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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

17 Dec 1990: Molefe, Popo

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POM     This is an interview with Popo Molefe on December the 17th 1990 in Johannesburg. The Conference this weekend, the news media reports, or the conventional wisdom is that the leadership was taken to task in the respect that what you have come out of it were a series of resolutions that would reflect perhaps more hard-line attitudes than the attitudes of the leadership in the ANC. How would you characterise what went on?

PM     I think the Conference reflected the reality on the ground, the feelings of the ordinary people in the street. What it really indicates is that, whereas at the level of the media and international TVs and newspapers, President de Klerk may be perceived as bringing about change. And that the talks that are taking place between his Government and the African National Congress may actually give the impression that peace is very close, we are about to achieve peace in South Africa. But, as far as the ordinary people on the ground are concerned, the reality is that there is virtually no change in respect of the conditions of their lives. If anything, they experience daily lives of violence, violence with a direct link to the state. And what is quite clear is that the ordinary people are saying to the African National Congress that it is about time but negotiations taking place between the two parties should reflect the feelings and aspirations of the constituencies the parties have that are represented.

POM     It's struck me that one of the changes that I see since I talked to you in September is that at that time, the ANC response to the violence in the townships was that it was elements of Inkatha and elements of the Defence Force acting in collusion with each other. Now, it seems that the ANC has moved to a much tougher stand by saying it's a campaign of violence orchestrated by the state itself. Is that a correct reading of the situation?

PM     Yes, that is correct. That is correct. We cannot understand how the government could be so reluctant to deal with the violence in the townships. In any given country, an issue such as this current violence would have become a priority issue in the agenda of the government. Because it is something, especially, we've got to face, which is really likely to destabilise the peace process. But apart from that, the loss of lives in numbers that we're experiencing in the country today is simply such that it cannot be ignored! But the government has been dragging feet in respect of addressing this question of violence. On several occasions, senior police officers, let me say, police officers were identified by the ordinary people as having been involved in the violence but there has not been a deliberate effort on the government, to investigate these issues. Now, one can come to only one conclusion: that this violence that is taking place is taking place with the blessing of the state, if not directly orchestrated by it. You see? And if it is orchestrated by it or if it is conniving in it, then it means it serves a particular objective of the state. What can that objective be? The objective can only be that of destabilising the ANC within it, marginalising it, creating schisms within it. So that by the time you go to real issues of negotiation, the ANC must go there as a splintered group.

POM     You know, you told me then, time and time again, Mr. Mandela has said the government can stop this violence and security forces are up to their necks in it. And he must have said this to Mr. de Klerk on occasion after occasion since last August. What has Mr. de Klerk's response been that can allow Mandela to continue to talk with him?

PM     Well, firstly, he denies official involvement by the government, but he also undertakes that the government is concerned, expresses government concern in respect of this violence and the fact that the government is going to investigate the matter and bring to book those involved. But at a concrete level, that is not happening. That is our problem. And that every time senior ministers of government comment on the issue of violence, they defend the police and attack the ANC. In a sense what they are doing is to encourage the police to carry on the violence because they know that senior people in government will protect them.

     Of course, today we've got reports that they raided one of the hostels and they found eight AK47s and a few pistols and some dynamite and so on. But as far as we are concerned, that is just a public relations exercise intended to create a smokescreen around the whole issue. Because these fellows are clearly getting their supply of arms and ammunition from the security establishment, members of the security establishment. Now, to actually confiscate eight, a few AK47s and dynamite does not go deep into addressing the key problem, because what you need is actually to close that conduit of supply of these weapons to these groupings. That is one point.

     But the second point is that these people who are creating acts of murder, who engage in acts of murder are actually identifiable! They know them. But they're not arresting them, they're not interrogating them, bringing them to book. They're not, for instance, using the Section 29 of the Internal Security Act which they are employing in respect of members of the ANC when they arrest them. They're not using it against these people. Now, what could be the motive for not applying the section of the law that could effectively lead them to the truth?

POM     On Sunday when Mr. Mandela was giving his closing speech, he talked about having to go to the airport and then going to see Mr. de Klerk to get the international delegates released. And Mr. de Klerk saying he could do nothing about it until Monday. Does that make any sense to you? Like, here's the State President, like over an issue of getting a number of people released from an airport, kind of throws his hands in the air and says he can do nothing about it until Monday.

