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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

02 Aug 1990: Delport, Tertius

Click here for more information on the Interviewee

Click here for Overview of the year

POM     We're talking with Tertius Delport on the 2nd of August in Cape Town. Tertius, what is the full title of the position you hold?

TD     Deputy to the Minister of Provincial Affairs. And my ministry is the Ministry for Planning and Provincial Affairs. So he's got a Deputy for Planning and a Deputy for Provincial Affairs.

POM     You had said at breakfast that you would not have stood for election again if PW Botha had been in charge or if his policies were still being followed. Could you explain that a little bit?

TD     Yes. I was part of the 1987 'class', so to speak, and we formed, at that point in time, the newcomers formed one-third of the caucus of the National Party. So, the party caucus was, to a certain extent, rejuvenated in19'87. And I would like to describe the newcomers, many of us weren't at that point in time really young anymore, but we formed a younger generation of politicians who were more concerned with getting to grips with our real problems and the very serious situation that we found ourselves in, the country as a whole, and we had the, shall we say, funny feeling that we weren't really under Mr. Botha, for whom I had the greatest of respect for what he did when he came into power and the new initiatives he took, but, to a certain extent, those initiatives stagnated and we needed a new driver, new doors to be opened, and we felt that was not forthcoming.

POM     Was there a debate going on within the National Party itself at this point as to what was the proper way forward or what new initiatives would be?

TD     At that point ...

POM     In 1987, well, from 1987 onwards?

TD     Yes, there was a lot of talk. We debated it but not formally. The party was never really involved in formal talks. It was very much left to the President to take the initiatives. And we felt, maybe we were wrong, maybe we were just a bunch of starry-eyed idealists at that point in time, I don't know, but we were pressing forward and we felt frustrated because we felt that we needed something more dynamic than the policy allowed for at that stage.

POM     When de Klerk did move, did the rapidity and scope of his move surprise you? And what do you think motivated him to move so broadly? He was considered to be the conservative candidate to replace the leader of the party.

TD     Number one, he is a man of exceptional intellect. Number two, he is a realist, some would say a pragmatist, I prefer him as a realist, and I think he caught the mood of not only the difficulties of what I ought to describe -, I don't want to say the "upper-crust" or "upper class" or the "intellectuals" or "amongst the Afrikaners", but let's say he caught the mood. He was very much aware of the mood of, for want of a better word, the "thinking" part of the Afrikaners.

POM     Sorry, the which part?

PK     Thinking.

POM     Thinking part.

TD     I'm just using that word, I don't know exactly what word I can describe without sort of distancing myself or referring to myself as part of a sort of upper class.

PK     Intellectual.

TD     That's not what I want to do. But anyone in business, academics at universities, everywhere, you find it, even, on the farm where an ordinary farmer was prepared to sit down and think seriously about the future of our country. There was a growing concern that now we want action. And then Mr. de Klerk has the intellect that he has, he has the ...

POM     Well, was that growing concern coming out of a realisation that the impression simply wasn't working, that the situation was getting more out of hand rather than more in control, or that the economy was slowly sliding into perhaps an irreversible downward shift?

TD     It was a number of factors. Now, whenever I address people in my constituency or elsewhere I point to four factors. One was the international isolation. And I didn't like it. I want to be accepted elsewhere in the world. I want to be part of the world. The second was the economic integration in South Africa. We dreamt for decades of a South Africa that is, in fact, a nine in one country or a ten in one country. Ten South Africas. As I always say when the very first Voortrekkers, the old trekkers, when the first one that employed a non-white, I don't know whether there's an English word for the one that leads the span of oxen, the moment he employed a non-white to do that work, the economic integration of South Africa started. So, that'd be your second. The third one, I would say, was the - what is the third one? I'll come to the fourth one while I, you know, reflect just now on the third. The fourth one was an ethical problem because we have always said, and I was told by the older generation that in terms of apartheid, you don't take anything for yourself, that you do not wish anything that you cannot give the others, you know? We and the others. So, we realised that there is no moral basis for apartheid. Because we cannot give everything. We simply don't have enough ground and land and resources and what have you to give everyone what we have ourselves so we must share. And we must also share in terms of political power in the country. So, it was a number of factors.

