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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

16 Aug 1990: Terre'Blanche, Eugene

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POM     We're talking with Eugene Terre'Blanche on the 16th of August. Mr. Terre'Blanche, many people would say that there is a process of negotiation between the ANC and the government taking place that is slowly reaching the point of irreversibility. What can the AWB do to either slow, halt, or derail that process?

ET     I don't think we can do anything about it because my government at this stage, it has the power to go on to negotiate. What it does not have is the right to go on. Mr. de Klerk has not the right to go on with the negotiations. He lied to his electorate last year. The last election, he didn't tell his people that he will release Mandela unconditionally. He didn't tell them that he will legalise the South African Communist Party. He will legalise the ANC, which are a bunch of communist-trained, communist-financed, communist-inspired murderers. Mr. de Klerk has no mandate to do all those things yet he is doing them. So nobody can stop him. What we are doing now is to prepare ourselves for the revolution because we know the ANC is not interested in power sharing. The ANC and the communist, Joe Slovo, and they are one, they own the whole of South Africa, everything, they already declared war, while my poor government is talking about peace. When they meet at the negotiation table Mandela will be there with the Communist Party, with the PAC, with the Azanian People's Organisation, with COSATU, all the different black racial organisations, with uMkhonto we Sizwe with their arms. They did not abolish the armed struggle, they did not renounce violence, it's only a matter of seize, [vile seize], that's all. So what they will actually do is to claim and to demand with their arms, with the threat of violence, with the threat of war, with the threat of revolution, and my government will give in to them and it will sell us out.

POM     Could I make two comments on that? One is that Mr. de Klerk is obliged by his campaign promise to go back to the white electorate and put what any new constitution is proposed before them and they have a chance if they want to reject it out-of-hand.

ET     He will not go back to the electorate. The general election he will call at the most is a referendum. I'm not satisfied with that.

POM     What if he does call a referendum of whites? And what if a majority of whites do, in fact, endorse the constitution of change that he puts forward. What is your position then?

ET     See, to understand my answer, you have to understand my history. I negotiated with him last year in November.

POM     You negotiated with?

ET     With de Klerk, yes, over in the middle of the Union buildings, and at that stage I said, I dared him to call a referendum or an election in those parts I am interested in, the old Boer Republics, the sole property of the Boer people, the Transvaal, the Orange Free State, Northern Natal with Richards Bay as our harbour and the northern part of the Cape Province, more or less 25% of the country. If you call a referendum or an election, I will accept the results of that election or referendum. But that is not what he wants. He will, I think he will call a referendum for the whole South Africa.

POM     You mean for all the whites in South Africa?

ET     Yes, for all the whites, but I'm not a white man, I'm a Boer. I'm not a racist, don't call me a white man, I don't mind whether you are white or Technicolor or pink, if you deny me my right to have my own country, my own land, then you are my enemy and that has nothing to do with colour. If you are from America or from the Transkei, like Mandela, who denies me the right to have my own country, my own republic, then you are my political enemy. So I am not interested in a referendum, in a white referendum. I'm interested in a referendum or an election in the Boer country. We fought for a piece of land in the southern part of Africa, the old Boer Republics. All I want for my people is my land. I cannot give my country my land, which my ancestors died for, to Xhosas or to white liberals. I am not interested in a referendum right through South Africa from the north to the south, but a referendum in those parts which I claim.

POM     What about a referendum among just Afrikaners?

ET     No way, no, because English-speaking Afrikaners or people who want to be part of my country, you are acceptable for me, to whom I am acceptable, they can vote, they can even call the Coloureds to vote in those parts which I claim. The Coloureds can vote, too, I don't mind. The Indians can vote, too. But not the other nations, the Xhosas, Vendas, and the Sothos because they have their land. You can probably speak to any black man in the street right now, ask him from which nation he is and where is his land, and he will tell you, 'I'm a Xhosa, my land is the Transkei', 'I'm a Sotho, my land is Lesotho', 'I'm a Tswana, my land is Botswana and Bophuthatswana', so they cannot vote. But I'll accept a referendum or an election between the whites, the Coloureds, and the Indians in those parts which I claim as a Boer country. Recognised by the British people, by the world during the conventions of 1854 and 1852, Bloemfontein and Sand River. That is my land. We paid for it.

