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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

14 Jan 1992: Mesatywa, Jeanette

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POM     Jeanette, perhaps you could tell me a little about yourself first, just your background, where you were born, how many children in the family, what your parents did, where you went to school, how you ended up here?

JM     I was born in Alex 26 years ago. I studied in Alex until 1979 when I went to Botswana and finished my so-called matric here in South Africa. I  even went to the university for four years. I started BA, I finished at Wits in 1987 and I went to St Paul's Grahamstown to study theology because I wanted to become a priest. Unfortunately I am not a priest yet because the Anglican church is still undecided about women priests.

POM     That's interesting because in the United States the counterpart to the Anglican Church, the Episcopalian Church, do admit women now as priests.

JM     Yes they do. Now I am working as a volunteer for a luncheon club and for a living I write short stories for magazines. That's about all.

POM     Do you write short stories for magazines that are national magazines?

JM     Yes.

POM     Have you published in national magazines?

JM     Yes I have under a pseudonym, not my actual name.

POM     What name do you write under?

JM     I don't tell people that.

POM     OK, I'd like to see some of the stories sometime. Would that be possible?

JM     Yes that would be possible. I can show you stories. I am hoping to publish a book of short stories so I am still negotiating with publishers.

POM     With which publishers?

JM     If everything goes well maybe by next year January I will be having a book.

POM     You will have your book out before I have my book out that's for sure. You're living in Alexandra?

JM     Yes I still live in Alex. I'm the only child at home though my parents are no longer alive.

POM     So do you live on your own?

JM     I live with my cousins.

POM     How many cousins?

JM     Two.

POM     Two cousins. Tell me, when I last saw Linda, and because both of his phones were out of order last summer and I kept missing him or we kept missing each other, I didn't see him last summer, so I haven't seen him really since August of 1990 and at that time he had been very proud of the fact that the violence that was sweeping other townships around Johannesburg had escaped Alex and then in February of last year violence broke out here with a vengeance. Could you tell me a little of how that happened and what impact it has had on the community?

JM     I cannot really tell how that happened, it just took us by surprise. We were not really actually anticipating it but there are people who managed to get into the hostels and talk to the people in the hostels, the people who we think caused the whole thing. They claim that those people told them that they had been asked to do those acts of violence. It had a very terrible effect on the citizens, so much so that it divided us. I am Xhosa speaking. There are places in Alex where I no longer tread because they are Inkatha strongholds and there are places in Alex where if you are a Zulu you fear going because it is ANC stronghold. Some of us have resolved not to speak Xhosa any more so we tend to speak Sotho or Zulu just to avoid skirmishes.

POM     So if you went into a Zulu speaking area here or an Inkatha area, the only way in which Inkatha supporters would recognise that you were Xhosa would be by the language you spoke, so if you spoke Sotho?

JM     I'd be OK, I will be safe.

POM     Have you found this traumatic?

JM     Yes it is traumatic because though I seldom speak Xhosa myself there are times like when I want to express myself better I'd rather speak the language I'm used to, my own language. So it has been quite tough having to learn another language, it has been quite tough. It was very bad, I still do not feel free to go into those places.

POM     Some people tell me that there are ethnic differences in South Africa, like between Xhosa and Zulu and Sotho and that these must be recognised and taken into account when a new non-racial government structure is being developed. What do you think?

JM     It's true, there are ethnic differences but that they should be recognised it won't work because these differences have been brought by colonialism and I think if blacks were to work that out we would regain our sense of community which was divided by the invasion of the white people. Ethnic differences are everywhere, even whites do have them.

POM     Sure, and big ones.

JM     Yes big ones. It's just that in South Africa theirs are not so much publicised as ours are. I don't think it will be too much of a problem like if we were to experience a new South Africa. The other thing, it will depend on the government of the day. If they are going to inherit from their predecessors ethnic-wise then they will be lacking in wisdom. I think the government, whoever it will be, will need to work on it, will need to tell people that, look, we are blacks, we agree and you don't speak the same language we agree, but you are people let's not allow different languages to divide us because at the end of the day we suffer, all of us.

