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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.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 1991: Nefoloyhodwe, Pandelini

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POM     I would like to start with a very simple, perhaps, but yet a difficult question: that is when one surveys the literature of SA you see a whole range of different assessments as to what the real problem is. On the one hand you have those who argue that it is racial domination by the white minority over the black majority, then they say it is those who see it in terms of the competition between nationalisms, black nationalism and white nationalism, then you have those who say yes, indeed there are racial differences but within each racial group there are severe and ethnic differences and in this sense SA is what would classically be called a deeply divided society. And still others say it is about access to resources, the haves versus the have-nots. I would ask you how you would define the problem, not the solution, but the problem? What would be the main elements of that problem?

PN     Well the element of the problem would be the question of national oppression. National oppression is as a result of colonialism. It is a problem of people who have been colonised at one stage or the other. That problem led to various institutions to be put into place, including the minority government, which is just one institution which came into play in order to further what originally is a colonial problem.

     Secondly, it is also a question of the struggle to liberate people from both psychological and physical oppression. It is a struggle where black people are clamouring for their freedom and where white people keep the power unto themselves. Of course this power has a relationship to resources. Just like all power struggles, they have a relationship to resources because all that mass action centres around resources. They centre around what those who colonised each part of Africa wanted out of it, otherwise they would not have bothered to colonise this part of Africa.

POM     Would you show a distinction between colonisers who went to other places in Africa, like the Portuguese in Mozambique and Angola and the English in Zimbabwe, and the Afrikaners who came here in 1652 and have continued to live here ever since and who believe they are South Africans?

PN     That is a different matter altogether. At the moment we are still looking at what is the cause of the problem. I was trying to explain to you the real cause of the problem is the fact that people were colonised at one stage. After that process had taken place there were other ramifications that came into the picture, including the question of the whole apartheid system.

     You will remember that when the British fought with the Afrikaners from Holland, the British justified it by saying that it is better for them to maintain the resources and give political power to the Afrikaners. It was a strategy on their part. They felt they could no longer really have to bother about having to fight for political power, and they did that successfully. But the Afrikaner came in to use political power to also have a hand on the same resources that we are talking about. So they turned the whole country into a situation where they had to deal with their own community. Every privilege was then turned into a privilege for whites. Every opportunity was then turned into an opportunity for whites, using political power by the Afrikaners.

     In the long run they gained control within the economic resources of the country, because today they now exist side by side with big conglomerations from Britain. So in the final analysis, you are looking at a situation which was started by colonialism and which has now developed into various turnings.

     As for the question whether the Afrikaners who come from Holland are part of Africa, that is a question which really shouldn't bother us if we are analysing the problem. What should bother us is what kind of new society we want in order to resolve the tensions that are in our country. We needn't be bothered at the moment as to who comes from where? We don't want to tackle the problem in that way. But we should not lose sight of the historic developments. When we are talking about the history of the problems, then we are able to say, well you came from that side and you came and oppressed me in this fashion.

POM     So, would I be correct in saying that you see the problem as rooted in the historical development of colonialism?

PN     That is right.

POM     Recently, in the last year, in European and American periodicals, some of them very reputable ones, there has been an increasing propensity to describe the violence as violence between Xhosa and Zulu. The Economist went so far, about six weeks ago, to say the violence between Xhosas and Zulus is really no different from the violence between Serbs and Croatians in Yugoslavia. What they are trying to say is that ethnic animosity was the cause of the violence. How would you comment on that assessment? Do you think that ethnic differences play a part in the disparities between nations or groups of people in SA?

PN     It also has to take the point from our role in the way of looking at the SA situation. We simply believe that ethnic differences were brought into play by the adopted system; that if apartheid did not bring into play the question of divide and rule, and thereby trying to highlight ethnic differences, by now we would not be talking about anything of that nature.

     You must realise here, that when we formed ourselves into an organisation, the first thing to tackle in our midst was to destroy the divide and rule structures of the government and also to get rid of this ethnic tendency. Ethnicity is a questions which exists throughout the world, it is not like it is only us here. You do find people who feel one way or the other, attached to what we call their traditional way of looking at things. But those are not overriding issues in a nation. Those are things which only individuals can continue to do, whilst the individual also could belong to a national culture, a national outlook and forget about the little things that, for instance, are there in some countries, like people of Scottish origin from time to time they have got celebration with their skirts, and nobody really worries about their skirts because such things are part and parcel of what they must remember, but they don't use those skirts as a process of separating themselves from the general ethos of the country.