PM     It doesn't make sense if we are really thinking of a man who still has the concept of democracy here, and who is seriously considering facilitating the process of negotiation. But it makes sense if de Klerk were to drive home one message: that in this country, it is the Nationalist government that is still in control. And that the ANC will have to dance to the National Party music. That the question whether people get indemnity is not one that arises out of the agreement between the ANC. It is purely a discretion of the National Party government. That is what seems to be the message he is driving home. Obviously, that one, too, seems to have its own objective. The objective, obviously, is to create tensions between the ANC, the top leadership and the ordinary membership. The membership should now think that the ANC is not taking seriously the question of the return of the exiles. That it is too soft on the government, you see. They hope that that would create factions within the African National Congress. The so-called doves and the hawks. Or the liberals and the radicals within the organisation. That seems to be part of their overall strategy of weakening the ANC.

POM     Would you say there's been, say, for you personally, and for the members of your organisation, that there's been a shift in the way that de Klerk is perceived, from how he was perceived in February to how he is perceived now at the end of the year?

PM     Certainly from the side of the oppressed, that is the position, that there is a shift in perception. That de Klerk, after all, is not really what he wanted people to believe he was. That he's still very much wedded to a system of domination, to a system in which the white people will still call the shots even in that new democratic South Africa. Of course, that has also come quite clearly across in various statements that they have made on the question of constitutional dispensation. They are talking of a constitutional dispensation in which there will not be a domination of minority by the majority. But what does that mean? That simply means that the current process, as far as they are concerned, has as the main objective a shift, a change in the tactic, such that the relations of domination may change form slightly but the content remaining essentially the same in the sense that the whites would remain calling the shots. But at the same time, they would clothe the new system in a garb that would make the international community feel that all the people of South Africa are equal.

POM     So, do you see ...?

PM     If one is striving for a democracy, you don't talk of minorities and majorities, especially if you are talking of a non-racial democratic system. Because we are saying, we need a Bill of Rights that would protect individual right and individual property. Now, if you have that, then it guarantees the right of individuals. And we are talking about not a black majority government. We are talking about a government of the people of South Africa, a non-racial government. Only people who are wedded to old doctrines of apartheid would, even in the process in circumstances in which we are building a new South Africa, still cling to the questions of majorities and minorities and see the majorities and minorities purely in terms of colour or ethnic lines, ethnic definitions. That is a problem we've got currently with the way they are looking at things.

POM     Yes. So, do you see, in a way, that their strategy is to develop a highly more sophisticated form of co-option?

PM     Certainly. Certainly.

POM     So, let us say, in a few months, if the government were to say to the ANC or to the liberation movement broadly, as part of the process, we want you to accept ministerships, Cabinet posts, in what we would call an interim government. But we're inviting you in to be part of our Cabinet. The man in charge is still F. W. de Klerk. Is there any possibility that the liberation movement will go along with that?

PM     That is very unlikely that the African National Congress would agree to that. Because if you are co-opted in the current system, you remain ineffectual because you would not be able to address in a radical way material inequalities that black people are experiencing, that exist between blacks and whites. And any movement that would allow itself to participate in a system, that cannot change the power equation, and address these fundamental imbalances.

POM     Imbalances.

PM     Imbalances, it can't retain its credibility. We, however, accept the idea of, in fact, the idea of an interim government is ours. But we don't want an interim government where we are co-opted. We want an interim government where people go in as equals. But at the same time it should have a definite time limit and it should operate on the basis that, within that period, a Constituent Assembly would be set up which would draw up a constitution and form a government for the future.

POM     So, you would see the ANC and the National Party and other parties agreeing among themselves to form an interim government, agreeing to the structure related to the interim government, agreeing to the length of time that it should last?

PM     That is correct.

POM     Arguing, not arguing, agreeing, at the same time, that there would be an election for a Constituent Assembly that would draw up the new constitution.

PM     Within a stipulated time period.

POM     Which would draw up the new constitution.

PM     Yes, that's correct.

POM     When I was here during the summer, I found, I'd say, two or three fairly senior people in the ANC that I talked to, say, second level, anyway, who said on the question of a Constituent Assembly, 'Yes, well, we could, you know, we might not be insistent on that. That's something that perhaps we could reach an alternative agreement on.' Now, the impression we got this weekend was that the rank-and-file were coming down very hard on the demand for a Constituent Assembly. And that this will be something that the ANC will not be about to fritter away, that it will not be non-negotiable.