POM     Has there been any attempt, like again when I've been here in 1989 and 1990, one got the impression that there was a real sense of community developing in Alexandra and many civic projects being undertaken by civic organisations. Has the violence and the fallout from the violence, the fear of Xhosa speaking people to go into Zulu speaking areas and vice versa, has that damaged the sense of community that existed before?

JM     Yes it does. Let me put it like this, many things damaged that sense of community. Since the abolishment of influx control the government didn't provide an alternative so we experienced an exodus from the homelands into the city and they were without places to live, without accommodation. So the only alternative for them was to build squatter shacks and then it created a lot of problems for us, so much so that we became divided.

POM     There are differences between the people who build squatter residences and the people who had been more long term residents?

JM     Yes. Our problem was where are they building their shacks. They just come and they build. They won't ask you, "Can we?" They just build it. You come back from work and you find the structure and you cannot say, "Demolish your structure", where will they go? And then it created a lot of problems because we now had to share facilities like toilets, like water. You find your manner of handling things hygiene-wise is not equal. So it, yes, and I still blame the apartheid system for that.

POM     Sure. So you've got differences that continue to exist between people who just erect their tin shack dwellings anywhere they want to and people who are the longer term residents of Alexandra?

JM     Yes it really created a problem. And then, of course, whenever we talk about that, when I look at it actually and become frank with myself it's not only the apartheid system to be blamed. Even the civic organisation in Alex has to be blamed for that because they advocated building of shacks in the yards.

POM     In the yards of the people?

JM     And not talking to residents. We had some time ago where a very prominent civic leader shouted slogans, "Up with khukhus", that's what we call shacks.

POM     Could you spell that for me?

JM     Khukhu.

POM     Who was this community leader?

JM     I'd rather not say.

POM     Well I won't quote you saying it but I'll just write it down. I'll go and see him. Just give me his name or spell it for me.

JM     Moses Mayekiso.

POM     Oh I know Moses.

JM     So it created a lot of tensions. I don't know how we will solve it. It is still a problem. Although we are on the verge of a new South Africa, it is still a problem. I think it will stay with us unless maybe the new government deals with it.

POM     My next question would be, if you look at Alexandra today would you say that conditions here for ordinary people have improved, gotten worse or stayed about the same as they were since February 1990, since Mandela was released and the ANC unbanned?

JM     Things are still the same.

POM     Has this left people feeling somewhat disappointed? Have they been expecting big things or big changes when Mandela got released and now two years later they find that conditions haven't changed, in fact in some regards they could have gotten worse with the violence?

JM     Yes, I cannot say, but speaking for myself I know things are not so easy. I've been knowing it for quite some time but it won't be easy for Mandela to change things overnight. Though I am not a Mandela fan I think he will do something, given time he will do something.

POM     In your own life can you point to anything specifically that you can attribute to the changing political atmosphere?

JM     No, there's nothing that I can attribute to that.

POM     You say you're not a Mandela fan?

JM     No I'm not.

POM     I don't come across many people, I don't come across many blacks who say that. I come across lots of whites who say that.

JM     Maybe I'm putting it wrong, I'm not an ANC fan. People often wonder why I say that. Look I like Mandela, I have got nothing against Mandela. In fact I have very sentimental attachments to him. He lived at my grandfather's place when he lived here in Alex.

POM     Is that right?

JM     Yes. And he almost married my mother's aunt. My mother's sister is married to Nelson's nephew. My mother's sister is married to Mandela's nephew. So whenever people tell me, I tell them I've got nothing against him, it's just that the 1986 unrest brought with it some nasty happenings in Alex.

POM     I was going to ask everyone here that I interviewed about what happened in the mid-1980s. That was the period when the comrades took over?