POM     How do you differentiate between a Boer and an Afrikaner?

ET     You see, that is why I say, to understand my answer, you have to understand my history. I think there are two different nations, Afrikaner nations, in South Africa: the South African from the Cape Province and the Boer from the Boer Republics. All history, all the battles, all the creations, the civilization in the Boer Republics, has been done by the Boer, not the South Africans, they are still staying in the Western Cape Province and in Durban and maybe in the midst of Johannesburg. There is a difference, yes, although we are speaking the same language. What is more interesting there are more English-speaking Afrikaners or Boers than you think in my country, in the Transvaal and the Free State. For genuine republicans, language is not the reason to adopt people to yourself or to put them out of your circle of culture. Language, that is not so very important. What is important is people who are acceptable for each other, morally the same background, the same ideas, the same dreams, who committed themselves to the same struggle. And that is to survive as a nation. What is a Boer?

POM     So you want to have a Boer nation carved out of what is now South Africa that would be an independent self-determining state in its own right?

ET     Like it was before the English took it from us, yes.

POM     What essentially is the difference between yourselves and the Conservative Party who also claim that?

ET     The Conservative Party thinks they can create a situation in one united South Africa with apartheid where they will, with laws, force on all the people in South Africa, where they will think they can save their white skins. I'm not interested in that. I want my land. I want borders, not laws. You, maybe, I don't know where you are living, but in my home and in all those homes in Ventersdorp people put a border, a fence, or even a concrete wall on their own borders. And the reason is because they don't want conflict with their neighbours. But many of them put a gate in that thing so that you can walk through, eventually you can negotiate through the gate. And I think that is the only solution in South Africa. To give, as long as there is a devil and hell, there will be people on earth, no angels on the earth. The angels, they are in heaven. Now as long as that is going on there will Mandela and there will be Terre'Blanche. Terre'Blanche wants his own and to keep his own, and Mandela will try to grab the other man's property.

POM     So in this Boer state, what happens to blacks who live in it?

ET     If they want to live here, if they want to stay here, they will be treated as guests. Then it is out of their own free will.

POM     They would have not rights?

ET     No, they will have no political rights. Will you give me political rights in your country? Can I vote?

POM     You probably could.

ET     Yes, can I vote from here?

POM     Not from here.

ET     Where are you from?

POM     Ireland. So if you lived there, you probably could.

ET     Ireland. No, my good friend, you in Ireland cannot even share power with the British people, don't talk nonsense. You fought them for 700 years. You will never give me political rights in Ireland while I am still a South African. How can I give a black man from Lesotho, or Venda, or Qwaqwa, or the Transkei, political rights in their own land? They have their lands.

POM     Let me tell you. Irish law, if you go and live in Ireland, if you are a South African with five years of residency, you can obtain political rights and vote in an election.

ET     That is interesting. But Mr. Mandela he did not even visited Ventersdorp, no Xhosa ever went through Ventersdorp. They didn't stay for one month in South Africa. They are from the Transkei. Now they are negotiating about my country. You want me to give them the vote and my country? Why, it's impossible, my God, no. I like the Irish people, yes, I like them a hell of lot, because they are fighters, and that is why I cannot understand why they do not understand my struggle for survival. They cannot share power with the British people. Or put it this way, nobody will ever ask the Jews to share power with Yassar Arafat. They will laugh at it. Well, the difference between a Jew and a Palestinian is smaller than the difference between a Boer and a Xhosa.

POM     What are the differences?

ET     The difference between me and a Xhosa? God, culture, civilization, we didn't steal from them land but at least we didn't steal factories, highways, hospitals, that's the difference. We use Firestone and Goodyear tyres on our cars to drive around. They use it around somebody's bloody neck and put a match on it. That is the difference. The difference of using a tyre is the difference between me and the Xhosas. The one of them, the Xhosa, is using it for their own purposes, to destroy and to maim, to kill and to burn. The other one, me, is using it to drive around. That is the difference. Don't you think that is a hell of a difference?