PM     Yes, the ANC can't discuss, simply easily discard the idea of a Constituent Assembly. We have actually started a campaign around the question of a Constituent Assembly. It was endorsed by the conference of the southern Natal region. The National Workshop of the Organising Committee of the ANC meshed with the Programme of Action, which was accepted by the National Executive of the ANC and by all the regions of the ANC. So, it doesn't matter what those three persons might have said to you. Perhaps they were trying to show you that they could be flexible. But flexibility also must take into account the popular feelings on the ground.

     But I meant also to say that, yes, that it is important that you take into account the feelings on the ground. Because if the ANC can go for a Constituent Assembly, can discard or jettison the idea of a Constituent Assembly without taking into account the popular views of its membership on the ground, that it will not implement any decision that it takes, that would just amount to paper decisions. You see? It has to be guided by the feelings of the majority. But I need also to indicate that whilst we say that some senior people might have said what they have said. But I need to say also to you, there is not simply the ordinary members in the ANC rank-and-file who argue for a Constituent Assembly. It became a subject of debate in one of the Executive meetings which I attended, I think it must have been in October, National Executive meeting of the ANC. There, in that meeting, we made it clear that the demand for a Constituent Assembly and an interim government constituted our bottom line. It is not just something that we go to the government and say, well, we may, we may, you know, reconsider this. We want that! Because, as far as we are concerned, it is a Constituent Assembly and interim government which would insure a peaceful transition to a democratic order. And it would also ensure that all parties participate. And they are tested democratically in a vote. Their support is tested in a vote. We are not like Buthelezi, saying that, look, we know the ANC wants a Constituent Assembly. They're saying so because it does not want other parties to participate. It wants to be the only party in government. We're not saying so. If we believe in democracy, let the people test our worth through a ballot, through the ballot. And we are saying that if Buthelezi's got sufficient support to be on the Constituent Assembly, he'll do so. Like those parties in Namibia which sat with SWAPO in that Constituent Assembly because they were able to amass a certain amount of votes. We don't want to get to a new South Africa through back doors, through a back door. We want to go straight, with everybody seeing.

POM     This morning we met with Roelf Meyer, the Deputy Minister for Constitutional Affairs. He talked in terms of a process envisaged by the government which would be one in which the government and the ANC would agree among themselves as to who were the major players, would invite everyone who had any kind of a constituency to sit around the table. That everybody sitting around the table representing the broadest possible range of constituencies would reach an agreement among themselves as to the structure of the negotiating vehicle. And when that was done, then they would all agree to the rules that they had set up themselves, sit down, and try to negotiate a constitution. Would you comment just on that?

PM     Well, naturally, there would have to be a discussion in that regard. There has to be a discussion of the major parties on what sort of mechanism could draw up a constitution. Well, that is what democracy is all about and what negotiation is all about. It means we, as the ANC, have a particular position which we posit as what we consider to be the best. The National Party might be having something else. The Inkatha might be having something else. The PAC and, perhaps, the Democratic Party and the CP. Now, obviously, these parties would have to debate in the course of these negotiations, debate the mechanism for the drawing up of the constitution. But we are saying that, for our part, the Constituent Assembly would be such a mechanism that we're putting forward.

POM     OK, that's what, I suppose, I was trying to get at, is that, if there is this broad forum where, say, the ANC, the PAC, AZAPO, the CP, the NP, they'd be sitting around the table and saying, What kind of a mechanism should we have to draw up a constitution? And the ANC will say, From our point of view, we're going to argue for a Constituent Assembly elected on whatever lines. The National Party might say, well, what we would prefer would be where we all reach an informal agreement between us as to how, who should sit around the table and draw up the rules for ourselves and proceed. And the DP might say something else and the PAC might say something else. And then out of that discussion would emerge an arrangement you would all agree on, which may not necessarily be a Constituent Assembly. Is that right?

PM     Well.

POM     Like, do you see what I'm saying? Like, you go in with your position of wanting a Constituent Assembly but you are prepared to bargain around the question as long as everyone else is sitting around the table?

PM     Yes, that could be discussed, but you see, in the final analysis, what should determine the mechanism adopted is whether that sort of mechanism would deliver in a democratic way a democratic constitution that contains basic principles addressing the fundamental aspirations of the people. In a sense, we expect the National Party and whoever is opposed to the Constituent Assembly to tell us what is wrong with the Constituent Assembly in the case of South Africa, if it was accepted to be a suitable mechanism by the international community and the Pretoria government itself, in respect of Namibia, you see? We would be arguing that. But, you see, and going into negotiations does not necessarily mean that we would compromise on that issue. But we might go there to prove to the other parties that, in fact, their belief that there is any other mechanism is flawed.

