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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

06 Aug 1990: Manuel, Trevor

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POM     I'm talking with Trevor Manuel, and Trevor, you are?

TM     Deputy convener for the ANC in the Western Cape, which is quite a large slice of the country. It runs from Cape Town up the west coast to the Orange River, Namibian border, along the border to about the point where the border between Botswana and Namibia seems to run sort of vertically, and then cuts down there, staggers across the Karoo to Plettenberg Bay which is about 650 kilometres in the east. So if you're talking about, I mean it's a region that, I suppose if you took a compass point in Cape Town, it's got an arch of 650 kilometres, all of that. So that it's largely a rural area. White farms primarily, barring a few areas which are designated Coloured reserved land. And it is an area that I have come to know reasonably well, with very different dynamics from most other parts of the country.

POM     We'll get back to that, but if I can start, Trevor, with February the second this year, de Klerk's speech and actions in unbanning the ANC and the SACP. One, were you surprised by what he did and what do you think motivated him to move so rapidly and so broadly at the same time?

TM     My immediate response is that I wasn't surprised. I was, in fact, surprised by the reality that the released political prisoners and the return of exiles was not as immediate as one had imagined. We understood the context as being one where the stage was set by world support for the declaration adopted by the summit of the OAU on the twenty-first of August, by the Non-Aligned Movement in September, and eventually with some amendments by the General Assembly of the UN on the 14th of December. That document had its roots within the ANC and we were expecting a response with that weight of international support, with so reasonable an approach set out in the document, with the situation where the economy in this country is quite stagnant and has been for a period now. We expected that de Klerk would have to respond in the way that he has. That on one side and on the other side by then we had also met with Nelson Mandela. There was some idea of the work that he had been involved in from inside prison, in talking to Botha and subsequently de Klerk. So that we, in fact, expected more on the 2nd of February. And we were in a position to issue a very clear press statement, probably within half an hour of de Klerk's speech, indicating that we were on top of the situation.

POM     Could you give a brief summary of your briefing by Mandela? Like, how was he pointing to a process that would unfold?

TM     OK. About three years ago Mandela first initiated the process. This was whilst he was still at Pollsmoor before he was even moved to Victor Verster Prison, where he wrote a letter to the then State President Botha setting out the need for an initiative which would bring peace to our country. The response from Botha was quite tardy.

POM     It was quite tardy?

TM     Tardy, yes. At the same time there was growing pressure within the Cabinet at the time of the visit of the Eminent Persons Group, early 1986, there was a first meeting, probably, between Nelson Mandela and Kobie Coetsee, Minister of Justice, and a relationship developed between them. And one would imagine that that was taken back into the Cabinet, which unfolded the process. There was a letter which Nelson Mandela wrote to Botha probably in about May last year, where he says things like he is willing to undertake this initiative. In normal circumstances he would have consulted with the ANC, circumstances prohibited him from doing that, he was willing to risk himself in the process, should the ANC accept it, the organisation would then determine who would be best placed to take on the initiative on its behalf. He had that big meeting with Botha prior to the retirement, or forced retirement, of Botha. And when de Klerk came to power he came in as a far more reasonable person, more willing to participate in a process like this and set up the team, which seemed to be operating under Kobie Coetsee, which involved people like Neil van Heerden, Stoffel van der Merwe of Constitutional Development, and others to initiate the process of taking things forward. This was the briefing that we got from Mandela. We'd received it in by-ways before but I was present in early December when he officially communicated this to us in the Western Cape region. So that, you know, that clearly had set the scene for what was to come.

POM     When de Klerk did this, what assumptions do you think he was making about the ANC? What was he assuming the ANC could deliver?

TM     I think that since at least 1985 the world has been aware of the growing support for the ANC. People risking imprisonment by public identification with an organisation whose activities were closely watched. Various polls conducted indicated a growing support, not only in the African community but also increasingly in the Indian and Coloured communities and also in the white community. So that the attempt to march to Pollsmoor in August 1985 was really an eye-opener. We also had a situation where we lived through very harsh oppression under the state of emergency and notwithstanding the fact that so many people were detained for protracted periods during the state of emergency, resistance continued apace, the support for the ANC was growing. And I think that de Klerk must have realised then, as he understands now, that it is impossible to rule by the barrel of a gun. Peace would require the ability to govern and there would be no such license given without the ANC, that any attempt at the establishment of peace would therefore necessitate the full participation of the ANC. The ANC could deliver a constituency like nobody else. Eight other factors that would have brought de Klerk to that conclusion were that the Botha regime had concentrated on an ideological campaign, the way of winning the hearts and minds campaign which went along with the iron fist. It didn't work, it was delivering absolutely nothing. The parties that participated in the tricameral parliament were becoming increasingly less representative. And I think all of this, you know, converged to create a very strong sense that de Klerk could not proceed without the ANC.

