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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

26 Aug 1990: Mayekiso, Moses

Click here for more information on the Interviewee

Click here for Overview of the year

POM     I'm talking with Moses Mayekiso on the 26th of August. I want to take you back first to Mr de Klerk's speech on 2nd February. Did what he had to say surprise you and what do you think motivated him to move so broadly and so sweepingly at the same time?

MM     Truly his speech surprised everybody and we thought that because of the pressures from the struggle, people's struggle, that then he would at least announce the unbanning of the ANC and we have never thought of the unbanning of the SACP. And we have never thought of the unbanning of the uMkhonto we Sizwe and when it came, it came as a surprise. Again, even with the ANC, we didn't expect the complete unbanning without any restrictions in some quarters, in regards to the armed struggle, strikes and stayaways and protest actions which have been a sore in the government's attitude, the government's attitude towards the ANC and deprivation of the people of their rights. So, all in all, it was a surprise. And then it caught us unaware, I would say directly, 'pants down', as Mandela would express it. But if we had to adjust to that situation, it was, well, the reasons, we understood the reasons, through our understanding, we thought that as far as we are concerned, because of the hardness of Boers and they would not heed up to where they have gone to. But today we do understand why they did that. Well, we can see that they thought that they were saying that we have to unban these organisations, the unbanning of the African National Congress and South African Communist Party and at the end of the day we are going to encourage violence, we are going to instruct this police department to orchestrate violence and then at the end of the day we can have a mini-state of emergency. That was in order to scuttle the African National Congress organisation, scuttle or weaken their power, their base in the townships and some suburbs, white suburbs, by supporting Inkatha, to destabilise their support and by other destabilising with structural violence, and then come later and say, OK, we would like to get rid of this by introducing sort of a mini state of emergency, as it has happened now, further undermining support of the African National Congress. So now it becomes difficult to say that the February 2nd speech was merely a milestone or a success though the blacks took sovereignty.

POM     Do you think that De Klerk had a grand design in mind? That the unbanning of the ANC and the SACP and the bringing back of exiles and the organisations opening up is all part of a plan to identify them so that when Inkatha comes in and starts this violence, it weakens the ANC and the SACP and puts the government in a stronger position?

MM     You see, it's difficult to answer the question, but my immediate reaction would be that with the arrest of Mac Maharaj, who is part and parcel of the negotiating committee, of our negotiating committee, then I suspect that with this allowing exiles to come back home, unbanning the African National Congress, the SACP, then they want to divide people. There has been a lot of repression where the African National Congress members were arrested. It gives you sort of a doubt whether this was a ploy or not to identify the activities behind the African National Congress and the SACP, the activities inside, because they knew about the activities outside. All this violence and arrests and repression gives us a doubt about the sincerity of De Klerk and a clue that this is a ploy to identify people.

POM     Yet Mandela calls De Klerk a man of integrity. Does he share the view that you have?

MM     I think Mandela shares the same view but Mandela is beyond all these suspicions. He's a man, he's a saviour, our salvation rests on his shoulders. I think he also believes that then this is sort of a ploy, but someone, and he trusts De Klerk, but he's being betrayed by his flock and many other people who are in these state controls, the controls that are now orchestrating the violence.

POM     Do you see people in the police department and the security forces working with people in Inkatha?

MM     Well, to finish that question about Mandela, yes, we do feel that Mandela knows what these people are doing but he is beyond the understandings of our problems. They've been doing this for more than 30 years, so they use it, that's how we take it. And then also we were not thinking that by using that speech on 2nd February they were going to change, they're never going to change. Even if the top leadership like De Klerk changes, they are not going to change because that's how they were fed, they were fed with this violence. And also De Klerk is not really sincere, honest about the whole thing, for he's still talking about group rights, minority rights and so on. He's not really sincere about how we see liberation, how we see freedom, where an individual's person will be respected, in individual rights just like in other countries. Therefore, to come back to your last question, I would say that then we as people who are on the ground see that De Klerk is not honest.

