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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

23 Jun 1998: Holomisa, Bantu

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POM. Let me begin with a kind of a funny question and that is now that you are about to become the leader of a political party, are already a major political figure, do you still think of yourself as being General Bantu Holomisa or just as Mr Holomisa?

BH. No, I am still General Holomisa, I will remain General, that's my profession. Those people who wish to call me General will still be acceptable to do so. It's like, let's say, a professor in science, you are free to call him Mr or Mrs whereas and when you like it or call him Professor, but I am a soldier, that's my profession and I didn't leave the army unceremoniously nor was my rank stripped.

POM. Do you think when you campaign, do you think it better to campaign as Mr rather than General since the word General is associated with dictatorships and not with democracy?

BH. Especially in Africa! No I think the people here in SA wouldn't mind because when I travel around both black and white they still call me General. In fact other people were even suggesting that for the ballot paper they think I should wear my beret so that I can be distinguishable from other faces so that the old grannies who go to vote will say, yes that one, you must look for a beret and put your X next to that. But we cannot issue a decree or a circular to say as from now on Holomisa will not be called General. It would be unethical, if they want to call me like that they are free and fortunately General Holomisa is not associated with usurping power in order to enrich himself or having usurped power to execute in public like other Generals who are dictators have done in Africa. So I will leave it to the people. I am not even worried about that.

POM. I remember in 1992 we met you in the British Airways office in Johannesburg and you were on your way to the United Nations to make a presentation and you had said that President Mandela, even though he wasn't president then, had insisted that you go and you said that he referred to you as his favourite little General. Then in his speech which he gave at the 50th national conference he had this to say about you: -

. "The latest political grouping to join the miserable platoon of opponents of our movement is the United Democratic Movement of Bantu Holomisa and Roelf Meyer, former bedfellows and functionaries of the apartheid system and its security forces. Once more this grouping predicates its success not on any challenge to our policies, it hopes and prays for significant dissatisfaction among our supporters occasioned by any failure on our part to implement those policies. More vigorously than the Democratic Party it also seeks to convince some supporters of the National Party that the UDM offers a more credible non-racial political home than the National Party. Inevitably it will draw into its ranks some of the most backward and corrupt elements in our society which have no interest whatsoever in promoting the interests of the people. Thus the presence of leaders of criminal gangs at its founding conference was no accident. We also expect that some from this group will seek to promote its interests by resort to criminal violence against the people, especially members and supporters of the ANC and the rest of the democratic movement. At the same time efforts would be made to infiltrate agents of the UDM into the structures of our movement to destroy us from within and to gather information which would be used to try to discredit the movement. Furthermore elements of the third force will not hesitate to link up with members of the UDM to further a common counter-revolutionary agenda."

BH. That's the speech delivered by Mandela.

POM. By President Mandela at the 50th national congress of the ANC.

BH. I don't remember him linking us with the third force.

POM. It was a six hour speech. I have the whole thing here, what page is that?

BH. They never published it. Be that as it may, it's just cheap politicking on his part..

POM. But does it surprise you that somebody of his stature would resort to that?

BH. The speech was not written by him so Mbeki and others find an opportunity to use Mandela. Mandela was used to read the speech which he didn't draft. You know even after that they tried to do a damage control when apparently he was also attacking whites or something.

POM. He attacked everybody.

BH. Everybody. So the following week or month they have been trying to do damage control because the speech was written by people who wanted to say things but they don't have the clout to say so. This language has been said by Thabo Mbeki and even that of saying if whites don't want to toe the line they can leave, so we know where it originated from. So Madiba is going to retire, then it's going to be us and Mbeki to shape the future of this country so this thing is not important to us. Hence when we are asked for comment we just said to the media, oh well it's a pity that our President has been petty but we understand that he did not draft the speech himself. That's what I said.

POM. But would it disappoint you that he would use language like that?

