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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

22 Aug 1991: Gouws, Kobie

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Click here for Overview of the year

POM     It's been just a year since we've talked.

KG     More or less yes.

POM     How are you feeling about the situation in general since that time?

KG     Well as I remember it I told you last time that I think there's going to be an escalation of violence and that happened. There was really an escalation of violence especially between Inkatha and the ANC. At the moment it is very difficult to predict anything in the South African politics and situation. Everything is after Ventersdorp so, anything can happen. I don't know if I must tell you my own feelings. I think violence is going to escalate and to my horror I will have to say that it is not only going to be black on black violence as it has been up until now. I think there is also now going to be the element of white violence coming in from the right and I think also from the left through the government because it is going to use the forces, the police and the army to quell this violence. That is going to, I think, create a bitterness in South Africa that we didn't even have during the Anglo-Boer wars. There is an atmosphere of bitter hatred at the moment which frightens me, to tell you the truth.

POM     Bitter hatred among?

KG     The white people.

POM     For each other or for the government?

KG     I think for the government more. I think it is directed towards the government. I wouldn't say it's the right wing and at the moment violence is coming from the far right, not from the middle class right, if I can call something like that. It is really coming from the far, far right through the AWB, but to my dismay I must also say that I am picking up talk of violence and war among people that I have never expected to use language like that before. So at the moment anything can happen in South Africa. As I told you last time, I think I said after you asked me in the end that if the rest of South Africa, if the majority in South Africa go for a one man one vote one country one state, everything, won't the ordinary Afrikaner abide by that? And I said to you that the Afrikaner wants to govern himself. He wants to be free. That is the most intense emotion that the Afrikaner has had since his emergence into South Africa, that is more or less around the Groot Trek in 1838. That is, you can go through his whole history, everything he has done and everything he has aspired to will have up front the idea of freedom and that means own country, own government and the freedom to live according to our Christian national code.

POM     Going back to Ventersdorp for a moment, I sometimes make a comparison between the Protestant community in Northern Ireland and the Afrikaner community in South Africa. In Northern Ireland Protestant paramilitary organisations never got off the ground, never got any popular support because the Protestant community sees itself as a law abiding, a law and order community and it regards the police force, which is 95% Protestant, as being their police force. So an attack on the police force is seen as an attack on the values of the community; it's an attack on the way in which the community perceives of itself. Is the Afrikaner a person who thinks of himself as a law and order, a law abiding person and the police as being their police so that an attack on the police by a paramilitary organisation like the AWB would make more Afrikaners move away from the AWB?

KG     No that is not exactly the perception that you must have of the Afrikaner people as such. We have always been law abiding. That's why it takes so long to get the gall of the Afrikaner really boiling over. Our Protestant, if you want to call it Protestant, we go much deeper than just only being a Protestant, we call ourselves Calvinists, and in the Calvinist belief which is the ground root of the Afrikaner you must obey the government and the law and the order, etc., of your country. And you also have to trust your government and that is why the Afrikaner is every time caught on the wrong foot as towards its leaders. Because it takes them a very long time to not trust that their leaders are doing the best they can. And over a period things must go wrong and things must be shown otherwise before they start to turn against the leader and the leadership and once they've done that they don't go back. Once they are against the wall and fighting the leadership because they were betrayed, that is what they believe, they don't turn back.