POM     It has happened in many cases in which ethnic differences expressed themselves in terms of dominance in many countries in Africa over the years.

PN     In some countries, yes. You do find instances where ethnic differences tend to override the national issues.

POM     What would make SA different?

PN     It is that in this country, apart from the fact that the white population of this country has gotten into a system of believing that they are superior to other people, generally within the black community you would not find any kind of dominance of that nature. We have been able, politically to destroy that completely. And that is why you get the Bantustans crumbling on their own now because we have been organising ourselves around national issues as opposed to ethnic differences and in our organisations we cut across that particular area. Simply also because, if you want to build a future for our children, not only for ourselves who come from the apartheid difficulties, we must be looking ahead of getting rid of the perception that human beings have got different - live in cocoons on their own, that they are human beings by themselves. We don't want them to grow up with tendencies which tend to separate them from others, unless taught by their parents.

     If you want to look at the future in terms of what we would call the Azanian nation, we are here talking about a situation where the perception of our people will think we are in a country and this is our country together. Therefore they would perceive themselves as part and parcel of the whole country. We have even argued that when we have people saying, let us have minority rights here, our problem within our organisation is that who is the minority, and who is not a minority? Because, if you start from the fact that I am a minority, for instance, because I happen traditionally to come from a tribe which has, in terms of numbers, less than one million people, then I am beginning to be a tribalist in thinking; I am beginning to consider myself as a human being distinct from all other human beings, and that is what we are trying to convince our white compatriots that they must not think in those terms. They must think in terms of protecting individual rights. They must not be worried about emphasising this minority or that minority.

POM     We have gone out into Natal, into KwaZulu, we have gone to squatter camps and talked to people there. We have talked to people in the cabinet of the KwaZulu government and in Inkatha, a wide cross section of Zulu people involved in one way or another in Inkatha, and what struck us was the absolute conviction with which these people believe that the ANC is a Xhosa dominated organisation which wants to establish a one-party state, and destroy the Zulu nation since they see the Zulu nation as being their biggest obstacle to achieving their ends.

PN     That is the problem of colonial legacy. If you can go to our library and go and check the history of these men, and you talk to any professor to ask which book should I read to get an authoritative history of what happened, you will find books written by the British. Those are the authorities over the history of our people. You must know that the British have an obsession about the Zulus. If you go to Britain, for instance, the first thing they ask you is are you Zulu. They still have an obsession about the Zulus. [Once you understand that obsession, the Zulus speaking people terribly.]

     That conflict still goes along. When you look at Zulu speaking people, they see the they are engaged in and that obsession resounds throughout their history. When I went to school I never really knew of the history that is really proper. Shaka, who is supposed to be our hero, if you read our history, he is being lambasted with all sorts of words and yet he was a very good militarist and strategist, as opposed to his counterparts. You will find his counterparts being flowered with all sorts of things. But you must remember that the people you are speaking to also have gone through this Bantu education and some of their perceptions about are still hung up with this historic schooling. Some of the people of the government which is in power now, this one, came to realise exactly that, that whilst they enforced Bantu education, they inculcated into us the spirit of separateness through their system of education. When they realised that they were just about to succeed, they then created semi-autonomous governments, corrupt, to feel more and more proud of that separateness. So I am not surprised if you go to those areas and find people feeling the way they are feeling, it is just a product of the machinations of the apartheid system. One could say that is where the apartheid system was just about to succeed.

     You could go to other areas and find people who feel very strongly that they are separate from the rest. You go to the so called coloured community. They will also tell you that they are different. But that is part and parcel of the ideology of apartheid.

     So while you see those things, we do not accept them as permanent scars and almost as a natural reflection of what people would have been if the apartheid structures were not put into place. We think that people would have been quite different from what they are now, and that is what our organisation would want to get rid of completely.