JM     It was something like the reign of terror of Russia or whatever. It was terrible, it was terrible, we had people's courts. The yard I live in had courts of the so-called kangaroo courts.

POM     Of the kangaroo courts?

JM     Yes, and what I experienced there will live with me till I die. So I sort of developed a negative attitude towards the ANC.

POM     I know this is difficult but could you tell me a little about that because if I am to ultimately tell the story of how the community developed and changed and the tensions that existed, the bad parts are as important. As you know as a writer the truth is the truth.

JM     OK. I'll tell you one story.  There came a man on Saturday in the morning to report, to claim something against someone else. Or he claimed this person had stolen something from him and that person was taken and punished. The accused was a very old man.

POM     The accused was a very old man.

JM     And he was given about 100 strokes and after that he couldn't cope with it, he couldn't walk properly and it was very painful for him. So he was doing inside work. He never went back after that and he had a terrible time going back home. Often I spoke to the comrades and I told them, "Look, this is not the way to do things." And in the end they stopped doing it but whenever they came to lay charges they sent them to me and I told them, "No, I cannot do that", and I told them the reasons why they were sending them to me. It's because I always spoke up against what they did.

POM     How would these courts work? Would they meet on a regular basis or on any basis?

JM     They used to meet on a regular basis.

POM     Like once or twice a week?

JM     Oh every day. It was like a police station where you have charges laid every day.

POM     How many would sit on the court?

JM     It was not so organised. I can't remember how many. There were more than five people and they were children.

POM     Ages about?

JM     12 to 18 years. So you see it was a terrible structure.

POM     And somebody would lay the charges against the person and then would the person have a chance to defend themselves?

JM     That seldom happened.

POM     Seldom happened.

JM     An interesting thing is whenever someone came to me with a charge against a comrade nothing was done. I had a comrade neighbour who is a rapist, he raped a certain lady and another and they did nothing about it. Whereas I know someone who raped somebody and that person was punished because he is not a comrade. So the things do not work.

POM     What happened that a situation developed where the comrades who were young people of 12, 13, 14, 15, were able to take over, as it were, and dominate the whole community? Why didn't parents assert themselves?

JM     Yes it's very tough. It's not so easy. Let me tell you, when I grew up if a boy would stop me on the street and try to fight me, you as a parent would feel free to admonish that boy not to do that. But that was a long time ago. Things have changed, we are now living in a period of the lost generation. There's nothing you can do. They can kill you.

POM     What has happened to these young people, the people who would have been the comrades in 1986/87/88, they're now in their early twenties? Are they still here in the community?

JM     They are still here but a lot of them have lost interest in politics.

POM     Are some of them still in the ANC?

JM     There are those who are still in the ANC and there are those who might know who even went further, they are studying now outside South Africa. But most of them have left politics and they are living a very useless life.

POM     Are living a very useless life?

JM     Yes. Many of us young people joined politics without knowing the meaning of it.

POM     One person some place else, in fact a member of the PAC, said to me when elections come a lot fewer people, particularly older people, will vote for the ANC than you might think because they will remember that when some of those members of the ANC were 13 and 14 that they were the people who made them drink fish oil if they broke a boycott or who intimidated them into keeping a boycott and they'd remember that and won't vote for them.

JM     Yes, I don't know. That may work against the ANC but I wouldn't put it like that. I would say they're not interested. I don't think the ANC has got support.

POM     You don't think they have support?

JM     I don't think so. I lived in the Eastern Cape for two years and I know that most of the Eastern Cape is Black Consciousness Movement. Also in Alex there are places where there is no member of ANC. They're pro-Inkatha, they're pro-AZAPO, PAC. But I may be wrong, I don't know, I may be wrong. But I think a lot of things would count against the ANC, like most of young people were very much against the negotiations and the suspension of the armed struggle. So we are watching with alert eyes what happens because some of us still believe the ANC is selling us to the white regime.

