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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

20 Jul 1992: Van Der Merwe, Koos

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POM     Koos, maybe a good starting point would be the whites only referendum and number one, whether de Klerk took your party by surprise when he announced it.

KVM     OK, the position was that a by-election was forced on de Klerk, Potchefstroom. The Speaker died so it was an unplanned event. He didn't want it. It was forced on him. So the Conservatives knew that they had an opportunity in Potchefstroom to win by a very large margin thereby they would then say that they represent the majority of Afrikaners and the majority of whites and that they could now put certain demands as if they were the government on a democratic basis. So Potchefstroom was an extremely important election. The CP did exceedingly well in Potchefstroom. It was clear by the result of Potchefstroom that the CP in fact represents not only the majority of Afrikaners but most probably the majority of whites and it put the government and de Klerk in a very tight spot. Then the very next day, on the 20th, de Klerk knowing that he was in the corner knew that he had to do something spectacular to regain the initiative. He then did the most surprising thing of all, he called for a referendum. By doing that he seized the initiative. He seized it tactically so beautifully that no real discussion, no real triumph was established around the result of Potchefstroom. Discussions and big victorious meetings, all that, were stopped in their tracks and there was a referendum pending within some weeks. The point, therefore, is that de Klerk, who was in the corner, took the initiative. OK, then by winning it in the manner he did he has taken care of the right-wingers in South Africa for the foreseeable future.

POM     That's your conclusion? He has successfully eliminated the threat from the right?

KVM     Yes, for the short term yes. It depends, now let me say this about the referendum, it wasn't a normal referendum. There was so much intimidation and so much abuse of TV as you've never seen in your life. Big concerns, big business moved in, sent out circulars to their people saying that if the no vote wins you're going to lose your job. It had reached such a terrible state that old ladies rushed up on referendum day, running with the ID book to vote, just for God's sake, to do her little duty to keep the South African cricket team in Australia because if the no vote wins today tomorrow poor Kepler Wessels and his team will have to pack their bags and come back. But despite that 70/30 is one hell of a margin.

POM     He took fourteen out of the fifteen regions. And did the extent of his victory stun the Conservative Party?

KVM     Of course it did.

POM     Lost Pretoria, lost Ventersdorp.

KVM     Absolutely. Absolutely stunned. And it is quite possible if the Conservative Party were clear thinkers and if they had a strategy and if the Conservative leadership could think as clearly as de Klerk to regain initiative, to take spectacular initiatives in order to - or steps to regain the initiative - it could have been different. But I think de Klerk, and I want to emphasise short term even possibly in the medium term, he has taken care effectively of the right wing in the short term and maybe medium term but he hasn't really killed the turmoil and the uncertainty and the doubts and the criticism against the National Party.

POM     When whites were voting for the referendum what were they voting for?

KVM     I'm going to do a Masters Degree on that! You're asking me!

POM     Last time you were doing a Masters Degree on partition.

KVM     That's right. I don't know whether I'll ever do one and finish one but I'm going to tell you what I think they voted for, but I wanted to test this empirically with the Masters thesis. I think the white electorate has reached the point of fatigue. They are sick and tired of certain things. They are tired of isolation. They are tired of being a pariah state. They are tired of sport boycotts. They are tired of all the war talk and all the heavy stuff. They want to move away from the heavy stuff towards a softer approach like peace, prosperity, the Olympic Games, conclusion, consensus, a softer approach. This is what happened. And de Klerk came in beautifully. He in fact articulated and portrayed that softer approach whereas the right wing portrayed exactly that which they didn't want.

     For instance, I went out on TV in the beginning on Ted Koppel's show and in South Africa saying that there will be no calamity if the no vote wins. There will be no further isolation or sport boycotts because the outside world has made it clear that that will only happen if the reform process does not proceed and if apartheid comes back. And I stated that my party does not intend to return to apartheid and we want the reform process to continue and what's more, we offer a better deal than de Klerk. We're not going to bring back apartheid laws, nothing, it's finished. And that actually put us on a winning track in the beginning. Not a winning track but a good track. Then Hartzenberg came out after I had said emphatically that if anybody moves we were not bringing back the Group Areas Act and if blacks have moved into white areas they are welcome to stay there. So then Hartzenberg repudiated me saying that those people when we come to power will have to move out and if they don't move out we'll throw them out. Ooh - and he tumbled down.