POM     De Klerk is not honest?

MM     And the National Party is not honest. And the white people fear their past, they can see the problems, they just want to buy the international community to lift the sanctions, lift the isolation. And then what's going to happen is the protraction of the negotiations. Once all those are lifted and unban those organisations, why are you still isolating us? They would lift that and now what they are showing us again is what is happening in townships, this mini-emergency, they resent a mini-emergency. They're still committed to violence. No, Gatsha is their product, Gatsha Buthelezi. He's their homeland leader, he takes his instruction from Pretoria, he's paid by Pretoria, and what he is doing is on the instructions from Pretoria. What also links that with Pretoria is De Klerk's co-operation with Inkatha MPs, with Inkatha warlords, to destruct, to scuttle the ANC's initiative to re-establish itself on the ground. That all tells us that De Klerk is not really sincere.

POM     Does Mandela still believe that De Klerk is sincere?

MM     All that I have been raising. Also, Mandela, I think, is really thinking that the white community is not sincere. But I think Mandela is concerned and thinks that De Klerk is sincere, but he is facing difficulties from his community, especially the right wing.

POM     But you see it differently? You think that De Klerk is less sincere?

MM     Yes, apart from Mandela, I differ. I think De Klerk is not honest and I think Mandela also sees that but he is diplomatic. He doesn't want to scuttle these talks, initiatives. Because if De Klerk was sincere, he would instruct Vlok to disarm Inkatha, to be impartial, to disarm one side, not to kill one side and to arm one side as it is happening now. It is violence, violence, the violence that is orchestrated by the police.

POM     So it's the police working with elements in Pretoria and Inkatha.

MM     Yes.

POM     Do you think this is being orchestrated on the Inkatha side by Buthelezi himself?

MM     I think Buthelezi has been instructing this because the warlords always go to Ulundi to get fresh instructions. I think Buthelezi is involved in some way or another in instructing, in giving mandates to his warlords in Natal. We've got evidence of that. And also in Transvaal. But I wonder if his instructions or mandates are up towards happening. I think in some areas the right wingers take over using the present misunderstanding or violence to their advantage and also because our members in the hostels have identified white people shooting innocent hostel dwellers.

POM     They have?

MM     Yes, yes, like in the Transvaal but they can't identify the names but the colour of the people coming into their hostels, shooting them through the windows. And also the use of the rifles, that are used by the police. It's surprising you find ammunition used to kill people, ammunition related to (the rifles used by the police), the AK47. The African National Congress is serious about suspending the armed struggle. They have stuck to that. But we see the use of AK47 by the elements linked to the state, to Inkatha. Where do they get those? We know, but then the state has been confiscating the AK47s from the people, from the African National Congress cadres for years. They've been uncovering, they've been discovering, death forces we think, we are convinced, that there is a group of ... now. Why are they using the AKs? Just to confuse people, that the African National Congress is using the AKs, therefore the AKs belong to them, which now the evidence is clear that those AKs come from the police, they took their arms caches and so on.

POM     Where does this leave the negotiating process? What do you think is going to happen now?

MM     Well, we are behind our organisation, the African National Congress. We are committed to the negotiations. Whatever the people, the culprits who would like to see these negotiations stopped unfortunately, we are not going to be the first people to scuttle the negotiations. It would be the elements of the government. Then to answer the question is that then we would like to see the negotiations. Whatever happens, we would like to see negotiations actually. We would support our leaders.

POM     But can there be meaningful negotiations if the violence continues the way it has been going?