POM     OK, so, could you see yourself reaching a position of having entered into this kind of negotiation, going back to your rank-and-file and saying, the government, or the National Party, won't agree to a Constituent Assembly? We believe this is the only democratic way forward, so we're not participating anymore in this process.

PM     If we come to the conclusion that the mechanism posited or proposed by the National Party cannot deliver democracy, we will then simply withdraw from negotiations if we can't convince them to move away from that position. Because we would not want to engage in any negotiation that is not going to deliver the goods for the oppressed and exploited people, mainly, the African people, the black people in this country. So, whatever negotiations we'd go into should deliver the goods. It must deliver power to the people. In a sense, we are saying that our goal in this negotiation remains the attainment of the transference of power from the minority government to the majority of the people of the country. In a sense, our strategic objective remains to destroy apartheid through these negotiations.

POM     So?

PM     So, if negotiation is not leading to that, then it is not helpful to us.

POM     So, would it be a correct summarisation to say that what the government or the National Party is interested in is a formula that would bring about a sharing of power, whereas the ANC and the Mass Democratic Movement is interested in a formula that will bring about a transference of power?

PM     That is correct. Now, you see, we have a difficulty with the conception of the notion of sharing of power. Because it demands to say you divide power. And if you divide power, you can't be equal, when it is divided. So, how do you equalise it, if it is divided? And in any event, who determines who should get what? You see? Unless you are saying that we should have Buthelezi as a leader of the Zulus, Tambo as a leader of the Vendas, as leaders of whites. Not as leaders of Germans, with other leaders of Afrikaners and other leaders of the English-speaking South Africans, French-speaking South Africans, Italian-speaking South Africans, but as leaders of a united white tribe, if you want to call it. As against the number of ethnic black groups, we should have certain designated urban residents having their own representation within, perhaps, a confederal system of government in which whites would have a veto on all major policy decisions. Now, that is not acceptable to us. If we are saying we're moving away from apartheid, let it be so. Let us forget, let us just accept that we are building a non-racial society. That our people will go to the polls as South Africans. They would not go to the polls as whites, as blacks, as Zulus, as Xhosas. Because I think their conception of power sharing really revolves around this whole question of the so-called constitutional government of the Bantustans and so on.

POM     To move to another question on mass mobilisation and the government's contention that this contravenes the article in the Pretoria Minute where it says the ANC agrees to suspend the armed struggle and related activities. Two questions. One, again, from talking to people, a very large number of people, in July and August, we got a feeling that there was a lot of discontent among the young, in particular, about the manner in which the cease-fire had come about. And that the activities of the UDF, mobilisation, continuing the Mass Democratic Movement's actions, served to take some of this energy, channel the energy of the youth and, I'm speculating. you correct me if I'm wrong, is that, in a sense, you were the leader, the UDF was the leader in this regard, and kind of pulled the leadership of the ANC with it, rather than the other way around. Does any of that make any sense?

PM     Not sure if I understand your question. Are you saying that now the leadership of the UDF assumed the leadership, said that now there is a takeover?

POM     No, no, no. Is that you were out front on mass mobilisation.

PM     We fronted for the ANC?

POM     No, you were doing it for yourselves. This is what you've always done.

PM     Ohhh.

POM     You've always said, this is the way forwards, it is through the mobilisation of the population. You pick a target, you organise a campaign, and you go at it.

PM     Yes, that's true.

POM     And that after the Pretoria Minute was signed and the armed struggle was taken away, that the youth became even more involved in mobilisation and targeted campaigns, because it was like a vehicle for their energies. And that this movement is very, very strong, and that perhaps the leadership of the ANC could not stop it if they wished to.

PM     We are certainly consulted.

POM     OK, that's what I was getting at.

PM     Because if they do that, they can simply run into problems with their followers. But we must return to this. As far as we are concerned, it is nonsense to suggest that the suspension of the armed struggle means, implies that all mass activities, peaceful, non-violent mass action, should also be suspended. That is ridiculous in the extreme because in all democracies, western democracies, white people have votes. White people are free to seek employment anywhere. They have access to education, social welfare, health care, and so on. You name them. People there continue to engage in mass activities, such as marches, picketing, and so on, that is a recognised, internationally recognised, peaceful form of struggle or protest. There is no way in which we, here in South Africa, could simply allow the government to take away that inalienable right that we have through mass action.

