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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

09 Aug 1990: Derby-Lewis, Clive

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POM     I'm talking with Clive Derby-Lewis on the 9th of August in the President's Council in Cape Town. Mr. Lewis the events of the second of February, were you taken by surprise by the breadth and scope of de Klerk's initiatives? And what do you think motivated him to move so broadly and so rapidly at the same time?

CL     Well I certainly was, I think it is putting in mildly to say was I taken by surprise. I think that we all expected as a result of the overtures made by his predecessor, we all expected the freedom of Nelson Mandela. But we certainly didn't expect the unbanning of the ANC and even less the unbanning of the Communist Party. It makes sense of course, in that how can they talk with Mandela when the party that he belongs to is banned. And I'm talking specifically of the Communist Party not the ANC.

POM     So you believe that he is a member of the Communist Party?

CL     I believe he is a fully paid up member of the Communist Party. In fact there is very little doubt in my mind over that. Because had it not been so there would have been no need to unban the Communist Party. He is a key figure in the discussion and without that they would have in effect have banned him from participation in the discussion. That is why they had to unban the Communist Party.

POM     I'll come back to de Klerk's motivation in a moment, but to stay with the Communist Party bit, what is a Communist Party member to you?

CL     Well a Communist Party member to me is someone that was so serious a threat to the government of the day in 1956, when they were supposedly very much smaller than they are now, that the government of the day banned them in South Africa and even closed the Soviet Embassy in South Africa. I don't fall for this hype that communism is dead. One only has to talk to Eastern Europeans to obtain confirmation for the fact that communism is very far from dead. To say nothing of the Chinese. I mean when one speaks to people of the Republic of China they will assure you that communism is alive and well. Horribly so. I mean any crowd that could survive the massacre at the square in China of so many students, a communist organisation must be pretty powerful.

POM     So you don't think that any of the changes in either Eastern Europe or the Soviet Union reflect at least a new type of communism?

CL     No, I see it as a change in strategy. I think they realise that the economic aspect of communism has failed but one need not necessarily sacrifice the ideological approach for the sake of economic benefit. One can change an economy, an economy is an apolitical part of a nation's survival. And it's quite easy to admit that you have made a total botch up as far as economic affairs are concerned without surrendering your ideological viewpoint. And that is what I believe the communists are doing. I believe that in time as the economy recovers, or is steered into more productive areas, that we will see a rebirth of communism.

POM     To go back to de Klerk's motivation. Here was a man who, when he was elected party leader, was taken to be a conservative, a pragmatist and commentators said not to expect much different under him than under PW Botha. What made him do it?

CL     I believe that it is his total mediocrity as a politician that has been the main motivation. I don't like drawing comparisons between himself and the late General Smuts because I believe the late General Smuts was a far more intelligent and far astute politician than de Klerk will ever be. But he is doing exactly, he is making exactly the same mistake as General Smuts made and that is he's turned his back on his people to receive the accolades of the so-called world. And I believe that history is going to repeat itself and he is going to receive the same treatment. In fact I think it may even be a more harsher treatment than General Smuts received. General Smuts lost but it wasn't a degrading defeat. I think the defeat of de Klerk is going to degrading. He is really going to get a thumping when we have another election. But I believe because of his mediocrity somebody has persuaded him that in spite of that he is going to become a world acknowledged statesman and that is his whole objective. So, as you know, he spent his time rushing around Europe, kowtowing to the nosey parkers who take it upon themselves to interfere in our internal affairs in spite of the fact that they belong to the United Nations, and in spite of the fact that the United Nations prohibits members from involving themselves in the internal affairs of member countries. So he is playing the overseas gallery and its very much to our disadvantage.

POM     What assumptions do you think he made about the capacity of the ANC to deliver when he unbanned the ANC and the SACP?