POM     On that question of political power, how far has de Klerk's thinking evolved since the campaign election of September of last year when the National Party talked of the universal franchise, but not really saying whether it would be a separate register or not a separate register, and talking about the need to protect group rights? Between that period and now has there been an acceptance by the government of one-man, one-vote, one register majority rule?

TD     Yes and no. I think, yes, we accept that we must have a common register. On that, you're not going - may I just clear up one point? You are not now going to publish your ...

POM     No, that's not until - I'm doing this every year until this whole thing is over. So, I could be back here ten years from now. We'll still be talking about the same questions.

PK     You said, "Yes, we've accepted our role". If we still don't have one ten years from now?

TD     All right. Because I don't want - simply because what I, if I go public on what I say now, it may jeopardize a number of things.

POM     Of course. Sure.

TD     I think we've accepted a common register will be an essential feature of a future constitution. But it must be structured in such a way that it will ensure, (a) a multiparty situation in South Africa. In that respect, I think we are in direct opposition to the ANC in the sense that they, I am quite clear in my mind that they want a one-party, ANC dominated South Africa, (b) minority protection. My personal view is that if you have a Bill of Rights and you ensure minority rights then, if you have a Bill of Rights, the only thing you can add to that is to make use of political structures to ensure some form of group rights. To give an example, I, personally, am very much in favour of the bicameral system, with a one-man, one-vote on proportional representation in the first chamber. And I'm in favour of a second chamber, and I know this will have to be a political deal that we'll have to do to achieve what I would call a House of Minorities. In other words, that your minority political parties in the broadest structure of government be allocated a dominant role in a second chamber. Because I am very much impressed by the stabilising effect of the American situation. Without building it into the structure it has worked out that you often, more often there than not, get a President from one party or a Senate and a Congress in which different parties are in power. Now, I think that will be the South African situation. It will ensure some form of a balance and we are going to be desperate for a balance, that neither one group or party can grab all the power. Because then we go in one way and that's the African way.

PK     Is it inappropriate, though, to suggest, to try to interpret from de Klerk's recent statements, as his having moved away from the definition of group based on race?

TD     Yes, sure.

PK     That's right.

TD     Yes, sure, absolutely.

PK     So, you're not suggesting in this second chamber that it would be necessarily racial groups?

TD     No. As far as I see the situation we must get away from that type. We must look at normal [... you know, you got, I didn't want to go into...] What one could do in a separate chamber, if that's acceptable, is to allow for other groups to have representation. For instance, one could say the trade unions are a definite factor in this country. They must be represented. We give them five senators. Agriculture is a core industry. That would be another way.

POM     So, it would be interest groups rather?

TD     Interest groups. One could maybe give cultural representation, language representation, five Senators for the Afrikaans, five for the Xhosa, five for the Zulu speakers. I'm open. I mean, I've got no quarrel with that. In fact, if we do it this way, one could maybe find some legitimacy for your constitution in the sense that people would rather feel over-represented than under-represented. I have a direct representative, and as a farmer I am represented, and as speaking Afrikaans I am represented, that would be another way to go. But, I think the main thing is, we need protection of minorities in terms of, and not more than that, in terms of a political balance. A balance that will ensure that we do not get to a one-party domination.

POM     Is this the reason why the government is so strongly opposed to an election for a Constituent Assembly?

TD     I think so.

POM     Even a Constituent Assembly that would be elected along proportional representation lines?

TD     Because proportional representation alone will not guard against - the majority will still have absolute power.

POM     Do you see this, at this point anyway, as one thing which, from the government's point of view, will almost be non-negotiable?

TD     Yes. Yes. And I say that because the President has said that we are not prepared to hand over the government to - now, I'm not exactly sure what his words were, but it boils down to, as I know there was exception to it, he didn't use it, Dr. Viljoen used the expression, and therefore, I don't want to ascribe it to the President, to "an unsophisticated majority". I know there was offence taken to the expression. But what he meant was, to people not used to political power and without the expertise of running a country.