POM     Let me go back for a moment to the armed struggle.

ET     Bigger than the difference between your island and the English. I think you both ride on Goodyear tyres.

POM     Can you go back for a minute to the armed struggle? Most people with whom I've talked with in the last two years kind of smile when you mention the ANC, the armed struggle, saying that it existed far more in rhetoric than in reality and the armed revolution, as revolution movements go, is really pathetic. The IRA, for example, in Northern Ireland would be ten times superior in terms of their ability to carry out actions and in terms of the power they can exercise. What is it about, one? Do you believe that the armed struggle is stopped? And two, how serious a threat is the ANC if they're armed? What is the serious threat of it? They never will overthrow the state. Do you believe they would?

ET     They will never overthrow the state. You are quite right. Because we will stop them. We will not do the same as the colonial, the white colonial governments, did in Africa. We will stop them. We are fighting stock and what is more, this is our only one country. We do not have a motherland or a fatherland to go back to. We are not colonialists, we are an independent nation, a people recognised by the world, so we have no other place, so we will have to fight them. But their threat is real. They fought us.

POM     Their military threat is real?

ET     Their military, because people who do not understand our history and our cause will assist them, like they did in the past. They will give them weapons and even train them, like the communists did in the past. And communism is not dead, my friend, it was only a collapse of their economics system. The fact is, they will be strong enough, with communists and liberalists who will support them with weapons and money to go on with the struggle.

POM     If tomorrow morning you got a call from Nelson Mandela and he said, let us sit down and you put your demands on the table and I put my demands and we will discuss them.

ET     Do you smoke?

POM     No.

ET     OK, now you want to smoke. That will be the same thing, if Mandela says, 'You want to smoke?' I'm a smoker. So I must give him my tobacco pack, my pipe, my lighter, and my ash tray and now I will say, 'Mandela, let's smoke. What will you give me?' Nothing. Why, how can he discuss, why, how can I negotiate with a man who can offer me nothing? I don't want one single piece of his land. He cannot give me factories and highways and hospitals and schools. I am not interested in his culture. I'm not interested in his gods. He cannot help me with culture, with civilization. You can only negotiate with a person who can give something to you and I give something to him. And so we can change.

POM     Well, OK, but at the same time, he is sitting down with the government, he's coming to an arrangement with the government whereby two years from now ...

ET     My good friend, I'm not from the government. I'm a little bit of a resistance movement. Ask de Klerk that, not me.

POM     I know, but two years from now Mandela might be part of a government that is ruling South Africa.

ET     Might be.

POM     Might be.

ET     This is South Africa, not Ireland my good friend. This war we will win. No, that is not your question, the question is, will I negotiate with him? And I say, no, I cannot negotiate with a man who can't offer me anything. That's madness.

POM     Will you negotiate with the government?

ET     Yes, I did in the past. I will do it again.

POM     Ok, what was the ...

ET     At least he is the government.

POM     What form did those negotiations take?

ET     More or less the same the form it is taking right now with you and me.

POM     He sat down and he talked to you.

ET     Yes.

POM     And you gave your views to de Klerk. What did he say?

ET     I don't think he was very happy about it. What do you think he said?

POM     I'd say he wasn't very happy.

ET     Eh, hey. Why do you say that? The difference between my government and Mandela, my good man, if you say let's talk about a better understanding, about creating job facilities, you from England and me from South Africa, I can understand. But Mr. Mandela can't offer me anything. Why must I discuss my country with him? The same man who already declared war on us by saying, 'I will nationalise your banks, I will take your farms, cut it into smaller land and then redistribute it to the people who worked on it, I will normalise your economic situation', for a communist to say that means the confiscation of private property. I will not, you know, when I will talk to him over the barrel of a gun. Because he has already declared war. For a man to say - you know, if you go to my farm outside here, you'll see a note there saying, 'Trespassers will be prosecuted'. That is my property. And he said he will take my property. I have the title deed on that property. He will take it from me without paying me and give it to other persons. Now you want me to negotiate how he will take my property? If one night a murderer is knocking on your door saying, 'I want to kill you.' What would you do? Go tell him,' Please let's go negotiate the way you want to kill me?' Or will you blast him level with the gravel?