POM     Just one last question in this area, and that is the analogy that has sometimes been made between what is happening in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union and South Africa, is that for forty years the ethnic differences and nationalisms among the people of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union were suppressed under the totalitarian communism, and have been suppressed and have not been expressed in an open way. Therefore they do not seem to be there. Now when the yoke of communism is lifted, the ethnic differences have widened. Some people have suggested to us that perhaps something similar could happen in SA when the yoke of apartheid is taken away. Maybe the things that were suppressed in various ethnic groups could begin to come more and more into the surface.

PN     That is really not possible because you see, in this country, you have a situation where you have the whites who are well to do and very, very rich, and you have what you call blacks, the terminology 'blacks' would include the so-called coloured and Indian communities, who have been completely separated from the major means of production, the economy and all that.

     So, primarily all these sectors of our community are striving to be in the mainstream of both political, economic and social activities of our country. Therefore their aspirations and their future perceptions are easily brought together by the fact that they want this freedom. You would not run away from the problem that they would want to play their own music. For heavens sake, let them play it. In fact we would want to listen to their music, because sometimes you get bored with the music that you have always had. For heavens sake, you must listen to the things that they want to tell you about themselves. The way they marry is not the way I marry, but that is not the crux of what you call a nation.

     The difference from Eastern Europe, if we are to go to that, we are very different from Eastern Europe. In Eastern Europe, the problem has not been of ethnicity because when those states in Eastern Europe were under the threat of Hitler during the time of Stalin, that threat alone brought them together to face the realities and they felt that they must be together and they formulated their strategies together. What has not been very clear to our movement was the kind of democratic processes that would have allowed those different states to exercise a little bit of their integrity, to allow them to participate in the freedom of contributing ideas to the future of the Soviet Union. Because as you know, those bureaucrats who ruled under the banner of socialism were not socialists at all, because as far as I understand socialism is that it is basically something that has got to deal with the working class. They tended to hoard power unto themselves. They became the working class for as long as they could say we are the party of the working class. But they were a party of their own, they were not a party of the working class because they did not allow the working class to actually participate in decision making. If they had allowed the working class to participate, they would have allowed themselves to be changed by a democratic process from time to time.

     The interesting point is that the more fundamental thing which revolves around democracy must not be misused to mean that in this country as well, we will have what happened ... I would understand it if it comes from the white community. If they feel like we might dominate them because, again, they are arguing from the legacy of apartheid, they have done certain things which they realise that it was wrong. They are just afraid that it might be repeated on us. But they must not worry, we are very clear about what we want to bring about. But we are also saying to them they must not worry about themselves as a group, because they will be perpetuating again the apartheid legacy. They must shed the group mentality [and bring about some form of ...]

     Ethnicity, you could even see it in Canada. Although they are living side by side with the Indians there, they are living in hostility. The people who are talking about the question of black and white, they are white. The Indians of that country are also talking about a constitution of problems simply because the colonial legacy of Canada has got to be resolved. When you see those apparitions of the Indians wanting to box, it is because they are also taking it from a colonial point of view. They say after all when some of these people came here, they found us here, but now they are ruling the whole of the country without us participating in the freedoms of the country. But no-one says anything about that. The whole world does not want actually to say, you Canadians, the way you are running issues there is not acceptable to anybody.

     So ethnic tensions are only brought about if your democratic system is such that it oppresses individuals on the basis that they come from a second group. Like in Canada for instance, the whole situation of Canada is a compromise. It recognises the existence of the groups, and that compromises that. Once you do that, you will always have ethnic problems.

POM     So you are saying one should never recognise groups in a constitution because that perpetuates people thinking of themselves as (belonging to ethnic groups).

PN     That is right. You must make sure that your constitution protects the individuals. So whether that individual is regarded as an Indian or not, he should be able to walk around as you walk around. There are protective mechanisms and even recall to the dignity that may be incurred by someone in the streets. So people who start looking at each other in terms of interest, once you have done that then people will start looking at each other in terms of interests. If my interests converge with yours, and I know that we are all protected as we move in the streets, we will tend to act together. In that you will build a more flexible situation in society.

POM     How would the AZAPO's philosophy fit into that? What are your principles and your objectives?

