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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.
15 Nov 1995: Mkhize, Goodwill
POM. Goodwill, it might be just a good place to pick up the conversation where we started; I said I had been visiting Arthur Konigkramer who seemed pretty disillusioned with the entire political process and couldn't see the day when he would get out of politics come soon enough and you were saying that he was done in by the big four in the IFP. Could you talk a little about that, what happened or what you understand happened?
GM. The big four in the IFP are following a highly conservative route wherein they still believe the structure of the government as it is, is just as bad as what it used to be where there is dictatorship from the top and everybody must follow suit, there shouldn't be any consensus, there shouldn't be any voting, but what they deem fit must happen and they have come to a point where the whole structure has to be democratised and things have got to be decided upon by consensus and nobody has got the right just to dictate to everybody.
POM. These big four are Walter Felgate - ?
GM. Sipho Mzimela, Ziba Jiyane and Walter Felgate, those are the big four who are the ultra conservatives, and Ambrosini.
POM. Why does Ambrosini get to exert so much influence? You had been talking about the big four and I was asking you why Ambrosini exerted so much influence on Buthelezi?
GM. If you look at his track record in Bosnia, because he's from Bosnia, he was an adviser in Bosnia.
POM. I didn't know that, no. An adviser to the Bosnian government?
GM. Yes. I don't know whether the Serbs or what but he is one of the guys who made Bosnia what it is, creating conflict for the purposes of him having a job as an adviser.
POM. That's why he's here?
GM. Yes, that's why he is here. And he was coming to do exactly the same, unfortunately. Somebody says that he was no longer getting the price he wanted in Bosnia and he thought this was an area where he was going to do it. He has got the confidence of the KwaZulu Prime Minister at that time, Buthelezi, and he has got quite good addresses but they don't lead to settlement of disputes but he has got a knack of giving energy to conflict and he is highly conservative and he knows his beans and he knows his structures and he can really advise you on whatever issue you want. But he doesn't stop you from self-destruction. That's his worst point.
POM. Konigkramer said that he actually had achieved consensus among the seven parties on the Constitutional Committee, all had agreed to the draft working document that it would have received sixty six and two thirds in parliament, there wouldn't even be the need for a referendum and that there could be a provincial constitution, agreed to by everybody, in force in KwaZulu/Natal within the parameters laid down by the interim constitution and that all that has been destroyed.
GM. It was destroyed because these people, that is the big four, said this is not supposed to be negotiated, it has got to be dictated to the people and let it be done. And they said the negotiation process is not the way they want to deal with situations like that. Hence the unpopularity of Mdlalose and Konigkramer within the Inkatha circle.
POM. Because Mdlalose was part of - ?
GM. He believes in the negotiation process. He said, since we have started this let's carry on and negotiate it to the end, and these guys were saying, we don't have to, we just have to dictate to these people and use certain structures within the government of national unity to marshal the whole thing forward.
POM. He said they were talking about having this snap election at some point. Given the fact that the result of last year's election was tenuous at best, the IFP said the ANC created massive fraud, the ANC said the IFP created massive fraud and there was an arrangement made of let things be, let things stand just for the purposes of national reconciliation or whatever, what leads the IFP to believe that they would (a) get two thirds of a vote in an election or (b) even get 50%?
GM. In reality when they stir the hysteria in certain districts outside towns they really believe that they have got the majority, that is when they get to districts outside towns where there are Chiefs and people are told to attend the rallies and if they don't attend the rallies they won't be given fields to plough or this, that and the other. Certain punitive measures will be taken against them if they don't attend the rallies and they think the attendance of these rallies under duress is an indication of their popularity, when if you go and make an assessment and talk to people who are frank and honest, just get a cross-section of them, they could hardly raise 25% in rural areas. In urban areas they can hardly smell six, that is in townships like KwaMashu, Chesterville, Imbali in Maritzburg, Edenvale, Umlazi, they can't raise 6%. I can't give them 6% because each and every time there is an occasion there is a rally that they have in Umlazi you will find that 90% or 95% of the people who are attending that rally were bussed from outside and about 2% to 3% are from Umlazi.
POM. I saw that because I came down, I just ran in and out of Durban for the Shaka Day celebrations. I wanted to see what they were like. On the way back from Stanger, one was being held in Umlazi the following day, and we were passing bus load after bus load after bus load of people all being bussed.
GM. That's it. And no local guys.
POM. What direction is politics going in KwaZulu/Natal?
GM. There is an element which I think is coming, and coming very strong, of people coming together and stamping out violence in Natal, that is communities. Though in certain areas you find that there are some people who are still showing you the weals of apartheid, the pain and the suffering they suffered before the elections and they still have that sense of revenge that we will get even with so-and-so, we will get even, but that force is no longer as prevalent as it was after the elections last year.
POM. So you think things, at one level, are getting better?
GM. They are getting better, yes.
POM. At a political level are they getting better or are they getting worse?
GM. At the political level they are getting better too because you find that even the guys who were real extreme right are realising that it's a futile exercise to resist the cause of nature, that is what is ultimately going to happen.