BH. No, I care less, that's another thing, I care less about whether it comes from his heart or not. I care less. I'm busy formulating a new political party and if they show some panic or press panic buttons it's their own baby which means I am a force to be reckoned with. The fact that he can speak about UDM at that conference and also in front of the international media, which means he feels us, that we are there. Whether he tries to portray us as counter-revolutionaries is his own baby but we are not counter-revolutionaries. In fact we are doing far better than them in terms of this non-racialism. They have been known for years.

POM. But does it disappoint you in the sense that Mandela who respected you - ?

BH. No, no, I have already answered you. You don't want to buy that. He did not draft the speech.

POM. But he read it.

BH. But it's not coming from him. I am still giving him the benefit of the doubt. But if it was him I qualify it, I care less about that because we are going ahead. We dismiss what he was saying in other words. I am completely dismissing it because he is misinformed. That's in a nutshell, he is misinformed and today, six months after he has read his speech, I doubt if he can repeat the same thing because UDM is now 72% black, 16% white, 8% coloured, 4% Indian, while ANC is almost 96% black yet they claim to be non-racial and they claim to be batting on a wicket of non-racialism. We have proved and demonstrated to ourselves that we are doing our things peacefully.

POM. I asked this of Roelf too, when the elections occur, given where you are now and the official first national congress on Saturday, in the elections next year, May or whenever, what percentage of the vote do you think you need to get in order for the UDM to be seen as a breakthrough in the politics of South Africa and below what percentage would you regard it as being a setback, a severe setback, and that it would be seen as a severe setback?

BH. I think the UDM, given that they do not have resources, zero, the main enemy to UDM in not achieving perhaps their objectives for 1999 is time. We do not have time. You will recall that we were only launched eight months ago and so far the surveys are putting us around 5%. I will be satisfied, I would think we would have done well if we can have about 10%, 15% at the polls. A setback would be to get less than 5%. So if we can be in that category, in that period, between 10% and 15% I think that would be a good start for us having launched a party within 18 months and get 15%, that would be a big, big, big - but that would send a good signal to everybody and that would have a good foundation to start our party so that by the year 2004 we can seriously say we are challenging the party in power.

POM. Now what would the UDM in government do what the ANC in government is not doing, since you both stand for, broadly on a policy basis, the same things, crime, corruption, eliminating inequalities, redistribution of income, social inequities?

BH. Let me not lie to you, the experience I have in running a government is that until you get there and look at the assets and liabilities and then you can start promising the nation that this is what we are going to do, the size of the cake is as follows, therefore in line with the priorities we have identified during our manifesto that this is what we think we should do, or we are not going to implement priority X because there are no resources.  But if you are a party outside and start lying and promising you would be like ANC and NP when they campaigned. The most important thing as far as I am concerned, we will have to invest a lot in retaining or maintaining stability or bringing stability back to SA. That's point number one because whether you are talking about jobs - everything hinges on the perception whether your country is stable. The investors who are investing in SA today are only buying stocks and bonds, they are investing in that. Families in Europe, elsewhere, developed countries, they don't want to come and risk their lives and say we are going to send families to run factories. They say the climate is not all right now.

. So I think first of all is to bring the levels of crime to a zero if possible and the question is how. We will have to be honest to ourselves, the present government has itself to blame because they have been threatening to retrench police, civil servants, teachers, everybody, and they don't have a criteria as to how are they going to do that, no guidelines. Now that affects the productivity and the morale of your employees if you don't have policies to say this is how I am going to do it. As a result now the policemen and many other sectors of justice like Department of Justice it is common to hear that people are now looking for bucks and some policemen are involved in these criminal acts like the heists, the bank robberies and so on. That will have to be changed I am afraid and I don't think that the present government has got the will to do that because they are suffering from the old mentality to say, oh these policemen are old policemen, they are not for us, we will have to retrench them. But when you are chasing them away then bring your own policemen if you want to do so, but to train a policeman doesn't take six months or three months, he will have to understand that.