MM     That's a good question. That's why we are worried. Because if now there's this repression because we feel that then this war, this chaos, this anarchy was orchestrated by the police to undermine our organisation, the African National Congress, to undermine our power, to undermine our support, to throw confusion in the townships so then there would be no free demonstration, there would be no free political expression, there would be no free meetings, rallies, or whatever, there would be no free meetings where we can report back to our members and so on and so on. And therefore that was aimed at corroding support of the African National Congress because they know that in their white communities, in the black communities, the African National Congress would be the government of tomorrow, would be the main force of the Constituent Assembly. Therefore this is planned, you can see that this is planned. Inkatha can't afford financially to deploy its limited resources to all over the country, but it is happening. And also that the police are directly protecting the Inkatha MPs, they are not disarming the Inkatha MPs. They are attaining people with axes, with butcher knives, with guns, and with everything that's dangerous in full view of law and order officials. But when the ANC support the communities and just innocent people defend themselves, the police will disarm them and allow those people after disarmament to attack the other side. So then that is weakening the position and the strength of our people, of the African National Congress and we fear that then the whole thing is not going to be honest. Therefore we have to consider seriously what is to be done.

POM     What do you think will have to be done?

MM     Well, as far as I'm concerned, I think this violence is, because it's orchestrated by the government, by the government institutions, it is not De Klerk himself, it is his institutions, and therefore I think we have to swallow it, the bitter pill, and allow a neutral force that is going to administer law and order in this process, in the process towards one person, one vote.

POM     Who would be that neutral force?

MM     The neutral force should be other people.

POM     Like? Give an example.

MM     Like in Namibia, there you had the United Nations. I don't say it should be the United Nation, it could be the governments that are acceptable to both parties but it must be a neutral government that is not really attached financially or emotionally to what's happening in the townships or what's happening in South Africa.

POM     Could you see the South African government agreeing to that?

MM     Well, they won't agree to that because they want to weaken our forces. They want to weaken the black people, they want to weaken the African National Congress, they won't agree because they know that if it comes to free negotiations, free will, free votes, the African National Congress, the black people, will win. They won't agree to that. But what is the solution? Our people are dying. More than 500 people have died in the Transvaal through the police corruption, through the police aligning themselves with the forces of Inkatha. If the police were sincere, if the police were belonging to the advanced world, civilised world, this would not be like this today. We would have groups of ten to twenty people, not this. Because they have been leading the Inkatha MPs, not disarming them, attacking people, helping the Inkatha MPs, who scuttle everything.

POM     If this continues, in your view this is just increasing evidence of the government's dishonesty and insincerity, well, then, can the ANC in good faith continue to negotiate?

MM     Well, the ANC will continue. We are encouraging the ANC to continue but what we are saying is that our people will continue to struggle, to defend themselves. We wouldn't like the world to point at the ANC or the people of South Africa, the black people, to say, well, these are the people, the very people who have been complaining that they are suffering under the yoke of the Boer, they are the very people who scuttle. We want people to understand, to know, to really be convinced that the white community, meaning the National Party, is doing all these atrocities and they must do it themselves, we are not going to do it, scuttle the negotiations.

POM     Do you think on the issue of majority rule that De Klerk's accepts majority rule? That he has conceded that issue?

MM     They don't accept it.

POM     They don't?

MM     Of course, they are speaking of group rights, the minority protections and so on. What they are talking about really, in the real sense, is protection of whites, protection of white worth, protection of white privileges, and that is not acceptable. We are never going to accept that. We would like to see proper democracy, one person, one vote where individual protections are to be highlighted, not group protections.

POM     When you talk about you've got to protect white rights, do you mean specifically white economic rights?

MM     Economic rights, that's what they are talking about.

POM     The question that I want to put you is, do you think that the government may be willing to make quite a lot of concessions on the political side as long as the white community retains its economic power? In other words, that you could have political democracy without economic democracy?

MM     Well, it is difficult to differentiate the two because once you have a complete political right then you have the power to decide on economic rights. So they are going to try and stifle the process towards a complete political rights, that's why they are talking of minority rights, that then the white man should be able to veto the black majorities. Then that is linked to economic power. So they know that if you just give in to general one person, one vote or political rights without any discrimination than you are losing your economic ground or economic power and therefore you must interfere with political power to be able to retain or maintain the economic power. So I don't think they are concerned about the political power at the present moment, but they are concerned that the political power, if it is monopolised by blacks, therefore the economic power will be affected. That's their worry. They would like to maintain the economic power, the economic power should be in their hands. And also on our side we say, no, no, no, it's not enough to get the political power without the economic power.