     As far as our police force and the army are concerned we have always believed that they are our people. But Ventersdorp, just before Ventersdorp we had Goedgevonden. You know about Goedgevonden? No. Well you will not understand Ventersdorp unless you understand Goedgevonden. It roughly translates into "A good find", if you want to roughly translate it. Now Goedgevonden belongs, it's government property, and the farmer community of Ventersdorp in which district Goedgevonden is situated, the farmers hired ground, farmland, from the government to farm there too. They had their own farms but Goedgevonden was like that, Goedgevonden was not their property. They leased some of the land to farm on. And then about a year ago the South African Council of Churches urged some of the black people in Bophuthatswana and other places to squat on Goedgevonden. They loaded them on lorries, buses, you name it, and they drove them to Goedgevonden and they left them there with, as you know how a squatter builds a house, with everything you can think of. And then the farmers started to lose cattle, their boundary wires were cut, just left like that and their cattle strayed onto the roads and on the whole it was not very nice. It was aggravating to them. And then they sent delegation after delegation to the minister, to the Farmers' Association, a lot of people they spoke to, and said, please remove these squatters because they are aggravating things here and they are stealing our cattle and they are slaughtering our cattle and they are not working, they are just sitting here doing these bad things. But nothing happened from the government's part or the police, the police didn't react and the government didn't react. And then the farmers organised themselves and they got all their lorries and huge tractors and things and they moved on to Goedgevonden where they wanted to have a word with the leader of the Goedgevonden squatters and to say to him, look we have brought our lorries, we have brought our tractors and what have you, we would like to remove you peacefully, we will help you go back to your own land and get away from this ground which you are squatting on illegally. And they moved, the evening before and they said that was what they were going to do you see, and in that night some of the AWB followers moved into Goedgevonden, according to the farmers and to the police, and beat up some of these squatters and tore down their squatter huts and just sowed havoc. And in the meantime the police moved in because they were told about what was going on at Goedgevonden. But they were too late, the attackers moved out. And the next morning when the sun rose and the ordinary farmers were moving on to Goedgevonden to help these black people move back to their own land they saw the police coming and they didn't know what the police force were doing there or whether the police were there to prevent them from taking away the black people. And some of the leaders, some of the white farmers moved towards the police and the police thought it was an attack. So the police opened fire on the farmers. They fortunately then didn't kill any white people, but they wounded some of them quite seriously with bird shot, etc. Again, it was a mistake on both sides that nobody knew what was going to happen and the real culprits were the people who attacked the black people during the night time, which was afterwards identified as AWB because they picked up some of their insignia in the squatter camp. So at that moment emotions started to soar, because the police which the Afrikaners all the time thought were their force, fired on them. So everything in Ventersdorp was moving towards a boiling point.

     And then suddenly, out of the blue in a little old place like Ventersdorp, the State President wanted to hold a meeting. And he had no real announcement to make there. I mean nobody knows how the negotiations are going at the moment. The one says it's going on, the other one says no. But anyway he was warned from all sides, please do not come or if you come then make it an open meeting where we as democratic people who voted you into your position, well actually he was not voted into anything because he doesn't even have a constituency, but we want to be there and we want to ask him some questions, and if you don't want to do that don't come to Ventersdorp. They merrily ignored that and there were warnings from both sides, if you come we will do this and if you don't come we will do that. Everything emerged and built up to this very, very emotional and strong feeling time and the State President just simply ignored his people and said, "I will come and I will talk, but in the meantime I will also see that you won't come in." And as you know there were thousands of police, and the army was in Ventersdorp District waiting for any foreseeable thing to happen. There were these terrific wires all around the hall and the first lot of people that moved towards the hall were just ordinary Afrikaans people who wanted to talk to the State President and while they were moving towards this hall they were met by this other contingent of AWB people and they were at that stage armed to the teeth. And then the police did this very stupid thing and one cannot think that they allowed anything like that. They allowed this black taxi to move into Ventersdorp among these white people. And the white people, the AWB people started to rock the taxi, the driver panicked and then dashed in amongst the people, killed two men by doing that, and then they started shooting. So the police shot the AWB because they were shooting at the black person and then it was general pandemonium.

     So, to understand that we are not exactly the same as the Protestants in Ireland to which the whole police force belongs and will not resort to violence is different in South Africa. We don't have a police force any more, by we I mean the people on the right. The police force are now seen as the instrument of the government as well as our military people, which I think is not fair, really, it's not fair. I don't think all our police people if they really wanted to shoot on our people there would have been much more dead people. I think they didn't really shoot the people, to kill, as they were ordered. But that is the feeling at the moment. So you can see that the police force, which we have always honoured, at the moment is being seen by some of the right as an instrument in the hands of the government. The government are absolutely seen as traitors, so the whole revolutionary atmosphere in South Africa is now as loaded as it has never been before.

