engaged in that, so we are still I think, people are adjusting and there are lots of pressures and so on.
POM. When we came back about a month ago we were struck by what was in the newspapers, part of the MK in rebellion, horrific levels of crime, a serious crime being committed every 17 seconds, SDUs in the townships, many of them out of control, police saying they couldn't bring down the level of violence, random strikes. You had the President saying that the South African Police had declared war on the ANC. You got the feeling that this was a country that was teetering on the edge of social disintegration.
BH. Yes, but one has got to know the circumstances that led to the present situation. We got in here in April, and with due respect to us all in parliament, we seem to have negotiated at World Trade Centre a deal which ends perhaps on the 27 April, except the interim constitution but we didn't have a plan, a practical administrative plan accompanied by rules and regulations and time frames on things like integration, affirmative action, how are we going to deal with strikes in general and so on. Are we still going to have the liberation movement now that we are a political party? Are we still going to use the same methods which we used, slogans, as if we were fighting against the apartheid government? So we didn't have that plan. That is the fault of the government of national unity. As a result of that the ethics of good government and the norms and standards demand that you implement the existing rules until you have your own new rules. So impliedly in the eyes of many they could see now that we are still continuing with the apartheid way of doing things so that people therefore on the ground started to be nervous. On the other hand the army, the police and the civil servants at some stage were not sure whether they have a future or what because they are feeling of the old strategies and tactics that when a liberation comes into power it normally pushes those who were inside and brings in its own people. But President Mandela has been treading carefully trying to make sure that the interim constitution is respected which guarantees the rights of everyone. But that doesn't mean that you are guaranteed in your post. You can still have your salaries, your privileges but if they say, all right we remove you from your post and put another man, you will not lose in terms of emoluments.
. So there was that phase but I think now things are coming up all right. On security we can expect that there will be some problems because in the past we tended to club every violence, political violence. We came into power and the whole world sees the transition but we are now isolating the criminality element which I think is not going to be a problem, if you read the papers there are a lot of programmes which the police are engaged in. So I would say we are on course.
. Now with the announcement by the Public Service Commission that the affirmative action is starting next year and then there will be package deals for those who want to retire and so on, the response has already been positive. So I think in that way we will be contributing towards stability, or stabilising the country. There is also now a new body including unions and so on, so at least people now can see, oh, there is legislation. We said we are going to have restitution, land restitution, they can see and they are being consulted. We are saying, all right here is a farm, there are the farm workers, the farm voted for the RDP. For the housing this is the money we have, this is the style of house. They said yes, so at least people now are starting to give the government a chance.
. Another expectation which I think was exaggerated, I think the media was very heavy on the new government, trying to test whether it can manage the crisis in a way by portraying that President Mandela should have delivered within 100 days. That was a joke, to undo a mess of 45 years you are expected to rectify it in six months. That was a joke.
POM. How did the elections go down in Transkei?
BH. It was 95 - 100%, ANC.
POM. There have been a lot of allegations from the ANC, IFP, from the NP that there was a good deal of voter rigging and in the end when Kriegler had finished counting the vote he admitted millions of votes were missing and yet the result was almost too good to be true. Everyone got something. Buthelezi got KwaZulu/Natal, the National Party got the Western Cape and the ANC got enough to allow them to run the country on their own if they ever wished to. This suggests a brokered result as if people came in and said your vote roughly should be this therefore we give you this percentage, your vote should be roughly that and in the interests of national stability you all accepted. Do you think that went on?
BH. I think it could be possible that Judge Kriegler was in touch with the leaders of the various political organisations like ANC, National Party, DP, IFP. Possibly, maybe they had to come into those arrangements which I'm not aware of. But reading from outside the ANC members in Natal wanted to challenge the results in Durban and the ANC as a whole deliberated the matter and said, "Give them the chance, we're in power now so if we challenge that what effect will it have on the ground and so on, long term violence?" So President Mandela persuaded them to withdraw. What you are saying perhaps is there are a lot of inferences that you can draw from that but in the interests of stability - but we cannot say the whole elections in the country were not free and fair, only in isolated areas.
POM. We were on an observer team in Pietermaritzburg and that was supposed to be the worst area and we saw nothing going wrong at all.