POM     Just to follow up on that, what assumptions is the ANC making about what the negotiations are about? I'm asking that because I have read some commentators who say what the negotiations are about are a way of reaching a form of power sharing that is satisfactory to both the ANC and the government. And others say, no, what the negotiations are about are the transition to majority rule. At this point, what assumption do you think the ANC has in relationship to that?

TM     I think it would be hard for an organisation like the ANC to compromise on fundamental democracy, universal suffrage, etc., etc. So that in the final instance we are looking at a situation where we can establish a full democracy, one-person, one-vote, which would be the only expression of the will of South Africans. En route there would have to be a Constituent Assembly of sorts which can test opinion and write a constitution for the new South Africa. However, we are looking at a transitional period of a kind of power sharing. We are saying that our end-product is the establishment of a democracy and we are prepared to show our hand on that. In contrast, the de Klerk regime are not showing their entire hand. Clearly, from their perspective, they would be happier with a kind of power sharing.

POM     So do you think at this point they will be taking as a final step what you are taking as an interim step? Like, do you see power sharing as the way to something, they see power sharing as end in itself.

TM     Yes.

POM     Has de Klerk conceded on the issue of majority rule, do you think?

TM     No, I don't think that de Klerk has conceded. I don't think that any party that has not only implemented but benefited from apartheid in the way that his party has, notwithstanding attempts to transform, to shake off some of the past, it is too deeply rooted in the apartheid system to actually concede that the kind of rule that they are accustomed to needs to come to an end.

POM     What about his promise to go back to the white electorate and put any proposed new constitutional dispensation before them? Surely that's not a promise he can keep, is it?

TM     Yes, I think he would be hard-pressed. I think that the shifts within the white electorate are important in the context. The Democratic Party has kind of come to the end of the road. And he can draw extensively on that vote which might give him the edge over the Conservative Party.

POM     Sorry, Trevor, but I'll get that in a minute. I want to get first to, surely the ANC would find it intolerable that de Klerk would say, 'Well, I have reached this arrangement with you, but I have to put it before the white electorate to see if they will approve of it.' I mean, the ANC couldn't tolerate that kind of veto power on the part of the white minority.

TM     I don't think that we would see it as a veto power. In a strange sort of way, there is a symbiosis that obtains between the ANC and the National Party government at this point. If de Klerk slides completely and loses the white electorate entirely, then we will set this country back on the verge of war in a way in which we have not seen thus far. The situation could very rapidly unfold that would surpass the kind of violence that Beirut knows. And therefore, it is necessary for us to consider very carefully what de Klerk needs. And it clearly can't be a veto, right? But it is necessary for him to be able to take a significant portion of the white electorate along on the road to peace.

POM     So do you think the ANC must be sensitive to the fact that if de Klerk moves too quickly, he will lose the white community entirely?

TM     I think that sensitivity only obtains up to a point. The majority of South Africans can't interminably be held to ransom.

POM     So when you say "up to a point", what is that point?

TM     I think one has to apply an objective test to determine in reality what that point is. It's probably a point determined in respect of time frame. What we are discerning at the moment, for instance, is that the kind of moves that de Klerk has made thus far have very definite appeal to the international community. By and large, people are happy with the fact that the ANC and to a lesser degree the SACP are free to operate. That people like Nelson Mandela are released. The international community doesn't seem to see needs beyond that. One takes account of the fact that, apart from Nelson Mandela, only one political prisoner who has a substantial portion of his sentence to serve, Andrew Mlangeni(?) was released, and this was after he had a brain haemorrhage and two operations. Other political prisoners released have all been in their last third of their sentence, which wouldn't apply in the case of normal remission and so on. Political prisoners have not been released. At another level, probably more important level, change for people must be tangible. It must in some way attempt to address the inequitable distribution of wealth in this country. It must in some way attempt to raise the quality of life of our people. And those kinds of reforms are not touching people's lives at the moment. So that therefore, beyond a certain point, you cannot be held to ransom any longer. You are going to get a surge from the ground saying the time has come, that we need to move faster.