POM. Where do you see Buthelezi in this?
GM. As an agent of change or as an agent of resistance to change? He is an agent of resistance to change because he knows that change is going to bring his demise. That would be the end of him.
POM. But will it be during the course of his lifetime?
GM. Yes during the course of his lifetime and, again, a lot of things could happen between now and the year 2000, which is five years from now.
POM. But he is not a young man.
GM. He is not young either. As it is, it is rumoured within the IFP that he would like to get Sipho Mzimela to take over from Mdlalose, Mzimela, who is the Minister of Correctional Services, to take over from Mdlalose as the Premier for Natal. After that he will take over from Sipho Mzimela so that they all get out of the national body and try and at least rescue something from Natal. But I think he knows better than everybody else that he doesn't have a chance in Natal.
POM. Do you think he does?
GM. No he doesn't, he doesn't stand a chance, no, no, no.
POM. But does he understand that?
GM. He doesn't understand that, or he thinks he can do one or two things to change that, but he doesn't stand a chance.
POM. In order for him to dispose of Frank Mdlalose he would have to have the IFP caucus which in effect would have to vote -
GM. To get Mdlalose out? No, no, no, he dictates. He doesn't have to throw the whole thing into a democratic process of voting, nobody votes there. He actually tells them what to do and then he goes to the press the following day and says we have all agreed that this is going to be like that. But you actually know the decisions even before the meeting. There are times when you know the decisions that are going to be made on Saturday before the meeting because he is the one who tells them what to do and what not to do.
POM. Did you think the arrest of General Malan and the other officers have sent some tremors of nervousness through the IFP, that leading members of their party are going to be named and implicated?
GM. Definitely yes. By the time Malan starts saying he is a Christian, this, that and the other, and he will definitely tell the world of his part in the whole thing, that scared a lot of members of the IFP who were part of the guard that was responsible for killing people in the townships.
POM. Konigkramer had a completely different perspective. Here's a list of 450 IFP leaders that have been assassinated by the ANC, he says nobody pays any attention to them at all. This morning he met with the police to give them concrete details on 28 violations of civil rights with regard to specific individuals where a number of them were murdered and where in fact some police have been arrested. Now before the elections you had the ANC saying it's the police and the IFP in collusion to wipe us out, now you have the IFP saying you have the police and the ANC in collusion to wipe the IFP out.
GM. I think that's a big lie that you get from Konigkramer because he knows it's a fact. Adriaan Vlok used to be around here and he used to know how these people were transported by Casspirs of the SAP from one faction to the other and the minute they arrive you would think they are going to make peace, that's when you know violence starts, and he knows it. He is quoting that 430, he is right. You could find that even those 430 were not killed by the ANC but killed by the community who were fed up with what they have done to their own kith and kin. And if you look at the statistics of Natal they quote 430 prominent IFP members but I am telling you Lawyers of Human Rights or whoever has been keeping statistics of violence in Natal will tell you more than 30,000 have died between 1970 and now. Compare the 430 and 30,000.
POM. Why do they not receive the attention in the rest of the country that one would think it would receive?
POM. This situation here. Why doesn't it receive more attention in the rest of the country? The rest of the country has kind of written the place off.
GM. Yes, definitely.
POM. But there's still a potential for major conflict here. Is there?
GM. Yes there is but with the disarmament of Inkatha and with some controls and monitors within the SAPS, the South African Police Services, and also the SANDF, that will actually minimise the amount of violence we would have got if they were still under the old structures. There are now members of the SAPS who are actually monitoring the whole thing and who are totally against violence and who were always totally against violence. There are members of the SANDF who really could stand up and say: I am going to give evidence in any commission that comes in about what used to happen, what instructions we used to get. The case of Magnus Malan, you remember the file that they had on Magnus Malan about the 200 Caprivi trainees which was to be used as an indictment against Malan, which got lost? That file was reconstructed because of the help of members of the SANDF who had other documents that could be given to the Attorney General for him to formulate a case against him and actually arrest him otherwise the loss of that file could have said there is no case against the big guns who are now standing trial.
POM. Do you think that other Generals, people like Vlok and others are going to get nailed as well?
GM. Adriaan Vlok is coming in.
POM. He's coming in?
GM. Yes definitely. It's just softly, softly catch the monkey. And you find that as they go around they are collecting enough evidence to have cases against such people and Buthelezi is not going to miss it too.
POM. Do you think they will - ?
GM. Yes, definitely, though he was quite a cunning guy. He used to use others to do the rest.
POM. What would he have knowledge of? The Deputy General Secretary of the IFP is one of the people who is accused, right?
GM. Yes. He knew everything. Everything started in his office. We wouldn't have had all this violence if Buthelezi was not of the mind he was in, that I don't want any opposition, if there is opposition kill it.
POM. What happens to the country if all these people are arrested?
POM. Buthelezi is arrested, if F W de Klerk was arrested, if the Generals say - ?
GM. Nothing. What happened in Nuremberg?