. In other words the UDM if it were to come into government, look at the stability and anything which affects that. We are talking, for instance, of developing enterprise of creating jobs but we are arguing strongly that if the law and order is not forming an integrated part of the policy to create jobs, to develop enterprise, to attract investors, then we must forget it. In other words even this so-called Job Summit which the government is calling it's not going to succeed because they are addressing it as a separate entity whereas if they were to say, all right, why are there no jobs, why are the factories closing, maybe you may find that as a result now we're back into the international arena, the competition is high. The people who are manufacturing goods are only going to go to countries where they are offered incentives and then if you don't offer incentives, you just rely that, oh, we have the President who is an international figure, it's good, they will roll the carpet when he comes to USA or Britain and say thank you and it was a pleasure to be with you, but you don't offer incentives, the crime rate is high in your country. So in other words we are talking about a holistic approach here.

POM. So if you as president were faced with a situation, it's generally acknowledged that between 50,000 and 100,000 public servants or state employees must be retrenched.

BH. About 55,000.

POM. Yes about 55,000. So you have the decision to make that we've got to retrench them and the public service unions come to you and say, well Mr President, you do that and we are going to paralyse the country, we are going to shut it down, no-one is going to work. At the moment not only have they threatened that but they have threatened that if they don't get the residual part of a pay increase, they are going to get an increase this year but it's going to be 2% less than what was originally promised three years ago in the pact they made with the government, so they are threatening a general strike. What would you say to them? How would you deal with the situation?

BH. One has to look at the circumstances of course which led to that, which would lead to that. In SA today the government introduced a macro-economic policy which was underpinned by structural adjustment as we see it in the IMF and World Bank. What they failed to do was to explain to the public, because South Africans have got a new culture, a culture of consultation and these developing policies, so if you want to retrench people it would have to be debated. You don't just come up with a schedule and say I am going to do this tomorrow. You would have to say that as a result of the economic constraints and problems the government is seriously considering resort to the following measures and you are calling for public debates in parliament. Why are you retrenching? If there is a need what would be the effect of that? Levels of poverty in SA are increasing almost daily and the government for years has been the institution which was combating or assisting in lowering the levels of poverty but simultaneously now big business is retrenching and the state is also retrenching and one would have to therefore have to come up with an evaluation of the situation before you take that action.

. In other words, if I was Mandela today I would demand that Public Service Commission must publish, together with the Finance and Department of Social Welfare, must come up with a study as to what would be the effect on the ground if we do this. But don't do a thing in order to please the World Bank and IMF somewhere. Here we are in Africa and here we have a history where the majority of South Africans who were not having anything and those who have were only the few clerks who were salaried by the state. Now without you having addressed the social ills you target the little area where the blacks were employed, then you are heading for the second revolution. It's as simple as that.

. So UDM, therefore, would  have to commission a study and we would come up with a body called, let's say, a round table on sustainable development. You have the government, you have the representative of the labour, the business, the unemployed, unions of the unemployed, we would have also more other sectors of the community and say we are here, we want to take South Africa there in so many years or in such and such a time. The route to that has got these pitfalls. The ANC has not done that. They just came out and said, oh fiscus control, fiscus discipline. We support that but one has to tread carefully when it comes to the question of SA. Fiscus control of what? Have you integrated your people into the economy mainstream? No, not yet. Now, therefore, before you implement that you will even have to have re-skilling, you have to do a re-skilling of your people.

. Today uMkhonto weSizwe, we must learn from what they have done, the ANC, they have retrenched people from the army or given them packages or demobilised them. One would have expected the ANC government to re-skill those troops so that when they go out with those small packages they can open their small businesses. But what is happening now, because they want to survive and they have got only one skill and that is the art of shooting, on a daily basis we read they have been arrested, armed robbery, heists on the highways, stealing cash and so on. I won't just walk blindly to say I am retrenching. Before I use that term, that language I must be convinced that the resources of the country are utilised effectively and to assist the development of the country. I am not going to be threatened by somebody saying somewhere, no, no, no, retrench this. I won't buy that. The retrenchment will be preceded by a survey and a study done by all role players because I know where I am from, the history of SA.

POM. Do you think some or a lot of the crime is in a sense political crime where the have-nots, those who have gained nothing, former MK members who have been left on the sidelines, are hitting back in the only way they can and that is if you don't get access to resources in a civil way you get access to them in a criminal way, or an uncivil way?