POM     Are selling you out to the white regime?

JM     Yes. So we are watching and with the walkout of PAC from the CODESA meeting it has sort of divided some of us. I didn't know which party to support or which movement to support but when I looked at things I thought I would go with the ANC because I am interested in progressive politics but when PAC gave reasons for walking out of the CODESA meeting I started becoming rather very, very sceptical of the ANC. That's for myself. I don't know how other people think.

POM     You mentioned two things that I've been trying to follow up on, not just here but in other communities. One is the young people who were against the negotiations. Do you think many of those young people will drift over to the PAC?

JM     Some have drifted.

POM     Some already have drifted.

JM     Yes there are those I know who have drifted from the ANC.

POM     The second thing that's related and that is that what do you think will emerge out of CODESA itself? What will emerge?

JM     It's very difficult to say, I cannot tell you. I think CODESA will be a disaster, a national disaster.

POM     Why?

JM     Because though the NP is putting a make-believe that it is trying to open up it is not actually opening. So I think the ANC will find itself in a fix.

POM     You think that the NP is co-opting them?

JM     Yes it is. It is co-opting them. I may be wrong again but we will see what transpires from the match-making.

POM     If the result of CODESA was an arrangement in which there would be a constitution drawn up with one person one vote, where provision was made in the new governance arrangements for the NP and the ANC primarily to share power, where the ANC would be the senior partner but where the NP would still have a number of ministers in the Cabinet and still would have a very big say, they wouldn't be an opposition party, they would in fact be part of the government, would that be an acceptable outcome to you?

JM     I don't think it would be. You see with me it's I don't know how to put it, but to be honest with you, I may be sceptical of whites, but I don't care who rules South Africa so long as that person or that government exercises human rights it's OK with me. I don't care whether it's De Klerk or Terre'Blanche, whether it's Mandela, so long as that government exercises human rights, I won't have problems.

POM     Do you have no bitterness or anger towards whites for the way that you have been treated for the 26 years of your life?

JM     Do I have bitterness?

POM     Yes, are you angry at them?

JM     I used to be angry but you know as one grows sometimes, and I think religion counts sometimes, you outgrow the anger. I outgrew the anger so much. I am engaged to a white person so I, yes, it was there but it's no longer there.

POM     That's what I'm always amazed at, at what at one level seems to be the capacity of blacks to forgive whites for what they have done to them.

JM     Yes it's true, we have that forgiving nature. We are very forgiving.

POM     This is the question I'm getting to, looking for insight here, if that capacity for forgiveness exists then why has there been so much ferocious fighting and violence among blacks themselves? An eye for an eye.

JM     It's a very difficult question to answer but I have to go back to that violence in Alex. The people, the church people who went to speak to Inkatha members at the hostels they told us that those people told them that they are being paid to do the dirty jobs. So whites know that blacks do need money and they are capitalising on it. It's not a matter of we do not want to forgive each other. It's a matter of what can I have for the money?

POM     Working hard for?

JM     Money to live.

POM     So even if being able to live means you must accept money for killing other people then you will kill other people?

JM     Yes. It seems OK, it seems OK. There are people who suffer to such an extent that they would do anything to get something to eat, to get a place to sleep, to have clothes.

POM     So do you think that the people here in Alex have been disappointed with the way things have gone in the last couple of years?

JM     I think, like every other township, we are disappointed.

POM     You are disappointed?

JM     Yes, we are very disappointed. I think even Alex is the most disappointed because we never envisaged violence so it really took us by surprise. It's what's happened.

POM     When you look at Alex today what are the most important problems that it faces, that need to be addressed?

JM     Overcrowding and I think political education is needed, political education that would promote political tolerance so that people would be safe.

POM     How about housing or garbage or water supply?

JM     You see I think overcrowding comprises those things.

POM     All those things, yes. So when a new government takes over, a new non-racial government or whatever, what amount of time do you think they have to start addressing these problems?