POM     How do you think the process would unfold? Let's assume that today the major obstacles in the way of real negotiations are gotten out of the way. What do you see happening after that? How do you see this whole thing moving?

TM     Well, the position as set out in the Harare Declaration is quite an incremental, phased approach. The sense that I have is that it's not going to be as ordered as all that. It is probably going to come together in a very different kind of way. Quid pro quo, suspension of the armed struggle, which in terms of the Harare Declaration is meant to be negotiated once the entire climate has been created. However, the sense that I have is that that will become part of the package today. Similarly a transitional government may be announced as an intention today, not quite in the form that we would like, but at least in a manner which would facilitate taking on the task and creating the climate for negotiation in a very positive way in the country.

POM     Do you see, like, let me say these three outlines. One is where you move from where you are now to, at some point, to an election for a Constituent Assembly which then draws up a new constitution. The other would be for an expanded negotiation table with all parties represented and these parties among themselves would develop a consensus on the way forward. And the third is almost a combination of the second and the first, you have kind of a commission of eminent people, again reflecting all shades of political opinion, which draw up a new constitution and perhaps running with that a transitional government. Which do you think is the more likely route in terms of that?

TM     I think it is the latter, the sort of hybrid. Though one must take account of the fact that we are representative of a constituency that is demanding very substantial change. The constituency that wants the fullest participation in the process of constitution-making. And therefore our, the range of flexibility or options that we have at our disposal is very constrained by the realities on the ground.

POM     Do you think there will be an election for a Constituent Assembly?

TM     I'm informed that de Klerk doesn't like the notion of a Constituent Assembly. That the vision of the National Party, one can understand why in the circumstances, is one that says we can't negotiate ourselves completely out of power. So that once an interim government of sorts is set up, certain things would need to happen.

POM     Sorry, certain things like?

TM     Well, implementing a process of reform in a real way, relating to the factors which affect people's lives in the real world.

POM     Such as housing?

TM     The process of social transformation has to begin so that you don't place all faith in the ballot box alone. And I think that the extent and rate to which that kind of transformation and reconstruction is possible will determine at the same time what you have at your disposable in respect to options.

POM     What about the Conservative Party? Does the ANC or do you personally see what appears to be rising support for the Conservative Party as a real threat or something that could be expected and will pass in time if the process is managed rightly?

TM     I don't think that that support will pass completely. It is likely to reach a ceiling. If one looks at the situation as it unfolded in Zimbabwe, for instance, there was a lot of play on white fears and immediately after Lancaster House you saw an exodus of whites from Zimbabwe, primarily to South Africa. Some of them, of course, are quite entrenched in the right wing here now. But from about 1984, I would say, there was the return of significant number of whites where their worst fears did not materialise. In the same way here in South Africa, whites, by and large, have benefited materially, in quite a significant way from apartheid. Now one looks at the traditional support base of the right wing, and this would include the Conservative Party, they are by and large people who were the constituency of the National Party when it came to power in 1948: white workers, small farmers, people who saw promise in apartheid, who didn't have any specialised skills but it could be protected in a way that could set them apart from ordinary workers, for instance, on a similar scale. And that now becomes the main support base of the Conservative Party. That is also where the most fears exist.

POM     Would you see the Conservative Party as the party that speaks for a majority of Afrikaners?

TM     I think it speaks - you know, the Afrikaners have undergone massive transformation. In fact the Afrikaner is probably one of the most fascinating subjects in history. But the National Party brought to power a grouping of people who felt oppressed by the British, did not have access to capital, were people attached to the soil, small farmers, etc., etc., etc., and white workers. Over the period, a stark emphasis was placed on the need for education etc., etc. The blind sort of fervent patriotism, not unlike what Hitler was able to sweep up in that populist way in Germany in the thirties, meant that people were doing things like buying South Africa, putting their savings in Afrikaner financial institutions which were being established, access to new capital, all of that had built a new class of Afrikaners who were very different from the traditional base. One guy explained to me the kind of poverty that obtained in the house, but yet his parents insisted that he be educated. He went to university, he's a professor today, there are a number of Afrikaner professors, a phenomenon that didn't exist thirty years ago, maybe. So there is a new class of people who also become wise to the ways of the world, who have their roots in the National Party, but who've now departed and pushed the National Party away from the very racist way of thinking. That still becomes a significant constituency because they are also opinion-makers in the Afrikaner community and it's important that that constituency be addressed, not for itself but for its ability to be able to swing others behind them. Given that circumstance, and one notes that internationally, I mean, the electorates, by and large, are quite fickle, right? You do have the capacity to actually win over significant Afrikaners. But I would say that what would consolidate out of the process, as the Conservative Party support base, would be those who have the most fears.