POM     So you would see among the white community a far higher degree of anger than there was at this time last year?

KG     Yes most definitely. No, you can feel it.

POM     And you feel that anger is increasingly going to take a turn towards violence. Why did people think that De Klerk went to Ventersdorp?

KG     They think he went there deliberately to antagonise the people and to have a show of, I don't know, sort of a power show, to show that, "I will not be intimidate'". And I don't think that the idea was to intimidate him. I think there are on both sides, the right as well as the State President's, immature reactions and actions. I think that a man of the stature of the State President of a country must know his people better than to aggravate them in that way. He could have diffused this whole thing by saying, either, yes come along if you want to. Come and ask your questions but I also have reservations. You will not move in there with your show of arms as the AWB is so amiably doing always. You can come, but no arms and you must give me a chance to also speak. Now I think if he did that it would have taken out a lot of the puff, puffed up ego of the right that was there who wanted to speak to him, or didn't want him there. Then they wouldn't have had any real reason to make a mock there while they were there. They would have been deflated in whatever they wanted to do while they were there.

POM     Who is held responsible?

KG     At the moment the right holds the government responsible, especially Mr de Klerk, and the police in a little way and the police at the moment are holding the AWB responsible. They are arresting them the one after the other while they watch the TV, the TVs that were taken there. And I believe that yesterday they also arrested one and they are going to charge him with murder. So they must have something on this video that shows that this man was shooting at or shooting somebody. I don't know. So the responsibility amongst the Afrikaans people, the right, the Afrikaans right, we want to put squarely on the shoulders of Mr de Klerk and his armies.

POM     That's where you put it?

KG     Yes and no. I think it was a very, very stupid thing to speak in Ventersdorp, under the circumstances. With Goedgevonden just a month or two away, he has no real large following in Ventersdorp. People were driven from far and all over to be there and I don't think it was a wise thing to use the security forces the way he used them. The right think, and I think it's right to think like that, we are the ratepayers, we pay them and they belong to us as much as they do belong to the government so they must not be misused in that way. On the other hand if you see the way that some of the right who went to this meeting were armed, then there was also on their part an indication that they were ready to fight if anything happened. So you see both these elements moved towards Ventersdorp with an aim and that is: I'll show you who is the boss. Both of them. So I think for the deaths you can blame both sides. You can't blame just one side.

POM     Where do you place the Conservative Party in relation to this?

KG     The Conservative Party was there. It's followers were there, but they weren't armed. That contingency that moved towards the hall and wanted to go in.

POM     I mean on the question of the use of violence?

KG     Well I only have at this moment to go on what their leaders say. And in the declaration of Mr Cehill Pienaar, the Leader of the Conservative Party in the Orange Free State, last night after the congress was closed, the Free State Congress of the Conservative Party, they are now saying that if we don't get an election the only option open to us will be violence. So you cannot say, although Dr Treurnicht, the Leader of the CP, has declared over and over and even after Ventersdorp has said, violence must not be our first and only option, he also now says that the anger of the people is now getting out of hand. It cannot be controlled any more as it seems to me. And I think he thinks the same and that we must, the government must be prepared that there is now going to be violence from the white people too where there hasn't been violence so far.

POM     But do you not think what he's saying is that, if I don't get my way we're going to use violence?

KG     Yes, yes.

POM     That that's acting outside of the constitution?

KG     We are trying to stay inside the constitution by asking for an election.

POM     Under the constitution the President doesn't have to call an election until 1994.

KG     1994, no, but when you reign a country, you are the State President of a country, and you make in your last 1989 election vows, what do you call those things, the promises, manifestos, whatever you like. Since 1990, the beginning of 1990, but every one of their election manifestos and vows and whatever has been broken. They have completely broken all the rules of parliament and so forth.

POM     But not the rules of parliament because their MPs still vote for those policies. I mean whatever laws have been enacted have been passed.

KG     Yes, you are supposed to do that.

POM     Well, that's by the law?