     So, therefore, to answer you, what happened is the voters wanted a softer approach, they wanted negotiation, they wanted to move away from all the problems, deep in their psyches. And the Conservative Party actually emphasised all that, that they would perpetuate the problems. I think that was deep inside them, the mood of the white electorate when they voted.

POM     All of the accounts that were coming out of South Africa whether on the BBC, National Public Radio, the network televisions, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the quality media, all reported this referendum in terms of it being a referendum about the sharing of power with blacks. Indeed de Klerk from the very beginning has used those words that what he talks about is the 'sharing' of power.

KVM     You must also look at the question, the question came down to the following: do you want the negotiation process to continue? Do you want negotiations? They said yes, we don't want war we want talk. Now exactly what the model is that de Klerk has in mind, power sharing this, that and the other, federation, confederation, whatever it is nobody knows not even NP MPs at stages understand that. But in a transition like ours sometimes you close your eyes and you hold somebody's hand and you hope he will lead you through, pull you through and I think there was a feeling that leave it to de Klerk to negotiate something for us.

POM     But people don't think that he would negotiate a transfer of power do they?

KVM     Definitely not.

POM     And there would be a backlash, do you think, if any kind of resolution emerged which in effect would be some form of majority rule?

KVM     If the whites were reduced to a helpless minority, no protection, no part of the power, the backlash would even come from the NP I would say and from the Defence Force and people like this.

POM     I want to get to the question of your own expulsion from the party. What tensions did the referendum exacerbate within the party itself?

KVM     Inside the party there are two distinct camps. There's the Hartzenberg camp. They believe that there will still be an election which the CP would win. The CP will then be the government and it will enforce its platform. The platform being that about 80% of the country belongs to the white people, that only they will have first class citizenship rights there, that other people are to be moved, even with force. The nine million squatters are to be moved, the trade unions are to be scrapped, apartheid laws are to be brought back and so forth.

     We on the other hand, the other group inside the CP, feel that there won't be another election and even if there is one in view of the defeat of the referendum there's no hope to win it. So, therefore, we have to negotiate. Yes, and the Hartzenberg camp are not interested in negotiating with the ANC. We say forget about an election, negotiate, number one. Number two, forget about getting 80% of the country. That's dead. Go and devise, create a model that will stand on moral feet that won't have as ingredients in it racism, apartheid laws and things like that but something which will bring out the clean Afrikaner nationalism and negotiate that and try to find a way to get it in that manner. Forget about removing nine million squatters, forget about all that. It's a matter of negotiation for a smaller, a much smaller Afrikaner homeland. Those were the two issues and it was forced into the open during the election by my own judgements or statements and that of Hartzenberg.

     Today the CP, if that's part of the question, the CP is in a very bad state. It had the shock of the 17th March but even before that the strain inside was slowly but surely surfacing in the more, as I want to put it, the more reasonable and pragmatic approach of people like myself and the old guard.

POM     Who would be among the younger guard?

KVM     Myself, Cehill Pienaar, Andries Beyers, de Jager, about half of the caucus, maybe more of them. But then after this shock of the 17th March, the referendum, there was the shock of Koos Botha going out of the party, the first one to be expelled by the party because he said that we will have to go for a much smaller South Africa, we will have to negotiate for it. I was at one stage more clever than he was. I wanted to remain inside. I did everything to remain inside. I did naughty things in terms of party discipline but I came back and I said I'm sorry. I went two yards and fell back one and so forth but then I exposed myself maybe too much on one occasion and they kicked me out. They then said it was for disciplinary reasons but the point was that I was nagging, I was criticising the party to such an extent inside that it had become intolerable for them. They just kicked me out.

POM     Where does Treurnicht stand?

KVM     Treurnicht has shown himself as a person who is an excellent leader when it goes well. He has the ability to talk and to influence and to impress but when it's really rough he can't handle it. He has a particular loyalty to Hartzenberg. The two of them left PW Botha's Cabinet ten years ago and at the time I think Hartzenberg was under the impression, and so was Treurnicht, that Hartzenberg would be the next leader and Treurnicht is bound by that I believe. But at this stage the party is trying to find a plan. When I went out that night, that same day I was on Agenda and I said the problem with the CP is it has no proper leadership for this time and it has no plan or strategy, the things that they are saying are ridiculous and so forth. Then the party convened a special congress, the CP, it convened a special congress to now adopt a new strategy. But at that congress, which is the highest authority, a new plan emerged from those new rights, as I call them, my friends. They came up with a new plan and there was such turmoil that they had to vote at one stage and then Treurnicht had the fright of his life because it was almost fifty/fifty and there were some of them who felt that they should scrap these few rebels, they should have a purge because Botha is out, Koos van der Merwe is out, get out another half a dozen and then there's a purge. But when they say that it's almost a fifty/fifty split Treurnicht just got up and he said, "No, let's refer it to another committee and later in the year we will talk again." Meaning that he in fact, that the congress in fact then by its actions made it clear that the CP has no plan because it still has to work on a plan. So what do we have? We have at the moment a leaderless, planless party tottering around. You don't hear much of them, there's not much going on there.