JM     Amount of time? I cannot say. They can do it in ten years, in twenty years. It will take some time.

POM     But will people stand for that?

JM     I don't know.

POM     I mean if three years from now, if there's a new government in three years from now, there's still the same degree of overcrowding, there are even more squatters have come into the area?

JM     This is why I advocate tolerance. If people are taught then they would know that transformation or changes do not happen overnight. So I don't know. Then I speak for myself, I don't know what other people would say and I'm not sure of future reactions, I'm not sure.

POM     Well what do you think a new government would have to do to show people that their having the vote, that majority rule does in fact make a difference?

JM     That's a tough one. No, I don't have a ready answer for that.

POM     Going back to violence, outside of political violence is there a very high level of ordinary violence, of criminal violence?

JM     There is and it grows daily and you cannot disassociate it with political violence because law and order is supposed to be enforced in the townships. The police are enforcing it in their own way and it goes back to politics, it goes back to the 1980s when the police were driven out of the townships and they still harbour a grudge against the community. So they are just doing their job.

POM     Are there street committees?

JM     We don't have street committees in Alex although they pretend there are.

POM     What I suppose I'm getting at is, just as people were taken before kangaroo courts in the past, is there, say a friend of yours or just say somebody next door, a woman was raped, would she be more likely to take her complaint to the police or would she take it to the community?

JM     To either of the two, not to any of the two.

POM     Not to?

JM     Not to any of the two. Not to any of them.

POM     Not to any of them? She would just do nothing?

JM     If I was raped I would be free to go to a women's organisation and tell them. I won't say anything to kangaroo courts or district committees. It's because I feel men are not emancipated, it takes time. It's different with white men, they seem to accept changes a lot better than African men because they would tell you, you advocated the raping, your manner of dress.

POM     So if you went to the women's organisation what would they do? Say if you knew the person who had raped you and you'd gone to the women's organisation, what would they do then?

JM     I don't know what they'd do but I think they can handle it better than the police.

POM     Would there be a likelihood of your assailant being arrested and tried?

JM     There is, though sometimes it's very hard for you. You do that at your own risk. If your assailant knows you then you'll be in trouble, it's quite clear when he comes back from jail he will find you.

POM     You talked about the need for political tolerance. At a general level is there still a lot of intimidation in the community?

JM     Not in Alex, not in Alex. I may not know the levels of it diminishing but things are changing.

POM     But the kangaroo courts are now a thing of the past are they? Or do they still occasionally happen?

JM     No we no longer have them, not in Alex.

POM     So that's an improvement of sorts at least.

JM     It has improved a lot. But you can't rule out that they will re-emerge. I don't know. They may re-emerge.

POM     We hear all the time about the 'new South Africa'. It's been said so many times, the phrase has been used so many times it's almost meaningless. What do you think the phrase means to people you know here? And what does it mean to you?

JM     To me I see nothing new about South Africa and I believe in a so-called new South Africa. It's not the new South Africa that will mean that much, it is what you bring into the new South Africa that will mean much. I'd still be a garden boy in the new South Africa if I don't do anything about my education. So there's no big deal about the new South Africa.

POM     Remember when I asked you what would the government have to do, would a new government have to do when it came into power in order to show that majority rule made a difference? Do you think on education - ?

JM     Maybe they will have to introduce compulsory education.

POM     Education is not at the moment compulsory?

JM     Here? It isn't, it is not compulsory.

POM     So the quality of the schools in Alex, I would assume, leave a lot to be desired?

JM     Yes. Have you been to any of the schools?

POM     No but I will. I've got a list of things I will do.

JM     The primaries are better. Go to high schools, they are terrible. If you don't have laboratories, where do you do your physics and science, where do you do biology? So whatever you do that requires a laboratory, you do it in class which I think is not fair because some chemistry things are very dangerous.