KG     Yes that's by the law but a lot of what he has decreed in the last two years hasn't gone through the parliament. Parliament did not vote on some of these things even. If they voted, of course they would have ...

POM     But my point is that no matter what he has done he's done it within the constitutional framework of the country, therefore he has done nothing illegal. He is the elected Head of State, he has the full backing of his government, he has the full backing of a majority in parliament, and then for an opposition party to say, unless you call an election right now we're going to resort to violence, is a party that has no respect for the constitutional process in the country. In much the same way as the coup in Russia happened and a lot of the world reacted by saying, if you wanted to get rid of Gorbachev there was a constitutional way of doing it.

KG     But we can't use the constitution. He's closed the constitution.

POM     But the constitution doesn't call for an election until 1994.

KG     That's correct. But that is if you as the ruling party abide by what you got elected by.

POM     But that's not ...

KG     No, but that is also breaking the constitution.

POM     Not breaking the constitution, oh no. I mean political parties all over the world do the very opposite of what they pledge once they get into power.

KG     Yes, and then they break every one of them.

POM     And then what happens is then when they go to the next election is they're defeated. So why not come 1994, an election is due, the election is called and the government is turned out of power.

KG     Yes, that is the way it should go at the moment. That is as everybody wants to see it go, like that. But then in this meantime he must not take steps, do things and bring in an interim government which is going to overthrow a 1994.

POM     That's different.

KG     That is what we are seeing that he's doing at the moment.

POM     So where do you see him?

KG     Well you can only go to what Mr Viljoen declared a week ago. As you know the ANC is calling for the interim government before they'll go to the negotiation table, they don't want to go there until they get an interim government. And they can't move on towards a new constitution if Mr Mandela and his followers are not there. So last week on Monday he (Viljoen) declared that this Working Committee that they do have at the moment between the government, Inkatha, ANC, PAC, must be extended and their power must be extended as one of the alternatives before they go into the Multi-party Convention, or what they call it, Conference, so that these extended committees can sort of go on with governing and the government of the country while maybe they can get the Multi-Party Conference going that the country won't sort of stop and not be governed by anything. Now that was not part of the deal that they were elected on. The people who put them, as you say they've got a majority, but the majority of the people who put them in that position, are now turning away from them and are now joining the CP, and if it's not the CP it's something else, because they all say that is not what we elected him on. He is doing things which he said he will not do and he's doing things which we haven't given him a mandate to do. We have given him a mandate to extend power to blacks, coloureds and Indians, all the South Africans, but not what he is doing now. He is now just handing over power. There's nothing like that, that's not sharing of power. And if this Committee which is now being extended and whose powers are being enlarged and broadened is actually an interim government, it's just beautiful words that they are using not to make this an interim government. The moment you have this interim government you can be sure there will be no election in 1994, but no, because before that time there will be a referendum on a new constitution and the new constitution will be according to what the ANC/SACP wants.

POM     The State President said that any new constitution will be put before the white electorate.

KG     For a referendum. Yes that's what he said. But he has broken so many promises that you cannot trust him. If he calls a referendum under whites only, the ANC you can be very sure, the ANC/SACP will not stand for it. How on earth can I sit around a conference table with you, negotiate with you a new constitution which is right for you and right for me, which we both agree on? This is a constitution which I will like to live under in South Africa. Now I say to you, now just stand there, sit down there in your little chair, I am now going back to some other people behind me and I'm going to ask them, is this constitution all right for you? And if they say no, then I have to say to you, no thank you they don't want this constitution. Will you sit around a table and negotiate with me if that is the way I am going to negotiate with you? You will not, I will not and nobody else will and the ANC won't either. I mean they will be stupid to go into negotiations and to sit there for years and work out a new constitution which in the end must, only by a section of South Africans, be okayed. They will not go into that. So you can be sure there will not be a referendum.

POM     Just to turn to a couple of other things. You talked about the violence between supporters of Inkatha and ANC that have ravished the Transvaal for the past year and I think what interested me was that you said it was between supporters of Inkatha and supporters of the ANC, not between Xhosas and Zulus.