BH. Yes, drugs, selling drugs because they are saying we have nowhere to go, we thought the government which promised us will do this, will do that, seemingly is not doing that. You must also remember that we have a problem in SA. The ANC and its allies for years, and even including their manifestos, were painting a rosy picture how a socialist state would be and it was hardly a year when they were in power and they started to say we are deploying the comrades to key positions in business, yet before the elections they said we are going to dismantle the big five which are monopolising the economy. What we are seeing is the replacement of the chief executives of the big five by a few members of the ANC who on the weekend sit in the NEC of the ANC and in the rallies still say, "Forward with socialism, forward, down with capitalism." Then on Monday they are the captains of industry. They have become millionaires and this money was a result, one would have expected that anything which accrues there will be channelled back to the party or labour and that they name it deployment because they were deployed, but seemingly it's accruing to them.

. Now this 360° about-turn by the ANC and its allies has in actual fact left millions of the people stranded to say, oh the new password now is capitalism. The labour is also having their own - they take their money and safely invest it in provident funds and they form consortiums, they list on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, get in partnership with Pepsi Cola and Pepsi Cola went under within 12 or 18 months, they made million of the main workers' moneys. Then the workers themselves are still struggling to have access to the capital and nine out of ten times they are not consulted in these deals. They are saying now, the people would say OK it's fine, if that is the trend, that now is a result of this collapse of the Soviet Union and socialist tendencies, policies, it's fine, let's implement this capitalism because our bosses now are going that route although they are not telling us.  But it should not end only at the top for a few. It has to trickle down in order to avoid a further uprising. That is the challenge now.

. You see now UDM says the best thing is to have this enterprise development quickly, change the mind-set for the people, and it's not going to be easy because people have been taught this culture of entitlement and the culture of dependence. But now the ruling elite is talking about acceleration of privatisation of state assets. In that process people are retrenched and they take these assets or these businesses or assets, they allocate them to their allies or to their relatives. So if you are now known in the top echelon of the ANC, forget, you can't be given Venture or given a stake in SAA and so on. It's all right, that is it, but we are concerned about the rest of the population who will not be assisted. That's why we say, guys roll your sleeves up, the only thing we are promising you as UDM is to work hard. That's the only promise because the resources you were told, the wealth you -

POM. And you will work hard or that they must work hard?

BH. I mean the South Africans must work hard.

POM. I was saying to Roelf, I found an analogy between the performance of Bafana Bafana and South Africa, that (a) they barely scraped through to France but they go there full of arrogance and we're going to win everything. Then they lose the first game, they turn on the coach and say he's the third force, he's a Frenchman, he must be in collusion with the French. Then they say, well all the players, ten of the eleven players, play for European clubs, there's only one local boy, therefore it's not African, it's Euro-centric. Then they say, well the next game which we go out to play, we're not going to follow the coaches orders, we're going to play the way we want to play, break down of discipline. Then they say, well we've been away from home for a long time, it's been since 15th May. Some countries spend three years preparing for the World Cup and sacrifice and do that and there's no sense of -

BH. But that's why I say we have to change that mentality, work hard by South Africans because the lies you have been told that the wealth will be distributed, where is that wealth? That's what the people are asking. The situation is compounded, because we are back into the international arena so the globalisation is making things difficult for us. If you now go to a big company which used to assist in building clinics and classrooms, they will tell you that's fine, we have received your letter, we will assist, we will see how can we assist but we have to refer your letter of request to our headquarters in New York, in London, in Tokyo, because now we have merged with international company X. When the reply comes guess what it says? We regret to inform you that it is not the policy of this company to build classrooms and clinics, we view this as a responsibility of a government. However, the Board of Directors thank you very much for showing interest in our company. The so-called wealth we were told that it is in the hands of the whites or big conglomerates is no longer there, it's integrated already. So back to square one, it's go and work.