CL     I wonder whether he even took that into consideration. We all know the strength of the ANC, or the lack of strength of the ANC, we know now for a fact that there are only 20,000 ANC refugees, if we can call them that, outside the borders of South Africa. They are now negotiating for them to come back. Twenty-thousand force against an army as strong as the one that we have is an negligible force. So I think that he's actually using this ANC thing because, once again, the so called world has focused into Mandela, they gave him a much better reception even than de Klerk got on his travels, and I think he sees the use of the ANC as a part of his propaganda machine to convince the people that he is a saviour.

POM     What would you point to as evidence of the lack of support for the ANC?

CL     Well, you know, I'm a politician and in politics we know that the bottom line is one has to, at some time or another, present yourselves to the electorate and then let them pass judgement on your effectiveness or otherwise as a leader of the people. Mandela and his cohorts have always avoided that in spite of the fact that the facility was always there. It was excused by the attitude, oh it is the puppet regime that we will be supporting if we participate in elections. Which is a very convenient reason but it is a lot of twaddle. There has been no restriction on people really participating in a democratic process in South Africa. The only difficulty they may have is that it is not in a unitary state situation. But everyone has had the possibility of expressing a vote or registering a vote in the South African context. And they refuse to do this. So that leads me to believe that they really don't have a strong power base. And they are following in the footsteps of their communist masters who, as you know, use a relatively small minority of people to dominate the whole of the Soviet Union.

POM     Do you see de Klerk having conceded on the issue of majority rule? Or what kind of, does he have a grand design, or strategy on where he wants to go and how he is going to get there?

CL     He doesn't have a strategy, in fact we in the President's Council are busy now with different constitutional alternatives. And with a concentration this time on conflict resolving mechanisms. So it is obvious that he has no idea to what is going to happen and in spite of that he expects a lot of conflict. And he is looking for ways of resolving the conflict in his so-called new South Africa. De Klerk as I said has always been a mediocre politician and I don't believe he has any answer. He's continuing with the sort of ad hoc approach to government which has put us in the situation where the world investors certainly have no confidence whatsoever in South Africa anymore.

POM     But on the issue of majority rule, how do you think he stands on that?

CL     On the issue of majority rule, he has already committed himself to majority rule. He qualifies it by saying that they will ensure that minority rights will be protected. If he can just explain to us how those rights are going to be protected in a black majority government situation it may - it would become a bit clearer to us. But I don't believe he has got the answer to that even. I don't believe anyone else has.

POM     You equate majority rule as being equal to black majority rule?

CL     There is no doubt about it. The majority of people in this country are black. If you look at even the Zulu population, who should really be the real majority, they are black and they are the majority. So whatever we would have it certainly wouldn't be white rule.

POM     He has given a promise to the white community that he will go back and put any proposed new political dispensation before them.

CL     And he is already ducking and diving as to how he is going to do it. The traditional manner in South Africa when one wants to change constitutions and whatever is to go to the electorate in the form of an election. He is now saying that maybe an election won't be a good idea, maybe we should have a referendum. A referendum as far as we are concerned is totally unsatisfactory. Because in a referendum it is one of two questions and it is a straightforward yes or no and it is always much easier to say yes than it is to say no. We saw that in 1983 with the referendum of the new system. They put it in such a way that it was attractive to say yes and it was really an effort to say no.

POM     And you think he is looking for a similar type of mechanism?

CL     I'm sure he is looking for a similar type of mechanism.

POM     Now as a white person, why would you find it impossible to live under black majority government? What do you think it would do that would do irreparable harm your interests, or destroy your value system?

CL     First of all if we look at African rule in the African continent there is no doubt whatsoever that African leaders are unable to maintain the western civilised standards to which we are accustomed. And it is for that very reason that whether the Zulu's are the majority or the Xhosas are going to be in control or any other African nation, I as a westerner have no confidence in their ability to go and lead the way westerners would go and lead. And therefore I reject them. There is too much of a difference which exists between the west and Africa for a Africa government to be able to successfully govern a western nation.

POM     Do you see there being involved a very different sets of values?