POM     What about the ...?

PM     In fact, if anything, in circumstances in which there is no armed struggle, the whole question of mass action ...

POM     Becomes the only ...

PM     Becomes the key area of our struggle. It is a crucial pillar of our struggle that has to be strengthened, consolidated. It is one of the main areas which allows an outlet for frustrations of the people. Now, without that, you can't, you can't hope to have any organisation, keep your ...

POM     I suppose my question was, this was a question of the leadership following the followership? Like, it was the demands of people on the ground who set the policy and the leadership recognised that they have no alternative but to go along with it.

PM     Well, that is true, really. You know, after April, the leadership of the ANC got so enmeshed in negotiating that it forgot this important component of the struggle: that is, the mass element of our struggle, the mass component of our struggle. But increasingly, the membership, because of its tradition of this sort of mass struggle in the country, has now drawn the leadership back to that area and the leadership has accepted it now. It has to lead now.

POM     That's what I was getting at.

PM     Yes, yes.

POM     And what about the government's argument that mobilisation and mass action campaigns are one thing but intimidation is a form of violence? And they would raise that particularly with regard to the local councillorships. That people are being, councillors are being intimidated out of office.

PM     We see that as absolute nonsense. The CP leader Andries Treurnicht has continually called on the government ministers to resign, including President de Klerk. That has never been interpreted as intimidation. But why is it that when the oppressed people are calling upon the puppets of the government to resign, that that is interpreted as intimidation? That can mean only one thing, one thing only: propaganda of the state in order to undermine the support for this campaign and to tarnish the image of the civic association, the Mass Democratic Movement, and the African National Congress. To project this as a violent campaign.

POM     But, there have been ...?

PM     Our campaigns have always been disciplined. They are disciplined campaigns, there's no question about it.

POM     There have been instances of councillors' houses being attacked and things like that. I mean, is that just what happens in the nature of this kind of situation?

PM     Well, well, the ANC has got no control on every individual. In the same way that we daily see white people attacking other people. Recently you had the right-wingers attacking Sunday school children on a Sunday. We can't blame that on de Klerk. You see? We can't blame it on him. It happens. There are some unruly elements within the society, you see. They can act, therefore, against those individuals. But they can't use that as an example to show that our campaigns are violent. We, ourselves, are getting, our homes are getting attacked daily. That is happening.

POM     Um, just a few last things.

PM     But I need to come back to that point of councillors. The position is this: these fellows are creating such misery for the people in the townships that ordinary people, with or without an organisation, are likely to react in a particular way. Some individuals who cannot contain their anger are likely to act against some of these councillors. If you cut water in a township for a week, if you cut electricity, plunge people in darkness, if you make them pay high rent, if you do not provide sufficient services, don't tar the roads, don't service the houses that belong to the councillors, what do you expect of people? There must be an explosion somewhere. It will be there. But that is the position. That is what is happening in respect of these black councillors, you see. And that does not happen in respect of white councillors, even when people might be angry about something. Because they know that if there's a problem, that problem comes once in awhile. Generally, these councils are providing services effectively, I mean, in the white area. But in respect of the areas of black people, the situation is completely different. And these give rise to frustration. These problems give rise to frustrations. And these frustrations express themselves in some of these petrol bomb attacks in homes of councillors. Not because they are being organised by any one of us. I tell you, we've got such popular support, that if it was an organised violence, they could have been wiped out just in a manner of seconds in the townships. If it was a well-orchestrated thing by the organisation.

POM     The last couple of things, Popo. When you look at the last year and all that's happened, the kind of wave of enthusiasm and elation in February, the movement to the rather quick meeting on May the 6th, then the unfolding violence throughout the summer and the changing nature of the relationship between the ANC and the government, what do you think are the lessons that you have learned from the politics of this year in South Africa?

PM     I think the first lesson, which is fundamental, is that whilst negotiations may take place between folks, between enemies, and good agreements signed between these parties, if at the heart of that negotiation is the question of power, that that negotiation, therefore, remains a struggle between the parties. That those who are in power would not easily agree to relinquishing that power, purely on the basis that there is a negotiation. That there is a hard struggle ahead, which is taxing and trying, putting de Klerk, our patience, on both sides.

POM     Do you think this is going to be a slower process than was originally envisaged?