POM     You began by saying that there was nothing that you could do to stop the ongoing process of negotiations between the. Government and the ANC. Those negotiations are going to result in something. There is going to be a government in Pretoria, whether that is headed by Nelson Mandela or de Klerk or the two of them, there will be a government there.

ET     If Mr. de Klerk goes on like this, it will be Mr. Mandela.

POM     Now Mr. Mandela is in the government, will you negotiate with him?

ET     I will start war that night.

POM     Well, then, put it a different way. Have you contested elections? Has your organisation contested elections? Where do you get the mandate to go to war? On whose behalf are you going to war?

ET     For those people in my guard, yes, and for those people. We fought the British and the Irish. And as I said, we killed more than twenty-two thousand of them because of our land. That's my mandate. And my promise, the holy vow and Blood River when we promised God that we will keep this land in his hand and we will build churches and we will remember the Day of the Vow each year in the name of God. That's my mandate, my God gave me that mandate. I don't want anything for myself. But I am committed to my vows and to my history and to my God. That is the biggest mandate. I do not need, and I also stated that I will accept, the result of an election or a referendum in the country in those parts which I claim. That gives me the mandate.

POM     The Irish fought on the side of the Boers. The Irish Transvaal Committee fought on the part of the Boers at Ladysmith.

ET     Yes, there was a good man. Colonel Blake, my good friend, General Colonel Blake. He fought with the Boers.

POM     So we didn't fight with the British.

ET     Well, you fought with the British against my people. The British people even put the black man under arms, the Australians, they used the world to fight against us.

POM     What would you have against testing the level of support for your idea in an election?

ET     I do not have - I asked the Prime Minister last year, 'Please, let's have an election or a referendum in those parts which we claim in the old Boer Republics.' If he will do that, that will be the solution. Because the outcome of that election will show that we are right. But he will never do it. I want secession. That's the only solution.

POM     What leads you to believe that you can mount a military campaign against the resources of the state that will bring about what you want? I mean, there is no clear indication that the majority of Boers even back you.

ET     That is what you are saying, my good friend.

POM     I'm putting it as a question.

ET     That is a strange way to put a question. You are answering your very own question.

POM     No, I'm not. I think it is difficult to do something if you are not sure that a majority supports you.

ET     I am sure. That is the reason, for the third time, why I dared the Prime Minister to call an election or a referendum. And I will lay myself down to the decision of the electorate in the parts which my forefathers fought for in the old Boer Republics. The man who is not sure about his support is the Prime Minister. Not me. Go and ask him that question.

POM     So you would have the election in the Northern Cape, the Orange Free State, the northern Natal and the Transvaal?

ET     The Boer Republics.

POM     The Boer Republics.

ET     The old Boer Republics. That's all I will need to see. I believe the solution lies in dividing the land, not sharing power. Because you are Irish, your people showed this, for seven hundred years, you cannot share power.

POM     Seven hundred years, four months and three days.

ET     And the Jews, and the Palestinians, and the people from Eastern Europe who dragged themselves from the claws of the red bear of communism, who are back to national states. They showed it to me. And what is right going on now in South Africa the day before yesterday, the Xhosas and the Zulus clashed and they killed more than thirty people, one day. This month they already killed a few hundred.

POM     So, ever since negotiations?

ET     No, no, the last couple of days. So they cannot even share power, the Zulu and the Xhosas. And now you want me to share power with them. And the difference between the Zulu and Xhosa are far smaller than the difference between you and me - and look how we are. Look how we are arguing right now.

POM     But again, because I am interested in finding out what - some of the questions that I'm putting to you are as a result of information that other people have supplied me with. So I have to construct the questions.

ET     I understand that. They put you in a hell of a situation because they lied to you.

POM     Then I will go back to them the next time and say, Hey ...