CL     Certainly, one has to just look at it in terms of Christianity. Even the mighty Roman Catholic church has had to change its basic principles to accommodate Africa. You know the Catholic church believes in monogamy but not in African terms. In African terms you can still be a Catholic even if you have five or six wives. You know, where do we draw the lines here? Are we now going to abort our principles to such an extent that in fact we become some sort of a third world situation just to accommodate Africa which in my opinion has made little or no contribution to anybody's well-being in world history?

POM     To go back to the question of values, how would you just compare and contrast values that the African and the white person have in common and where in fact are significant differences between the two?

CL     Well you know when I look for common values it is very difficult. As I mentioned, the whole basis of Christianity is aborted by Africa in its desire to placate itself. And that is a very serious difference. If one looks at the whole question of western civilisation's approach to provision for old age, and here I think the Africans are superior to us in a large degree, but they differ totally from us in terms of old age provisions. We provide ourselves with a financial pension. They provide themselves with numerous children which will then ensure that they will live a comfortable retired life when they reach old age. That is a difference. I mean that difference is what is causing the population explosion in Africa which western civilised people have already rejected decades ago as a solution. And I mean we have this population explosion now which is going to wreck not only South Africa if they allowed it to continue, but even the rest of Africa as a result of their traditions and their culture, their customs.

POM     How do you see the next couple of years unfolding? You know, de Klerk and Mandela have gotten to the point where the armed struggle is suspended. They are talking about getting down to real negotiations. What do you think is going to happen? How is this thing going to work?

CL     First of all I have very little confidence in the suspension of the armed struggle. In fact I will believe that when I see it. I know Africa a little bit better than most non-Africans because I have a very close contact with African people, I'm talking about the black African not the white African. So I'll believe that when I see it. What is going to happen is that we are working flat out to force an election on this government. We say they have no mandates for what they are doing. They didn't even ask for a mandate to unban the ANC and the Communist Party. The certainly didn't ask for a mandate to abolish the Separate Amenities legislations. Nor did they ask for a mandate to abolish the Group Areas Act. They had one of these very sort of empty, repressed, so give us a mandate to implement democracy. What is democracy? It looks as though you have as many definitions of democracy as you have definitions of inflation. And until they define what democracy is you Know we really don't know what they are talking about. But they certainly haven't a mandate for many of the things that they are doing now and as a result of that we say that they are morally obliged to go back to the electorate with what they have done to find out whether there is confirmation.

POM     But there is no reason why he should, why he didn't have to do that, so let's assume that de Klerk doesn't do that.

CL     No he doesn't have to do that. And of course he is not a person of the highest moral standards. I mean any man who can swear the to almighty God on his induction as President to enforce the laws of the country and then just disregard those laws obviously doesn't have very high moral standards. But one thing that these National Party people can do is withstand pressure. They are in fact getting softer and softer because of the way they are being pampered by their own party. They have been given all sorts of perks and what have you in return for an absolute one-hundred percent loyalty. And you know the last election member of parliament who wanted to stand for the National Party actually had to sign an undertaking to the effect that should they change their political affiliations that they would be obliged to resign from parliament. And you know nobody wants to do that at a sacrifice of their pensions, etc., etc. I mean these people are so pension oriented and perk oriented that it is quite pathetic. Whereas if you look at the Conservative Party we have people who sacrificed Cabinet Minister posts to stand up for their principles. In fact the majority of people who have stood for the Conservative Party have made very considerable financial sacrifices as well as status sacrifices. So we believe that we will be able to pressure him into holding an election and we have a whole strategy which we are literally planning now.

POM     Let's for a moment, just for the sake of argument, assume that that strategy doesn't work. In fact, he says I don't have to go to the electorate until 1994 and I have a majority and I am holding on. How will the process between him and Mandela unfold while you are trying to put this pressure on?

CL     Well, can he admit that the only partner in the discussion is Mandela? Because the minute he does that he is going to lose the support of Buthelezi, he is going to lose the support of Mangope, the leader of the Bophuthatswana nation, and a lot of other people as well, you know, who say wait a minute, we only understood Mandela to be one cog in the wheel.