BH. I think the ANC in Natal, justifiably, they were on the ground, maybe they had all the evidence to challenge that. We have learnt a lot from Mr Mandela, the way he reads things.
POM. The way he reads things?
BH. Sometimes you don't see the danger but he will come with some sort of strange solution. You tend to differ with him in the first instance and you question him but the old man was right. As a result I think that has saved a lot of lives. But what we need to do now, so that those who were using a fraudulent method we make sure that in future we have proper structures and proper arrangements. We must also be honest to ourselves, give Judge Kriegler credit. I think he did well under the circumstances because that was crisis management he applied which came as a result of inability to take decisions early by the IFP. So imagine Judge Kriegler waiting for Inkatha until the last five days to take a decision whether they are taking part in the elections and yet at that time Inkatha, their sticker was not there and they had to come up with a quick solution. I think he did very well. I still hope that he could still be given another opportunity to run an election.
POM. Would you like to see a permanent Electoral Commission that would look after all elections and be independent of the state completely?
BH. Yes, but one has got to be careful also, this thing can also be corrupt. There are so many vested interests in that field. So perhaps a research work is needed, debated, go to Canada, go to USA, go to Britain, bring it to parliament, say what system are we going to use which will suit us given our infrastructural problems and so on? And we will come up with a plan whether before each and every election we will appoint a new set of people or must we have permanent. I don't think a permanent one would be a good idea.
POM. But the provinces are supposed to run the local elections. All together they come under the control of Chief Buthelezi. Now is there any way the ANC would allow Chief Buthelezi to be in charge of anything as sensitive as the local elections?
BH. It's immaterial. He is powerless, can't influence anything when it comes to the election because if we are going to have the elections we are going to have a new system which will be working according to law which has been passed by parliament, by the Cabinet and so on. Buthelezi is just an agent of President Mandela and then the Cabinet so he has no way where he can really manoeuvre because we will be having an independent electoral voting which is put to the Cabinet or to parliament so he is no threat.
POM. How has he been behaving in parliament and in the Cabinet?
BH. He's fine, he's all right. It's not a good thing to talk about, but I think he is doing fine but I'm not sure if he is handling the affairs of the State well when he outside parliament like at Inkatha rallies. Sometimes he forgets that he tends to come heavy on the President instead of taking perhaps the concept of the government of national unity but why he is serving in it if he is going to attack it. So politically I think President Mandela has out-manoeuvred him. This is what I can say.
POM. He out-manoeuvred Buthelezi?
BH. He out-manoeuvred all his political opponents because by accepting to serve in a government of national unity in one way or another you are compromised, but if you are outside people would listen to you when you attack the government of national unity. But if you, at the end of the month, get a ... from the government of national unity and you are attacking people with questions ... When I say criticise, you form part of the Cabinet, a decision is taken and you agree, you go home on Friday and you criticise the decision of the Cabinet which you were in, it doesn't make sense. Does it make sense?
BH. We are controlling them.
POM. How does that show that De Klerk out-manoeuvred all his political opponents? It seems like Mandela did.
BH. I said Mandela out-manoeuvred. Not De Klerk.
POM. There is no effective voice of De Klerk or for that matter of the National Party.
BH. All of them, all of them. There's only one voice, President Mandela. You see also the frustrations in some of them and another thing is that Mr Mandela he is using a transparent method, working with standing committees in parliament, using parliament, using the fora outside parliament like economics fora, which are well represented. So he listens to the opinion coming from organised institutions, labour, business, he is very sensitive about it. The Cabinet I think there is a ceremonial god, he has built it in such a way that it must be sensitive.
POM. Is he the glue that holds the whole thing together? Is he the glue that holds everything together?
BH. I think yes, you are quite correct, but there are still pockets of resistance in the whole process but he is coming up with a different concept, controlling or being honest to say, "Whether you are my opponent or not, come, let us sit together." Remember he wanted even to offer Viljoen's party a Cabinet post if they had done better in the election than 5%. But two years ago you wouldn't think that he would sit, have a minister from the Freedom Front and so on, or even sit with them in parliament but now the way he has worked it out you will find that the Freedom Front sometimes are more reasonable than the Nationalist Party in that they can argue far, far more reasonably.
POM. You're about the second or third person who has said that.
