About this site

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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

31 Jul 1990: Mhlaba, Raymond

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POM     Raymond do you have an affiliation with any organisation?

RM     Yes, I'm member of the ANC and I'm also a member of the Communist Party. I'm no longer belonging to any trade union now although I used to take part.

POM     And you're no longer a member of the Communist Party?

RM     I'm still a member.

POM     You're still a member so I guess you would have been in the stadium last week.

RM     I was there.

POM     Let me start then on something that I don't ask people until the very end and that is how do you define a South African communist and how does a South African communist differ from a person who would be a member of the ANC? What would differentiate them?

RM     Well you will find that the blacks have dual membership, those of course are members of the Communist Party and the ANC having dual membership. Now the difference really between the Communist Party and the ANC is purely ideology. The ANC does not subscribe to socialism as the Communist Party does to scientific socialism. But what has happened is that from the early twenties up until now there has been this alliance between the Communist Party and the ANC. Now the alliance is based on the fact that both organisations want to liberate the black people in this country. The have accepted that the black people are the majority, they are oppressed economically and nationally. Now they're combined with this main aim of liberating the blacks. It means therefore that there are two stages in their programme. The first stage is liberation of the blacks. So that they shall have political right and run the country side by side with whites. That is their common objective. Now the Communist Party says then when we have achieved this we will still proceed to see to it that there is in the country the establishment of a democratic socialistic republic where we will practice socialism in a practical sense. Now basically that is the difference.

POM     At a time when communism has undergone such a period of severe disillusionment with all of Eastern Europe breaking down and in the Soviet Union, many, not many, all or most overseas investors would be very slow to invest in a South Africa that was still talking about scientific socialism. Yet most people say that if the economy of South Africa is to be fuelled by a high rate of growth which it will need to redistribute resources and raise income and create jobs, that the propagation of scientific socialism, of the party saying that, of the Communist Party, will retard or slow that or just stop it. What would you say in answer to that?

RM     Well, there has been a great shift from communism so far as economic policy is concerned. The present policy is one of mixed economy.

POM     That's the Communist Party's?

RM     The Communist Party's, they have come to that stage where we are now. They talk about a mixed economy. In South Africa here too, we also talk about mixed economy, as much as the ANC is also talking about mixed economy. Now you realise like in Namibia at one stage SWAPO was talking about a socialistic mode of production and so on. But when they were nearer their goals, that is nearer achieving independence, they realised that questions of nationalisation and other things are not popular, they will not be in their interest. So it meant therefore that they have accepted finally a mixed economy. Now you will recall, perhaps ask me the question, why, what is new about mixed economy because in a number of western countries ...

POM     All western countries.

RM     Yes, even in South Africa itself.

POM     Is a mixed economy.

RM     Yes, a mixed economy. What difference is that?

POM     Answer your own question.

RM     We are saying therefore that from the point of view of advocacy by communist socialist countries, as they are commonly called, of trying to centralise the question of conducting their economy, they are now want to liberalise, if can I used the expression, so that you have, so that it applies a great deal and perhaps with the agreement of people you also make use of the table and have control and they may be happy in terms of shares in certain industries.

POM     What I'm asking is how does that differ in any real way from what the ANC wants?

RM     It doesn't really, it does not. But what in fact is the difference? Within that context the communist would like to eliminate as far as possible the element of exploitation of men by men, you see, which you can do by legislation. Whether or not, as my study of course is concerned about capitalism, this element of exploitation of men by men has always been there. How are we going to get rid of it or refuse it? It would mean then that there must be some form of measure imposed to see to it that element is reduced so that, because when we discuss questions of distribution of wealth, how are we going to do it with the element of monopolies, exploitation of men by men?

POM     Let's talk about that very issue. From what we have been able to gather and I don't think it is a surprising conclusion, is that many white fears centre around what they believe will be a decline in their standard of living if there is a black government, a majority rule government. They would be seeking ways to protect their standard of living. Given the enormous imbalances between public expenditures of whites and public expenditures of blacks, given the horrendous housing problem, the lack of electricity and water and basic facilities in most of the townships, the soaring population rate, what measures can be taken to redistribute income so that it is a meaningful redistribution?