POM     But without a Constituent Assembly, without some way to measure the level of support for different political entities, whether it's the ANC or the Conservative Party, how can you structure a negotiating table so that the people who sit at that table are representative in some proportional way to their constituencies in the population?

TD     I don't want to comment.

POM     Oh, come on.

TD     We're going to do it. And I think we can do it.

POM     Give me maybe a couple of ways in which you think it might be done.

TD     You could phase in a new constitution, for example. I gave some time ago, I gave, and I think it was a German correspondent ...

POM     Sorry, a German correspondent?

TD     Correspondent. I said, how about introducing the first chamber, and for a fixed period, use the present system, the present bicameral system, merging it into a second chamber until such time as you agree on how you are going to structure the second chamber. That would allow the old South Africa and the new South Africa to be joined without stopping the train.

POM     But if adding on ...?

TD     And that will be on a proportional representation basis, so you will know exactly. But you won't have a Constituent Assembly. You would simply start phasing in a constitution. And then within that framework the debate on what adjustments should be made could take place. That would be one example, maybe not the best one I can give you, but that is one example.

POM     Well, how do you envisage the process unfolding? We're now at a level where one hopes that after the talks between the ANC and the government next week, the obstacles are, for all practical purposes, out of the way. What steps do you see then being taken to take this process forward?

TD     Change the constitution to allow for exactly what I've now said, or something like that.

POM     Yes, but you've got the ANC and the government. What about the Conservative Party, the Labour Party, the PAC, the Black Consciousness Movement?

TD     We come up with a solution or an offer that is so reasonable that nobody in his right mind would reject it. Then there is no need for a lot of talks. That's how I see it.

POM     OK. So you would see this essentially as a process between the government and the ANC?

TD     It is just very much easier to clear, or to get a positive reaction to a positive offer or a positive solution, from our side, from Inkatha and many other organisations. It is going to be more difficult to get it from the ANC. But personally, I think the initiative must come from the government.

POM     Well, this leads me to another question. The government here is playing two roles. The government is a government ...

TD     Yes, yes.

POM     - and the government is also a party to negotiations. And as a party to negotiations, it should be, those negotiations should be on a level playing field.

TD     Why?

POM     Because ...

TD     We're the government.

POM     Well ...

TD     We're not an illegal government. We are here as a result of a historical fact. We are the de facto and de jure government. And whatever is going to happen will be because we say so. You don't like that?

POM     Well, I don't know whether I like it!

PK     There have been some senior people in various departments in the civil service who have suggested that there is a difference in basically practical terms, not theoretical terms, that the government will be run by the civil service government. The politicians who now make up the government in ministries are National Party people and they will sit and negotiate at the table. President de Klerk will wear both hats, as head of government and head of the National Party. I think, not theoretical, it sounds like an interesting theoretical exercise in public administration by public administrators who want to take power.

TD     I'm not protesting that.

PK     OK. Because we've heard several people describe this system, but not able to see how one could divorce somebody like yourself from your ministry and the responsibility that you have assumed.

TD     Well, I think you have to take the initiative, will swim or sink. We'll have to come up with a solution because there hasn't been any solution forthcoming from any quarters except maybe Inkatha where in the Natal initiative, there was the Indaba. [That was something that ...] What is the blueprint of the ANC? [They haven't, they've got some...] They haven't got, in real terms, come up with any suggestion of exactly how they want to, what they want, except to say that they want one-man, one-vote, and that I would say confers absolute power. But I don't, I don't think, I'm quite happy that we can win an election on the acceptability, or a referendum, rather, on the acceptability of proposals that we could in the future adopt or put on the table.

POM     On that question, de Klerk and the National Party gave a promise that any proposed new constitutional dispensation would be taken back to the white electorate for approval. Do you think he will keep that promise?

TD     He would have to.

POM     But, does that not, in essence give the ... You could put forth a set of proposals that would be absolutely endorsed by the majority of Blacks, Coloureds, and Indians, and you're suggesting that the white population would still exercise a veto power.