ET     You'll go back to them and say, 'You lied to me.' And then you can come back to me after those five years, you said two times a year, and you'll find me at least honourable. Maybe rude, but very honourable. I asked my good friend who said when they arrested him, he was an Irishman and a hell of a character, and they put him in jail and when he came back he said,' When I was so rudely interrupted', then he goes on with his speech. Do you remember? What was his name?

POM     Brendan Behan.

ET     No, I don't think it was.

POM     No, it was not?

ET     It might be. You can come back after your five years or your six months and you will find the same man.

POM     I think so.

ET     But I will not be here any more then. You will have to come to the Union Building.

POM     Many people that we've talked to over the last six weeks, and I think we have talked to about one hundred people from all political parties right across the spectrum, most people simply don't take the threat of the AWB that seriously. They say it is a passing thing.

ET     Strange, because our Minister, he's back to the wild west. He put 30,000 rand on one of the AWB's heads, so the military is taking them seriously. I don't know to whom you spoke to last.

POM     Well, they don't doubt the capacity for an act of violence here.

ET     Why don't you come to one of our meetings? You'll know that we are drawing the biggest crowds in South Africa. You know it's not strange for me to address a meeting in the City Hall to more than 10,000 people who attended that meeting. So, I don't know to whom you spoke.

POM     But there is no doubt in your mind that you can carry ...?

ET     You spoke to a hell of lot of liberals.

POM     I'll come to one of your meetings.

ET     You'll come to our meetings?

POM     Oh, sure.

ET     Take down, next week. City Hall. Friday the 24th, 7:30. I will see that you have a good table, good chair, because City Hall will be packed to capacity, I'll see that you have a chair.

POM     The ANC and the SACP, how would you make a distinction between the two?

ET     There is no distinction. The majority of the Executive of the ANC are members of the South African Communist Party.

POM     Now, your people obviously are anti-communist, anti on what grounds?

ET     Anti-communist? Because there's a God in my people, there's not in a communist. We are free people, independent people, we believe in free enterprise. They are communists, believing in taking other people's property. All they can do, as Joseph (Stalin) said during the forties, they can, as they did in the Eastern Europe, they can organise scarcity, and they can share poverty. That is communism. Me and my good friends do not believe in that kind of nonsense.

POM     Now with the collapse of communism.

ET     You remember that, write it down, Joseph said it to the leader of the Labour Party: all you can do is to organise scarcity and to share poverty. That is communism.

POM     Communism has collapsed in Eastern Europe, the Soviet Union.

ET     Only the economic part of communism, so they changed it. And it is so strange, you know, I can't believe it, you people cheered and hailed the Romanians and Bulgarians, all those blokes who re-established their national states and tried to be independent. But when I do it, in my country you do not understand it. What is going on in this world? It became mad, like the Greeks said, the gods made the people mad before they destroyed it.

POM     Going back to the question of values, what values do your people enunciate, advocate, that are different from the values that black people have?

ET     You're again talking about black people. What is the difference between the values of a Boer and a Xhosa or a Venda or a Sotho?

POM     So, let me rephrase it in that way.

ET     Can you not see the difference? When we came, when my ancestors came to this land, it was vast and open and uncivilized. With our sweat through pestilence and wars, we build a land, we came with ox wagons to this country, now we have the power to make a nuclear bomb, and they, in their national states, they do not even use the wheel. We believe in an almighty God, Jesus Christ, we believe in civilization. [we civilize through the ???, I stated it, I don't think it was the best way to say it.] But in the end I am back to the Firestone tyre. We believe in peace. We believe that each nation must have its own country. We believe in negotiations through the gate in the wall. We do not believe in taking over, or taking other people's property. We do not believe in matches, or petrol, we don't believe in destroying. To tell you what we want, we believe in keeping what is ours and fighting the people who are trying to steal our things. That is the difference.

POM     Would you have regarded apartheid as being wrong?

ET     No, I will never. To be a minority against a majority you must have laws if you live in the same country which will defend you or else they will walk over you. I don't think it was wrong, but I think the solution is to give a man his land and then let the people of each country, of each nation, decide. That is not my task. My people must decide what kind of political system they will have. My task is to resist the upcoming revolution which the ANC will start.

POM     Is not time against you? I mean, the demographics of the next twenty years would ...?