RM     You see, if I may touch on this point. South Africa is a unique country in the sense that the whites monopolised almost everything, political power, economic power, and literally have grabbed everything important, they are possessing almost everything with the disadvantage of the black man literally possessing nothing. Now we say that that wrong must be put right somehow which would mean, therefore, once we all agree that this monopoly, as a matter of fact this monopoly I'm talking about even examining the whites as a community, let alone we will find that within the white community a small percentage of whites are in fact monopolising the economy. You see, the rest of the whites really are not in the upper class. You will see some of them are not even in the middle class, there's a level, an economic structure we call third class, they are there. But the white man by law is so protected that he should enjoy certain things instead of the fact that you are just at the lowest level. He must enjoy certain things. Let alone the question of voting rights and so on.

     But it is always seen to be about the black man. We say that is not right. Land is owned, 87% is owned by the whites, 13% barren land is owned by blacks. Now we say all this we'll have to sit down, perhaps we'll have commissions to go into how can we put this wrong right. A number of whites agree but they are only disturbed by the fact that, in fact they say that we will just go overnight and just take over everything, the mines and everything. That, we have no intention of doing that. I'm not even talking about being an ANC man, let alone the Communist Party. Because the Communist Party is no longer really talking in terms of a certain type of mode of production where who is in the government will control that mode of production. They have abandoned that. They say that no, we must see to it that there's private ownership, that is what the mixed economy is all about. And now with privatisation coming into being, that is of course theorists, you will find that they are now trying to think in terms of privatisation. The monopoly companies are now being divided into small units, economic units. I am not as a black man in a position, if of course I've got money, to take shares and to have a say in that. I mean of these companies which are now cut up into small units, economic units.

POM     Would the Communist Party be in favour of employee stock ownership plans where the employees are given shares in the company?

RM     Well, I don't see how, if at all, the question of mixed economy, especially how the communists are getting. As a matter of fact it is a good thing that you put this question because the communist is proud of himself of being the vanguard of the working class. If the working class is going to benefit in the process I don't see why they can object to that system. They are claiming, although today they talk about we have no right to claim that we are in the vanguard of all of the working class, but they still, the Communist Party is the working class type of political party and they claim to be picketing for the interest of the workers. If the worker is going to benefit I don't see how the Communist Party can.

POM     Last February when De Klerk made his announcements of the initiative he was taking, were you surprised by the breadth of the announcements and what do you think motivated De Klerk to act so quickly?

RM     He was pressurised, if I may use the term, by the National Party, the financial institutions, internationally and governments and workers abroad and also pressurised by political activities by the blacks in South Africa, realising that this is a force which the government of South Africa has no power to stop. And the only way of extricating itself, that is the government, in the economic situation in the country, is just to extend the political rights to the blacks or to enter into that type of a process whereby finally the black man will exercise political rights in the country. And also to take part economically, so that there is economic growth. Because as long as there are certain laws in the country the question of economic growth will be retarded in the country. The black man has already shown he's part of the economic position of the black man, that it has power. Once then my income is more it means my purchasing power also increases. It means that I will be able to buy a car, furniture and so on, I will live in a big house, and that is in the interest of the employing class, or those who are producing the goods.

POM     So you think it is primarily the reasons of the economy that ...?

RM     It is the economy more than anything else that has fought to get ...

POM     So did you think that the white community is prepared to sacrifice or give up some of its political power, or even a lot of its political power as long as it can maintain it's economic power?

RM     Well, that is what they are planning to plan. But it seems that they are against the wall, unfortunately. Now De Klerk, let me use De Klerk's expression, he's addressing the whites, he says you have to choose between sharing with the blacks economic and political power, and revolution. You see he is saying so today, which is a fact. The white man has got to choose and this choice must be effected peacefully he says otherwise the blacks are ... And he says finally, I have chosen a peaceful way of doing it.

POM     But he is keeping himself in control of the process, right?

RM     He is trying to keep control of the process, there are actually forces, although they are still small at the present time, they are at least coming out to challenge him.

POM     Do you think that he has conceded on the issue of majority rule?

RM     Well, unfortunately if you consider that he is not quite clear on a number of things. He is still thinks, in his own way of thinking, that he can still protect the whites somehow, that is why he is very much concerned about minorities, no and so on and all that, minority rights and all this. In spite of that alright, there will be a bill of rights to protect the individual.

POM     Could you name some other areas where his unclearness of thinking comes through?

RM     Because of his background, because of this fear in the country by whites of the majority blacks. Because in the history of this country you will find that what the white man in the main fears is the numbers of the blacks, they think that once you extend political rights to the blacks the black man will automatically take over the political power and be the in majority and then where do go? That's how the whites feel. With all the assurances that the ANC is making that you will remain a citizen of the country, you will exercise your talents and so on, your fields, that will not be the debt, they have not yet (accepted) that guarantee.