TD     No. That would simply mean that the whites, should they reject it, we haven't said that they were the only ones that would want to take part in a referendum. But, of course, you will have to count what I've said with, because that was the physical part of the... , I don't think the whites will reject it so I don't think it's a - they won't reject a reasonable solution.

POM     How long do you say - you said this has to move quickly. How long do you think the process itself has?

TD     If we take the normal process of starting with a blank carte blanche and then try to work out years and years, then we haven't got the time. The country will be in flames and who knows? If we sit around the table and discuss, "How we are going to, and what we are going to" on the flames, that sort of rules out a long, drawn-out process of negotiations.

POM     Do you see it as having to be completed by the time of the next election?

TD     That's too late.

POM     That is too late. How would you assess - just on that question of your talking about the violence that ...?

TD     Might I just come back to that? I don't say that we must have a final constitution, but at least an implemented new constitution, even if it's partly implemented. But we must have a non-racial, the basic elements of a non-racial democracy in place in the foreseeable future.

POM     What about the threat from the right, the apparent swing of support to the Conservative Party? Is this something that could have been expected?

TD     Yes.

POM     And that when white fears are mollified, the support will diminish?

TD     This is like what Robert Mugabe is experiencing. He's trying to move to the free enterprise system and what are the first effects that his people experience? Rising prices. So, they see the bad face of the free enterprise system, that's the first thing they see. What were the first signs of reform that our people, the white people saw? All sorts of boycotts and marches and toyi-toying in the streets, and violence in Natal. They don't like it. They are asking, are these the people we want to work with in a government? Do you want people that condone necklacing and act in vicious ways and barbaric ways? Do you want to sit with them in government? Are they your friends? So, the reaction was expected.

POM     Is the government worried about their reaction? Are they looking over their shoulders or can they get to the point of looking over their shoulders?

TD     No. No. Unfortunately, we have to take the risk while we can to obstruct the CP as a political force. You see, the CP, its whole existence is based on opposition to reform. So, the sooner you get reform absolutely and irreversibly, the sooner you get the new constitution. Then they become absolutely, what is the word I want? they are irrelevant.

POM     Some people we've talked to have talked in terms of there being a point of irreversibility. Some say that hasn't yet happened, that, in fact, the structures of apartheid, some have not been yet dismantled.

TD     Yes, in our minds, yes. But I think, should, now, a CP government, if a CP government comes into power now, they still could reverse the process. Not without bloodshed, but yes.

POM     But I'm now talking about in terms of your government and the National Party.

TD     I hope it is.

POM     When do you think the point of irreversibility - in other words, that this non-racial democracy is irreversibly on its way, that there is really nothing that the government can do, in part because of its own actions, to stop it from coming, or even totally because of its own actions?

TD     Well, I don't think you could stop it without much ...

POM     I mean, irreversibility in terms of going forward. Of going forward.

TD     You mean as a party? We'd lose all credibility, we'd lose everything if we start backtracking now. So, I think as a political party, as a political movement, in which we've been caught up in a movement that is not reversible at all.

POM     I'm not explaining it very well. Say, it's like a car and it takes off, it's going slowly and it begins to accelerate, and then it begins to really accelerate, and at some point, putting your foot on the brake won't stop it. I mean, this thing is going forward whether you like it or not and it's almost out of your control. At what point for the National Party and the government, at what point in negotiations or in the implementation of new structures, is that point arrived at?

TD     No. Never. No. Because we could - say, for instance, there was - the whole plot, now, of the Communist Party, as I said, it could have, just as an example, could have stopped the process. I mean, how would we have reacted? If there was active revolution going to overthrow the government or take over the government, I think that would have been a tremendous setback. Then the brakes would have come on to get control first and to stabilise the situation. So, I think at this point in time, there can still be, the brakes can still be applied. But I hope it won't be necessary. Because that won't be of our own doing or our own will. It would be forced upon us.

POM     I want to go back for a moment to your constituents. What kind of fears do they express to you? How do they feel about this whole thing?

TD     They're going to take our land. They're going to take everything that we've worked for. We're going to have disorder, no law and order, it won't be safe to walk the streets. We're going to get robbed and mugged and raped. And that's what they fear.