PN     Our objectives are very clear. Firstly, we have recognised that in this society in which we live, there is a white minority which clings to power, and there is a black majority which is oppressed and discriminated against and they are not allowed to participate in the democratic process of having to determine their own destiny. But we have gone all out to propagate a philosophy which will take this group to challenge this group that is in power and therefore bring about a balance of forces so that a resolution of the conflict should come into being. The processes that are taking place now seem to be pointing to that direction.

POM     It is my understanding, and please correct me if I am wrong, that AZAPO's position would be that whites really have no place in the struggle for liberation?

PN     No, I think people misrepresent AZAPO and the Black Consciousness Movement. Let me tell you briefly what we are saying. After having done that, we would have divided the problem into those who have power and those who do not have power, both economic and whatever power. And we have instituted a struggle here which must overthrow this power. That is the format of our struggle. That format also goes further to say this struggle cannot be led by this class of people. It cannot. Because it is predominantly a struggle of the have nots, and the haves cannot lead that struggle. That is one other quantification we make.

POM     You mean whites can't lead the struggle?

PN     Yes. They cannot lead this struggle because they are a privileged group and they continue to maintain a government which denies our participation in the democratic process.

POM     But what about whites who totally disavow entire policies of the government and believe in non-racialism?

PN     Those are the whites I am going to deal with just now. After having done that, because we also believe that society - when you deal with society, you don't deal with exceptions. If you want to wage a struggle, don't go for exceptions, go for the whole, what is the fundamental contradiction in society. After having done that, when you start looking at your allies, people who may come from both sides and join you, you then devise a mechanism for them to participate in the struggle.

     We have come to realise that these people who are voted into power also have allies in our ranks. We have come to realise that. They have got Buthelezi, they have Hendrickse. They have recruited them so that they can confuse the situation so that they can maintain power. As a result we also feel that those who are from this group, who want to participate in the struggle, we then champion a course for them. We have said the following: whites who want to participate in the struggle for freedom must do so within this community.

POM     Within its own community?

PN     Yes. You see this community is one which has been causing us problems. If this community can be convinced that it must live with other people, we won't need to fight. So we have said to them that if you really want to assist us in this struggle, can you attend to this community. Attend to the following: this community believes it is superior to us; this community believes it must cling to power; this community operates separately from us, we are not able to come to is and influence it in any direction, except you people who feel that way. So that we say, go to that community, convince your brothers, do all the things that we are doing here. If it means to have commemoration services in the white suburbs, do that so that the white people can come an clear their minds.

     Our philosophy has been vindicated because today we have operations such as the one of the AWB. Real racist people. We have called on white people to say if you are really serious about the future, can you assist us in getting rid of those racists by preaching the democratic values of the future. Because you must also realise that it is only now, after February 2, that black people are allowed to stay in white areas. Even now, no black person can address a full meeting accept at university, but not meetings in the suburbs. That black person would be told to get out! Which means that we had a very serious problem where the activists who are within the white community refused to do their bit to convince this community which we so dearly want for the future. And that is why we have people lagging behind like the Terre'Blanches. If they had heeded our call in 1968 I don't believe we would have as many racists as we do today. I think they would have been taught, because we have been doing so within the black community. We have been telling them about democratic values, telling them to accept whites in a future SA, telling them not to hate whites because they have oppressed us for all these years. We needed some whites here who would tell them not to hate blacks, and who would tell them the future is a convergence.

POM     So, you have your white community as the dominant community and within that community you have some people who disagree with the policies of the government. And they should upgrade the others?

PN     That is right.

POM     And you have the black community and within that you might have some people who will turn and collaborate with the regime?

PN     That is right. We have to deal with those people as well. I will tell you of an organisation which did very, very well to all intents and purposes, which is a white organisation. It is called the End Conscription Campaign. That organisation, whether we like it or not, did exactly what we wanted as a Black Consciousness Movement. What they did was to simply say, we come from a white community but we do not agree with the apartheid structures, we do not agree with conscription. We are the only people who get conscripted. We are going to go to ask those black people to come and assist us to fight, but we are going to fight it where we are.

     Today the government has decided the way to deal with this is to leave these young fellows alone. That is the struggle which we in AZAPO have been calling for and we have gone further to say, theirs is a struggle from within. We are excluded from this circle. Theirs is from the system, it is to make sure that the system is weakened and it starts to think about democratic values. Our struggle is actually from outside the system. Once that can happen simultaneously, we are most likely to reach our goals faster.

