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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.
27 Jul 1992: Hendrickse, Alan
POM Dr Hendrickse, since we last talked the Labour Party has suffered what I suppose many would call a series of setbacks. You lost control of the House of Representatives early in the year to the National Party, you lost the by-election in Kimberley to the National Party and now I saw in the paper this morning that at the weekend the future of the party itself will be up for debate at the next annual congress whether to align itself with the ANC or other members of the Patriotic Front or to become part of a broad centrist coalition. I saw the one thing you ruled out was any association with the National Party.
AH I brought a document with me in which was a basis of discussion of one of our committees called the Strategy Committee which I will leave with you, but it was appraising the position of the Labour Party vis-à-vis the development within the South African situation. Within that appraisal we said that the Labour Party had played an important role in abnormal circumstances. We said this over a period, that we saw ourselves as caretaker leaders within the situation that existed up to the 2nd February 1990 but we articulated the political aspirations of the oppressed community. Although we were elected by a Coloured section of the black community we always saw ourselves as speaking on behalf of the total black community. We said this very clearly at our Eshowe Conference which some people will recall in the past.
In 1983 when we decided to enter the tricameral structure we said constitutionally we cannot accept this because it excludes the majority of South Africans but while there was a platform in those abnormal circumstances we would use that platform to oppose apartheid, to dispose eventually of it and in any case to use the system for upliftment of the community that had been left behind. We also said that because of the fact that at that particular time in terms of the non political interference act we couldn't represent any other group. You know the racial barriers that there were, the banning of political parties and organisations and the fact that political leaders were imprisoned and others were in exile. We said during that time the Labour Party, as I said, elected to use the National Party government created structure in that period of transition to normality, as I said, for the socio-economic upliftment of the so-called Coloured people.
Then we said after the 2nd February came the unbanning of most of the important movements, the PAC and the ANC. It's interesting to note that the Unity Movement was never banned, that was particularly Coloured and was international, the Trotskyite group. They were never banned in South Africa. They now call themselves the New Unity Movement. At that time it was the Non-European Unity Movement. Very intellectual. It also consisted of a group that broke away from the ANC and formed in Queenstown the All African Convention, AAC, that was really the difference between the Stalinist group within the ANC and the Trotskyite group and so on. Then the sudden move towards normalisation we say has therefore largely displaced the role and mission as we stated at that particular time with the formation of the party. We looked at the situation and we have said given that circumstance in the future we will deliberate and decide upon; (i) an alliance with the ANC, Patriotic Front, where we are members at the moment, with a view to entering into an election pact with the first non-racial general election which will probably take place next year; (ii) we continue that or we must seek an alliance with any other groups who see the formation of a strong centrist party and not the Nats to the right nor the ANC on the left.
POM Would the DP fall loosely in that?
AH Yes possibly and any other groups because there are within the African section various political parties at the moment who could possibly form such a centrist group. We spoke too of the question of dual membership. This was rejected by the Executive. There were some folks who thought they wanted to belong to the ANC and yet retain their membership of the Labour Party. That wasn't acceptable. There was a fourth proposal which said hasn't the time come that we must dissolve while we have fulfilled a purpose. The Executive has not accepted that, but it will be discussed, as I said, at our National Conference to be held in Port Elizabeth. As I came up the steps I was thinking about early accommodation, some of our folks will probably stay at this hotel.
Two things, let me just explain, about the beginning of the year. It wasn't a move away from the Labour Party. It was rather based on personality. Within the Labour Party structure there is only place for so many people in a leadership position and the National Party exploited the fact that there were others who had aspirations which couldn't be fulfilled. Like Jac Rabie. Jac Rabie for one, he came to parliament with a representation of four and now he's Chairman of the Executive of the Coloured Person's Representative Council once he joined the National Party. There were others like a chap I made a Minister, Julies, under me at that time who saw himself two years ago at our Kimberley conference as becoming the leader of the Labour Party. That didn't materialise. So it was a question of position. Before moving over to the National Party there was a representation made to me as leader on various points but particularly looking for guarantees. There were people elected to parliament who haven't fulfilled the requirement of 7(?) years in parliament to qualify for pension and because of this sudden development, the life of the present parliament is going to come to an abrupt end before they qualify for pension. So they were looking for security. I couldn't give it. I didn't tell them that when the new parliament is going to be elected you will be candidates or come on our list in terms of our percentage representation. Whether the National Party can give them those guarantees I don't know, but these were people who saw security within the National Party because of the power of the regime at this stage.
There were others who went over, it is so that you must bear in mind that the government is in complete control, as has been exposed, of various influences like the police and the security police and the National Intelligence and so on and there were some chaps who were politically or otherwise blackmailed with skeletons in the cupboard. There were others, one recently, who was a Deputy Minister with me, I can mention his name, Piet Meyer, who a week before the Kimberley election, was canvassing for the Labour Party, but on the election was working for the National Party. He had applied for a bottle store, a drug store you call it? Where liquor is sold, with us you have still got to apply for permission and permit and all that and he was given a guarantee that he would be given this licence if he walks over. I spoke to a gentleman here in Port Elizabeth after my arrival this afternoon (I must apologise for being late - for all kinds of reasons and our long National Executive in Cape Town also made it imperative for me to stay there). I spoke to one this morning, he's got a case within his constituency, there's going to be a Court case against his secretary and he's got a note saying, "If you join the National Party the case will be withdrawn."