POM     Has the party been undertaking any kind of educative process to allay people's fears?

TD     We cannot, Mandela must allay people's fears. I say Mandela, I mean the more radical elements.

POM     Sorry, the more?

TD     The more radical elements, maybe not Mandela. The Chris Hanis will start allaying people's fears. Because they don't fear him, people do not fear Mandela but they fear Chris Hani and his attitudes.

POM     Going back to the process itself at the moment. You have de Klerk on one side and Mandela on the other. What obstacles or stumbling blocks do you think lie in de Klerk's path if he tries to manage this process to fruition?

TD     The SACP.

POM     On that, how would you differentiate between the SACP and the ANC?

TD     It's very, very difficult. That is why it is so difficult, because even if it was, the SACP as a separate political entity, we would never have any problem. But now that it's with the ANC it becomes blurred, the two. It's very difficult to distinguish between the two.

POM     How would you? What is the difference between a member of one and a member of the other?

TD     I don't know. I can only take from, I can only deduce from what individuals say, how they react, and what they do. I sort of get a vague distinction that the one is reckless, or more radical to the point of recklessness, and the others are ...

POM     But what is the fear of it?

TD     The fear?

POM     What is the fear of it?

TD     Well, the fear is that the SACP and uMkhonto no doubt want an absolute domination in a one-party state and we will have a totally socialist approach, if not communistic approach, to the economy. It will ruin South Africa's economy and you'll get white flight. And a great disaster.

POM     So you don't think that the Joe Slovos of the world have learned anything from the ...

TD     No.

POM     - economic disaster in Eastern Europe or the Soviet Union?

TD     They're not interested in the long-term results. They want it now. They want it for themselves. I don't think they are really interested in the well-being of the country and the people.

PK     Is this something that the government anticipated when it started this process of talking, that the SACP would be so intertwined in the ANC?

TD     We knew it all along. [We were very much] That was one of the reasons why the ANC was banned. We have said over and over again, because that was denied at various points in time, that the ANC is being controlled or was being controlled by the SACP.

POM     Is the fear of communism something that is, in part, the doing of the government's own propaganda over the years, that for twenty years or more the total onslaught was banged into people's heads with unrelenting intensity?

TD     Sure. But, then, it's not going to be a very, I hope I'm wrong, but if we give absolute power to the Joe Slovos this is not going be a very nice country to live in. Because it's not merely communism as a doctrine, ideology. It's the way in which they operate. The way in which they govern.

POM     So, looking, again, at de Klerk. You really think that the obstacles that lie in his way are something that Nelson Mandela should be managing, that is, the Communist Party? But are there any ones on, there's no, ultimately no fear from the right or the left?

TD     [I'm not, I'm not... I know their... I mean,] I'm an Afrikaner. I know my people. And I do not for one moment think that more than 5%, 2%, a fraction of the population of the Afrikaner will be prepared to take up arms and start shooting. You get your lunatics, of course. [but not even in ...]

POM     I'll just pose you an analogy of sorts and see how you react. In Northern Ireland, the Protestant population, which for the most part totally controls the police and the security forces, their paramilitary groups have never received any support from the population at large because the present population at large sees itself as a law-abiding community and it does what it's told to do, sometimes because the law suits them, but they always followed the law. Do you think there could be a somewhat similar analogy with the Afrikaners, that there is an in-built respect for the law, because the law for the most part has operated on their behalf? So that even if someone began to engage in paramilitary activity, they would dissociate themselves in part because it's against the way they've learned things.

TD     Yes, I think so. There may be, even in the way we were brought up in an Afrikaans home, there is this tremendous respect for what's done and what's not done, and for the discipline, eternal discipline of the father as head of the family. And in the present period the respect for the government or authority. You find it in the school, the Afrikaans dominated schools, dominated in terms of numbers, those schools are really far more disciplined than the English schools where they have a very much more relaxed sort of a discipline. We are more, maybe, German. The Afrikaners are more German in terms of the discipline.

POM     On Mandela's side what do you think are the potential obstacles or stumbling blocks that he faces as he tries to bring the black constituents with him?