POM     Now are you expelled from the parliamentary party or from the party, period?

KVM     I am still a Member of Parliament as an Independent but I am completely out of everything of the CP.

POM     There was one theory floating around after the election that de Klerk plays this whole thing very cleverly, that in fact he had a number of opinion polls done, he knew that in a straight referendum he would win and probably would win quite easily, and that he deliberately paid little attention to the by-election in Potchefstroom to lure you into, to give you a big victory so that you would challenge him, to take him on.

KVM     Rubbish. I'll tell you why. In this country there is no way that you can really have an artificial by-election, people vote, it's very difficult to have that. And another thing is I know from NP sources that it was a very nervous thing and some Nats a week before, even Cabinet Ministers, said to me it's very close but they'll win by about 48/52 and newspapers that I spoke to, NP supporters said it's very close they all know but it's around 48/52, 53 maybe 55, but nobody thought 70/30. Nobody. There was nobody who thought that. It came as a total shock.

POM     How has de Klerk used his mandate?

KVM     Just going on to lure the ANC into the slaughtering area. I think I have identified de Klerk's strategy. De Klerk has come to the conclusion that there's no way that one could effectively go on in the country without dealing effectively with the ANC. Now in the past what we've done is we've shot them, we had wars against them for thirty, forty years, we banned them, we shot them but that unfortunately was not the area where their war was being fought. The ANC isolated us in the international world, sanctions, sport boycotts and all that and they brought us to our knees to some degree. When de Klerk came in he said to himself that the only effective way to deal with the ANC is with an election. An election is something that anybody in the world will understand so de Klerk said to himself, I'm going to take Mandela out of jail and I'm going to bring him out for a period of two, three or four years and then there will be an election and I will defeat him there, then the ANC will effectively be taken care of. I think that's what he's been doing. He brought out the ANC, he expected the backlashes.

     The ANC is now showing its real colours. The big newspapers are starting to criticise them, international businessmen are criticising them, international governments are criticising. Why? Because they still talk about nationalisation. They are still involved in violence. They still have the Gaddafis and the Castros and the Arafats as their friends, they still call each other 'comrade' and they are still a communist organisation. They do not want to share power. They want the whole cake for themselves and slowly but surely what de Klerk has foreseen is happening, namely that the ANC is becoming the bad guy and de Klerk is becoming the good guy. And earlier this year the ANC became aware of the risk, that they were going to be drawn into a one man one vote election where they will be defeated. Then they had to do something spectacular. They withdrew from CODESA. They wanted to withdraw because they were getting beaten. So what could they do? To get out they had to look for an issue? And then they took the wrong issue. They took Boipatong, adding so much salt and pepper to it as if de Klerk himself was there with a big knife that night cutting up people. It boomeranged on them. Nobody in the outside world believes that the NP is really involved there. There's a trial even today, seventy, eighty Zulus are being tried.

     So it was a bad reason to get out of CODESA. Then they ran to the United Nations knowing, as they have known in the past, that the United Nations would without exception condemn the South African government. But what happened was, Mandela was effectively beaten in the United Nations. For the first time in history people like Buthelezi, Mangope, Oupa Gqozo, even the Democratic Party addressed the Security Council and what did the Security Council in effect say? They said go back to the negotiation table. So what we have here is a number of examples of how the ANC is losing. Also with the strikes, they are losing the strike battle and I'll tell you why. The government is more clever than they had thought with these processes. At the moment the strikers are legally being dismissed by the thousands and thousands. And now other people are being appointed in their jobs. Now those thousands and thousands of people who don't have jobs they are now in the position where they don't have food to eat and who do they have to blame? The trade unions, COSATU, the ANC. And slowly but surely the cat, de Klerk, who has taken the rat, Mandela, in his fangs, is dragging him to the slaughtering area and the mouse is doing his best to get out of those fangs and he's not getting out. This is what I think he's doing. De Klerk is dragging him to the one man one vote area to slaughter him there.