POM     Well say he says, I invite everybody to the table including the Conservative Party and everyone is invited to the table?

CL     Well of course if he does that we immediately answer that he is irrelevant in South Africa in terms of as far as he is elected is concerned. Because even a secret survey which the National Party conducted in March confirmed that the Conservative Party had a majority support amongst his electorate. I mean I am talking about more than 50% support. So that is a clear majority and it is a clear rejection of Mr. de Klerk. We in the Conservative Party have committed ourselves to constitutional methods with which to gain power. But if Mr. de Klerk denies us those constitutional methods then obviously we have to revise our whole position. And there are many methods that we can use as far as that is concerned. One which is a perfectly legitimate method without resorting to violence, is withdrawing all of the whites out of the economy of South Africa and seeing how long the economy will last before it collapses. I wouldn't give it seven days.

POM     Massive withdrawal?

CL     There's a massive withdrawal of white labour. And the whites are getting to the stage where they are prepared to entertain such a notion because they feel they are being betrayed by this government. I see something in politics today which I haven't seen for many, many years and that is when we hold a political meeting there are large numbers of National Party supporters present, or people who voted National Party on the sixth of September. And a lot of them joined the Conservative Party immediately after the meeting. Which means that Mr. de Klerk is shedding his constituency a lot a quicker than even he realises. And those people are the people who now really have come to the realisation that they are being betrayed. And they are acting a lot more strongly than established conservatives.

POM     Do you see this process of getting to the point of where there will be a table with Buthelezi, Mandela, the homeland chiefs, the self governing presidents? I mean if you are calculating things in your head what are you calculating on probably happening?

CL     OK, we say two things can happen. We say that, and this is happening, that the African leaders of the different nations are now beginning to realise that the government intends selling them down the river as well, to ANC rather rule, in spite of the fact that the ANC really has no constituency. I think if anyone has seen it clearly it is Chief Buthelezi. And we have had high level talks with the Zulu nation regarding the possible formation of an alliance with themselves and other African nations. I mean Bophuthatswana are very strongly on our side now as a result of an attempted coup by the ANC in their country. And the thing that frightens them is that it looks as though the government condones these ANC inspired coups. And that certainly doesn't win them any friends. So the one scenario is that there will be an alliance of nationalists of the different nations, including the Conservative Party, which would be strong enough to counteract the alliance which de Klerk is busy forming with terrorist mergers and all sorts of radical organisations which really have very little relevance. The other situation is that he could say well OK, we'll throw caution to the wind. We will form an interim government with the ANC, this is what the ANC are demanding as well, with the ANC, we will even go into coalition with the ANC and we will rule. When that happens of course then we have another ball game.

POM     What would, in the event of that happening ...?

CL     Well I think that would trigger off a civil war in this country.

POM     Well, you know, I must tell you that we have talked to I think as broad a cross section of people that it is possible to talk to, from the far right to the far left and everybody in between. And the feedback we get is that, one, the drift of the white population to the Conservative Party is understandable, it is due to uncertainty, fear of change, fear of living standards going down, but that in time it will stabilise and de Klerk has until 1994 and he and Mandela and whoever else is involved in this process can cobble something together that will meet with the approval of the majority of the people. [You simply find that.....]

CL     I find that very far fetched merely because history has a habit of repeating itself. And similar arguments were used prior to 1948 when the National Party came into power by the government of the day, the United Party. They had postponed the election until they couldn't postpone it any longer and then they had an election and they lost the election. The same thing is going to happen in South Africa. So, you know, no matter what these people think in terms of fears and what have you, I don't believe it is anything to do with the fear of white people who will then adjust as far as that fear is concerned. What is really causing a massive move across to the Conservative Party is that more and more white people are actually personally experiencing the folly of National Party policy. I mean one only has to look at the Mau Mau type tactics which are being used against elderly farmers in all of the agricultural districts. That's the Mau Mau that is operating there. And we all know who the Mau Mau is in South Africa, it is the ANC, the tyres and matches team. And it is that sort of thing which is convincing people that the only hope for them is the Conservative Party. It has nothing to do with fear of what may or may not happen. They know what is happening, they are experiencing it. And that is why when the National Party turns around after the Umlazi election and says oh, the reason why the Conservative Party did so well was because of our dirty propaganda, I think were the words used. I laughed at them because anyone who is in propaganda will tell you that it is impossible to generate any type of propaganda to cause a swing the size of Umlazi against the brainwash of the National Party for the past ten years. You can't correct something like that in three months.