BH. Yes. In fact when the Freedom Front speaks in parliament you will find that they come up with, they are gradually taking the centre stage in terms of putting a reasonable case for the minority. Then you find that the National Party and Inkatha they are in trouble, they have got now to toe the line, not to sow disunity.
POM. Let me just ask you this speculative question. If Mr Mandela were to die, would there be a power struggle within the ANC, different factions competing?
BH. The ANC is a very sophisticated organisation. I have worked with them for quite some time and I think it will take me some time also to know how it works. From outside when you look at it it will seem ... but when you are in the bottle with them you don't see all this and so on, you will find that people get serious and honest and straight. So like in any normal society people will speculate now, people are speculating now who will be the President, candidate for the Republicans in 1996, so you will find that they won't mention only one candidate, they can mention about six. The same applies to the Democrats, will Clinton, will people allow him to go on and stand? So I think as democrats let that lively debate take place.
POM. Will it be Thabo or will it be Cyril?
BH. The people of South Africa, the ANC, they will decide who they want.
POM. That's a political answer.
BH. I cannot because the problem is obvious at the end of the day maybe the NEC or the conference of the ANC will vote, if you are going to vote you would never know. If it was a traditional sort of thing, like a Chief, if the father dies then the heir takes over, but there is no such thing in the constitution. This thing is not inherited.
POM. A couple of things when we were going round the country that we heard repeated on a number of occasions, first we found that all the Premiers that we talked to were really frustrated by the central government. They were complaining that not enough power had been devolved to them to carry out their functions effectively. Is that a fair complaint?
BH. It could be but the Premiers on the other hand are victims of the emotion I outlined earlier on, that we seem to have concentrated only on the 27th April and not looked beyond in terms of putting the structures. Let's say, for instance, the office of the Premier, how should it look like? So therefore we devolve powers to do what? Personally the Premier hasn't got the finance, he is guided by the economic adviser. So you need to have structures on the ground and you need to have integration taking place. Therefore the integration is monitored because there were old homelands, old South African structures. So that process in itself is a complicated process. So if you are not careful and give it to various individuals without providing a guide from the centre you can create a chaos. I think the Cabinet maybe at that time was still coordinating issues like, do they have a Public Service Commission for instance in the provinces? The answer to that is to say, yes, they have power but have they appointed a commission? No or yes. What is the criteria? So the Department of Public Service Commission from the centre must provide. Unfortunately this is not a federal system but there is a temptation to want to copy the old style so he used to have the power to control the police, control the army. I heard one of the ANC Premiers, for instance, saying he advocated that he must control army or have their own flag, so there is a little bit of confusion.
POM. Hernus Kriel, right?
BH. I think Matthews Phosa. I think he had commissioned people to design a flag for his province. But that's not power. One flag. So you get that confusion, but Public Service Commission and the minister responsible for provinces will be a key department. What we have done is that all the responsible departments which have got counterparts in provinces, they are forming ministerial committees to distinguish or allocate powers. We are in agreement that the powers for the Tourism and Environment Department in the provinces are as follows. Once they are satisfied then we will send that information to the minister responsible for the province which will now condense everything. I think they have been doing this, giving powers systematically.
POM. Do you think that this whole debate about whether it will be a federal state or a unitary state is over or is it going to resurface again in the regional assembly?
BH. It will resurface again although the mandate we have been given for this period we are not talking about federal because the people who were advocating federalism were beaten in the election, Inkatha and Nationalists.
POM. Some of the ANC ministers are behaving as though they want more and more power for themselves.
BH. Well you can define power. What is the meaning of power?
POM. Control over resources.
BH. It normally goes beyond so we know you have this tax, when you get into that office you are a different person. I don't want to go beyond that.
POM. The other thing we heard was that on the subject of the RDP we were met for the most part with a blank stare. The average well informed person really had no idea of what we were talking about. When we said, "Reconstruction and Development Plan", they said, "Oh, yes", but they couldn't tell you what it was about. You would find MPs at the provincial level and ministers at the provincial level not really knowing too much about it and those who had an opinion about it very often their opinions were at complete variance with one another. Now if the RDP is the lynch pin of the government's vision of the future, why is such a poor job being done on selling it to the people, making them feel that it is their plan, that it won't work unless they are involved?