POM     Among the people, black people that you call your acquaintances, friends, colleagues whatever, how do they evaluate De Klerk?

RM     Well, you see there is a problem there, it's hard to answer that question because you are asking me about blacks who have suffered for so many years, over three hundred, the history. They are no long trusting the assurances of the whites unless the whites know, as we say in a physical sense, not to use promises. If for instance, just to make a typical example, De Klerk is saying this afternoon all discriminating laws are done away with, the black man is going to exercise political rights. Then the black man will say, oh well, we will now believe him.

POM     So in the six months that have passed since February, other than the fact that you can announce you are member of the Communist Party and a member of the ANC and attend rallies of the ANC, what changes have there been that you could point to as evidence of progress to a negotiated settlement?

RM     Well, progress in the sense that we have enumerated a number of things that should be done away with before we can even get down to negotiate.

POM     These are?

RM     Well for instance the releasing of political prisoners.

POM     OK, yes.

RM     The government has in fact gone a long ways to meet this. There are still bad laws in the country which easily are still there then what De Klerk has done, in fact there are still laws for instance, you take for instance the question of communism, oppression of communism, we are of course speaking as communist now, advocating law the ends of the Communist Party. But the law is there. You can be charged in terms of the law that we have no right to spread those ideas in the country. I could be locked up. We are saying to do away with these laws because they are still there, a number of laws like this.

POM     How about things like the Group Areas Act, the Population Registration Act, the Land Act?

RM     They're still there.

POM     Do you think those Acts will have to be repealed before the ANC and the government can get down to meaningful negotiations?

RM     No, we are not going to be as (rigid) as all that. Because once we are satisfied there is what is in law called serious intention of doing a certain thing, in other words you say certain things which are on the way and say let us come together and discuss those things like the land question, Group Areas Act, are going to be discussed in the process of negotiation.

POM     What would you call signals of serious intention?

RM     Signals of serious intention, for instance, as I said the government has in fact met a number of our demands, there are only one or two demands which are outstanding. And one they are going to meet on the sixth, they say that all the demands and all the obstacles that you say are still there we are going to do away with then let us now prepare that which we shall invite all parties to a round table caucus and start now. Thinking in terms of how best we are going to formulate a progressive constitution for South Africans black and white.

POM     How do you see that process taking place? Do you see, you have the ANC and the government at the moment. Obviously other parties must be brought in. How are they brought in?

RM     Well there is a view, a very strong view that it has to be broadened, it must be broadened, let me make use of that expression, and we think that the only way which we are able to say that these parties have got a mandate, have got a constituency, we can also prove that by way of having an election. By the results of the elections we are in a position to say, well you are representing, say Inkatha for instance, ANC, PAC and this is the percentage of the vote and therefore you are qualified because you have got a constituency, you have to come in. That is the way of doing it.

POM     The government is insistent on one thing, they've been insistent on their determination not to have an election for a Constituent Assembly. They are saying that route is out.

RM     Well you see, the election for instance, our thinking, at the present moment I'm talking about, is an election which will qualify people to go and discuss in the round table conference, in discussing, how are we going to negotiate. Let alone the question of a Constituent Assembly. Then the ANC may say well we feel that in the final lesson we should have a Constituent Assembly. And we are willing to ask the government why is it that you are a party to Constituent Assembly in Namibia and here you are against it. What is this, that when you deal with South African sovereigns you seem to revolt against it, it is actually accepted that, for instance, one-person one-vote in South Africa here it has been practiced all these years, why is it now when the black man is going to be part of the process you object? Because the idea that the black man is not yet qualified in a number of things. That's in their mentality, that's what we call white mentality in South Africa. We have been accused of being given, that is another one, not educated. Our grandfathers sold cattle to see that their children are educated. Today the most religious people are the blacks, if I may use that bold statement. They are black, because we thought that by accepting all the things we are going to qualify.

POM     If the government say that's not on?

RM     Pardon.

POM     If the government says a Constituent Assembly isn't on, we won't go, what leverage does the ANC and the SACP have to put pressure on the government?

RM     Well, that is why we are saying that the measures which have been exercised by the international body and the people in South Africa, things like sanctions and other measures to put pressure on the government, should continue until such time we have reached the stage where there is no going back, the process is irreversible.

POM     At what point is the process irreversible?

RM     That is the big question. Now you are, for instance, bringing up the question of the Constituent Assembly. That is one advantage if we are over that effort perhaps we can declare the government can no longer go back.