PM     Yes. In my mind, it's going to be quite a slower process than it was originally envisaged. And I think what is going to make it even worse is the fact that the international community has now decided to lift sanctions, an incentive that had made Pretoria move faster, because Pretoria could not countenance a situation where the living standards of whites were dropping all the time. The economy was experiencing difficulty. But I think in circumstances where they think that now capital is beginning to flow into the country, that they can now once again raise the living standards of whites, there would be no reason, they will have no incentive to move faster.

     Today we are saying that they are using their armed forces to crush our people in the townships, in the hostels, in the squatter camps. They are continuing to demolish squatter settlements. Now, with more money flowing into investments, capital flowing into the country, it means they would do it with even greater precision. Now, I think, therefore, that coupled with all the obstacles that the government has not removed on the way to negotiation, in that there is still going to be a long way to go, we have a long way to go before we'll reach a settlement.

POM     I meant to ask you this earlier. Do you think de Klerk is in control of his side of the negotiating process? Mandela, you may recall, mentioned that, he called de Klerk a man of integrity. But the policies of organisations weren't set by the individual but were set by the organisations. Do you think he is dictating the pace and controlling the pace within his own Party or that he is hostage to other elements within his own constituency?

PM     He's certainly having difficulties with certain individuals but I don't think that he's hostage to those individuals. I think he's very much in control. But I think they are agreed on the broad strategy of the National Party as to how to deal with the ANC, how far to go. And I think that they have adopted a two-pronged strategy that includes the element of negotiations as well as the element of violence. And as far as that is concerned I think they are agreed on it. You have just told me that when Nelson Mandela was talking, he indicated that when he asked de Klerk to use his authority to free delegates of the ANC who were attending an important conference, which was supposed to give the leadership a mandate in respect of negotiations, he simply said, "Look, I can't do it until Monday." Which meant that he could only do it after the conference. Which meant that he's not interested in facilitating that process. He's not interested in giving the ANC the opportunity to debate the issues that are central to the question of negotiations. Now, you see, if you say that that man is a man of integrity, as Mr. Mandela says, it is mind-boggling, because, how do you reconcile such attitudes as we have just alluded to, and his integrity? Because Mr. Mandela's got his own judgment, he's our leader.

     But I think we also have our own perceptions of the man. And our perceptions are borne out of what we experience, what concretely the man does, you see, on the ground. And as far as I'm concerned, I would not go as far as saying that he's a man of integrity. Because if you say that, you mean he's the sort of a man who, when he says, "Yes" to you, that "Yes" is a "Yes". If he says to you, "We'll release political prisoners", then he releases them. If he says to you, "We give indemnity to the exiles", then he does so. But, look, he's changing like a chameleon all the time. He's always finding ways to put obstacles in the way of the removal of these issues. He says now that he's calling upon members of the ANC to confess their sins to the National Party, which is unacceptable to us. We want the general indemnity. But he is saying to them, not "confess to us", say to us, "Let's kill so many people. You have planted so many bombs." What does that matter? Why is it so important that our people must confess to him? And, clearly, they would not confess. If he's a man of integrity, he will say, "Well, we accept that it was a crime to form a military wing unlawfully in this country. That all members of the ANC who joined it have committed a crime. But now that we have now forgotten and forgiven, we are forgetting the past and we are building a new future. Let us all now be co-creators of that new future." But he's not saying so. He is still saying to us, "I am calling the shots. I am the boss. You come and confess to me and the Pope or I'm a Jesus Christ. You confess your sins to me." That is what he's treating us as, you see? The master and servant relationship still exists.

     That is the sort of relationship that he wants to project between the National Party and the African National Congress. That, too, has an objective. Clearly he knows that the younger people within the ANC are going to say, no, no, you are giving too much to de Klerk and de Klerk is giving nothing. You see? That is creating tensions within the organisation and that is what he wants. Now, where is that integrity? Where is the integrity? Surely if de Klerk could release Mr. Mandela, and for that matter, allow Joe Slovo, a member of the Communist Party, and unban the Communist Party, surely he shouldn't have found it difficult to explain why he allows members of the ANC to attend a crucial conference, granting them temporary indemnity to go back, maybe at the end of December, so he could have explained it very easily. But he did not. He simply did not want to do it!

POM     That's a good answer. You have a question?

PK     No.

POM     A good point to leave it. Thanks very much. I really appreciate your time.

PM     I am pleased that we didn't take more than an hour.

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.