POM     What do you expect to happen in Randburg?

CL     I don't know. You see Randburg has nothing to do with us. It is really not, it is probably one of the worst possible constituencies for the Conservative Party to take.

POM     The last time you got about 655 votes.

CL     No 755.

POM     How well would you have to do in order to be able to claim a victory?

CL     Well if we doubled our votes that would be growth, a very significant growth in an area like that. Because you see Randburg is not a simple constituency. Randburg is the area which was developed by the Anglo-American corporation and which has a lot of their employees actually living in the constituency area. That is why Randburg is virtually a no-go area for us. If I had any say in the matter I wouldn't even enter the Randburg constituency because Randburg is irrelevant to our South Africa. People feel that we must go in. We are the official opposition and we must see what growth we can register in that area. They are talking about pulling in 3,000 votes, that is a 400% increase in our last performance. Even if we say, OK, our last performance was bad, let's say it is a 200% increase we should have got 1,500 votes and now we have got 3,000. It is a hundred percent increase. Sort of massive growth in terms of our support in that area.

POM     When people come to you and say I've come to the Conservative Party and you say, we want a white homeland, the right to self-determination and that is fair enough, and what we are having is an open ended negotiating table, everybody comes and everybody puts on the table what they want and then as in all negotiations we negotiate. What is your objection to that process per se?

CL     Well we say that negotiations regarding the self-determination rights of the white nation are unacceptable. We are not prepared to even talk about that. We demand self-determination. Self-determination of the white nation is not negotiable.

POM     But in the end in order to define it, establish its geographical boundaries, its typical dimensions, don't you have to negotiate with someone?

CL     No we go to the electorate. And the electorate have already told us that there are large areas of the surface area of South Africa where we have the majority support. Where people are quite happy with the Conservative Party's attitude. I mean one only has to look at the map of South Africa in relation to the constituencies which we have already won. And then go a step further and look at the constituencies that we would win with a 6% swing across to the Conservative Party. And you will find that almost 84% of the surface area of the Republic of South Africa is ours. We say that the land that belongs to the whites forms the basis of the white territory. Nobody can dispute that. The farming community, the agricultural community have come out very strongly in their own referendum against any more of their land being handed over to people who have no rights to that land. And so, you know, that to us is not a negotiable matter. How dare de Klerk assume the right to negotiate away white land? He certainly hasn't got a mandate for that.

POM     Again, I don't get it in terms of process. What is the process here? I mean de Klerk's initiative has now gone for seven months. It actually has moved. It has moved from the point of the first tentative conversations, through scares about Red plots, through the point where the ANC has, for all ostensible purposes, ended their armed struggle.

CL     Suspended their armed ...?

POM     They are now putting teams of people together to talk about how the negotiation process can be structured. They are talking about other parties being taken into the process. Here you are sitting on the outside, saying we have our demands and they have to be accepted and we are not going to talk to anybody. Many people would say the world will just march right by you.

CL     OK, then we say that to prove that he has the support of the electorate he must call an election.

POM     They don't have to do it.

CL     No, OK, but he doesn't have the support then. We are going to conduct referendums in a number of constituencies that we didn't win at last election. Referendums based on the voters rolls for those constituencies. And if we get a 50% plus support in those constituencies he loses his mandate in those constituencies. I think we would even be prepared to test this in court as far as his claims to representing the white electorate on whose behalf he insists he's negotiating. We say he is not. And you know that even the communists, the black communists are saying now that they don't see de Klerk as having a power base anymore and they are asking themselves the question as to why are we still having discussions with him.