TD     He wants to do something now. I have no problem with that. I believe that he wants to get to a settlement with us. Can he take his people with him? Can he convince his people? That is the main interest. To opt for anything but a radical seizure of the government.

PK     You said this morning that you do believe that he's committed to a multiparty system, or would accept a multiparty system, is that right?

TD     I think so.

PK     So you see him as quite different than others who exercise leadership positions and the movement in total, is that right?

TD     Yes.

POM     What kind of divisions do you think are going on within the ANC, one, and, two, do you think that for as long as Mandela is there, he can keep those together?

TD     I think he can keep them together. I think they're going to, unless they settle out. I believe there is a suggestion that they settle for troika or something, the issue of Mandela, post the Mandela era. I think that there is going to be a power struggle.

POM     Sorry, there's going to be?

TD     A power struggle within the ANC.

POM     Well, do you see Mandela as being able to take the black constituency with him towards a compromise, what he calls a compromise settlement? Or are there forces that would put restraints on the way in which he can behave and what he can do?

TD     Oh, yes, of course there are a lot of restraints. I think he gets opposition from ...

POM     Opposition from?

TD     From within his own party, his own movement. I don't think it's a party that's - it's fuelled still by the anti-white, anti-apartheid sort of thing and they haven't come to grips with purely policy matters. And there isn't a division, yet, on attitudes toward economic policy, and this and that. It's just rather vague. But as we move along towards a settlement, the different emphases that they place, or that leaders within the ANC place on different policy aspects will become more accentuated. And that's going to be very interesting, although it's not so interesting as it is worrying what will be the end result. I don't know, I cannot predict, I've got no opinion of it because I do not have enough facts at my disposal.

POM     But would you see, for example, differences between the agenda of, say, COSATU and the ANC?

TD     I don't think that even they know. I don't think it's clear even to COSATU and the ANC at this point in time.

POM     You had talked this morning of the youth, black youth. Could you elaborate a little on what you were saying in terms of potential for destabilisation?

TD     Yes. I think I said this morning that, to a certain extent, they're the products of apartheid. They grew up mostly in the townships. The father and mother left home, maybe at 5:00 in the morning to get a bus to get to the station to get to work. They returned late at night or, rather, let's say in the evening. And who took care of the youngsters at home? Nobody. They grew up like, I'm sorry to say, like little wild dogs on the streets fending for themselves. You see, in the black traditional community, they normally live in what we call "the extended family". They were never allowed, or the opportunity wasn't there, to have the extended family in the townships, living together, so that you get a grandfather or an uncle or an older man staying at home and one of the wives would stay at home and take care of the children and another one would be active in the kitchen. And that sort of natural allocation of responsibilities within an extended family. And they were suddenly transformed into a recent type of little house with only accommodations for a single family, father, mother, and children. And I think that had a very detrimental effect because they were in the process of urbanisation. It came as a cultural shock and now we sit with those, the products, those children. And then one of the most worrying aspects that I find is the, and I don't know whether I mentioned it this morning, is this notion amongst your black pupils, in the black communities, that education and knowledge will be given to you. You will receive knowledge if you attend school. And they have no idea, or there isn't the realisation that you have to acquire knowledge. It's a subjective activity in that you take that knowledge. Now we have this whole generation that has no discipline, no value structure and with no realisation of what it will take to pull you up by your own shoestrings, in other words, to achieve. They have the expectation that things will be given to them. Once Mandela is in power, they will ...

POM     But they have learned that they have power?

TD     Oh, yes, they have power. They have, as I said this morning, we have a lot of young Napoleons at present, tasting power and they have power because they can intimidate in the most rancorous way. They give orders. I have the experience in my own constituency where there's a wonderful Catholic school, private school, with some of the best results in the country, and practically all their teachers are white. Most of the teachers are white and we have had the experience of these youngsters just walking in, saying, "Get out! You're not going to teach here anymore." And they chase out all the pupils and they're forced not to go to school. Now, what do you do? And then it's 12, 13, 14 year-old youngsters giving those orders. That's why I say, they like to destroy, they like to fight. They're anarchists.