But none of them joined the National Party out of conviction. So their joining the National Party, for me, wasn't of political implication or a strong factor, influence in the life of the Labour Party. Kimberley election, before the election we had called for an election of the whole House of Representatives because these people who had joined the National Party went without their constituencies. We've been to all their constituencies and had meetings and congresses and whatever and de Klerk said a series of by-elections will be the test. And Jac Rabie on television made it very clear. He's at the moment the leader of the so-called Coloured Group within the National Party, that this would be regarded as a mini referendum. That being so the National Party, although they won the seat, they received a 21% vote. The Labour Party had a 14% vote. But it does say that if this was a mini test for the support then they have only in terms of "mini referendum" 21% support of the Coloured people. If you take those who refused to vote, antagonistic to the old system of separate representation and others of the younger group are very militant and are not registered at the moment, then Kimberley is not a reflection of the true political situation amongst the so-called Coloured people. I'll leave this document with you although one section is in Afrikaans. I don't think you'll be interested in that so I'll take away that section.
But as I say, we are at the moment part of the Patriotic Front. We got into the Patriotic Front as the result of our talks with the Pan Africanist Congress, PAC, and when AZAPO was against the participation within the Patriotic Front of all bodies and organisations and parties serving in the tricameral structure the PAC stood outside and insisted that we be there in the Patriotic Front which caused AZAPO to withdraw from the Patriotic Front. The PAC later also withdrew from the Patriotic Front but that is the difference with regard to CODESA. For our part of the Patriotic Front, at the moment we have the Kwandebele, Venda, Lebowa, Transkei, Labour Party, ANC, COSATU is represented there, South African Council of Churches is represented there, South African Bishops' Conference is represented there, so there is a very wide spectrum of representation within the Patriotic Front. We are due to meet next Wednesday again, on the 5th, that is with the Patriotic Front. So before the Executive discusses this question, to inform for the purposes of election, in the new election, for the new structure that will come, do you form of pact with the ANC? Do you form an alliance with the ANC or do you disband and join the ANC or the PAC? That is the question that will be discussed at Port Elizabeth at the end of the year.
Can I also say, another reason for the continued existence of the Labour Party was also the fact that because of the Population Registration Act and because of the tricameral structure the Labour Party for many so-called Coloured people still speaks on their behalf. So you still represent an ethnic grouping in terms of race classification. The second point there is that in terms of transition from where we are, at the moment the decision of CODESA is that all parties in CODESA will serve on the interim government. So it means that while we are existing as a party the Labour Party would form part of the interim government. It's also interesting that both the National Party is looking at the Coloured voter and the ANC for that matter is looking at that. Nelson Mandela earlier this year with the elections in Western Province, Cape Town, which is predominantly a Coloured area, actually made an appeal to his constituency to elect a Coloured person as Chairman of the Western Cape and they elected Dr Allan Boesak as leader of the ANC in the Western Cape. The National Party of course also, and this is the probable anger of F W de Klerk at myself and the fact that the Labour Party is not supporting him or they've got a grouping around themselves like Gazankulu, the Deconquetla(?) Party in QwaQwa, Solidarity and Rajbanji's group and so on, they've got that group supporting them.
But in terms of grouping, perhaps you'll say more later on. I'll stop and let you question me rather. But the one thing that we are agreed with the ANC is on the question of the majorities. The ANC and ourselves were insistent at the Patriotic Front that the acceptance of the constitution and legislation in the new Constituent Assembly be passed as is normal throughout the world by 66,6% majority. And de Klerk has come and said he wants a 75% majority.
POM On that very question, I must say I was very surprised to see the ANC offer a threshold of 75% for items to be included in a Bill of Rights and 70% for items to be included in a constitution. A number of questions: (i) what do you think drove their negotiators to make such an offer?
AH Well the point is I think that there is already a gentleman's agreement with regard to the Bill of Rights and certainly you would like a concrete, almost concretisation of the Bill of Rights which you all agreed. If you want to change the Bill of Rights, fine, we can accept 75% and if the government was looking for 75% throughout. The question of legislation, the Labour Party within the Patriotic Front had said that while the government is insisting on 75% and the ANC is insisting on 66,6%, compromise and go to 70%. But at CODESA de Klerk's group, the National Party, were not prepared to accept 70%. They were insistent on 75%.
POM Two questions. (i) Do you think that the ANC would have had trouble selling that package to its constituency?