POM     So you see no possibility of the Conservative Party joining any negotiating process before an election is held and then even after an election were held that your right to self-determination must be accepted before you will sit down?

CL     After an election we will have control of the government. Then we are the people who say what happens and what doesn't happen, legitimately. And certainly we won't talk in term of negotiations with the ANC.

POM     So you are the government ...?

CL     Yes so we are the government and then it becomes a different ball game. And then we'll be prepared to say to the other guys, look chaps, we went to our voters for a mandate to institute a white government and to retain white sovereignty in the territory owned by the whites. And that is what we are going to do. But we will give you the right to do whatever you like in your territories. In other words the Bophuthatswanas and Sesothos and the Xhosas and all of these people want to come together into one happy little mix up which we believe to be a recipe for conflict, they can do that. But they are not going to have any say in the sovereign territory of the white nation.

POM     And that would occupy the 84% of the land mass?

CL     Not necessarily. Dr. Treurnicht is on record as having said that we are prepared to negotiate regarding the size of territories or the borders of territories. And we are prepared to accept a smaller South Africa. We will have to then enter into discussions with the different nations to see where we can reach an accord as far as the borders are concerned, and in the case of the Coloured nation and the Indian nation in terms of the territory which is their traditional territory. We can only negotiate that once we are in government. So we will be accepting a smaller area, but, you know, I always qualify this whole question of surface area of land by reminding people that 65% of the surface area of South Africa is arid or semi-arid land. It is the sort of land where you need 25,000 acres of land to eke out a living. The vast majority of that land falls into the territory which forms the 87% of the surface area which belongs to the whites. If one looks at the really productive agricultural land 60% falls within the territories of the African nations and produces 7% of the food. So we must qualify this whole question of the surface area of land. I don't even like to talk about it.

POM     60% which is the 7%?

CL     7% of the total food produced in South Africa is produced by 87% of the population on 60% of the agricultural land. Fifteen percent of the population, produces 93% of the food on 40% of the fertile land. Nobody ever talks about that. And to us it is the whole crux of the matter. Africa is different. They don't produce for profit, they don't produce massive quantities so that they can sell it. They produce just enough to keep their families alive, or to keep them going. I mean how do you change that attitude in a decade or even in a century when these people have been doing it for thousands of years? That is one of our big problems.

POM     How would you assess Mandela's performance since he's come out of prison?

CL     Well, you know I didn't expect Mandela to perform any better than he has. In fact I dispute Mandela's right to claim leadership of anybody because he is mediocre. It is very easy to work up or to stir up people whom even the Anglo-American corporation in their training literature describe as emotive people. It is very easy to stir those guys up into revolutions [and sharp polls(?)] and all of these sorts of things. But when it comes to running a country, one has to listen to what Mandela says, he is a governmental idiot. He wouldn't even survive in the bureaucracy never mind as a political leader with his attitudes. And it is obvious he doesn't know what is going on in politics. So he is a figurehead.

POM     Who is calling the shots?

CL     I believe Joe Slovo is calling the shots. And in fact my information from within the discussions is that he is the key, he is the man who does the talking and Mandela does the bowing and scraping, although he is of course pushed forward in public, calls to the meetings and so on. But there is no doubt in my mind that Slovo is the man and I question that as well. I question the right of de Klerk to even allow Slovo to participate in these discussions because he is not even a South African citizen. He travels on, according to my reports, even a Russian passport. And we know he was a KGB colonel even though he says he is not one today and tries to make a joke of it. There is no doubt that he was one in the past. And KGB colonels are not just picked off trees. They are specially selected people.