ET     Time is with me, my good friend.

POM     Time is with you?

ET     Right with me now, because the Eastern Europe states showed that time is with me. You cannot unite people in one big country with different views and different cultures under one communist system. You said communism collapsed. Now you are saying, isn't time against me? What I want, my good friend, is exactly what the Hungarians and Hans ... from Southwest Africa, a non-white captain who I met many times but last week too, who will declare UDI in a few months time in South West Africa. That will start a war. Because he's not interested in sharing his land and his power. That small nation, only 35,000 of them, the Basters, but that is the "in" thing right now. Like with Uganda.

POM     But the numbers, the sheer demographics of the next twenty years, and the population change, in all of South Africa, is going to reduce the whites, the Boers, the Afrikaners to an increasingly small percentage of the total population. Right?

ET     We were always a small-person nation. When we fought your people, we were only 50,000 against half a million.

POM     Who are my people?

ET     The British.

POM     The British aren't my people. Please.

ET     OK, when we fought the Tories, the Brits, they came to my land with more or less a half-million soldiers and we only were 50,000. When we fought the battle of Blood River we were 440 men against at least 15,000. That is the history of the Boer. When Gideon went to war, God himself let him go only with 300 men, he won the battle. It is not so good to be the majority. It is better to be a minority with your God and your idols and your worlds.

POM     One would think that since you were the first people who were also interned in concentration camps, one would think that you would have understanding and sympathy for other peoples who are also trying to gain their freedom.

ET     Yes, I understand very well. Those concentration camps showed me one thing, never try to take another nation's country from him by force. But you do not understand, we did not steal land from blacks. When my people came here, they came from the South, and the Nguni nation, the Zulus, they came from the North. So we met and we fought. But the land which I am claiming, we didn't even fight for. We negotiated. We bought the northern part from King Dinizulu and his ten captains. We have the title deeds still here. We bought certain part of the land of Natal from Dingaan. The people which we fought here in the Western Transvaal and the Orange Free State were the Matebele. And we tried to negotiate. We tried to make peace. But Mzilikazi didn't want to negotiate, didn't want peace. So of two battles, the battle of Kapain and Mosega, Hendrick (Potgieter) destroyed them and then they ran to Rhodesia to the Matete Hills where they are still today. So if a black man can claim land, maybe, and say he was first here, then it was the Matebele. How can I give my land to the Tswanas who came after the battles of Kapain and Mosega from Botswana to South Africa to the Boer Republic, worked on our land and now they are claiming it. The other blokes who are claiming, are the Xhosas from the Transkei and the Ciskei, the Zulus from Zululand, the Sothos from Lesotho. That's why I have understanding. That is what concentration camps teach me.

POM     When you think of yourself, do you think of yourself as a South African, an Afrikaner, a Boer?

ET     I think of myself as a Boer.

POM     How many people do you think, think like you?

ET     Tell de Klerk to call an election in the Boer Republics and you will know how many people think like me.

POM     The next year, how is this whole process going to unfold? You have situation where the obstacles to negotiations are out of the way.

ET     We are waiting for a revolution. My side, the Boer side, we are preparing ourselves for this revolution. They started the commando systems and the commandos during January and we already have thousands of trained men. If you are still in this country on the tenth of October, through all of the cities I have at least marched 5,000 trained commandos, members of the commandos. So in the next year, it will be a rat race. The ANC and uMkhonto we Sizwe are preparing them to take over, the government is trying to talk peace, to make peace to both sides. And we are preparing.

POM     Where will the security forces ...?

ET     You'll know where the security forces will be when the revolution starts. Most of those people are Boer people. Eighty-five to ninety percent of them are Boer.

POM     So you would expect wide-scale defections?

ET     I will not give you an answer which will help Mr. Vlok, the Minister of Law and Order. But you know, we are a people's organisation. So, the oath which police and the security forces take says, 'We are taking this oath in the name of our God, for our people and our country', and that is exactly what they say. We are fighting and we are resisting forces for our God, for our people and our country. Now the government, with a change of his views and politics, it's trying to let his security forces, which he trained through the years to fight the communists, to share power with anybody and instead of working against them now he wants them to work against their own people, the Boer people. That's impossible.