POM     Again, you can answer both in a personal way and again from your knowledge of the community, but do you think people here want to send their children to white schools where they'd be bussed in?

JM     Yes.

POM     Or do you think they want schools and teachers that are as good in quality as white schools in their own communities?

JM     I think they want both ways. I mean I may wish that my child can go to a white school but if there is a black school which is up to the standards of the white school then it would be no problem.

POM     We've talked about violence but we haven't talked about right wing violence. Do you think right wing violence is a threat, that it can derail this whole process?

JM     I'm not so up, I don't know, but it is a threat. I think it is a threat. It's like, what do you call it? This American right wing? Ku Klux Klan. Yes, but I think it will fade out.

POM     It will?

JM     Yes it will fade out.

POM     So if you have a fear about violence in the future it's a fear of the violence that might emanate from within this community itself, not a fear of right wing violence being imported into the community?

JM     That I cannot say because I cannot rule out that violence being imported into the townships. I cannot say anything.

POM     What are your aspirations in the new South Africa that you envisage?

JM     I? My personal aspirations? I am an aspiring member of parliament.

POM     An aspiring member of parliament? Good for you.

JM     That is my aim. I don't know, because as the years go by we change. I think I would do very well in that.

POM     If you were running for parliament today what issues would you raise? What issues would you be addressing with people? What changes would you be saying you would try to bring about if they elect you to parliament?

JM     I think I would be very interested in education.

POM     What do you want to see happen in education? What do you think should happen in education to give people a reason to vote for you?

JM     I envisage a South Africa where there would be teachers, it doesn't matter the colour of them, they would receive the same training to avoid situations where, like as is happening today where teachers teach and study at the same time. So I would advocate that. I would strongly recommend both informal and formal education. I mean communal education. I would advocate it very much. Informal I'm thinking of things about politics, about humanity as a whole, about sex. Yes I would go for that.

POM     Is there a very high rate of teenage pregnancy?

JM     Yes.

POM     At what age might a young girl start having children?

JM     Very recently we had a 12 year old, a pregnant 12 year old. So it's a very, very tough situation and that problem needs to be addressed.

POM     Then do these children tend to be raised by the grandparents more than by their parents?

JM     Yes, there's no other option. What does a 12 year old know about raising a child? She's still a child herself.

POM     One of the areas I've been interested in pursuing again, what has happened since the late seventies to the structure of family life in townships like Alex?

JM     Yes that is a problem. I must tell you, the apartheid system has done a lot to break family structures. And then by the hostel system and then by the one room houses where you are so overcrowded, where there is no privacy, where the father of the house and the brothers of the house are tempted to have sex with children.

POM     Is there a lot of incest too?

JM     Yes there is.

POM     Is that a problem that hasn't been recognised at all?

JM     It wasn't recognised because we are very peculiar beings. If you had to do that we would not want to publicise it because it would scandalise. So it will be a family affair. It's very terrible. They are still not accepting what happens.

POM     How about Aids? I was in Kenya a couple of weeks ago and you see posters and billboards advocating the use of condoms and the awareness of Aids but I think I've really come across very little of it here, of an education campaign. Is it a real concern about it being a problem?

JM     Yes. I must tell you that Alexandra Township is a very slow township, very, very slow. I wouldn't be surprised if you were to meet someone who could tell you more, that Aids is a white disease, I wouldn't be surprised.

POM     When they say a white disease?

JM     They mean it happens to whites only. There is a belief that Aids is a scare where whites want us not to be engaged in sexual relationships so as to decrease our population. I don't think people involved in health are doing much to educate people on Aids.

POM     Is there any belief, at least that you've run across, where blacks might believe that the government is not doing much about Aids or it doesn't have an effective Aids education programme because Aids mainly kills black people and, therefore, it's a way of getting the black population down?