POM. But do the Generals in the military say - ?
GM. What happened in Nuremberg?
POM. They hanged them.
GM. Same thing, and nothing happened to the country. What happened in Nuremberg? It's the same thing.
POM. But there was no Germany then, the country was so beaten into the ground it's like there was nothing standing. In Chile, I was just reading up on Chile the other day, and after civilian rule came back there were a number of commissions to look into what had happened to the disappeared and there has only been one conviction and it was a Colonel who the military whisked away in a helicopter and put in a hospital in a military base and they have kept him there for 14 months and just simply won't surrender him to the civilian authorities and they have said to the government on a couple of occasions, you keep going on with these commissions and what happened in 1973 can happen all over again, we will just take over.
GM. It depends on the powers, the balance of power.
POM. In the South African defence forces, national defence forces, SANDF now, a lot of the senior structures are still occupied, in fact most of the senior structures are still occupied by the old guard.
GM. Yes that's true.
POM. Well is there any chance of the old guard saying we're going to come to the rescue of our brother officers?
GM. And turn against the populace?
POM. And turn against the government.
GM. And turn against the whole South Africa. That's what they are going to do. They have got to have part of South Africa behind them, do they? Do they? They have got to have part of South Africa behind them backing them to the hilt? Do they? You find that the most ultra-right wing Afrikaner has seen what has happened within the past 14 to 18 months as positive. Besides his old belief of being pure, of being this, that and the other, they have seen that their economic salvation is based on the co-operation they have got to give whatever structures there are of democratising South Africa. And I don't think those old guards that you have in the defence force will actually having the backing of those people because they know the whole world will be against them and again the economy is still going to go down. What are they going to rescue? Why go and destroy themselves in the process?
POM. I talked to General Viljoen about this and he said there wouldn't be a coup, ever. He said that the South African army was too professional. That's what he said they were.
GM. Yes that's true.
POM. That they took pride in their professionalism and that they served the government of the day and the government of the day was Nelson Mandela was President and that was a fact and there was a government and it was a legitimate government and their function was to serve that government, unlike in other countries, which is kind of odd in the sense.
GM. It is the game that is being played. Coups every year.
GM. I don't think they stand a chance of a coup. No. They can rattle in and cause disturbances and ripples here and there but I don't think there will be a coup. A coup has got to be backed by the populace. It's not actually dictatorship of a few Generals and a few army people. Furthermore, these guys know that whatever their standing against uMkhonto weSizwe it was a force they could run over with their machinery, with their training, with whatever they have. It was true they could run over the uMkhonto weSizwe, annihilate that within a week but when it comes to guerrilla warfare they wouldn't have touched it because of its training, because of its delegation. And they know these people have been now incorporated into the army and they are also within the communities. They don't stand a chance. And internationally again nobody is going to favour what they are doing because the whole world is seeing a rebirth of South Africa, a rebirth of South Africa by people who have got no malice, by people who have got the welfare of everybody at heart, not a certain section of them, unlike Nigeria.
POM. Why do you think, just in that vein, why do you think relationships between De Klerk and Mandela have deteriorated to the point of where there's an element of real personal bitterness?
GM. It's not personal bitterness but I think those guys, the two of them, have got a relationship beyond the public rhetoric that they have. Right enough you find that to try and recoup his losses F W de Klerk will always come up and say they were doing things better than what is happening now, which is not true, it's normal politics, and then he will start raising one, two or three issues on things that are so hurting to Mandela that he just can't take it. Hence the outburst that they had at the reception.
POM. In Hollard Street?
POM. I talked to Pik Botha, he was there, so I got a finger by finger account.
GM. But between them I think the situation between them can be remedied by the two of them.
POM. Some people have suggested to me that Mandela thinks that De Klerk should behave like Mbeki, that he is a Deputy President and he should be loyal, yes sir, yes Mr President, whatever you say, just carry out exactly what you want me to do, and that he doesn't quite appreciate that De Klerk, besides being a Deputy President and a member of the government of national unity is also trying to head an opposition party so he has to show his party -
GM. He is not a 'Ja baas'.
POM. That's right, and that makes for a different -
GM. That is true. But I don't think Mandela has got expectations of this guy being a docile lap dog that is going to lick his ankles all the time, no. But he hates the idea of this guy talking about certain things that are happening now which started during his time and he couldn't stop them, like violence, because violence South Africa paid for. They imported people, they paid hit squads, they imported the rifles and AK47s, this, that and the other. They trained people in Caprivi, they trained people everywhere to come and perpetuate violence. The Vlakplaas thing of General de Kock were also paid for by these people because they wanted that violence, because they thought that violence was going to stem the flow of the ANC people coming into South Africa or stem the flow of an apparent democracy that was coming. They thought they could stop it one way or the other until they saw that they can't stop it, they have got to give up and throw the whole thing into the public for the public to decide. By throwing it to the public to decide he saved face and if he carried on in that way F W de Klerk would have been a hero up to today because he was the only Afrikaner who had guts to say, "Guys this is it, this far and no further. Let's go democratic."