BH. No the problem lies with the fact that we have identified heads of argument in the original paper, the RDP, and the second phase is to produce a document which is broad. When you are talking, for instance, of environment, so you would find that maybe they said this is what we want. But now we've got to translate that paragraph into a policy. We have got to produce a policy document. So you reduce it now from being a slogan and then you produce an Act, it must first of all become law and can be known by the public. Then you can disperse the funds you have voted but you can't disperse those funds before we have finalised that white paper on the RDP because it could be a suicidal venture against us for the coming elections next year as well as in 1999. So we have got to be careful. That is why therefore you will find that there will be a little bit of hesitancy because people will say, "I'm not sure now what it is", but when you take education and you say, "This is education we did", then when we take environment we go into details.
. So this is precisely why we seem to have been floundering, lost at the beginning because we are confronted now with the existing policies which we must implement but once we have that white paper which will be our policy of the new government then things will start clearing up. We are going to build schools and roads and so on but are we going to use the same old procedure or we've got to improve the procedure? So then people will start to learn because now they will be applying practically but until you have such programmes to start them and put them on the ground you won't, but we have been sceptical of just pushing things without any paper.
. Where there has been a crisis we have used the same policies, like the Department of Health, we have given them millions of rands to feed school children because that will encourage children to go back to school. We said to the minister, "Use your existing policy", and so on but you cannot do that in every department because even the question of restructuring, let's take affirmative action. It's also an RDP programme in a way. Only last week when Zola Skweyiya, the Minister of Public Service Commission, says, "I will have a package to sell to those who don't want to go to be a civil servant and then those who want to go they can apply for these jobs." There is a balance. That's one of the objectives of the RDP. You've got to have a policy. So I think the uneasiness is caused by the delay of finalisation of this policy. Again, typical of the present government's style, they say the RDP concept was the ANC document, it was drawn by the followers of the ANC, but now that we are a government we have accepted this let us acclaim, develop this white paper and add here and there, particularly now include other forces. I think that is why you will find that there are problems. Then once we have that paper we can engage now in selling government, publishing it. It was sold during elections but people now want to see that being matched by programmes.
POM. So if you had to rate the present government for its first six months performance on a scale of one to ten, where one would be very unsatisfactory and ten would be very, very satisfactory, where would you rate it?
BH. I would say eight out of ten. I am satisfied with the approach and the way they are handling it so far. Remember that we are not, if it was a majority government straight away I am sure we would have done a lot of things and even adjusting the budget which we inherited. But because it is a government of national unity - so if it was a majority government where you have a dominated Cabinet, ANC government, decisions would be easy to arrive at in parliament.
POM. How are decisions made in the Cabinet? What's consensus?
BH. In the Cabinet we make things easy, we don't want the Cabinet to bog down. Deputies don't sit in the Cabinet, but deputies sit in the Cabinet committees. So a memorandum before it goes to the Cabinet it will be tabled to go before the Security Council who debate it and then we agree that it should go to Cabinet. All the parties are represented. If we need more information we send back to the relevant department. If other people still want to check some information they do so. I think the Cabinet is working well. I don't know a problem.
POM. Really everything is worked out before it gets to the Cabinet?
POM. And the Cabinet gives it a stamp of approval and then parliament gives it a second rubber stamp?
BH. Not as routine it goes to parliament. But some members don't sit in some of the committees but they are present as the parties or the relevant minister.
POM. When you went into 120 Plein Street, your department, were you made to feel welcome or was there an element of condescension towards you or was your authority, your brief, accepted across the board?
BH. No I think when I went there I felt welcome and sometimes it depends on the attitude of yourself that when you are there you greet people and say, "How are you?" And then when you are a person in authority you have got to break the ice, you first, and then people will respond because you may never know whether they are quite respecting you. I didn't have any problem, from time immemorial I know the style how the Nationalist Party has been working, how their civil servants are working, so I didn't have problems. I'm not sure about other ministers but it must have been a little bit difficult for them to settle.
POM. The Truth Commission or whatever it is called, are you for it, against it? What is the extent of its powers?