KG     Well yes. I would prefer to use the two parties as names but everybody knows that Inkatha is the Zulu party and everybody knows the ANC are mainly Xhosas. They might deny that but that is true. The ANC is mainly Xhosa people. There are a few others amongst them, there are even a few Zulus in the ANC and in Inkatha Xhosas I believe, but mainly Inkatha is Zulu, that is for sure, you can't get away from that. Inkatha is Zulu and the ANC mainly Xhosa plus other blacks.

POM     There have been these allegations that were made all last year by Mr Mandela that the government had a part in the violence, that it was orchestrating it, that it was pursuing this double agenda: on the one hand the olive branch of negotiations, on the other hand a conscious attempt to undermine and weaken them in the townships. And then you had these revelations about the government funding of Inkatha and other exposés.

KG     The CCB for instance.

POM     Yes. What do you think about that whole thing?

KG     Before the freeing of the ANC there was no real violence in the townships, or freeing the ANC and the SACP. There were occasional riotings because of lights or anything like that, but there was no real death violence. You had violence in Natal which was mostly faction fights between Zulu Chiefs fighting among each other. You see people must understand that the Zulu nation consists of a lot of smaller tribes and there was tribal war, there always was. But there was a marked increase in township violence after the freeing of the ANC and the SACP which leads one to think that to describe all the violence to a third force cannot be true or the whole truth, let's say the whole truth. After the exposé of the CCB I am not so sure that there is not somewhere a third force or somebody or something stirring up the violence. I mean it has not been shown in our courts and it has not been proved that they did not take part in some ...

POM     There was a libel case where the judge more or less said you haven't proved that it didn't happen at all, in fact the evidence suggests that it hadn't. Are you surprised?

KG     No, no I'm not surprised. You should know by your whole study all these years that there is not a government in the world that has not got its secret forces which they use in different ways. You must just go to America to get your CIA and your FBI and things, so you do have them and although they are on the surface named, you don't really know what they do. I am not against the secret services, if that is what you want to call it, that governments have, I think in the world that we live in you must have them. What I cannot condone is the misuse of your secret services and your secret funds and as it at the moment seems on the surface it seems as if the National Party has used these secret funds and secret services that they have access to, to further their own policies and especially to further the reform policy of the State President and that one cannot condone. That cannot be. I have nothing against the money that he gave to Inkatha because he is giving much more money to the ANC. If you just think of all these expatriates that we've brought back into South Africa, although they do get money from other people too, most of the funding comes from the government and most of the funding that they have building their houses and things like that comes from the government. So I have no real trouble with giving money to Inkatha. But the reason they used to give the money to Inkatha, that I don't think is correct. If they gave the money to Inkatha to erase the terrible plight that the Zulus have in Zululand after all these years of faction fighting and especially the last two years the flaring up of the violence and people without houses and being burnt down and without work and without food, without schools, if they had used it for that then I would have said, so what? But I think to use it to make banners to say please don't use sanctions against South Africa, I think that is stupid.

POM     Did you believe Buthelezi when he said he never knew the money came?

KG     I don't believe any leader of any government or any party who doesn't know what goes on in his party.

POM     What about the revelation that the government gave money to the opposition parties in Namibia after it had signed a declaration with the United Nations that it would impartially oversee the elections?

KG     That, of course, put the Foreign Minister, Pik Botha, in perspective. He is a very devious character and he's always backing the underdog. Do you think that is because he's stupid? He has backed the underdog, or the loser if you want to call it that, he has backed the loser in Rhodesia, then Rhodesia which is now Zimbabwe. Everybody knew. I mean I'm an ordinary housewife really and I could have told him then that, honest to goodness, Mr Muzorewa is going to lose out, he is definitely not going to be accepted by the people in Rhodesia and he is going to be ousted before he's started. Everybody knew that. Do you really think the Foreign Minister of a country doesn't know that either? But he backed Mr Muzorewa all the way.

POM     The difference would be that here they'd signed an agreement with the United Nations saying we will impartially administer and oversee this election and after doing that they go ahead and they break their word.