POM     You initially put so much emphasis on people not thinking of themselves as being groups but as being individuals, and your strategy for democratisation seems to rest on having group A and group B, with people in group a furthering the struggle within that group and people in group B furthering the struggle within that group. Is that correct?

PN     Yes, that is the truth.

POM     What I am saying is that would you also say that the problem in a democracy where you have ethnic groups as different, is that provision is made for the protection of groups rather than for the protection of individuals? So why in this case does the colour of the skin make a difference?

PN     Well, actually it is not even a colour problem here if you check our definition of why you become black. It does not deal with colour and so on. It deals with the conflict in our society. I have even gone further sometimes when I have talked to people. I have been interested actually to meet a white person who is as white as snow. I have gone around and I have not met one. Which means therefore, there is no such thing as a white person. What is there, is whiteness. It is a political contract. You become white, in this country particularly, because you belong to the privileged class. For instance, when the Japanese come here, they are classified whites. The Japanese are known to be not white in terms of our perception of what white is. They are known to be non-white. But if you go to Pretoria here, they are classified as white. So in our country whiteness has nothing to do with the colour of the skin. It has got something to do with a group of people who are privileged. And the same applies to blackness.

     But let me go back to the question of why do we have groups. All struggles, power struggles, whatever struggle, it can be a struggle of workers for their wages, but all struggles have got two sides of the story. There is no struggle unless you have delineated the people you are struggling against and for what reason. So you take a working class organisation, they would be struggling for higher wages through their unions, and it would be the workers versus management. Management is that group which must be faced for the purposes of the resolution of that struggle. Here, unfortunately, the group that has power, both social, economic and political, unfortunately happens to be a group that can be classified white. This could have been any other group in reality. This could have been any other group. These people who are excluded from this power would still have fought exactly the same war, it would still be a group relation, but this time we would not be bringing our own conception of white and black because there would not be that conception in terms of our way of looking at the situation. But it would have been the same struggle which has been fought, with the same intensity, because people would not accept to be slaves whilst a few people get into power.

POM     If you look at AZAPO, the PAC and the ANC, what are the ideological differences between them? And again, what are the differences between AZAPO and the ANC on the question of negotiations and on the question of the interim government? Could you start with the differences between you and the ANC?

PN     You mean politically or what?

POM     Yes, the political and strategic differences between you and the ANC, and you and the PAC.

PN     There don't appear to be very large differences there because we all want a future which will be democratic and anti-racist. We are prepared to say non-racial, anti-racist. We really don't want to get near any racism in any form whatsoever. In our own document, we emphasise that it must be not only non-racial, because we have seen situations where the society was non-racial but there was still racism. So we are saying non-racial, anti-racist society, we are calling for that. We don't really differ much at that level of the society we want. We also don't differ on the fact that the oppressed people must get their freedom and that the minority government must be removed from power. We really don't differ there. We also don't differ on the question that there must not be any minority protection. We don't differ there.

     But where we differ is sometimes at tactics and strategy and to some extent, with the ANC we differ as to the kind of society we are looking for. They are talking about a mixed economy. We differ with that because we think that every other economy is mixed, so to us it means nothing. Every other economy is mixed, even a socialist economy is mixed. So they have not defined to us what they mean. Because when a feudalist economy gets into capitalism, the capitalism system which comes into being, and predominantly its productive processes are of a capitalist nature, it still carries along the seeds of the old and it still carries along the seeds of the new, where it is going because otherwise it will never get there unless it has new seeds. But in that sense, you find that the economy is mixed. For instance, the economy here in our country has been mixed for as long I have been alive.

POM     Is that why you believe in ...?

PN     We believe in a socialist economy.

POM     The SACP also believes in a socialist economy.

PN     Well they live in a socialist economy as practised by the Eastern Europe countries and that is not our aim.

POM     But there is no socialist economy that is being practised by the Eastern European countries now.

PN     That is what we are saying. They believe in that thing that we have seen collapsing. That has been their model. At one stage they wanted to destroy us on the basis that we were socialist but not of that nature.