POM. The last time we talked you talked again about this kind of a Presidential Council and you used the phrase, that would be about the values, 'moral economics' was the phrase you used and I found that interesting reading Thabo Mbeki's speech in parliament in June where he called for a 'Moral Summit'. Now when you read his speech and where he says that (i) there has been no progress towards reconciliation, (ii) that the gap between the rich and the poor is increasing not decreasing, (iii) that we are still two nations divided by colour, (iv) that whites want to hang on to all their privileges and haven't given anything up, (v) where there is a new black elite that feels itself entitled to make a lot of money and give nothing back to the community, do you find yourself in agreement with most of the things?

BH. I think some of the things which he said are common but the question is, was he the right person to say that, because it's him or it's them as the ANC leadership who created this black elite? Now they say it is a greedy elite. It is them who deployed them. Cyril was deployed by the ANC. It's an insult to Cyril that now they are going to say he is a greedy man, because that's what they are saying. It's an insult. It's them who deployed them. It comes back to what I argued earlier that they told the people this, that they went out and do it the other way round. And the question of whites, which whites are you referring to? Because the big companies are monopolising the economy and they have deployed their people, ANC, in those boardrooms. Now they are leaving that crowd alone, it's safe, we are represented there. Now they want to target the small and medium and you find that that crowd is the one which is sweating, is the one which went to the bank and looked for a loan. All that you need to do is to sit on those people they have deployed, not confuse the public. That's why I say some of the issues are fine but they are raised by the wrong person, by the wrong movement.

POM. How do you think an Mbeki government will be different from a Mandela government and what role do you see the UDM playing in parliament?

BH. To be honest, may I be honest with you? President Mandela from day one has never been an executive president of this country because he is not a hands-on president. That responsibility was delegated to Thabo Mbeki. I don't see any changes much, what new things will he bring after Mandela has gone because he has been the captain of the ship. Madiba is only going out and meeting the public and so on but in terms of administration, chairman of cabinet and so on, Madiba doesn't sit in cabinet for a while, he's just there for a few minutes, but it's Thabo. The investors now cannot come into South Africa to invest in labour intensive related matters because they are waiting to see who is going to run the country. Is it going to be Mbeki or is it going to be COSATU and the SACP? So until he has addressed that then we can answer your question. I don't think today you can say who is in charge of this country. The economic policy of the ANC, the governing party, is being sabotaged by their own allies. They say you are not going to - we reject this, we are not going to implement this. So someone who is staying in Tokyo, do you think he can come here? We are not putting our act together. The style of rule between Mbeki and Mandela I think we can expect a little bit of dictatorship after Mandela has gone.

POM. You expect a little bit more dictatorship? From Mbeki?

BH. Mm, if you read this. That's what he wrote.

POM. When you sat on the NEC who ran the meetings?

BH. Meetings are checked by Chairman Zuma. Mbeki and Mandela will be there. It's just a talking shop, just talk, talk, talk, talk, thanks for coming guys. Noted and then the National Working Committee, that's the body which was taking major decisions, sometimes we'd have to go and endorse them. If Madiba was there, Thabo Mbeki was in that NWC, nobody from the NEC will say this decision must be changed because of sheer respect, but I am not sure when Thabo is alone if that respect will be there of Madiba. So people tended to look at Madiba, what is his position. I remember the death penalty, almost all of us were saying it must be brought back and then Madiba says no and we all took cover, don't push, don't push. Even in my expulsion a lot of NEC guys, my friends who are still there, they said we had to look at the old man what he is saying. So they kept quiet, nobody wanted to come out and say, no, Holomisa must not go, so everybody just kept still. So I say even in my case when I was expelled my colleagues came back after that and said, "You know, General, you are part of us, if Madiba doesn't say in contentious issues, he keeps quiet, then it's always difficult for us to take a different view from what the leaders close to Thabo and him say in a meeting." So that day is good, it's good now, I didn't know that I was faced with a mammoth task outside the ANC of building an alternative.

POM. What happened to the ANC?

BH. What do you mean?

POM. Here is an organisation that has existed from 1912, has pursued relentlessly for almost 80 years the goal of a free SA, that came in with very high moral standards and with probably the most respected international figure in the world as president of the country and yet something has happened.