KG     Well I don't think anybody, as far as Namibia is concerned, has ever kept their word, not the UN, not South Africa, not Mr Botha, not anybody. But, again, he backed the loser and he knew they're going to lose. I mean who on earth with his feet on the ground could have thought that SWAPO would not win in Namibia? I can't understand why he backed those parties. I think if you want my earnest opinion Mr. O'Malley, I think he did that with open eyes to stir up trouble in Namibia because after those parties started with their rallies suddenly there were also riots, if you want to call it that, at DTA rallies which you didn't have before. So what did they use that money for? I think this was true to Mr Botha, this is his character all along. He's a very devious man.

POM     In a way, in an odd way, you're agreeing with the ANC. They're saying you can't trust this government.

KG     No, you can't trust them, no.

POM     You can't trust them so when they say they're going to go into negotiations in good faith there's no way we can take that as true?

KG     No you cannot trust them. I don't blame, I really don't blame the black people that they do not believe this government. Honestly, they are a devious lot. They don't keep their word, not at all. And you know, to make this show overseas of Mr de Klerk as the man that you can believe, when he got back from his overseas trips what we read in our papers was not what was said in the English newspapers, but anyway that was what we read here, is that this was a triumph and that all the heads of governments think that he is a man of integrity and that he's going to keep his word and he's going to do what he was going to say. Now I do not want to be unfair to the man, maybe as a person because I know him too well and I've known him for so long, we were sort of at university - so I've known him since the days when he was just an ordinary man, he hasn't got a very long political career, but in the years of this short political career that he's had he has always had his constituency which was Vereeniging and even his party followers and especially the right. The impression was that he was a middle of the road politician, rather leaning more to the conservative side than the other side. In the meantime he was already selected in 1978 by the CFR to visit America with the distinction that we must bring out this man and others, the other names are not now relevant, but his name was specifically listed under the heading of one of the Afrikaner, young and upcoming Afrikaner left which we can convince to our scene of the things that should happen in South Africa. So, since he got into politics, which was round about that time when he became the MP for Vereeniging, he was whisked to America. What he was taught and what was said and what he was asked to do I don't know. You can think what it was but they named him one of the men that they should polish to take over in South Africa.

POM     Who named him like that?

KG     It was in this Council for Foreign Relations paper their names were listed. I haven't brought that with me but I have the piece that was written where their names were listed. If you want that I can send it to you.

POM     Yes, yes, please.

KG     Yes, and especially what was said about him in that paper, he, Sam de Beer, a lot of the people now surrounding him. And so I think he was devious ever since he came into politics. He knew then it was better to play it safe sort of thing, that one day I will show my true colours. So I don't think he is the terrific guy who the overseas people think if I give you my word I will do this. What he really is, I think, is what you ask of me to do so that I can survive in South Africa, that is what I will go and do in South Africa.

POM     So you don't really believe he's meeting their conditions at all, that he really is trying to - do you think he's trying to hang on to power?

KG     Yes, at the moment yes.

POM     Well I mean in the sense of ...

KG     He's hanging on to power at the moment for the sole reason that if he now loses power out of his hands there will be chaos, absolute chaos.

POM     Do you think he could think in terms of if I weaken the ANC and I get into an alliance with Buthelezi, if I can get the coloured community and the Indian community, if I make overtures to the Zionist Church to not support the ANC and the SACP, that I could go into this election and win it?

KG     Yes I think that's a good summing up of what he might have as his secret agenda.

POM     Politicians don't give up power.

KG     No, no, that is what is so absolutely mind-boggling about the whole thing in South Africa. We are handing out, we are actually handing ourselves over to I don't know what at the moment. We are handing ourselves over so it seems.

POM     That could be part of an elaborate agenda being drawn up in which he sees himself with all these parties, some of the other homelands who are not swinging in behind the ANC.

KG     Well you just have to look at the Labour Party politicians and MPs walking over to the NP at the end of the session. I mean you don't suddenly get more than half, more or less, of the MPs of one party just going over to another party for nothing. So that too is to me devious. There's something wrong. That is not true, cannot be true. There must be something behind that. The puzzle in South Africa is at the moment so volatile, so many things may be possible and between all this you have these Afrikaans people who want only to be free to govern themselves.