POM. Do you think he was partial, do you still believe that De Klerk personally approved of third force activity?
GM. Yes, he is responsible for the Koevoet in South West Africa, in Namibia. You remember those? He was the head of that in Namibia and he was responsible for the Koevoet to come over to South Africa when Namibia was independent. He was personally responsible for giving them IDs when they were here in South Africa and they couldn't go back to Namibia because their neighbours would have killed them. He personally got ID books for those people.
POM. So is his name going to surface?
GM. Definitely yes. Those are the things I know are going to surface, the Koevoet structures.
POM. Do you think this will essentially happen because, like for example one of the people I've been interviewing for years has been Colonel Louis Botha who came to prominence during Inkathagate, who was the money man between the government and Buthelezi, and who now has been arrested, he was arrested last March in connection with these murders.
GM. Thirteen kids in kwaMakutha.
POM. That's right. After Inkathagate he said to me, he said, "I can't talk about Inkathagate for obvious reasons but I will tell you this, I am a professional police officer and I have never in my career done anything without complete authority from my superiors. I have nothing to hide."
GM. And where did it come from? The directive to kill?
POM. When I talked to him now on the phone, because I am going down to Port Elizabeth to interview him next week, and he said, "I will talk to you about anything. I have nothing to hide." The belief is that he is the person who put the finger on Malan.
POM. I suppose the question is, what happens to these people? Where does the Truth & Reconciliation sit with the prosecution of people from the former regime? Do you have them admit to their crimes and do you grant them amnesty and have them, in the case of, say, a De Klerk, retire, resign his position and retire from public life? Do you have them convicted in a court of law and then give them presidential pardon? Do you send them all off to prison?
GM. Robben Island again. It doesn't help. Violence begets violence. It's a matter of those guys standing up and saying, I killed Thozamile Gqozo, I killed so-and-so, I gave directions for the death of so-and-so, and let the truth be known and the people who are still crying about who killed my father, who killed my mother, know what happened to them. And they will be given indemnity and the shame will be on them and posterity, the shame will be on them. Killing them is not going to give you any inch in your democratic process, it won't, it won't help.
POM. Just taking your own family, is Mildred still working in the Department of -
GM. Welfare and Pensions.
POM. You said there has been a change there.
GM. It's called KwaZulu/Natal Department of Welfare.
POM. Has there been any kind of restructuring within the Department?
GM. Yes, quite a number of changes.
POM. For the better?
GM. I think for the better, yes for the better. The structures and the hierarchy is quite different, the reporting structures are different and the disciplinary code and things like that have changed.
POM. And that's the result of the efforts of the provincial legislature?
POM. How about in your own company? Has there been any more movement in the last couple of years towards affirmative action?
GM. Well we haven't had any problem with affirmative action in our place. You know with these international companies they have always projected anything on apartheid lines as bad. As it is I don't call my boss 'Boss', I call him by his first name because he is the General Manager and being a General Manager is not a status but a function and that has always been like that with our company. So the changes, the democratisation of South Africa hasn't changed anything in our structures, it's still the same because there was nothing wrong with it. Nobody was promoted because he was white, promotion was on merit.
POM. Do you think though, that the pace of affirmative action is going quickly enough?
GM. Very slow, very slow.
POM. Is that in part because there is a lack of qualified people?
GM. No, the lack of trust from the people who are supposed to run the whole thing. They distrust affirmative action. Most managers don't like it because they say it will actually destroy the industrial peace. Whites will rebel against a black manager and there will be conflict in the workplace and a lot of other myths that they have to justify, and also lack of the people who are qualified. As they stand they always put an advertisement that it is an affirmative action post, it needs somebody with ten years managerial experience, when there were not black managers ten years ago. It is a joke. They want a manager with ten years managerial experience. No black man has been a manager ten years ago, so they are excluded.
POM. I was talking to Pallo Jordan about this, now Pallo is somebody who you would think is one of the more -
GM. No, no, he is not, very moderate. Pallo, very, very moderate. More moderate than Cyril Ramaphosa. No, Pallo is very moderate.
POM. Aha. Well that's interesting you say that because he said of the 18 Director Generals in his Department of Communications he had changed one in 18 months. That was his affirmative action programme and his rationale was that you can't rush things.
GM. Definitely, that is true.
POM. That you end up with, he had this analogy of a lifeboat, that if there are people in a lifeboat and people in the water and the people in the water try to get into the lifeboat at the same time they all sink, so change must be in an orderly way if you're going to maintain things. Do you still think that the succession race is, for all intents and purposes, settled at this point? The race for Mandela's successor?
GM. Yes, it's still OK and it could either be, as I told you last time, either Mbeki or Ramaphosa, one of the two who could be a successor in that role.
POM. Stand above the others?
POM. Tokyo Sexwale looks like a dark horse.
GM. He could get -
POM. He has charisma.
GM. Yes he has charisma.
POM. Sex appeal. It's more important than talent.
GM. Yes he has got it, he has got it. And again he has got that knack that Chris Hani had of resolving conflict, he can resolve conflict.