POM     After CODESA 2 deadlocked, when the ANC made an offer of 75% threshold for the Bill of Rights and a 70% threshold for provisions for the constitution, were you surprised that the ANC were prepared to offer such large special majorities?

KVM     I was a little surprised. I thought they wouldn't offer anything, they would want a simple majority.

POM     But then when you see the government after the talks deadlocked in effect backing down from the 75% and saying OK we'll take the 70%?

KVM     The government is in a position to make a lot of concessions. They can say, OK let's disband 32 Battalion, 31 Battalion, Koevoet, let's do these things as long as the mouse doesn't get out of our fangs on the way to the election.

POM     In a way I saw the government after the deadlock as backing down. They refused to back down from 75% until the talks deadlocked. After they deadlocked and with Boipatong and the resulting threats of mass action it appeared to, it didn't appear to, it actually said OK we are prepared to accept the 70% threshold.

KVM     But what they are doing is, the way I see it, they are putting certain obstacles in the road which they're not really serious about and then later they remove them. The government is giving the impression of the most reasonable flexible people in the world who just want a settlement. They stand on certain things and then they are prepared to move here and there. They are reasonable.

POM     Do you think in a situation of an election where there would be a 75% threshold for Bill of Rights provisions and a 70% threshold for provisions in a constitution, do you see the government emerging as the top dog in an election under an arrangement like that?

KVM     Yes, I think the ANC is going to lose. The government is not going to win but the government with its allies ...

POM     You say the ANC will not get 50% of the vote?

KVM     No and I'll give you some ideas about it. Do you remember Hennie Kotze, the Professor at Stellenbosch? I had a discussion with him on this. I don't know all the figures but the white electorate, there's no way that the ANC could get more than 1% or 2% of whites. Whites vote against the ANC and the whites are politically trained. As you know we have a political culture, there are three and a half million of us who can vote and on that day every one of them will come and vote. So you'll have basically all the white votes against the ANC. They'll vote CP and DP and whatever they vote. Then amongst the Coloureds, there's a very interesting move amongst the Coloureds, the step-children are coming back. I don't know if you know about the Diamant by-election?

POM     That's in Mitchells Plain?

KVM     No it's in Kimberley. In Diamant the Labour Party held the seat with a majority of 8000. The NP won it by a majority of 3000. It's a 60% swing. It's unbelievable. So Diamant showed that if a general election is to be held today amongst the Coloureds the NP would practically take all the seats . Therefore, people like Hennie Kotze feel that the NP should quite easily get 70%, or let's say the non-ANCs should get about three quarters of the Coloured vote and of the Indian vote. Now with that in the kitty the non-ANCs need only 15% of the black vote. Now between Buthelezi, Mangope, Oupa Gqozo and the others, the black churches, and with the whites moving in to canvass - the black girl who works here, to canvass her properly - every black to be canvassed by five million whites, surely the ANC can't get 85% of the vote?

POM     When you say the black churches do you see the black churches as being anti-ANC?

KVM     Yes, some of them.

POM     Where would you put the Zionist Church?

KVM     Anti-ANC.

POM     Do you think they will come out and take a political position?

KVM     I'm not sure but they will whisper. And my feeling is that the ANC may win amongst the blacks but then the white, Coloured, Indian block, so what is going to happen is, and this is what I'm preaching today, I saw we must look at our priorities and the first one is we should say, look, we know we have our small battles, I want an Afrikaner state, you want this, this one wants that, but just leave that aside until we've pushed the ANC out of our way. And once the ANC is out then you can go on.

POM     So you would read the current situation as one in which the ANC has misplayed its hand in withdrawing from CODESA, that it's misplayed its hand with Boipatong?

KVM     Yes, with going to the United Nations, with the strikes.

POM     So do you see the ANC being pulled back to the table rather than the government?

KVM     Yes, yes, the ANC will be back to the table whether you call the table CODESA or whether you call it O'Malley or van der Merwe, there will be a table and they will get back to the table.

POM     Do you think the offer then that will finally emerge will be something along the lines of the offer that the government said yes to and the ANC said no, we have to start from scratch again, the 70% and 75% cut-off?

KVM     I don't know.

POM     Do you think that's important?