POM     You know Nelson Mandela has said often that we must compromise, do you see the ANC and the SACP compromising on the issue of Constituent Assembly?

RM     I don't think so. But I am, you see in negotiations you win certain things and perhaps the other party might say rather than a Constituent Assembly here is something which is the same, let us make use of it. Then that will have to be considered. But that is as much as the question of nationalisation. We are saying that if they can come up with some form of theory which is practical, of course we will say that let us not talk about nationalisation. Nationalisation, what you intend deriving from nationalisation you can derive it, for instance, by (some other means). If then we can sit down and examine the practicalities of those things, if it is practical, if what I intend deriving from this theory can be derived by what you are saying, then we'll examine that.

POM     Taking a look again, the white population, what kind of threat is the Conservative Party? What kind of threat is the right wing? Is it a serious threat or just a passing phase?

RM     Well, a number of people are saying that these are not very powerful organs, or bodies or organisations. But if we take the history of the whites and what we used to call white mentality, we'll have to take them very seriously because in my opinion they have the ability and capacity to mobilise the national element and to be a nuisance. You take for instance the right wingers, they are arming themselves. They are training their followers militarily. Now any sensible person, a person with a five senses, will say if that man is doing this the final outcome of it will be action. You can't be organising weapons and weapons for no earthly reason. You intend to make use of those weapons. That is practical, that is the logical conclusion. And the question is, why does the government allow, the Nationals(?), publicly to train themselves militarily? The Conservatives of course, they claim, they says that whatever we do we are going to do it constitutionally. Lawful in other words. We are going to the government lawfully. At some stage of course there are times when they say we will use even force. It will be over our dead bodies. We still believe that if the government is sincere and brings the blacks on the side of the government then the government will be powerful. It means you must have a strong government convinced that we have come to the stage where the black man must share. And make that the possession and say with the blacks, we, all of us, will not part from this. The ANC will call upon the blacks to work with the government. And I just don't see any chances then of the racial whites winning.

POM     Do you think if an election were held now that the Conservative Party would emerge with a majority?

RM     I think they will increase their majority. But I think they will increase their majority but, the conservatives ...

POM     They will increase their numbers?

RM     They will increase their numbers, but whether or not those numbers will mean in effect taking over, that I'm not sure of. But definitely the whites, there are quite a substantial number of whites who still believe that a change in the benefits of the blacks is not in their favour. And it would mean that a number of whites will follow the policy by the conservatives.

POM     When you at the look at the two sides to this and you look at Mandela, what are the greatest obstacles or potential road blocks that stand in his way of holding the black community with him?

RM     Well with the legalising of the ANC, in other words the unbanning of the ANC and the legalising of the existence of the Communist Party, I think that there we are at an advantage, we are able to go to De Klerk and address them and educate them and give direction. Insofar as I have assessed the situation, the ANC is quite popular and of course you have small of organisations, Inkatha, AZAPO, PAC and so on. From what I have gathered in the practical sense we have public meetings in fact on one day, calling upon the people to go and assembly in certain places we will address them. We have seen where the PAC has organised a meeting, the ANC, Inkatha, and so on, on the basis of that, say well, this is the support, the ANC support, this is the support that Inkatha has got so far. You see that, of course, to make a firm analysis on that basis, because at the meeting the sound can deceive people. You have to rely on the membership and it is only from the second of February up until now that we have a chance of organising the people in terms of having membership, you of course rely on what you have, your officers and so on.

POM     But do you know what I mean when I talk about potential obstacles? Must Mandela be able to produce change at a certain rate?

RM     No, Mandela is not in a position to produce change at this stage.

POM     Will young people become ...?

RM     You mean won over?

POM     No, on the way there, negotiating. I mean Mandela, let's say a year from now the Group Areas Act is still enforced, the Population Registration Act, and people are saying, what's happening here, nothing is happening. And what if young people start saying, Mandela talks too much about compromise and he sold out. What kind of things must he watch out for in order to keep his constituency?

RM     Well, in carrying your constituency you have to be in touch with your constituency. You see what I was trying to emphasise, the very fact that we are able to go to our constituency and talk to our constituency, we have to explain that the reason why we have entered this new terrain, that is negotiations, it's because of A, B, C, and D. These are going to be the results. As a matter of fact I've been arguing the other day to some at a meeting and say that in this new terrain, negotiations we call it, if all goes well, that's why we understand that it's not a genuine negotiation, if all goes well the final outcome will be that the black man will have seized political power in a peaceful way. Because the seizure of power, some people overemphasise being through the barrel of the gun. I think now, I'm arguing to say that through this process and having this new terrain known as negotiation, if the government because the ANC, if the two parties are both still there and they conduct themselves the final outcome of this will be the peaceful seizure of power by the blacks in South Africa.