POM     Just in ideological terms, if I were to ask you what the difference between you and the SACP was, what would be the difference?

PN     The main difference between us and the SACP was that whilst we all wanted a socialist situation, we felt that that socialism must never be imposed, but socialism must come out of the basic conditions and the material conditions of our people. They must determine what kind of socialism they want. On materialism it is a question of the science part of it. It is not a question of following what, say, Castro is doing because Castro is basically on an island on his own and we do not have an island which is similar to that of Castro. So we emphasise the fact that we don't want anybody to come and tell us the kind of socialism we must have. At that stage, I don't know now, they were linked very closely with the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

POM     The ideological and strategic differences between AZAPO and the PAC?

PN     Well, AZAPO and the PAC would differ only when it comes to the definition of who is an African. They define an African as anybody whose origin can be traceable to Africa and if your origin is traceable to Africa you should owe your only allegiance to Africa. We have a problem in that if you are to go on recruiting people on the assumption that indeed your ancestors can be traced to Africa, how are you going to judge that you are now only owing your allegiance to Africa? We think they are playing with words at that level, so we don't favour that kind of situation. We don't favour a situation where I must then come to you and say I don't believe your ancestors were here but can you tell me how you owe allegiance to Africa? You can describe all kinds of scenarios, but how do I quantify that, to say yes, now you are an African?

POM     Your attitude towards negotiations which the ANC is in favour of preparing for, AZAPO is not part of the preparations.

PN     You attach some of the issues too fast and I end up not really understanding where the differences are, because I have not finished the differences between us. Those are not the real differences, it is just a question of defining issues. I was just telling you that there are some definitions that we don't agree on.

     With the PAC there is also the question of the socialism that we are talking of. We don't seem to be understanding the same socialism as we would want it to be. Further than that, we differ on tactics and strategy. But with the ANC as I said, we differ on the question of a mixed economy as we are a socialist organisation and we do not support the Freedom Charter as a result of that. We just feel that whilst we agree with some of the issues within the Freedom Charter we don't entirely agree with all of them.

     But if you come back to the question of negotiations, we have taken a view that the only kinds of negotiations that we will enter into will be the ones that talk about the transfer of power from the minority to the majority. By the majority here I don't mean black, I mean that the power must no longer rest with the minority group it must be dismantled and the power must rest with the people of our country. At that level we have been misunderstood to say we don't want to negotiate, because we have rejected the negotiations that have been taking place for about a year now because we feel that those negotiations are not attending to the real issues. You don't resolve your country's problems by bringing in the exiles. They can come, but if they come they will find apartheid still there. You have not done anything. You don't resolve it by releasing political prisoners. Those are some of the things which must be done, but they are not fundamental to the revolution of the country. For that matter, we know of situations where people came after an agreement had been reached. They came to a situation which no longer requires them to fight. At the moment we have brought quite a number of people inside the country, and that is why they are still in the stadium and toyi-toying and still carrying toy guns, because they have come back to a situation which is not conducive, they need to continue to fight.

     De Klerk continues to lock them up. There are reports today in the Sowetan here that the police were searching some other areas. They are locking up. So the conflict really cannot be resolved by bringing back the political prisoners, or bringing back the exiles. So we are saying, let's resolve the question of the power relations and once that is sorted out and we have got a new constitution, everybody can come and participate in this new democratic situation. So we differ with the ANC just there, and to all intents and purposes. We used to differ with the international community on that point too because the international community bandied talks about talks and they then described them as negotiations. And we kept on saying these are talks about talks, negotiations have not started. Come the day of negotiations, you will find AZAPO there, that is what we have been saying all along. But of late De Klerk has assisted us. Because De Klerk has now said real negotiations are still to come. So at least now we are cleared from this misconception.

POM     So, the steps that you see are?

PN     The steps in the process are very simple to us. We feel that from the side of the oppressed we must start with what we call a consultative conference, which is just a conference of the liberation movements, people who have been fighting the regime. Those liberation movements, which would be AZAPO, PAC and ANC and perhaps their allies, the ANC can come with the SACP, we will come with NACTU and other organisations in that respect.