KVM     They'll get back to that. They'll get back to that because they fought on it, but they'll get around that. There's too much pressure on the ANC. It will have to go back to talks.

POM     Do you think the ANC had to pull out of the talks because its grassroots began to believe that the leadership was giving everything away?

KVM     No. I think the leadership realised that they were going to lose the election, that they had to do something spectacular to regain confidence and that's the basic reason.

POM     So when you look at this whole thing, who are the political winners?

KVM     De Klerk is the winner and especially Pik Botha. In other words it's the non-ANCs. De Klerk, even Buthelezi, Oupa Gqozo being there, Lucas Mangope being there. This is a dramatic thing for the UN to allow the homeland puppets to address them, Mangope, Buthelezi, Oupa Gqozo. It's dramatic. But Pik Botha said, years ago he said, "I can't fight the world with my hands tied behind my back with a cord named apartheid. They're just beating me. Just unbind me, just get apartheid away and I'll show you where we can get." And he's proving it.

POM     I want to talk to you about Boipatong, about this whole question of the security forces and violence. Now I get two news clippings services from South Africa, I get News Clip and I get the South African Institute of Race Relations, I buy every periodical, listen to every news report I can get and if one looks at the pattern over the last couple of years it's very hard to conclude that either by omission or by commission that elements in the security forces are not involved in some way in the violence. First of all I want to ask you, do you accept that?

KVM     I accept it.

POM     Second question then is, is it a question of de Klerk being unable to clean house because if he were to take the actions that might be required in terms of either demoting senior personnel, retiring senior personnel, that there would be backlash within the security forces against him? In other words that he's not fully in control of what the security forces can do and therefore not fully in a position to deal them?

POM     But there is a perception in the outside world that elements of the security forces are either involved in violence, that there didn't seem to be an awful lot of police investigative work following Boipatong.

KVM     Oh no, no, no. I'll tell you there is, in some areas of the security forces there's a paralysis. People don't want to go out and do anything any more because what they say, and this is very real, policemen tell you every day, "No I don't want to be called out, I don't want to go out there because the moment I defend my own life half a dozen Judges are upon me and I'm arrested and I have to explain for weeks. I don't want to be involved." This you get every day. A paralysis backlash from the security forces saying there's too much control over us, too many eyes, hawks, watching us.

POM     So when you review the situation now over the last couple of years, are you more hopeful of an outcome that will satisfy some of your political aspirations?

KVM     Yes and I'll tell you how. What I thought is the following, that there are a few steps. The first is we must unite to defeat, the non-ANCs must unite temporarily to defeat the ANC in an election. That's the first step. The second step is we must be inside the processes to create the new federation or regional governments, which is a federation. When we are inside the structuring and the creation of the new federation we will help to draw the borders of the component states. We will help to devise the constitutions of every one of the ten or so component states and in being inside, using our intellectual and spiritual abilities, we can lay a solid foundation for a regional approach. A regional approach, regional governments where there will be an own constitution for a region, where there will be a legislative power, an executive power, there will be own courts, there will be own police forces. Emphasis will be laid on the particular needs of the particular region. That to my mind is a giant step towards partition. It's a form of partition. Your own constitution in America is a form of partition. The cake wasn't cut right through though, it stopped at some stage.

     Then I say, once we're in that, we've now reached a stage there are ten component states, now we are there. Then you try it and you see does it work or not. But if it doesn't work, I don't think it will work. Then white people can then, or Afrikaners can then, decide do I want to remain under black control or do I want to move? Then they move to certain of those regions, those component states. We earmark one or two or three or four of them and we move, if we want to, we move there. And what do we do when we move there? We must then solve the basic problem which we have had as Afrikaners all along and that is the problem of numbers. If there are some regions and in one or two or three of them so many Afrikaners can move there so that we become a numerical majority, we don't need apartheid, racism, nothing, we are then in the majority. Then we man and run and control the structures, namely the governmental structures, the economic structures, the social structures, etc., and in the process we prepare these regions for possible secession and once they are ripe, majority, own structures, etc., the national will to do so, then you can start to talk secession. And this route is the only logical, realistic route I see. So, therefore, I say, OK, let me help de Klerk to defeat the ANC, to create the federation and then we see if we want it, if we can move and get control of some of the regions.

POM     So you don't see de Klerk really making many concessions in terms of the form of an interim government or the form of a Constituent Assembly? You expect him to hang tough?