POM     It must be a lot more difficult to see economic power.

RM     Well, after all the Nationalist Party itself initially said no because we can't. It had created it through legislation, through giving chances to the Afrikaner people.

POM     Do you see the government, De Klerk, making an attempt to try to protect the economic interests of whites and the economic structures and the capitalistic structure in the country by trying to have provisions relating specifically to economic structures written into the constitution?

RM     You see, let us perhaps view it this way, that economic laws have their own costs. If the government, as it has done before, in spite of the fact the economic laws have got their own costs, the government made laws, apartheid laws, and economic laws, said that we have to go, this is not obstacle, apartheid is an obstacle. That's why people are talking about economic growth, there is no economic growth in South Africa, it's is because of apartheid. Economist say do away with apartheid then there is economy growth. Also side by side with that type of argument we say, as long as the black man is economically deprived there will not be economic growth in South Africa. And actually accepted this. [They are thinking, let the black man economic ...]

POM     That's fine but could you see a situation where De Klerk would be seeking to have provisions inserted in the constitution that would restrict nationalisation to certain areas, that would protect property rights, or would do things like that?

RM     No, I don't perceive, because really in this process as I say, De Klerk will come to a stage where he hasn't got that type of power.

POM     The point where it becomes irreversible, majority rule is on its way, no matter what.

RM     Exactly, at that stage he cannot dictate policy. People's, we call it people's government because all South Africans black and white will be taking part and naturally the aim is, that is why we say it, we want a democratic, a non-racial united society.

POM     If De Klerk came to Mandela and said, Listen Nelson I'm having real trouble with my community, if I start making change at any greater a pace, if I start abolishing this or doing that, there's a real threat of a backlash against me that would topple me from power. I'd be gone and a much more conservative person in my party taking over, or the swing will be very heavily to the right. What do you think Mandela should say to him?

RM     Well, this is what the government is telling Mandela presently. They're saying that we have embarked on this road, look at the risks that we have taken. People are already running away from our party. But there is no way, this is the only road, that's the government saying so, and Mandela saying that is correct. We are trapped, there is no way, we have to go this road. The resistance against you, that you are experiencing presently, you will have to challenge, let us challenge, all of us. In the final analysis we are also doing this in the interest of all the people even those who are opposing you. It is in the interest of what we are doing. Let us do it. It is our duty to do it. That is Mandela's attitude. And also it is the attitude of De Klerk. That is why De Klerk said to his own constituency, that you have to chose. And he said, I have chosen this road. If you are choosing revolution, it is your business, I don't want revolution. I have chosen this road. But if you insist that you are going to hold to power, economical and political, then in the final analysis you have chosen a road which is leading to revolution. I'm not for that road. He says all those things. That is why I am saying that it is and if I may use that language in South Africa.

POM     In America they say they're caught between a rock and a hard place. What about your assessment of Mandela since he's been released from prison, has he lived up to your expectations, are there areas where he disappointed you?

RM     No, not at all. You see he is doing very well, by the way, up until now, he is doing very well. And taken abroad. I was worried. Let me tell you that much when he decided that he was going abroad after De Klerk, because I thought De Klerk had taken the cake, you see. But when Nelson went over, that's Mandela, and put his test to Europe and America then the results have been success. And the people in South Africa, that's in the main the blacks, are very happy about that.

POM     Would you fault him in any way?

RM     No, not at all.

POM     How about De Klerk?

RM     De Klerk I don't know him as an individual but De Klerk has in fact been brave in taking the road he has taken. And on that issue we regard him up until now as a man of integrity. We are just hoping that he must not develop cold feet in the process. He must be bold and firm and complete on the process.

POM     What about the violence in Natal? Is that a stumbling block in the way of negotiations? What's your reading of the situation there?