POM     I was going to ask you, you head one of the largest unions in the country, and NUMSA has how many people all together?

MM     We have a membership of 230,000.

POM     230,000 so are you the second largest after Mineworkers?

MM     Yes, the second largest.

POM     What role do you see, your union in particular and the union movement in general, playing in this whole transition process?

MM     I believe the trade union movement is very crucial at this point in time, now that we are reaching a stage of transition of the transference of power to the people. That transference of power is nothing if there's no transference of economic power to everybody, white, black, coloured or whomever. [And therefore in blacks(?) then the unions are explained through the negotiations and so on. Then the trade union movement, because also our political organisations have been experiencing severe repression, ask the National Congress, South African Communist Party, they've been banned. Then COSATU has to play a leading role in reducing these political ...]

POM     Sorry, COSATU has to play a leading role in?

MM     In this stage. And also that ...

POM     What do you see that role as doing?

MM     In the alliance, COSATU should play a role in the alliance. There is an alliance between the African National Congress and the South African Communist Party and COSATU, and then COSATU would play a leading role in that to introduce our political conditions to the realities.

POM     To the realities?

MM     To the realities of our country.

POM     What are the realities?

MM     The realities, the present apartheid issues. We believe it is not going to help to negotiate the political settlement at the top without addressing the present apartheid issues, the living wage, health facilities, age pension, and many, many problems that are faced by the people on the ground, poverty for example, landlessness, all those issues. Because of the gap of the apartheid capitalism, then there's that gap, that gap must be addressed if then we are hoping of winning the political settlement at the end of the day. If you don't address those, and if the black people are still landless, are still illiterate, and are still subjected to poor health facilities and so on, and whatever political settlement, that's why the trade union movement because it is in that situation and it is important to play a role in that. But we believe the African National Congress should lead the political process, lead the negotiations.

POM     Do you believe that in these negotiations the structure of the economy should be an integral part of the negotiations?

MM     It should be.

POM     Do you think, I mean, it seems to me, do you think that what this alliance should negotiate would be a socialist economy?

MM     No, no, no. We don't say that, these negotiations should negotiate socialism. These negotiations should negotiate a way towards one person, one vote, majority rule, and therefore that road would be not complete if it does not address itself to the gap, how the gap is going to be narrowed.

POM     What I'm asking you is how the gap is narrowed. Must that be negotiated too? Must that be a question of negotiations between the government and the ANC as well?

MM     Yes, yes, we believe that should be, and the ANC, COSATU, South African Communist Party, negotiating how are we going to provide people houses. Because if you just say one person, one vote, it doesn't help whilst people are staying in the shacks, whilst people are homeless, whilst people are unemployed, whilst people are really discriminated against because of the racial approaches of the historic approaches. That should be addressed in South Africa. No, our situation is very unique, it's not like in other countries where you can ignore other issues and talk of ...

POM     Let me ask you, you mentioned housing, then you have education?

MM     Unemployment.

POM     Then you have health.

MM     Poverty.

POM     Then you have massive poverty, then you've got this huge inequality not just in income but in government expenditure on different populations groups. Where are the resources going to come from to address these imbalances?

MM     We support Nelson Mandela when he says that the people who are opposed to nationalisation of some sectors in the economy to be able to turn the resources from those sectors to address these, because the present economy cannot do that, it has failed. That way those people will have to bring in, have to introduce, a formula that is going to address that and therefore we don't believe there is any person who is going to do that except that some sections of the industry have to be nationalised.

POM     Which sections do you think should be?

MM     Well, the natural resources like gold, we believe that that is part of the wealth of this country.

POM     That's the?