JM     You see if there is such a thought then they may not be saying the government is not doing anything because Aids is killing blacks to decrease the population. It's our fault that we think the government is just implementing   Like I was to say to people, don't associate with so-and-so because he is like that just to achieve personal whatever. We believe that, we don't believe in Aids. There are quite a few number of people in Alex that exist who don't believe in it.

POM     Who don't believe it exists? That's going to be a big problem?

JM     Yes it is a problem, it is a problem. So much so, I was talking with a certain priest and I was telling him that it was about time that we stop preaching about politics and preach about sex in churches, people coming to learn about Aids. We are very naïve when it comes to sexual things.

POM     If you look at the organisations in the communities that have the most impact, how would you rank those associations?

JM     You mean the churches and organisations?

POM     The churches, the civic associations, is there one or a number of civic associations or is there one major one?

JM     You want to know who has the most impact?

POM     Which one has the biggest impact.

JM     The churches.

POM     The churches. The churches acting as a collective or is there one church in particular?

JM     Yes, I think it's about two churches which are very influential.

POM     They would be?

JM     The Anglicans and the Catholics. Or maybe to an extent the Methodists. Because they have done a lot politically-wise, that's how they gained their status.

POM     A couple of last questions and thank you for the time, particularly since I just walked in on top of you. Since the beginning of this transition, or whatever you want to call it, to the new South Africa in February of 1990, have you noticed in the last two years, or have you observed, any changes in the behaviour of black people towards white people? Have they become more assertive, demanding and self-confident?

JM     No, maybe we have become assertive, yes, self-confident, yes. We have become very accepting, we have accepted it's no longer like in the seventies. Things have changed.

POM     You think you've become very assertive. Now what about in the behaviour of white people towards you, have you noticed any changes in the way you're being treated?

JM     Yes to others, maybe in both races it works like that. Let's say there are those who have changed and there are those who will take time to change or not change at all and that has happened to both races.

POM     When you look at the future, one, what are your greatest fears? Two, are you optimistic about the future of Alexandra and of South Africa?

JM     Yes I am an optimist. I'm very optimistic.

POM     What about your fears?

JM     Fears, yes, I do have fears. Yes I do. What I fear most is the one party state.

POM     Do you think there's a real possibility that that could happen?

JM     Yes, chances are 75%. I'm saying this because I'm looking around, I've been deciphering how Africans differ and I come up with this. It is very possible, very, very possible.

POM     Last. There are these great social inequities that exist, government spending on blacks and whites for education, for health, for pensions or whatever you want to name. How long do you think a government has to bring those two separate expenditures into line. Must they do it fairly quickly? And do you think that can be done without there being a lowering in the standard of living of white people?

JM     You see they have to do it very soon. I believe white South Africans think they will have to do it to understand it. They will have things going for them for quite some time. They will have to understand that they have robbed us of our country, of our land, of everything. And they have to know that there are no changes without suffering.

POM     Has any white person ever apologised to you for the injustice and wrong done to your people for centuries but particularly in the last 40 years with the introduction of apartheid?

JM     Yes, quite a number of white friends who have apologised.

POM     Where do you see things going in the next year if CODESA breaks down?

JM     I think it will be back to square one. If it doesn't work it will be back to square one. Well if it works I think it will be heading into nepotism.

POM     It will be heading into nepotism?

JM     You see that one will not change. Unless the ANC does something to change that but at the rate we're going on I don't foresee us having an opposition party.

POM     Maybe I should leave it at that point. Thank you ever so much. Can I write to you care of this address?

     Your ID, what went on?

JM     The reign of terror because it portrays us as very immature people.  If Linda was friends with you or wants to be friends with people, he will tell you about it, I don't know whether he was friendly or not.

POM     OK.

JM     I suggest you talk to Mary Jones.

POM     Is there any way I can get of her? Does Linda know?

JM     She works as a Youth Advisor and Family Planning. I don't know if you know the Women for Peace?

POM     No.

JM     You don't. In fact 8th Avenue.

POM     Is there a telephone number there?

JM     882-2030.

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.