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This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, 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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

Notes 18 Jul 1990: Fismer, Chris

Chris Fismer, MP, NP - 18 July 1990 - Pretoria

De Klerk only interpreted what we in the caucus said should happen.

In the broad sense the government has conceded majority rule but there are so many constitutional concepts within one man one vote - some, like the Westminster system (may) not be acceptable.

We think we should abide by the results of a properly conducted negotiation process. We have ...

I moved away from a dogmatic definition of groups or racial lines. People are being defined by political ways of thinking. The constitution should give every one/party a way of participation.

Obstacles have to be removed for the PAC, they are an important party.

We don't believe in a Constituent Assembly. People representing various segments of South African society have the ability to put proposals on the table. We at some point have to go back to the white people. Others have to do the same things with their constituencies.

Things might develop in such a chaotic way that it may not be possible to have a table. If there is no consensus it will be chaotic. We in the NP believe it is important that we come to an agreement. We were elected by whites to do that. We must have the "convincing power." I think there might be interim phases or interim agreements - a Constituent Assembly might be part of an interim phase.

If there were an election today the CP could get a majority. By 1994 there must be a clear picture but I hope that before that we will be through this.

We are wrong to say a white homeland is not an option. But the base is in their (Conservative Party) court to get people to move there and to get other people to move out. It is not for the government to make this a realistic idea.

In the short term terrorist activity may be taken up by a small number of white people. But most white people won't accept it. In the last election the CP got fifty percent (?) of the Afrikaner vote. They also increased their vote among English speakers. The English have never been to the left of the government on racial issues. They have (accepted) the situation the way it is without saying it.

In Randburg the CP will not gain victory anyway. It would be a shock if they were to win it.

Whites are afraid of falling back to a third world country, This is related to the rise in criminal statistics, squatting on golf courses, the burning of vehicles on the street. They want assurances like secret police and international financial assistance.

I'm more concerned about what's going on between the ANC and COSATU. There's a power struggle in black politics. There is a lot of cold shouldering of Ramaphosa.

The major obstacle Mandela has is the expectation of what must be produced for blacks. We have to be successful at setting realistic expectations for the whole country.

With three to four years of what we (the Nats) are doing in the way of providing budget assistance for housing, there may not be a lot more that a black government could do.

There are ways of redistributing wealth through taxes and budgets.

The NP will become a non-racial party through alliances. There are a lot of possibilities. Natal and ANC; Nats and Inkatha. There are many unacceptable things in the ANC but I think they will be shed.

Mandela is fast becoming a human being. With the NP there's a lot of misunderstanding of Mandela and of why he says what he does. He has still not consolidated his power base in the country. White people have not come to terms with him. They see him as a criminal who has been released from jail and should be retired.

There's a strong consensus between the leadership of the NP and caucus, but we have moved so fast that we have left our constituency behind. We have to spend the next six months with our constituents.

We will start broad based negotiations next year. My concern is - will Buthelezi be there? Will the PAC be there? You will find blacks with so many excuses.

The major initiatives have to be taken by the NP. We have accepted the fact that we have majority support.

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. Return to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory site.