MM     Diamonds, gold, coal, wood, agriculture, and should be privatised. And also, we don't believe that then those industries should be just wholesale nationalised, no. We believe that the people have invested. But we don't forget the history that the land was usurped from the aborigines, the black people. That's why the black people today have 13%, they are living on 13% of the land, and then the foreigners are living on 87% of the land. Therefore, we don't say that we should follow that history and say, OK, let's usurp. No, we don't say that, but we say that there should be a reasonable approach to this question knowing that then the black people are fighting for the land. They know that they were deprived of the land by the white people and what's been unleashed on them. So, therefore, we say that we cannot now say that, then, OK, let's now throw the whites into the sea because they have done that. Why do we say that, act now, look reasonably on the approach of a mixed economy where you nationalise some industries, some national industries, some industries belonging to the people, like the natural resources. And then where people have bought or have legitimate right to own some of the deals then we must not be rigid on that but we must reasonably restore those national resources. OK, we can nationalise those things. What we are concerned about is the primary products.

POM     The primary products.

MM     Yes, products, the products that belong to the people, the products that no one can say, this is mine. That if he has bought it then let's negotiate. He may have been on that land for more than thirty years, so whatever he has paid in is no longer a question, because now he has really received his money and then compensation can come where a person has bought his land maybe five years back, or whatever.

POM     So, anybody who bought land thirty years ago?

MM     Well, our organisation hasn't got the formula. I'm just talking as a person, but of the formula now at the present moment.

POM     Anyone who'd bought, held land for thirty years?

MM     He must have regained his expenses to acquire that land. And there are people who have never bought that land. Who have really in the beginning, during the days of the occupation, during the days of the wars where they chased people out of the land that they desired, OK, this is my land. We can't allow that situation.

POM     So am I correct in saying, or similar to what you are saying as, that the longer a person held the land, the less they should be compensated for it to a point of where they should receive no compensation at all if after a certain time ...?

MM     And also that then it may happen he has never paid anything. Then there is no reason to pay that person, because we know that they usurped that land from the people. Then that means then we are not ready to compensate if that person, it happens that you buy the land from somebody who had not bought the land. Therefore, we have to consider. But if you have never wasted anything on the land and also what you have contributed in buying that land is paid already, then why should we compensate?

POM     Now would all employers be required to introduce the living wage?

MM     Oh, yes, because we are not going to, we are not thinking of nationalising the factories like the factories that are producing this furniture, why should you do that? That will cripple the economy. And therefore, those people must contribute in the national wealth by paying the living wage by being taxed fairly.

POM     So if tomorrow morning there was a majority government, what changes do you think that would make in the life of the average person who lives in a township or a squatter camp?

MM     Well, at the present moment we think that there is going to be a process, we cannot really fool ourselves and say that then, because at the present moment De Klerk is in trouble too, everybody is in trouble, everybody would like to speed up this process and get to the point where we get democracy but it depends on who is talking about democracy. And as far as we are concerned, it is that only when we introduce a government based on one person, one vote in a literally democratic non-racial South Africa that we can be able to determine, that government determining, the economic situation, the political situation, that is that government that will fulfil whatever. Not the negotiations; the negotiations are going to be limited at who should have a vote, who should not have a vote, I think. But therefore, as I have mentioned, these issues have to raised, then people must know that whatever happens these are the issues that the people have to address, too.

POM     Well five years, say there was a majority rule government tomorrow morning, let's assume there's a majority rule government tomorrow. Five years from now, what should I reasonably have gotten, what should be a reasonable return on my freedom?

MM     Yes, your freedom must be that then that government in five years time has to address itself to this gap that I mentioned.

POM     Well, how much should the gap has narrowed? Should I now ...?

MM     Well, it will depend on the resources of the country, on what you can do with them, because we are not really naive to say that, OK, we can just grab and repay. OK, the damage is done. We can't expect that damage to be cured in a very short space of time. But it will be a process.

POM     Let's say if I live in a shack now, five years from now should I still ...?

MM     It may happen that in five years time that you will be still staying in that shack, because you know there are millions and millions of people who are staying in those shacks. It's going to be a big, big problem, especially if, like in Zimbabwe, people are still staying in shacks. So we can't confuse ourselves to say that it will be over in five years time. But what we feel is that the government must have a programme to address those issues gradually.