POM     Would they be working-class Afrikaners?

TM     Working-class.

POM     Whites broadly or Afrikaners in particular?

TM     Whites broadly. I think that added to that, you would get Portuguese, I mean, the Conservative Party has been the only party to produce pamphlets and so on in the Portuguese language. Those are primarily former citizens of Angola and Mozambique. There are close to half a million Portuguese in South Africa.

POM     They rank after Indians as the next largest group.

TM     Primarily quite conservative. Zimbabweans who would still call themselves Rhodesians, without any special skills, also become an important support base for the Conservative Party. Interesting, not only the Conservative Party but some of the right wingers who were recently detained have names like Darryl Stockford and Adriaan Weeks(?) and so on and so on, a very far cry from Afrikaner names. But their roots are sort of Rhodesian machos, went through the Selous Scouts and so on, settled in South Africa, and now feel very threatened by the reality of change here. So that, yes, the Conservative Party, I think, is going to change its character over a period of time to accommodate its supporters.

POM     If an election were held today, would the Conservative Party command a majority of seats?

TM     It would depend on the pact, whether the Democratic Party would split the vote or throw its weight in behind de Klerk, which I think would discern between sort of election fought on party grounds and a referendum with a very basic question. I think that whilst they are continuing to erode some of the National Party support base that there is, the National Party is picking up through elements to the left and so on.

POM     I want you to talk for a moment about white fears. Last week in Port Elizabeth, in particular, we talked to a lady in Black Sash and asked her what did her friends think of what was going on. She said, 'Well, most of my friends are white liberals and to tell you the truth, they are very anxious and many of them are packing their bags and getting ready to go and they are guilty about their anxiety but it is kind of ironic that those who were, who have been against apartheid all along are now getting ready to leave and those who have been for apartheid all along will be those who will stay.' What's your experience been? How do you read that?

TM     You know, one of the problems with apartheid is that life is so compartmentalised. We interface with people who already have made a choice and that is not at all a good indicator. Increasingly, one is called upon now by various business houses to speak to their management and sometimes their staff. Last week I had the occasion to do this at actually a British company and the interesting thing about it was that there were whites who were heckling. I was talking about the ANC, it's a very interesting development being able to go into a company and place the ANC before people for whom it was an organisation, a terrorist organisation, and this is what they have been confronted with. And there was a lot of heckling from perhaps two, maybe three, people in the audience of about forty. There was a cross-section of the staff employed, probably loaded somewhat in favour of management which by and large is white. The hecklers didn't stay behind afterwards. But when we relaxed over some sandwiches and so on afterwards, I actually explained to some of the black workers subsequently, or apologised to them, because those who crowded around me were whites who wanted to talk, talk about the future, talk about options, and these are not people with specialised skills. Most of them will probably vote Nat. They are concerned about things. I mean, questions ranged from whether the ANC's commitment to redistribution of wealth would include nationalising their houses, urban houses, and placing them in the squatter area elsewhere, to the education of their children, their right to religion, etc., etc.

     I think that in the present period we need a facility to be able to address whites more directly on these issues. We don't have any access, as it were, to radio and TV, and in many ways our ability to speak to people more directly would be affected by the control of TV. Sure, I mean, at one level things have changed, you can now see Nelson Mandela or Joe Slovo on TV. This would not have been the case six months ago, maybe a year ago. But decisions as to when coverage is given, what coverage is given, whether it will be them speaking or voice-over, all of that, still needs to be controlled. And we need access to that to be able to address white fears far more substantially. My experience, and I say it is a minimal experience, is that once people appreciate the fact that these are issues that we all need to grappling with, that there needs to be much participation, a lot of those fears will disappear.

POM     Do you think most of these fears are economic fears?

TM     Some are cultural.

POM     With regard to the economic ones, do you think de Klerk will try to have provisions inserted in a new constitution that would give guarantees with respect to such things as nationalisation, white property rights, and if he does try to do that, do you think he will be able to get those clauses inserted?