BH. I don't have any quarrels with the Truth Commission but I'm a little bit worried, but I don't think the ANC will have the capacity to monitor that process. I have a feeling that it could be hijacked and turned against the ANC. One, the security forces are still dominated by the old order. The intelligence and the integration generally is not yet complete. So when you have your balanced forces I think it would be good to introduce then. Then you have also the judicial also which you see they are trying to transform the court, Constitutional Court and so on, trying to put faces representing the various nationalities. I think we need to finish that first otherwise we are going to hit a stone wall when we want to go and investigate the other side. But it is going to be easy for the other side because the resources are with them, the training, to round off and say, "Let's go to that MK man, it is alleged that he tortured a colleague so we are coming here to take a statement." So I think if we are not careful we can have an element of neo-colonialism. That's my personal opinion.
POM. Do you think that if a state minister, somebody in the National Party or Freedom Front or whatever were implicated in a crime that they in fact either administered, established hit units and gave orders to eliminate certain people, should they be prosecuted or should they be required to stand down from public office or should they be able to benefit from an indemnity?
BH. I think firstly we must be careful that the Truth Commission mustn't end up being a witch hunt and being used to settle scores against one another. So one has got to know; we want a Truth Commission for what? To expose the truth of what happened and if it is exposed then so what? Then if you are going to try people or if you are going to say stand down, then we have a problem. It can affect the so-called reconciliation process itself. So far when you listen to the proponents of the Department of Justice they say, "Do you want truth?" Gather the information first. Give you an impression that at the second phase perhaps this will be tabled to parliament to take a decision. I am not sure. I didn't put much, I don't concentrate much on that because sometimes I am a person who is not orientated, don't know what it is going to achieve.
POM. If you are to be free, be forgiven for the past, you must know what you are forgiving.
BH. The problem is if you say you are going to try people, you are going to say stand down from office, it might be possible that some of the atrocities, some that were committed, they will argue that they were defending themselves from the onslaught and vice versa. So it's the chicken and egg story. So at some stage maybe just to appease the public, just know what happened.
POM. Just tell me, what happened to the PAC?
BH. The PAC lost, they did badly. I think their tactics were a little bit outdated. It is very difficult for any black organisation or black leader in the country to operate against Mandela because he's a celebrity.
POM. But it wasn't just that they did poorly, they were virtually wiped out.
BH. No they made a poor showing. They disappointed many people, even the ANC. Remember in my earlier interviews I said to you they had appealing policies but I'm not sure if they had sold their policy. I said PAC had appealing policies from the oppression point of view, from the people who were oppressed, but I said to you I was not sure if they had the people to sell their policies and I think it is a question of leadership.
POM. What about the far right?
BH. The far right, I think is under control. I think also they have been surprised that the ANC is not a party as they were informed. They thought perhaps we were animals, so they were surprised. I think Mr Mandela brought freedom not only for the blacks but for the entire population. They are now free to go anywhere in the world as opposed to only yesterday when they were polecats. I think it is dying down. There will still be those who are against us.
POM. To go back to KwaZulu/Natal for a moment, the rift between the King and Buthelezi, is this a serious rift that could have very negative consequences?
BH. If it is not controlled properly, yes, it can divide the Zulus further. Even IFP members now themselves I think they can divide among themselves but it needs careful handling. I think President Mandela in his usual style is doing well so far. It's an ongoing process. The fact that we won the election doesn't mean that the battles are taking a different turn.
POM. When you look at the six months that you have been part of the government, what are you most proud of in terms of its accomplishments?
BH. So far I think, firstly the work in parliament, working very hard, especially the Select Committees and Standing Committees to look at the deals. The more you change the deals in terms of the interim constitution the more it is going to enhance the policies and so on and to balance things. Secondly, the stability which has been brought by the new government in terms of stamping out political violence and so on. The international image, the way it has been handled I think is very good and the economic positive indications like pledges from other countries who want to assist South Africa. But obviously we've got to tighten a little bit in terms of combating crime and make sure that - if we can just tighten on that one I think we will be normalising the relationship with African countries and neighbouring countries. I think the economic direction of the new government to engage in building an economy rather than concentrate on selling the existing cake. Those pronouncements I think they are positive. The handling of crisis inside the country also, the government has handled it well in different forms.
POM. OK. That's it for this round of interrogation.
BH. Thank you.