POM     So there will be fewer people living in shacks?

MM     There will be people staying in shacks but there should be a process to address that issue; a process to address the unemployment; a process to address the deficiencies in education. And we know that it is not going to be overnight.

POM     You represent a union.

MM     Well, I'm wearing many hats.

POM     Why don't you list all the hats first?

MM     I'm a trade unionist first.

POM     You're a trade unionist first.

MM     Also as a party executive member, the internal executive member, also then I'm involved in addressing the youth problems, the student problems.

POM     That's the ANC.

MM     In the communities, the ANC, as being in the ANC leadership also but firstly, I'm a trade unionist.

PK     You're on the internal executive of the Communist Party, right?

MM     I'm a member of the ANC. I'm not in the leadership of the ANC.

POM     As a trade unionist, the first thing you ask for is the welfare of your membership.

MM     Not even of, because of my membership now in the Communist Party, because of my concern about not just our members, about the poor people in our country, therefore my first concern is of those people. Yes, as a trade unionist, when I negotiated with the bosses I negotiate on behalf of the members but my heart is in redressing of the poverty, the homeless, age pension, on health and so on.

POM     These agendas can come into conflict. Let me give you an example then maybe you can react to it. If you are negotiating a higher wage for your membership it may make the goods that they make less competitive in international markets. It may mean that the employers were considering hiring more workers, more capital intensive, saying wage costs are getting too high. How do you balance your concern for the larger good, for the poorer people, for the homeless, for the hungry, against what is good just for your membership?

MM     I talk of my membership, because unlike the metal unions we belong to COSATU and COSATU is a union of the unemployed and so on, and so on. And also we have a sector, we are in alliance with the African National Congress, and the South African Communist Party is in alliance. But to answer the question: we believe that you are not going to cure the ills in the metal industries unless we can negotiate the interim remedies to the living wage, to the homelessness. But we can't cure the overall crises, and those crises would be solved nationally, not in this industry of metal. That is why now COSATU becomes important, the Communist Party becomes important, the ANC becomes important, and then we believe that the reshuffle - that's why we support nationalisation. Reshuffling of the economy is the answer, not what we negotiate with the employers day and night or annually, that is not it. Because if you negotiate today, the prices go up and then you can't really remedy. Then there should be a national agenda to address these issues, to close the gap, the gap caused by apartheid, the economic gap, and the economy must be restructured in such a way that it has to redress these imbalances. And also these imbalances, if there is no democratisation of the economy, is not going to work because the bourgeoisie will still have power. Then there should be a sort of democratisation. Even un-nationalised industries, there should be a sort of democracy where there is participatory control of the workers or the people in the industries to ensure that the surplus goes to redressing the imbalances and also creating a fair share of this cake, the wealth of South Africa. That is how we think they ought to be. Then COSATU, or a trade union movement and a civic movement within the township, trade union is less powerful there, there should be an organisation that is going to try to address the problems of the communities, civic organisations. This is important and then together with these independent parties, independent organisations, independent from the party politics, that therefore which are to be the watchdogs of democracy would have a say in this regard, the civil society.

POM     You're a member of both the ANC and the SACP. What do you believe in as a member of both that a member of the ANC doesn't believe in? What distinguishes you belonging to both of these organisations from somebody who belongs to just one of them?

MM     Well, actually ... is organisational ... everybody regardless of ideology, regardless of class.

POM     What do the South African Communists believe in?

MM     The South African Communist Party recruit people that belong to the class of the poor, to the working class, that's what differentiates the Communist Party from the African National Congress and also that's what differentiates between COSATU and the African National Congress. But then the African National Congress, all the members of COSATU, the members of ... are also the members of the African National Congress. That's why they make these alliances. Now as a person, to answer your question, I am a member of the African National Congress because I want to advance the interests, the aspirations, the hopes and expectations of the working class, of the working people, of the workers. That is why I am a member. I want the African National Congress to address those issues.