TM     Well, forget about de Klerk. From the side of the ANC our constitutional guidelines speak of constitutional protection of the right to have and use private property. So that is not de Klerk's concern only, it is also our concern.

POM     Now would the South African Communist Party go along with that?

TM     I think that the Communist Party is beginning to shape its thinking. It is regarded as probably the most progressive Communist Party in the world.

POM     What is a South African Communist and how would you define one?

TM     I think whilst the ANC is a broad movement accommodating a range of different views, the South African Communist Party would address the economy and the ownership of the means of production as the fundamental way of securing redistribution of wealth.

POM     If you look at the South African Communist Party's leadership line-up, at least what was unveiled last Sunday, many of the senior leaders in the ANC are members of the SACP. Is this not the question that whites are getting to: what's going to be done about the redistribution of income? What is going to be done about redistribution of wealth? I mean, wouldn't the SACP play a large part in any future constitutional dispensation?

TM     I mean, how exactly it plays itself out I'm not sure. Whether for the stage or the phase it participates with the ANC and then declares its independence at a particular point and goes for questions related to the economy more directly, I don't know. But I think that the impression I have is certainly that the South African Communist Party would accept the existence of a mixed economy. This ties into your question, what would de Klerk seek there? I think that the ANC itself is also committed to nationalisation of primarily those institutions that either, too, have been in state hands, privatised railways don't work anywhere in the world, yet the South African government at this point wants to privatise the railway system. So, too, posts and telecommunications, which do work in some instances but it is unlikely that you would have anything but a monopoly existing in South Africa, raking off super profits without any sort of controls. The provision of electricity, all supply of electricity, so many parts of this country, so many of our people are still without electricity and I would take the view that you do require some state intervention in order to ensure ...

POM     Yes, but what I am getting at is though, do you think that de Klerk will seek to have provisions in the constitution that would minimise the degree of nationalisation? That would put kind of a limit on what can be nationalised and what, and then do you think he would be successful if he tried that?

TM     You see, I think that it is not only de Klerk, we, the ANC are there as an equal partner, numerically a greater partner, and we will also seek certain guarantees in respect to this.

POM     In respect to the economy?

TM     In respect to the economy. Questions about - I think that one cannot duck and dive away from the need for some redistribution of wealth. The means, I mean, nationalisation is but one route. There are a number of other ways that need to be implemented. For instance, the role of multinationals. There is a tremendous flight of capital out of this country which means that we can't extend the productive capacity or create sufficient jobs. I mean, I read recently that one company in one year took out something like four hundred million. Now what that could have done in respect of job creation and so forth, which, I mean, is what's produced in this country? So that all of that will have to be looked at. Also, the investment paradigm is pretty much one of money chasing money rather than investing in the kind of technology that would create jobs and would be able to increase the size of the economic cake. So you know, within that realm, nationalisation is but one option. I think that de Klerk would also be quite concerned about economic growth on the whole. They have been quite powerless to start intervening in trying to generate economic growth. Sanctions are not the be all and end all. The mistake of the past is that this country has tried to use foreign capital for their own capital investments which tied them up in a way which it ought not to have. So that when those letters, refusal to roll over loans, the crisis for the apartheid regime deepened quite extensively. I think we've come out of all of that and we have a joint commitment for economic growth and whilst hearing that workers in the mines, for instance, are saying that the mines must be nationalised, we are also painfully aware of the need for the mines to be able to extend on their wealth-producing capacity. So that you can't just take on a situation of party appointments of people who know nothing about mining in order to satisfy the fact that the mines are now nationalised.

POM     When you look at Mandela and de Klerk, what do you think are the main obstacles in the way of Mandela as he tries to manage this process to conclusion and similarly, what do you think are the main obstacles or stumbling blocks that face de Klerk?

TM     I think that in the first instance Mandela has always indicated his preparedness to accept the decision-making and discipline of the ANC at one level. At another level, he has also shown that he is bigger than the ANC in that he is quite prepared to pull together a diverse range of groupings into talks, into a position of securing their support for certain initiatives.

POM     Like, for example?