     We also see that as a forum where we can then start to get our differences more tightened, so that once those differences are tightened, including how we are going to handle the process, so that when we start handling the process we don't have different signals to the world about issues. We are able to say to the world, do what we want, and we are able also to say to De Klerk, it is no longer an ANC matter, it is a matter of us now, let us try to reason. It would probably make his life also more easier.

POM     (Question unintelligible).

PN     We move to do that, and after that we see ourselves as going to a patriotic front, wherein we then bring in other allies and other people as well who are not necessary in that caucus could be brought in.

POM     Could the Democratic Party be possibly part of that process?

PN     We really don't know. For as long as there are certain things that we want them to accept, so we can't exactly say they must - actually they must also accept the fact that they would no longer have anything to do with the white parliament. We would want people to be committed to dismantling the apartheid structure, and if the Democratic Party feel that they want to do that, then they must come out.

     Once we get the PF, we would want to move over to the transfer of power. And once the power has been transferred, or the government has been ...

POM     What mechanisms are you going to use for this?

PN     We want negotiations to take place.

POM     Negotiations between the PF and the government?

PN     That is right.

POM     Would part of those negotiations possibly cover the procedures to be followed during the transition?

PN     It would cover the transition itself.

POM     Would you have an Constituent Assembly?

PN     It would cover the Constituent Assembly. It would cover the modalities of getting into the Constituent Assembly and it will cover the fact that the government must relinquish power.

POM     So at that point, where you have the PF and the government coming together for negotiations, part of what might be discussed at that forum is an all party government that would be ...

PN     Well, we really don't say that it would work out that way.

POM     Who would rule the country between the time the government is dismantled and the time you have a Constituent Assembly?

PN     We are calling for what is called a transitional authority, as opposed to a government, an authority which can include parties such as the UN, OAU and any other party that would be agreed upon. But it would be an authority not a government, because government has got a tendency of not relinquishing power.

POM     So the government would resign?

PN     It must relinquish power, enter the process of transition with all other parties. So we are not talking about an interim government. We are talking about an authority. We must define its duration, we must define its job; part of its job is to conduct an election for a Constituent Assembly so that a new constitution can be drawn up.

POM     Do you think in the last year that the government has been able to manipulate the ANC, give the ANC that they are the sole representatives of the oppressed people?

PN     All that the government was doing was continuing with its divide and rule tactics, but the ANC did not see that at that stage, but the government was merely pursuing its goals. De Klerk's government is a divide and rule government. The government saw the combined efforts of the liberation movement as being a threat, so they decided to invite the ANC, they also invited us, they also invited the PAC, separately, because the government never wanted to face the combined efforts of the liberations movements. But, unfortunately, we in AZAPO saw that and we then said we are not interested in you having to invite us separately. You are still trying to divide our ranks. Unfortunately the ANC could not see that but I think they have come to realise that now.

POM     We talked about the violence. If you look at the country as a whole, there is one factor which is common to all the disturbances and that is a problem of the ANC. It is the ANC versus the PAC in the Transvaal and the ANC versus Inkatha in Natal and ANC versus AZAPO.

PN     That is just one of those things. The fundamental issue is that the government has been orchestrating the violence; that the government found certain conduits and the government exploited what is called political intolerance in order to further its ends. It never wanted to be involved directly. So its strategy was that if it comes to the area where AZAPO and ANC are contending for territorial support, it will use that situation and fan the situation quite well and remove itself from the arena of that struggle. That is why you find monies being given to Inkatha. It is because the government has been doing that through certain conduits. Unfortunately you see, the ANC forces were not tolerant of other forces, but that comes out of their relationship with intolerant Eastern Bloc big powers.

     The forces have been tuned into what is called the sole and authentic representatives of the people. The UN here is also to be blamed because their relations also endorse this sole and authentic representatives of the people and it gives that the idea that they are the future government. The newspapers were actually saying, when the ANC was electing its leadership, it was a government-in-waiting. So they are saying all other parties are inconsequential. That attitude can cause a lot of problems in a country.

POM     Does the government have a plan and does it know what it is doing in developing it? Has it got an objective at the end?

PN     Their objective is to keep the oppressed people where they are. Even with their documents which they propose from time to time. They are championing a cause to protect white interests. When you read every government document, look to see as to whether in the end that document does not protect white interests.

POM     Thank you.

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. Return to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory site.