POM     When you look at the violence in Natal, how do you interpret that?

ET     Well I think what is happening right now, I think my government is trying to compromise with Inkatha for a one-man one-vote election. And the ANC knows it. And now the ANC is beginning to put pressure on Inkatha and the Zulus.

POM     You would see the Zulus and the National Party forming a alliance?

ET     Kind of an alliance, that is correct, yes. For they will lose the election, they will lose it I am sure. Like the rest of Africa you must remember what happened in Rhodesia. They thought the so-called moderate Muzerewa will win the election. They took Mugabe from the jail and he won the election. The same with South West Africa. A man with the name Mudge, Dirk Mudge, tried the same method, he started his own non-racial party, the Turnhalle Alliance, and he lost the election against the communists.

POM     What is your assessment of Mandela since he has come out of prison? How do you rate his performance?

ET     I think he is an old ex-criminal, still a communist, and not very intelligent. I don't think he can control the black masses to whom he made promises. He cannot even control his own wife, Winnie Mandela. A man who cannot control his wife, cannot control masses of people.

POM     But here, you have a set of beliefs, and you are ready to lay down your life for those beliefs, and here was a man that was prepared to spend his entire life in jail for the things that he believed in. Would you not have respect for him?

ET     Yes, I admire him for that, yes, but I do not admire his intelligence and his way of thinking and his way of declaring war to other people, his methods, ANC methods and Communist Party methods, is to kill and to maim and to rape women and children, so why must I admire him? I think he is stupid if he thinks as a Xhosa that he can have the Boers' land. He's only doing it because of the support which the liberals and the communists will be giving him.

POM     Finally, almost finally, I've seen many accusations made against you that you are a racist. Does that anger you?

ET     No, because I loath the way of thinking of stupid people. My movement is born out of love for our own, not out of hate for anybody else. I'm not a Nazi, I'm a Boer.

POM     How would you define a racist?

ET     I'm not a racist so I don't know it. I don't think I'm better because I am white. But I think I have the right, the same right as the British and the Germans to have my own country.

POM     So when I come back here six months from now?

ET     Don't scare me with that.

POM     How far advanced will things be? Will this country be drifting towards a civil war?

ET     A civil war.

POM     What will be the signs that it will be drifting towards a civil war?

ET     I think when you come back in six months time, it will not be as peaceful as now. There will be more attacks against the ANC and Inkatha, against white people and extreme white people, racists, which I am not one of, and blacks. I think we are heading for a revolution and in six months time you will see more of it.

POM     And there is no doubt in your mind that you are going to win that revolution?

ET     No doubt at all. I'm not saying that because I try to be smart or big, but we have a contract with our God. Second Blood River, the outcome of the second Blood River will be the same as the first. Better to die as a free man than to live as a slave in a communist country. I will not accept that.

POM     To give you inspiration, who are the figures in history that you most admire?

ET     You know, somebody else asked me that. And I couldn't tell them. I think my father and my mother and my grandfather.

POM     Did your grandfather fight in the Boer War?

ET     Yes, he came from the Cape Province, the Cape Rebels and fought with Boers. His mother was English. Their homeland was England. Can you imagine? That is why I say, What is a Boer? The Boer are English and Dutch and even Irish, German people who created a new nation.

POM     OK, just for myself, the difference between an Afrikaner and a Boer is?

ET     The Boer people fought all the wars. They are the people from the northern part of the country. The Afrikaner people, many of them are translated in English, they speak English in the Cape Province. That's why I say language in South Africa is not ...

POM     So would it be correct to say that all Boers are Afrikaners, but all Afrikaners are not Boers?

ET     That's correct. That's right. You see what happens? The white people in the Boer Republics were Boers when the British fought against us. In 1910 when Lord Milner - they became Afrikaners because they united the Cape Province with the Boer Republics, so they chose one name for all the Afrikaans speaking blokes, they made them Afrikaners. Later on the politicians made us South Africans. But the fact is we are still Boers.

POM     Thank you very much for the time.

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.