TM     Like the present talks. I mean, just in the last week he's met with a range of groupings which included the churches, the Coloured Labour Party, AZAPO, the PAC refused to come, Bantustan leaders, so that I think that as a leader Mandela is constituency-bound. I'll give you an example. He is quite willing to talk to the Labour Party. I was present last week when he met with them. We placed certain options before them in respect to the privatisation of trust land where the deed of trust states that land shall be communal farms. Deeds of trust going back probably 150 years. By and large, the community wanted to maintain the status quo. The Labour Party wants to reverse this and partition the land against the will of the people. So, Mandela needs to meet with the Labour Party on some of these issues. The view that I took, because this is my constituency speaking ...

POM     Sorry, this is which?

TM     This is my constituency speaking, was that unless we can get from the Labour Party a commitment to impose a moratorium on the sale of land, because the legislation has gone through to allow them to privatise, and to conduct a referendum amongst the people, all future cooperation will be impossible. We need that commitment from them. Now, that is not the same strong terms that Mandela would take, but I think he is duty-bound to listen to us, he is duty-bound to agree with us in this circumstance, and accepts our position with regard to the land. In the same way, I mean at a macro-level, if the organisation is unhappy with the way things are going, we have the right to recall the process or particular individuals from the process.

POM     Like, for example, you have the right to?

TM     I think the ANC has the right to recall Mandela. Recall the process and say ...

POM     This is the Executive Committee, is it, we are talking about?

TM     Well, I'm sure that the process of negotiations will be decided at the National Conference in December.

POM     I'm not quite sure when you say 'the ANC has the right to recall the process' what that means.

TM     The membership of the organisation's views must be heard. If we feel that the process should take a different course, and that is the majority view of the organisation, then Mandela can't proceed in a way which his own ideas might want him to go.

PK     Do you see that as a strength or as a problem on his part?

TM     It's a bit of both. It's a strength because you can build in the process, it has been difficult up until now to take people along every step of the way so that whatever is achieved in that process is fully supported. It's also a weakness because often people on the ground see things far more parochially. That is one level that's relating to Mandela. I think that de Klerk would probably find himself in a similar position.

POM     Similar situation?

TM     How far? How fast? What time? What precedes, and whether or not he is a prisoner of an undemocratic situation.

POM     So, in a respect, you are saying that both these people are prisoners of their respective constituencies, and that they can't move ahead of their constituencies too quickly, or simply make an arrangement between themselves and expect to impose it on their constituencies. Related to that, and I have just two more quick questions, which do you think is the better way forward? One point of view says that the sooner that the government and ANC can agree to something and implement it, the better. The other says, no, this must be a slow process, that both the whites on the one hand and blacks on the other hand must be brought along with the process, must be educated as to its components and reasons for it and where it is going as you move along. Which do you think would be the better way forward?

TM     The major threat to the process being derailed is the ability of the white right wing to impose the laager mentality on whites. That is de Klerk's problem. So that all things being equal, the chances are that the size of the support base might actually diminish over long periods of time. On the other hand, within the black community, I was talking to somebody yesterday who was saying that when she spoke to somebody at the end of February, this person said to her, 'Now, Mandela's out but our rents are still being increased.' This is probably because we thought that Mandela's release would mean change in our lives. I think the lesson from this is that change for people must be tangible. And therefore, the sooner the process gets underway, and yet we are talking of neatly gift wrapped packages, but I think that ordinary men and women in our country must be able to see where things are going to move, and therefore it needs to happen very quickly.

POM     Finally, when the ANC was unbanned, what were the major obstacles it found on the ground in terms of trying to organise or trying to operate?

TM     OK. I think we have been a bit fortunate in that we are very closely linked to the Mass Democratic Movement.

POM     Sorry, very closely linked to ...?

TM     The Mass Democratic Movement. And the biggest obstacle has, in fact, been our ability to get to people soon enough. You are now trying to build an organisation in a vacuum, you're building an organisation whilst other initiatives are simultaneously taking place. Also, you are trying to reconstruct an organisation whose essential character and features have been somewhat skewed by thirty years of banning. We find ourselves having to address people time and again on regionalism(?) purporting to be done in the name of the ANC. The tradition of the organisation is very, very different from that. So that one has to undertake, I mean it is not just the question of signing up people as though you are recruiting for some football team supporters front. You actually have to take on a process to educate people on the kind of organisation, to communicate to people some of the ongoing lessons. I'll give you a nice example related to the subject of your study. Recently three people were shot and killed in Robertson which is a little town 140 kilometres from Cape Town in the Boland. One of the speakers at the funeral got up and named three policemen responsible for the shooting and called for vengeance. That was well-received by the crowd. It was incumbent upon us to talk to people.

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.