BH. No, unfortunately they have said those things and they have said it to an audience which is highly politicised and that audience were keeping their fingers crossed to say, oh at least we hope we will not be like other African states where the period after uhuru is always characterised by a greed and compensation period or approach. Firstly you compensate the people who assisted you to power and in another five years you look at your famine and maybe if people are lucky they will start getting to know about the economy or about reaping the fruits in the tenth or fifteenth year. South Africans have said from the word go, no ways. That's why there is this high degree of dissatisfaction and the ANC will have to work 24 hours to change that perception about them, that they are greedy, that they are looting the assets of the state and that they don't care about protection of the lives of the people. So that moral high ground they occupied in 1994 I don't think they are occupying it now internationally. It's only one person who is still respected, that's Mandela only. After him we will just be like another developing world or third world with a third world president who will even struggle to get an appointment with people like Clinton and others, will have to wait for six months unlike Madiba. Madiba just picks up the phone, "Is that the office of President Clinton? Can I speak to him?" Madiba doesn't follow any protocol. I worked with him. He would just pick up the phone and call these presidents, all of them. He won't have to wait for an ambassador to come and draft a document that we are requesting to visit your country, or it might be that the President of South Africa called. It's not Madiba. We will miss him. I don't know, I'm not sure of Thabo, I don't know. I don't think he has that same clout.

POM. Could you talk a little about the Richmond situation?

BH. The Richmond situation, we must not be confused. The conflict there was started by the ANC expelling another member.

POM. That was Sifiso Nkabinde.

BH. Then the ANC itself was divided into two groups: ANC members who say the leadership was correct and the ANC members who say no we will die where Sifiso is going to die, we are fully behind him. But the conflict is between former ANC members and the current ANC members. We must not forget that, that there is the so-called conflict now between UDM. UDM is new, Sifiso was expelled long ago and that conflict is as a result of his expulsion, so that is why we always insist and say publicly that the ANC is misdirected to target the UDM. That conflict in Richmond was started by them.

POM. Do you think that there is as much competition particularly, I would say more particularly, in the Transkei where you are attracting a lot of support but which is also almost the home base of the ANC? Do you see any danger of the competition degenerating into violence?

BH. No, not there. You must also understand the culture of the Zulus, and they don't understand each other, it's common amongst them -

POM. Sorry, the culture of the - ?

BH. Zulu speaking. They resort to solving problems with fighting, they are warriors, it's history, it's there. But on the other side there was nobody who felt that they should pick up weapons in the Eastern Cape when I was expelled, instead people said let's start a new political party. You see? So you can't compare those cultures. It's a culture.

POM. The culture is quite different.

BH. Different. But as long as the ANC understands that it is them who started that chaos there.

POM. Do you find it, I won't say peculiar, but I remember when we came here first when the violence broke out every party we talked to, every black party we talked to, tended to blame it on the ANC and said the ANC is intolerant of political competition and you had this long war with the IFP.

BH. I think, if I may chip in there, unfortunately for the ANC whenever there is political violence either against PAC, NP, DP or whatever, if there have ever been clashes or intimidation, UDM, they are always a common denominator. Whenever there is political violence the name of the ANC will pitch up, so maybe those inferences and observations are deducted as a result of them pitching in every spot. It's up to them to change that perception. Nobody is going to defend them. But why in every corner? Why can't they come up and say for the first time, oh the violence was stopped or the clash was solved by the interference of the ANC? Why can't we read that in the papers, especially that they are a government party, custodians of the constitution, which means the violence has been their culture? That's how I could sum it up.

POM. You had said in The Sowetan, I think last week, and I am quoting from them so I don't know whether you said it or not, but it was that you accused ANC members in Richmond of taking a leaf from Deputy President Thabo Mbeki or party Deputy President Jacob Zuma's book, "He accused", they say referring to you, "the two leaders of having killed plus/minus 100 Africans in exile."