POM. Now how does your brother find himself fitting into the changing scheme of things?
GM. He has got difficulties. He has got difficulties of projecting himself as highly conservative to the people he is leading because of the dictates of Ulundi and knowing pretty well that the democratic process is on and if he makes any utterances that are going to show that he is opening his area to whoever it is that wants to talk to him, because he caters for all democratic parties, his life is just here. But inwardly he knows whatever it is that is there and being preferred by the people, let it be, so he did not force his people to be Inkatha members. He feels he just doesn't have to force his people to be Inkatha members. Whoever feels like being IFP, ANC, NP, DP should be, and that's all and hold their rallies and whatever, but the minute I do I will be signing my death sentence, you won't see me alive the following day.
POM. So is his authority as strong among his people as it ever was?
GM. Very, very strong.
POM. So in a way the people still adhere very strongly to the tribal structure?
POM. Do Contralesa have a point when they say that traditional Chiefs must be given a role to play in local government because else you are going to destroy the whole concept of chieftainship and you're destroying part of African culture?
GM. That is true, yes there are some people who still believe in that.
POM. There is no reason why you should just superimpose western concepts of democracy lock stock and barrel on people.
GM. No, they should have a say. They should form part of that structure, whatever structure you formulate, because there are some people who actually still believe that there must be a Chief, there must be an Induna. How can you function without those people? When I as an urbanised black, I see no need for those structures.
POM. But both must be accommodated?
GM. Accommodated, yes. Both must be accommodated.
POM. Do you see elections happening here next year, local elections, on time?
GM. Yes. Definitely on time.
POM. Is there going to be an increase in political violence?
GM. Yes there will be an increase in political violence, we need not overlook that. It's a fact, there will be an increase.
POM. And do you think that the ANC will emerge with a majority?
GM. 60%. 60% to 65% will be ANC. Another 5% or 10% will be NP and Buthelezi could be 20% or 18%.
POM. That's been predicted for him before and it didn't happen. That was predicted for Buthelezi before in the run up to the elections.
GM. No, they rigged the elections. You know that? The IFP says the ANC. No, no, they rigged the elections, they rigged the elections. As I told you last time, if you go to any counting station they will tell you there were certain boxes which were brought in by the KwaZulu Police with the ballot papers which were actually folded in a certain pattern and they were arranged in rows inside the box and if you cast a vote into that box it can't sit inside in rows. That tells you something. Here in the towns, those who were counting in central Durban, they said they had 18 boxes full which had ballot papers which were actually arranged so beautifully it was unbelievable and they decided they don't want to count it, but at the urging of Mandela saying, "Please let all those votes be counted, if he gets Natal let him get it because it will cut down on violence."
POM. Which it hasn't. Well, has it significantly cut down the violence?
GM. It did, it did. From what was predicted at that time it could have been real bad. And Harry Gwala was totally - he was just flabbergasted that Mandela interfered in the matter, an enquiry should be instituted and this, that and the other.
POM. He wanted to go to court.
GM. He wanted to go to court, but Mandela being what he is, stopped him.
POM. I want to go back to when Buthelezi was threatening snap elections or whatever and saying he was going to get sixty six and two thirds percent of the vote when a number of surveys were showing even at that point some months back that the IFP might be lucky to get 50% of the vote, never mind two thirds. Why would anybody adopt a strategy of such high risk? What's the point?
GM. He's misinformed, I think so. Ambrosini, again, is one of the people responsible for that misinformation. He is misinformed, or he thought if he does that some people will actually believe it that he has got a following of about 50% - 60% when he doesn't have 20% in Natal. And you saw the predictions and the results of the elections. He only got ,06% or ,08% nationally and definitely if he gets 18% in Natal he will be lucky.
POM. So you see essentially Inkatha becoming a small minority party on a regional basis?
GM. Yes. Hence he wants to get that regional constitution done before the elections, to rig it. Because if he waits for a democratic process of elections he will find that his role is insignificant, his role in Natal, or Inkatha's role in Natal. He could come up with 16%, 18%, but I don't give him 50% or 60% as he used to boast about. He can't read that. And he couldn't risk that snap election.
POM. Joe Matthews says he couldn't have the election because there's no legal framework to have it, so it's all just bull. He says it would be illegal. But the children, the two boys are still going to school?
GM. Yes, in town.
POM. And doing well?
GM. Yes they are doing well. Glenwood High School and Durban High School.
POM. And your daughter who is at the University of Transkei?
GM. She is in Maritzburg now doing a second degree in law. She's doing LLB, reading law.
POM. Wow! That's something. You're still living in Umlazi?
GM. Still living in the same house in Umlazi that you know.
POM. You talked a couple of years ago of moving.
GM. We decided against it. I'm OK where I am. I will fight my battles from there.
POM. What about at the back of the house? Remember there are the shack dwellers.
GM. Those shacks are still there.
POM. Has that grown?
GM. No still the same, they haven't grown up in numbers, but our relations are good, very good, we are neighbours, not reluctant neighbours.