RM     Well the Natal situation, I'm relying on reports from those who seem to know the situation in Natal, I haven't been there, but it is an unfortunate situation, a bad situation. And from people who know, there are a number of factors involved, there's a number of characters which are involved in the situation. It appears, for instance, that the police, that is the government police, are aiding Inkatha. And Gatsha himself having all his own police force there, the Zulu police, are also aiding Inkatha. And the ANC is to reduce the strength of the ANC by killing our own people, that is our conclusion. And in fact, I'm from Johannesburg, I came last night, I usually go and stay with Mandela, this time I go, I take the opportunity of having chances late in the evening or at night, to have background discussions with him. But I have also attended reports that they have given in organised groups, now within our own structures and also inviting people outside the ANC to come and listen. Now he, I'm now telling you his interview with the government, everything that he has spoken direct with De Klerk. Now he says to De Klerk, how is it that you have got a very modern and efficient police force, you have got a very modern efficient army, you have not suppressed the violence in Natal? Why? De Klerk comes back, he will say, well I'll go into the matter and the next time they meet he says I'll send so many police in Natal. But the violence is getting worse. There are people on the fields who says that certain things happen on such things, the police were there, they have not intervened. Now how do we, and our people who are receiving the reports, from our constituents, from our structures in Natal, how, what can we do, we have got that type of situation?

POM     In your view Mandela believes that the government itself could bring this violence to an end?

RM     Not only the government has got the ability to bring the violence to an end in Natal. But why is it that it is just not doing so? That is the question he put to the President. And they have met this morning, and they will meet in next week. I don't know the results. He told me that he was going there at seven o'clock. I left there yesterday afternoon he said he was going there this morning seven o'clock to Pretoria.

POM     How does he see his strategy working?

RM     Which strategy?

POM     Mandela himself, see his strategy working? Has he a strategy in his mind where he sees how each piece of the puzzle fits into the next piece?

RM     Well the suggestion is that here is a government which is in power, it has a duty to perform. And one of the duties of the government is to see that the violence comes to an end. It has got the clout. It has got the ability to do so. Why is it not that it is exercising?

POM     Take one thing for example, we have had people in some other movements, PAC, AZAPO, BCM, complain bitterly that they have been left out of the process and the ANC ...

RM     Now, well, that has been, there have been guarantees that they are not left out. The very fact that initially we have these two parties coming together to pave the way, does not mean that the other people are suppressed. Mandela has made a public announcement to say that we are going to embrace all the people. But we would like, that is of course my interpretation, we would like to see that in fact these people represent constituencies. They are mandated when they finally go there. The process of approval is to have an election, in my opinion, have an election before they go there so that they can say that there's a percentage.

POM     At least some of the people too have said to us that if you did have an election tomorrow morning with a black elected government, that it simply wouldn't have the expertise or the experience to run a government and that the way forward, they would suggest, is that there has to be a period of power sharing that would be maybe the National Party and maybe the ANC jointly running the government for a period until black Cabinet secretaries and ministers and higher civil servants get the experience that they need to run a complex government. What would you make of that suggestion?

RM     You see the people who are arguing like that are people who still belong to certain groups. They don't want to have South Africans, they are still thinking in terms that we are white and so on. We are saying that we are all South Africans. It's not going to be a black government as such. But let me first thing say that we are in the majority numbers, you will find even if there the numbers of those people who are killed or casualties, are in a number of cases the blacks because of the numbers. And here in democratic elections you will find that the numbers will save us because we are in the majority, but we say that, don't fear us, because we are no longer thinking in terms of colours, we are all human beings, we are all South Africans.

     Now, let me now finally come to this point that it is true that on the continent of Africa where the whites were colonialist, that the blacks had no skills, that is a fact, a historical fact, same thing in South Africa. And that was done deliberately, deliberately, it was done deliberately by the British, Afrikaner, French or what have you, Spanish and all that, it was deliberately done. The black man was cultivated only to be able to say bring a spade to work in the garden, to do only that. You can go through Tanzania and so on, that is the purpose. Now it does not mean therefore that the black man is going to fold his arms, I think when you take South Africa for instance , the white government, its intentions were to see to it that the black man is in disarray, you get him deliberately. That's why there have been riots in 1976 and so on. That's deliberate. Which means therefore that in Namibia they have taken over, not that they've got skilled people, nothing, we still have to go through that process too. Now in as much as we say that we acknowledge the skills that the whites have, we are going to make use of that, connectively. So there shouldn't really be any problem, engineering, economics, the works, in the normal way. The changes are coming of course in terms that the black man will now take part in making laws side by side with the whites. That's all, that's it. That shouldn't be a problem. But it will be a problem when the white says I'm going to fix you black man, you haven't got skills, and so on. Their intention is not to build, it is to destroy. That is an unfortunate thing.

POM     That's the end of the road.

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.