BH. No they misquoted me. What I said in the press conference in full view of other media when they were asking a question about, I think, Richmond, I was saying the ANC doesn't want to accept the results of the verdict of the court. I even said they are perhaps suffering from a kangaroo court mentality syndrome. Then I explained what I mean by a kangaroo court. I said Mbeki and Zuma went to the TRC and confirmed that the ANC executed nearly 100 people in exile and then I said they were using kangaroo court tactics to look at a person, you are a spy therefore you deserve to die. Then I was saying it's different now, they must swallow their pride and respect the verdict of an independent judiciary. That's what I said, I didn't mean that they killed people. So the tapes are there from other newspapers. The Sowetan is their paper, so if they were to threaten me to sue I will just simply refer them to other papers, witnesses. That's what I said and I stand by what I said.

POM. Just a final thing. In terms of organisation and strategy are you targeting specific areas of the country like the Eastern Cape, the North West?

BH. Not now. We target all the provinces, we target all communities. We can only evaluate that, say, around October, November, to say all right in January this is where we are going to put our resources. Right now since we are in the build-up to electing leadership, if we have done that we would have discouraged other provinces but now they all feel equal, they are working. You can evaluate that around October, November, December when you see that, right, we launch our policies on 24th June, what has been the impact in the last five months because people have been saying, what's your platform? What do you say to the death penalty? What do you say to that? We will say to the people this is what we are offering and people will say, yes or no, no, wait, we are still going to stick to the ANC and NP. Then it's only now you can evaluate after at least the policies have been known. It would have been a dangerous tactic for us to immediately concentrate only on a particular province without policies in case they say, no, no, we don't want your policies. Then you will even lose the place you had.

POM. This comes back to, looking at the country as a whole, to resources, financial backing?

BH. For our party? No we don't, we don't get a cent. Only small business and medium who help us to pay for telephones. It's very tough.

POM. Now under the constitution it provides for -

BH. Parties, only those who are in parliament, not our side.

POM. It doesn't provide for - ? Well that's one way to stifle opposition.

X. In the election it will happen?

BH. No, even in the elections.

X. Not yet.

BH. The Interim Electoral Act is barring parties which are outside parliament to get funds from the state for the elections. That's how the ANC is trying to tie the noose around them. In the rallies I always say, the NP funded the ANC in 1994 but today a party which some of us assisted to where it is, is refusing to fund us in order to nurture multi-party democracy in this country. Can you see how these hypocrites are behaving? It's politics.

POM. In retrospect are you glad that you got expelled from the ANC, that in the end they would have stifled you?

BH. No, no, I like ANC, I don't hate the ANC. I am not regretting for having helped the ANC, not an inch because at that stage everybody thought this is a movement which can take SA to somewhere, but unfortunately for them I think they started on a wrong note. I am outside the ANC now and I am satisfied with the role I am playing. Me, I am just a catalyst here, a pioneer. In some years to come maybe there will be people who will perfect it but at least historically my role will be recognised. Even our mission and our vision, it's not far from what the ANC is striving to achieve.

POM. What will be the difference?

BH. Implementation.

POM. When you say implementation?

BH. If, for instance, the ANC says issue a statement to say so-and-so and others have stolen government money and that's the end and they say they combat corruption, the UDM will see to it that the wrongdoers go to jail via our courts. It doesn't end there. If the ANC says we are going to retrench people or retrench teachers, their policy is to expel teachers. But if we say in the UDM we must upgrade the teachers of the Bantu education, we skill them in order to implement the Curriculum Year 2005 syllabus, it's a difference because that's not their fault, then you are bringing instructors from Cuba and all over the show and you neglect the human resources you have who know the conditions here. Instead you need to invest in their skills rather than relying on foreigners. So that's the difference between me and them.

POM. Your conference on Saturday, I'd like to attend that. Is that any problem?

BH. No you're not welcome, you're an American.

POM. I'm Irish.

BH. Irish, no. It was worse!

POM. You must stop at having the Springboks beat up on us so badly every time we play them.

BH. The problem here is all the Irish, their acts are not together, so you won't be welcome either in the conference!

POM. I see. Next time they beat us in the next test, beat us by 14 nothing, not 33 nothing. Know what I mean?

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.