POM     Do you still think that the idea of a separate, independent Afrikaner kind of homeland is possible?

KG     Do you know how that grew, how the idea grew since I talked to you last year?

POM     Well Orania?

KG     Yes, not only Orania. Now, of course, you know as usual we are not agreed. Afrikaners never agree on anything really, except that they want to be free. As it is we have two homelands already but I think that necessity will show up where we will in the end gather. But yes, as we call it a volkstaat, we don't call it a homeland but I think the English-speaking world will understand the word homeland better than volkstaat which is actually 'the land of the nation' if you translate it just freely. Yes, the volkstaat idea has grown and that is a peaceful idea. That's why I am so agitated about this violence escalating. If only they would listen to us and say, all right come to the negotiation table, it is a viable concept, if you want to be on your own and if you want to go somewhere else and have just a little piece of South Africa where you can govern yourselves that is a peaceful solution, let's negotiate a piece of land and give it to you and everything. You will have much more peace in South Africa.

POM     The ANC are not averse to this?

KG     Not at first, not yet, no.

POM     They said come to the negotiating table and if that's what you want put it on the table, we want something else and we'll put it on the table?

KG     Well if that is what they want but at the moment their declarations in the open are no, that is not viable, that is rubbish and we're not going to give them their land. But I think in overtures under the table and private conversations they are biting at the idea and that is the other devious characteristic of Mr de Klerk. In private conversations he will come up to you and say, thank you that you are trying to play such honest politics and trying not to escalate violence by coming and saying that that is what you want. And then when he gets his chance to say that is something which we will have to consider because there are some Afrikaners who want it, then he says no that is not an option and it's nothing that we will consider. So you don't know where you ever stand with that man.

POM     We're going to go up to Orania on Sunday week.

KG     Are you going there? Will you see Professor Boschoff?

POM     I've already talked to him in Pretoria about a month ago. Is that beginning to grow?

KG     But now you must not make the mistake to send out that Orania is what we want. That is the sole beginning and all, that is just a little village that Afrikaans people bought who want to do their own work and have their schools, etc., etc. But there are also people in other countries and other villages down there. You can go to Olifantshoek, for instance, there they are doing their own thing. You can move down to the west coast, that whole North Western Cape is of course what Professor Boschoff was thinking of, especially the Orange River region as sort of the heart of the Afrikaans people, all the Afrikaner people's homeland. And they are moving a lot of people. If you go to Philippolis, for instance, in the last year more than twenty families that want to live in their own homeland have moved to Philippolis. That is also in the part of the Orange land, Orania is just a little town. Maybe that country will one day be called Orania, I don't know. But if you go to Orania and you speak to the people there, especially if you speak to the principal of the school, you will be astounded by what you hear?

POM     Julian Fischer? Yes I talked to him the other day.

KG     Did you talk to him? But you should go to the school itself. Anyway I'm pleased to see that you are going to Orania and having a look at what's going on there. We are not just talking, we are doing, but we want to do it peacefully. That's why we want the people to listen to us when we say we do not want to be part of Azania. We wish you everything of the best, go on with Azania, it is actually to our advancement if you have a stable, flourishing Azania. That will be a good advancement for Orania one day. Let's say that will be the homeland of the Afrikaners.

POM     OK. Let's hold it there for this time.

KG     Yes, and we want a peaceful solution. We don't want to fight but I don't know whether that's even going to be given to us.

POM     I'd like to give your son a ring and talk like I did the last time but ran out of time. His name is?

KG     Why, what do you want to do to him?

POM     Well I was going to talk to him.

KG     Well he's not really a politician or somebody who really wants to talk about politics. I'll give you his name and his phone number but I don't know what you'll get out of him. He feels like his mother and his father but he's not an ardent politician. OK, he is Nico Gouws [and his work number is 4884347 and at home he is 6144295].

POM     Thank you very much.

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.