POM. Now under what substructure will Umlazi fall when there are elections?
GM. Oh I think Southern Durban, I think that's what Umlazi will be, and it will be a real ANC stronghold.
POM. And the whole of the City Council, it should be much the same as what happened in the rest of the country.
GM. Exactly, it will go the same way as the rest of the country.
POM. Why do you think that in the rest of the country, despite all the things said about the ANC's lack of delivery - ?
GM. Lack of delivery, again, is a language being given by the people who are detractors to what the ANC is doing. The ANC is trying to change what has been systematically been destroyed for 300 years and there are certain people who would like to see that change overnight as much as you remember at a certain stage where blacks were saying that I will pay R50 and get into any white man's house. That's where we come from; not thinking about if you get into that white man's house and force him out you are not going to be able to afford that house because you earn R600 a month, you can't even afford to pay rates for that house. Those are the expectations of the people from time immemorial, that if the whole thing changes and we are in parliament we will do this and do that and do that. And certain of their objectives are quite good, noble, but you can't achieve them overnight. We've got to have more teachers, more black teachers in the universities. Where do you get them from? You have got to train them for seven years before they go and lecture. Hence they keep on saying that it's not delivering. It's not delivering because the process is quite long and quite a number of their expectations are rather too high. You can't just do it overnight without creating chaos.
POM. Do you think the economy is on the upswing?
GM. The inflation is 6.4%, that tells you something.
POM. Konigkramer said that this is the fastest growing province in the country.
GM. That is true, investment is very, very high here.
POM. Is that right? Despite the uncertainty?
POM. Why would investment be high?
GM. It's high because of the resources that we have, natural resources. Infrastructure is quite good and, if you care to know, it was the only province that was the English province for years with that sophisticated market, with that infrastructure that was derived from the old English civil service and all that and you could find that that attracts the investors. Besides the crime and the violence - if you just take the crime and violence out, if you can excise that out of Natal I think it could be the industrial heart of South Africa, beside Gauteng.
POM. I was going to ask you about Jac Buchner whom I have also been interviewing since 1990 and I talked to him last night and in view of the fact that his name has surfaced at the De Kock trial, and again he says, first of all the current incident involving the Generals was before he was Commissioner of KwaZulu/Natal, but he says he has nothing to hide.
GM. Yes, I think so. Things were done within his department without his approval. That is true. No, he is right. His hands are clean. According to quite a number of sources his hands are clean but he knows what was happening and he knows where it came from and he didn't stop it. That's the only crime you can put against him. They say his hands are clean. It's a fact.
POM. He seemed very open in terms of saying that.
GM. No most people even within the force know that his hands are clean.
POM. He says he's proud of what he did with the KwaZulu police, that he gave them more in service training than any other -
GM. Yes, that's true.
POM. - police Force in Southern Africa.
GM. No that's not true. He gave them more in service training than what they used to get before.
POM. Which was none or very little.
POM. But then was he ineffective? Did he choose not to know?
GM. Yes he chose not to know, but he knew what was happening and he had no control over what was happening. He had no control on what was happening.
POM. Who was controlling things from within the KwaZulu?
GM. It was Buthelezi as the minister.
POM. He was minister for?
GM. For police, yes.
POM. Oh, along with everything else?
GM. And Finance, yes. And Justice was Ntetwa.
POM. But in terms of line actions who was the Deputy Commissioner?
GM. It was Mathe who was the Deputy Commissioner, Ernest Mathe or Sipho Mathe, those were the guys, and Gideon Zulu, were the people controlling that department, telling the police what to do, even during Jac's time.
POM. He said that he's prepared to go to court, he's tired of allegations.
GM. But he knows a lot, he knows a lot that was happening during his time.
POM. It will be interesting. He said that he practically told the investigators in the De Kock trial to come out and take a deposition from him, that he's tired of his name being bandied about and all kinds of allegations being made and nothing ever happening. He says no-one has ever come to see him, he says those allegations are two years old about his Deputy Commissioner. He says he was a staunch Zulu, he wasn't going to switch over to the ANC.
GM. Which doesn't mean anything.
POM. I know, but he said that.
GM. It doesn't mean anything.
POM. So for your children you see a bright future?
GM. Yes, brighter all the time. At least if I had doubts at any given time I don't have them now. I see meritocracy facing them. They just have to earn the jobs they are going to get in future.
POM. But there are very few jobs.
GM. There are very few jobs because of the restrictions that have happened over the years where there was no job creation and nobody had confidence in the economy of South Africa. Definitely sooner than later people will be investing money here and job creation methods will come into play. They have controlled inflation and they could drop it to about 4%, or even below that, and then certain incentives will come up and businesses again will start booming and unemployment will be down and crime will be down too because crime and unemployment are partners. If you work a 12-hour shift you don't have time to go and stab people around the corner. If you work a 12-hour shift because of pressure at work you are not going to stand around the corner and stab somebody. You will have your drink, you will have your meal, you go and sleep to prepare yourself for the job. And in most cases those people who actually commit crime or violence have got nothing to lose. If they have got a job to lose and the car that you have bought out of the money that you earn from that job and you're not going to go around stabbing people at random for no apparent reason.