POM     A year from now, if I am back talking to you, or when I am back talking to you a year from now, in 1991, what will have happened between now and 1991? Where do you expect things to be?

MM     From now to?

POM     August of 1991.

MM     Well, what I would expect, what I would like to happen from now is that talks about talks is over and that we would as COSATU, NUMSA and the Party, the ANC would assure talks about the shape of the negotiating team, and which, as far as we're concerned, we should have a democratic vote towards a Constituent Assembly and there should be an interim government that is going to lead the country whilst we are negotiating through the Constituent Assembly. Therefore, COSATU would like to see that situation. And also the masses should prepare themselves, like the workers should build the workers' part that is going to contain the aspirations, their hopes and expectations of the working people. And the people generally, including the workers, should strengthen their constitutional expectations, meaning that they should mandate their political organisations on what they would like to see their country to be. And those are the provisions that I would expect up to January 1991.

POM     What are the biggest obstacles that lie in Mandela's path? I'm taking him as the chief figure who is here. What are the stumbling blocks, the obstacles that lie in his path?

MM     Stumbling blocks, firstly, are the right wingers which are a stumbling block also to De Klerk, Mandela and De Klerk. The right wingers are not interested in seeing this process of negotiation succeeding. And also we have some people who are orchestrating violence. Organisations like Inkatha. Well, we know that Inkatha is nothing else than actually the right wingers of the government, the people in the government who wouldn't believe in the change. Those are the people who are helping Inkatha today to orchestrate the violence in our townships. The people who are in the police force, who are orchestrating the violence, those are the stumbling blocks. And we see people like Mugabe's people who don't want to see, who would like to line their pockets with some bucks in the struggle. We are going to be against these forces. And finally, people who wouldn't like to close the gap, the ones I talked about. Because this violence also, the bosses who are naive who wouldn't like to give in, who would like to reap profits without giving anything to the people who produce such wealth.

POM     Do you think Mandela should meet with Buthelezi?

MM     I don't think so. I think that is out. We in the organisations are still believing that is not a solution. Not that we believe that by Mandela meeting Buthelezi, Mandela would be lowering himself to the level of Gatsha because Gatsha is a type of leader, he is the leader of the homeland, not even a royal leader, he's lesser than that, he is lesser than ... who is the prince of the Zulus, he is lesser than Zwelithini, who is the king of the Zulus. So, therefore, Gatsha, his power is orchestrated or shaped by Pretoria because he is being paid, his salary is paid from Pretoria. Therefore he has to say, do it. So then Mandela is far beyond. He is a man who wants to liberate everybody, white people, black people, coloured people, Indian people, Zulus, Xhosas, Sothos, he is beyond that. We can't elevate Gatsha to say, OK, he's equal to Mandela. Yes, it was a good meeting that Gatsha had with ..., that's where it should end. Whilst people are dying, we believe that people are dying because Pretoria, De Klerk, want people to die, Vlok wants people to die, because they are the people who are leading the Zulus, who are financing those people to slaughter people nationally, because Inkatha can't have those finances to do that. We have seen in the TV that they are leading armed forces. They are not preventing those forces, they are not disarming those forces, Inkatha forces, that means they have built up those forces themselves to undermine the ANC power, to undermine the progressive power. But whenever those forces are meeting our forces, the poor people, people who are not even members of the ANC, not even members of the MDM, who are just residents, they have been mowed down to support to join Inkatha. Therefore, once they come together to face this, they have been disarmed and so on and so on and then it becomes complicated, but we are hopeful.

PK     To take you back just a little bit to the future role of the trade union movement, this alliance that you have, is there a strong alliance between COSATU, the ANC and the SACP? At what point do you see the trade union movement breaking off? Does the trade union movement become part of government in a restructured economy or does it move outside to be what you call the projectors ...

MM     I think the first part I should touch on before I answer the question, is the government ... and the media here is trying to be mischievous.

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.