POM     Relating this specifically to Natal and the violence there, one, what would be your analysis of the causes of the violence itself and, two, is it at a point where it has gained a momentum of its own and is feeding on itself, like conflicts in other places that become endemic? Or do you think there is a way that it can be brought under control and eventually stopped? And I suppose finally, to throw in a fourth part, can there be meaningful negotiations on the larger issue of a national dispensation if the violence there continues to be as bad as it is?

TD     Last one, yes. I think it's become a national problem, irrespective of what sort of a government we are going to have. It will be as much part and parcel of our problem as it's going to be part and parcel of a next or a future government's problems. Natal has a long, a very long history of conflict. We even had the Zulu-Indian massacres, unprecedented. And with that, I can't remember what year but it was many years ago. And we had a lot of in-fighting between the various tribes amongst the Zulus themselves. And now this thing has become politicised, a factor was added. And that is, now, the ANC/Inkatha, the opposition of the one to the other. On the ANC side, I think they see Inkatha as part of the structure that must be destroyed, the apartheid structure. I had talks with some of the ANC and I think they're making a mistake, because in terms of their framework they have the idea of a street committee and an area committee. Now, their leader of the street committee is the political leader, he's the judge, he's the policeman, he takes care of the allocation of the houses, the lot. So, they do not distinguish between the political activities and administrative activities. And therefore, if they want to get at me, they must get at the old structure. If they want to take a new dispensation, they must even destroy the administrative structures that we have. I told them that you're wrong, because you will need, even if you should win an election and become the part of the government, you will need administrative staff, too, in order to do your work for you. Surely, I'm not a politician, I'm not going to see to it that the refuse is removed from the streets. All right, so, I think that the whole KwaZulu institution, as such, is a target, because of this. And then the second is, there isn't this, and I have doubts on this, that there are elements within the ANC that see peace as the situation when you've destroyed your opposition. You've totally destroyed the opposition and you have peace.

POM     Do you get, among your, say, colleagues and constituents, friends and neighbours, is there a perception that the ANC sets out to destroy any opposition it faces from within its own community? Whether it's the Inkatha or the PAC or whatever.

TD     Yes. The ANC wants to be the sole spokesman and representative of all the blacks.

POM     Would you say ...?

TD     That is why, that's why they had the unrest in the independent states, in the self-governing states.

POM     Would you say this is a widespread feeling among people that you know?

TD     Yes, yes.

POM     And in that sense, there is the fear of the ANC is not just fear of possible changes in economic structures or whatever. It's really a fear of an authoritarian government?

TD     Yes. A one party state.

POM     Um-hmm. What's your assessment, I know you have to run, so, you can rush, your assessment of Mandela since he has been released?

TD     I think he's been under tremendous amount of pressure. I think, and that's just speculation, I've got no basis for that. But I think that one of the pressures that he is subjected to is Winnie.

POM     Sorry, his what?

TD     Winnie Mandela. His wife. She's a major role player and I think she puts a lot of pressure on him. It's just speculation, this is just a perception.

POM     Well, has he done some things that have exceeded your expectations in terms of the way he has performed and others where he has disappointed you?

TD     No, he amazes me in his capacity, after so many years in jail, to keep up the pace that he chooses. He really amazes me. I must say, the jail authorities, they amaze me.

POM     And finally, something that we touched on briefly at breakfast, and we talked about the realignment of the forces that is coming with reform and change. In an open election, what percentage of the black vote do you think the National Party could command?

TD     The National Party, or an alliance, maybe? What's your age, 18 or 21? That would make a difference. If we can keep the age limit at 15, then, all the better for us. On a present basis, 20% to 25%. Perhaps.

POM     So, will it be possible for there to be an election in which the National Party, with alliances, say, including Inkatha, could actually come out with more seats in a parliament than the ANC? And if that did happen, do you think the ANC would accept the result?

TD     No, I don't, I think we'll come a close second, but I don't think we'll get a majority. Should we get a majority, I don't think the ANC will accept it.

PK     That it will not accept it?

TD     Here it's no, America, yes.

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.