POM. So you are basically happy?
GM. Very happy, yes.
POM. That's nice to hear.
GM. Very happy. We need a catalyst to get certain things to move faster than before but again, they need not be rushed just because somebody wants a brighter future instantly. Let them follow a process.
POM. But there's no doubt in your mind that when the Truth & Reconciliation Commission gets going that a lot of people, including F W de Klerk -
GM. They are going to take the flak, yes definitely. They are going to take the flak, they will be lined up, like the Nuremberg trials.
POM. If that doesn't happen will you be disappointed?
GM. I won't be disappointed because I don't care much about their exposure and their embarrassment, because most of the time it's their exposure and embarrassment. Alternatively you could find that certain kids would like to know what happened to their parents, what happened to their brothers.
POM. Should people, and I have talked to some of them, former ANC members who were tortured in the Quatro camps and were kept in animal-like conditions, should the people who ordered that to happen to them be made to confess?
GM. I don't think those have got to confess anything because you could find that most of those people who were in the Quatro camps were planted by the SAP, inside, most of them. It's not the genuine exile, it's not the genuine patriot that went out who were in that camp. And again, you find that we are in exile, you and I and ten other guys from Durban, but you find that the people on the outside, the South African Defence Force, the South African army, the SAP, knows our position yesterday and our thoughts about tomorrow. Where do they get it from? From one of us inside. And anybody who does look suspicious or who gives us cause to be suspicious, to get the truth out of him what do you do? Do you kiss him or give him biscuits? You torture him because he is selling you out. There are certain times when you actually know that so-and-so did that just because you have taken that fact and that fact together. You could be wrong.
POM. You were saying, Goodwill, that members of the ANC should not be held to account for anything, even if they ordered the assassination of people? Is murder in one context different than murder in a different context? If you are a member of a national liberation army fighting an oppressive regime and the only tool to fight that regime open to you is the use of violence and in the course of that struggle you target individuals and kill them in order to destroy the system, is there a difference between that and the state trying to maintain its power, saying what we're fighting are communists and we are the last bastion of western civilisation between the United States and Russia, with all the mineral resources that are required for the defence of the west and so we have to target individuals to kill them to prevent the spread of communism and the destruction of the state and takeover by communists?
GM. There were no communists in reality. Communists were just the figment of their imagination because they took Chief Albert Luthuli as a communist, who was a Christian. They took Bishop Tutu as a communist, and the definition of our statutory communist in South Africa who actually belies the definition of what a person is who is called a communist, anybody who was actually trying to tell them they are wrong was called a communist. And when we come back again to the Quatro people that if anybody kills anybody as an ANC member in the Quatro camps had a justification to do that, yes, he was actually protecting himself. Protecting himself because it was found that in their midst there were people who were selling them out and selling those people out and when they have been bought by whoever I have been sold to, it's instant death and this was self-preservation. Saying that I go out and kill so, if so-and-so is killed by the police it is not justified, but if he is killed by the ANC it's justified. No, death is death and death must be punished.
. But when you look at the Quatro camps and all that, those guys it was self-preservation because we have the guy in our midst and he is responsible for selling us out, he is the one who told the police that we are staying in room so-and-so in Harare, he is the one who said we are staying in room so-and-so in Tanganyika, he is giving signals to those people to come and destroy us. And to protect ourselves what do we do? We've got to shoot him. But in saying that if an ANC guy shoots an NP guy in the street he is more justified than an NP guy shooting an ANC guy, the two murders are just murders and they are equally the same. But in circumstances like the Quatro camp that we are talking about there were guys who were recruited into the ANC for the purposes of infiltration, for the purposes of destroying those people.
POM. During the apartheid years and particularly if you were in the west and you were hearing stories of what was going on, you were led to believe that the South African army was the most powerful and sophisticated army, and professional, on the continent. You were led to believe in the ruthlessness and efficiency of the South African police.
GM. That was true.
POM. And that they could sniff somebody coming from Tanzania from 1000 metres away and yet all these guys now seem incapable of catching a criminal.
GM. They are not. They don't have the motivation to do it. Hence you found that these murders in Natal you would go to the police station and report that I saw so-and-so killing so-and-so and they arrest you. That's what used to happen.
POM. And now?
GM. And now things are changing. And you find that all the sophistication they were telling the whole world about in their structures and the training they have undergone was just hogwash. The promotion was just because you are so-and-so's uncle, so-and-so's brother. That's it. It was not as sophisticated as all that.
POM. So they weren't very efficient?
GM. They can't find the real killers, they import somebody to come and show them the way how to do it. They are not as good as what they used to boast.
POM. Joe Matthews, I asked him this question, and he said that one of the impacts of sanctions was that police here were denied expertise and the kind of training and technology.