KVM     He would go for an interim government of his terms and I'm not sure every day if I understand what his real intentions are with this Constituent Assembly. Maybe they'll go for one. But I think what de Klerk wants to do is he wants to retain power together with the ANC and Inkatha and the others and govern the country into a new dispensation, form an interim government. I'm not sure how he wants to do that, through a Legislative Assembly or a Constituent Assembly. There's a lot of proposals. I'm not sure what's going to happen eventually.

POM     Has Buthelezi's stature in the last year suffered? Is he becoming more of a minor player? There used to be talk of there being three major players, de Klerk, Mandela, Buthelezi. Is it now 2½ major players?

KVM     I would say it depends on where the King throws his weight, Zwelithini, the King of the Zulus. If the King is with Buthelezi certainly he's still a fully fledged third party and I believe the King is with him. So with the help of the King certainly he's still inside. On his own two feet I have a little question mark. Whether he can bat in the same league as the government and Mandela, I don't think so. But with the Zulu King he'll get millions of votes or hundreds of thousands of votes.

POM     Just one or two last things, Koos. One is, you went into Boipatong with Mr de Klerk, could you just describe what happened, what the experience was like?

KVM     It was a purely politically organised surprise. We went in. The police said it's all safe to go in and de Klerk was going to get out of his car and pay respects to some of the people and he was going to walk around a little to the neighbours and so forth. The police said it would be safe to do so. And then we left. We were in two cars. De Klerk, we were four MPs, de Klerk and another one and Gerrit Viljoen and me, and when we turned into that street in Boipatong all of a sudden they were just streaming up there, 3000 of them. I got out of the car and I looked at them and there were simply mass hysterics. People gave you the impression that they're under the influence of something, dagga or drugs or alcohol. But this shouting, "Kill him, kill him, kill him", as if they've been taught to do that. And then we left. But it wasn't spontaneous. It was definitely not spontaneous. It was a very well organised thing in a manner that the police didn't even know about it.

POM     In other years I've found a high degree of goodwill towards de Klerk in the townships, many ANC supporters would refer to him as Comrade de Klerk, but not this time.

KVM     They're losing, he's winning.

POM     This time I've found fewer people who - I find more an acceptance of the ANC's line that de Klerk's government is allowing the violence to happen to weaken the ANC. Is that so?

KVM     No. Look we haven't discussed the ANC's part in the violence which one day may prove to be the major part of it. I don't recall the government necklacing anybody. I read the other day how a necklace took place. They grabbed one person, they chopped off his hands and then put the tyre around him because it's easier. It's a dreadful thing to do. The government hasn't necklaced anybody. The ANC has. With the strikes, the intimidation that is going on around the strikes, people getting killed, people's houses getting burnt by the ANC. The ANC is the big perpetrator of the violence. What must the government do? If the government moves in they say get out, take them out. If they don't go in they say why don't you come in.

POM     Last, whither yourself?

KVM     I don't know. You see I think de Klerk is doing most of the clever things at the moment. De Klerk has become more of a cosmopolitan person. I'm too much of an Afrikaner nationalist to be comfortable with him. That's my problem. But in the end you have to hitch your star to a wagon and I'm not certain which that wagon will be. I've been in parliament now for fifteen years, I've travelled a lot, I have some insight into these things - I hope. And I have a feeling, and I say this in modesty, maybe I'm completely wrong, but I feel I have a little part to play in the future and therefore I would like to remain inside but it's impossible with the turbulence that we have now to decide exactly what it should be. But the old, the Hartzenberg type or HNP type of Afrikanership that's dead. There's no hope for that, nowhere in the world. The Afrikaner, I've said in parliament the Afrikaner must rid himself of the caricatures of apartheid, racism and others. The Afrikaner is to take off like the eagle, proudly flap its wings and take off. The Afrikaner is a person who is to be associated with integrity, dignity and he must take his position in the world like a normal citizen of the world and get away from the pariah status.

POM     Where does Terre'Blanche fit in?

KVM     He's circus value. He's starting to have meetings now and then again. People go and listen to him. The point is he has no plan. I remember speaking to a very prominent professor from somewhere in America, a chap called O'Malley, last year who said that he has no plan. That's the point. Treurnicht has no plan. He has an ideal, self-determination, freedom of the Afrikaner. We all want that but how the hell do you do it? And then Treurnicht moves away, backs away and so also Terre'Blanche. What have you found this time?

POM     Well I've only been here a week.

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.