Mrs L     Party hands down in the last election, worse over, then suddenly hundreds of squatters plopped themselves down in front of, quarter of a million, half a million rand property, this is now not CP people, DP people. And in front of their properties, between their property and the beach. And there was a human cry, uproar, and who was called in to sort it out? The CP. So we said, well you wanted it, you got it, what are you going to do about it? And no, no we must do something, and they formed committees and they stood on their heads. Now there is a meeting coming up on Friday which Clive's going to address and yet there is actually a law in this country against squatting, as there is Paris and Germany and in fact Paris recently they bulldozed some squatters out of the Place Vendome, somewhere, somebody who had pitched tents in the main street, but there wasn't a hue and cry over that, so that is fine. But the white population in this country has been bamboozled and so browbeaten that they are loath to take action against things like that. They are worried about the press some of them, not all of them, some of them. So we sit now with a situation that is becoming untenable. There is more sewage, there is typhoid, there is food lying around, there are rats, and they are phoning and saying we spent lunch with them, it is not our area. We didn't even have a candidate there. And now ...

Pat     What are they doing?

Mrs L     Oh they - and they want to get these people out under the law. Not illegally. But the government to apply the law. You know it is symptomatic of what is happening throughout the country today.

CL     Isn't this marvellous, this is the debating order this morning, for the debate that took place this morning and I received it this afternoon?

Mrs L     I've been just telling these people how you've been a white horse to the whites, what do they say, knight in shining armour.

POM     What do you think is going to happen in the black community?

CL     Well it is happening already. The black people are coming to us asking us why law and order is not being maintained in their areas. They don't like the so-called law and order being foisted upon them by the ANC and the comrades and this is building up a heavy resistance. But unfortunately Africa is not a self-motivated reactionary force. If we had to be subjected to the intimidation that the ANC throws around some of those ANC guys would die a rather horrible death. Africa doesn't react like that. They are frightened out of their wits. They don't know who to turn to because nobody takes somebody else's battle. And they are very family oriented, very closely knit and very protective in that environment. But outside of that there is no inter-support. So these people are coming to us now and asking us to help them. I mean when there was this talk of the impending coup in Bophuthatswana, Bophuthatswana people came to us and said please help us. We did a couple of things which I can't tell you about but we certainly did help them. And I believe that it went a long way towards stopping the coup. But that is the situation we have in South Africa. And there is no doubt in my mind that when the Conservative Party comes into power there is going to be a large degree of relief, particularly amongst the urban population, the urban African population.

POM     Why don't I leave it there for the moment and what I'll do is get a copy of this made and sent on to you so that when we talk again we can pick it up from where we ended. One last question. What is going to happen in the next year? When I come back here to talk to you next year what will have changed?

CL     Well, I think you are going to see a lot of changes in terms of faces. I think that the pressures on the government are going to see changes in the Cabinet. And the pressures on members of parliament are going to see people suddenly losing an appetite for being in public life. And maybe we will even be on the verge of an election. I don't think Mr. de Klerk is happy at all with his progress. Now I saw him, you know I very seldom watch television because television in this country is National Party propaganda, but I happened to watch Good Morning South Africa the other day while he was photographed in discussions with Mandela and Chris Hani [Catheney(?)] and he certainly didn't look like the cat that had swallowed the - on the contrary he looked as though he had swallowed a mouse that had got poison in its tail. He looked very down and out. So, things are not going well for him. And maybe if the Conservative Party can drum up sufficient pressure it will become more attractive for him to have an election and get their noses out of it than to carry on bumping his head against a brick wall.

PK     Do you think the Conservative Party should not discourage the more militant elements of the right as sort of a countervailing pressure against what is happening on the other side?

CL     Do we say they should not?

PK     Right.

CL     I don't agree with any type of violence. And I don't think in any case at this stage that there is a need for violence. Things are looking very positive for us, we are growing at a very satisfactory rate and contrary to what most people believe we believe we are going to be able to force an election and that is what we need. When people start shooting you lose the potential support of a lot of people because white people are not aggressive people. They are decent peace-loving people and they don't like to be related to anything to do with violence. Our media here, of course, very successfully at times links these militant right wingers with us to our detriment. I think fewer and fewer people are falling for that trick, but we don't agree with violence. We say that the only time you can justify violence is when a civil war situation exists and we are a long way from that.

POM     Thank you.

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.