GM. Expertise. It's not true. Are they still boasting about it? They were still boasting about being the best in the continent, which is not true. Sanctions did a little bit in trying to say that you don't sell that expertise to these people, you don't sell that armament to them. It did, but again they were boasting beyond their capabilities. They were not capable of doing what they were telling the world they were capable of. The way they were annihilated by the Cubans in Cuito Cuanavale in Angola it actually told the story which actually changed the whole thing in southern Africa. When they discovered that Cuba can actually lynch them they way Cuba did, with the assistance of the Angolans, then the whole thing changed, they started negotiating in Namibia, they started allowing these guys to negotiate in Zimbabwe and Zambia. You remember? The whole process of democracy and toenadering, of coming close together and do the co-operation. It started at that time.
POM. It was P W Botha, maybe you told me, had to give Ian Smith the bad news that the game was up, it's time to go and talk.
GM. Yes, it's the time to go and talk and we're not going to be behind you. He just told Ian Smith we are not behind you and everybody says treachery, but it was actually self-preservation.
POM. Is he going to be named?
GM. Oh definitely, yes. Oh yes. They can't miss that one. Yes he is going to be named.
POM. Well, I think I will leave things there with you and come back again to see you and see how many people have been named. I should start keeping a list. It will be like a cricket score.
GM. Yes, it should be like a cricket score.
POM. Did the World Cup in rugby do a lot to bring the people together?
GM. Consolidate the people together? A lot, and, again, the going of Mandela to those people and his acceptance by the rugby people, the rugby people who hated blacks, they were the worst guys. In reality at university we used to get into buses and go as far as East London and Port Elizabeth just to boo South Africans in case they are playing against Australians, and cheer the Australians and cheer whoever is playing against South Africa. This has changed, I told my kids this is funny, to see my whole family cheering South Africa for the first time.
POM. That's change within a generation. Do they have an appreciation of what it was like in the past in your day, and everything now is so westernised in terms of culture and music groups and television and whatever that it's like you telling war stories and they say, "Oh God will he ever stop telling stories about the past or whatever?" Or do they have a real appreciation of where you come from?
GM. Yes they do. And you find that this generation of the 18 year olds and below they are still in that American era of Malcolm X. Some of them are quite extreme and more bitter about what happened to us when they were not there. Some of them are very, very bitter. I am sure you have walked down West Street and seen those guys with T-shirts written 'Malcolm X', and when you sit down with them it's not just that it's in fashion just because I'm wearing this, you find that some do believe in that black purity as preached by Malcolm X.
POM. When you look at the local elections in the rest of the country you see the Conservative Party got wiped out for all intents and purposes even though it has voted to keep itself in existence. But the PAC too did so poorly that one has to question its viability.
POM. But then it has a leader who is a non-leader.
GM. Definitely. The tail is wagging the dog. The tail is wagging the dog.
POM. Who is the person to watch there? Is there a person to watch?
GM. No there's nobody. State of flux, disorganised.
POM. And the Azanian People's Organisation is getting zanier by the moment.
GM. Again, they are going for destruction.
POM. A lot of people I've talked to this time have stressed that they see a realignment coming in the ANC at some point.
GM. The eagles and the doves.
POM. Or that COSATU and the more pragmatic ANC has got to come to some kind of -
GM. Compromise. Get together or parting of the ways.
POM. Parting of the ways.
GM. They won't.
POM. They won't? They will stick together?
GM. They will stick together, yes.
POM. Well if they stick together, if you're an outside economist or whatever, with no political bias in the world and you look at the economic structure here, forget why it is the way it is, but they will say you are a high wage economy and a low productivity economy and in an international market you simply can't compete and you've got to get your unit labour costs down.
GM. They are very down. By international standards.
POM. By international standards?
GM. No, no, we are very, very low, our wages.
POM. But compared to other developing countries?
GM. No. I thought you were saying internationally.
POM. No I mean if you take the level of wages here and compare it to the level of wages say in Poland, in Malaysia, Singapore.
GM. No, oh I see, I see.
POM. All the countries that are coming into the global market.
GM. But internationally, if you compare us to Belgium we are very, very low.
POM. Yes but people will be dumping goods here. I go to a flea market now and I find stuff made in -
POM. That's right, it's not made in South Africa.
GM. And cars made in Korea.
POM. Yes. So one of the things that is being said over and over again is that the level of wage increases must be restrained else you are not going to solve the problem of unemployment.
GM. No. Our economy has been very expensive and we have been very wasteful in our salaries when it comes to the managerial level. You could find that in one factory where there is a certain structure there is a labourer and artisan, supervisor and a manager. The discrepancy between these three levels is horrible. The manager earns R20,000, the artisan earns R5000, the labourer earns R600 per month, and you could find that about 60% of the earnings by people in South Africa are earned by 5% of the people.
POM. So you are saying that the problem is - ?
GM. Is there on top.
POM. Is that it is the distribution of earnings within companies rather than the fact that the guy at the bottom is being paid so little.
POM. OK Goodwill. That's it for this round.
GM. See you next time.
POM. Yes. Say hello to Mildred, I hope we see her the next time.