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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

19 Jul 1990: Motlana, Nthato

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NM     We need to get rid of the old education system and replace it at any cost, the new idea is 'Education before Liberation'.  We have to convince young people of the importance of education. Mandela said, on one occasion recently, that the lack of discipline among young people was causing him sleepless nights.  Control of the young has always been lacking, But you just can't say 'go to school' and it happens. I don't believe that there is a generation of young people who know only protest. There is a core group of youngsters who are like this.  Ten pupils can be in complete control of a school. I don't know why.

     I saw Mandela three weeks before he was released.  He had been talking to the government since 1986. I think de Klerk's change of heart occurred because the Broederbond doesn't feel that it matters who rules in Pretoria.  They can control the situtation through business and the civil service.

     The ANC and SACP are two independent organisations who have developed an alliance with the common goal of getting rid of white minority dominance, They have a shared strategy, the armed struggle. The first people to die in the struggle were SACP members. The SACP is guided by the science of Marxism/Leninism which is a class-based ideology. The ANC is for the liberation of black people. The SACP has the perspective of socialism which the ANC doesn't have.

     There is a total lack of economic power among blacks. Some people have unrealistic expectations.  Mandela can not give people food and housing.  He can only give opportunities.  We must change people's minds.  Self help is important. Whites are as fascist as ever.

     I don't think the right wing will come to the negotiating table, Schlemmer last week published a poll saying young people were more conservative than their parents. De Klerk can't ask for an election of whites only.  He would have to put it to a non-racial referendum.  The US Embassy is telling Bush that de Klerk has no support; and Bush and Mandela want to save de Klerk, to give him something to hang onto. Mandela has the backing of the black community; de Klerk doesn't have it from the white community. The All Blacks rugby team would save de Klerk. The PAC are not that powerful. They are nationalists who broke away from the ANC because of white interference. They might come back now.

     All major actors in this process know they have to move fast.  This must be the last White Parliament.  We have 15 months - no more. The government is too timid or unable to control the right wing.  The right might get out of hand.  The government is not in control of the police. Alleged foot dragging by the ANC worries the government, There is no possibility of a split in the Liberation movement* - some blacks wanting to slow the process down to strengthen their negotiating position to get them all together.

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.