AH Oh yes. You mean the question of 75%? Yes, well besides that it wasn't only the constituency, it was, as we saw it, the seating of a guarantee by de Klerk. He himself has said in the past that he already has 30% of support in the South African community. If he does have that 30% then we're looking for a veto right within the constitution and I don't think we or the people will accept to give to de Klerk a minority veto with regard to future legislation. The second point that we differed on, of course the ANC wasn't happy about the formation of a Senate. They saw it as just a single cameral structure. We were prepared to go for the bicameral structure, the Senate, but we insisted (and that was Group 2 at CODESA) insisted that it must be a democratically elected Senate like you have in the United States. De Klerk was not prepared to accept a democratically elected Senate. He wants an 'appointed' Senate. In other words the possibility exists that the losers within your proportional representation would have the right to serve on the Senate. He's also looking at what he calls 'minorities', minority representation on the Senate but he wants to give to the Senate a veto right which is not acceptable to us. We say fine, oh yes, the second thing, he wanted to give the Senate legislative powers which was also not acceptable to us in terms of an appointed Senate and not an elected Senate.
POM If the ANC knew that de Klerk could probably muster about 30% of the vote, he and his allies, why would they offer a 70% veto threshold?
AH That was their willingness to compromise, really just an honest attempt to compromise, to keep the whole CODESA and the question of talks, keep it alive. It was a compromise situation which the government wasn't prepared to accept. Maybe at this bosperaad, the bush talks, they call it in Afrikaans 'bosperaad', that they had last Wednesday when the whole Cabinet went into the bush, it may be out of that that they would be willing to compromise.
POM A few weeks later they came back and said they would accept 70%.
AH Yes, well they have got to come formally with regard thereto.
POM Do you think that the ANC at this point will insist on sixty six and two thirds percent?
AH No I think there could be a compromise. We certainly would insist that the ANC as the main group within the Patriotic Front should accept a compromise.
POM So you would see something between?
AH 66 and 75, which would be 70%.
POM What are the politics of what is going on? On the one hand you have this deadlock at CODESA but you have Mandela and de Klerk putting their best faces on it saying it's deadlocked but the problems aren't insuperable. Within a month you had a transformed situation. You had the ANC walking out of CODESA, you had a hard line on mass mobilisation and they added 14 more demands to be met before they would go back to the negotiating table. You had their insistence that sixty six and two thirds percent was a non-negotiable threshold. You seemed to have within the ANC itself COSATU assuming a far higher profile. What were the dynamics as you look at it, what were the dynamics of both the power struggle and the political end game that's going on?
AH I'm not sure what happened in terms of correspondence, we haven't had a PF meeting and a report back yet, but I think the ANC may have been guided by the fact that the government, de Klerk's regime, is softer in terms of meeting some of their demands. I think they may have been influenced by that. For instance the fact that the government has conceded to accept the strikes for at least two days. The fact showing that the ANC has gained some - I mean I agree with anybody - de Klerk said that we must play for a win/win situation, that I would agree with, and I think this compromise from the government side, compromise from ANC side, it is leading to this sort of win/win situation in negotiations.
POM The impression that I got from talking to people, their observations reflect this, that there was a lot of dissatisfaction on the ground with the offer that the ANC negotiators made, that people at the grassroots felt out of touch with the whole process, elite negotiators doing things behind closed doors. You had some internal strife within the ANC itself between former MK guerrillas and established leaders in the townships. And then Boipatong happened and the ANC brilliantly used it as an occasion to pull all the various strands of its organisation and its constituency back together, in fact it became a kind of a catalyst to pull the organisation together. That's my observation.
AH I think so too. There's no doubt, I think one of the problems that the ANC has, I asked that it be put on our agenda for our next meeting of the Patriotic Front, is the problem that there is a vast, almost conflict, between those who were outside the country who at the moment form the leadership of the ANC and those who remained inside the country. You see the ANC outside the country had given the instruction to make the country ungovernable and those youngsters, the younger group, did what was expected of them at tremendous sacrifice so there is an interpretation that leadership within the ANC is going too soft. Now we have asked to put an item on the agenda with regard to how are we going to get this message down to grassroots. I mentioned in a telex that I sent to Ebrahim Ebrahim today, who is one of the convenors of the Patriotic Front, to say on Saturday three of my members who serve on the Local Affairs Committee their houses were attacked, one was petrol bombed, others were stoned by people purporting to be ANC and demanding that these people must resign from local government bodies and join the ANC.
We had two years ago, I don't know if I spoke to you at that time, when my church was burnt. August 1991 my church was burnt down, the municipal offices and the shopping complex by people again purporting to be ANC as part of their resentment of me being within an ethnic body, in the tricameral structure and so on. And there was a great conflict in Port Elizabeth, anti Labour Party. Labour Party shop owners, their shops were burned, houses were burned, it was a terrible situation. Now in fact at the moment my problem is, I certainly think, more in terms of alignment with the ANC than anybody else, and my problem as leader of the Labour Party is to convert and convince the Labour Party people in Helenvale and the northern areas of Port Elizabeth about this because they see the ANC as having destroyed their homes and their shops and so on. So this is my responsibility at the moment to do that. There's a lot of anger and we've had enough. At grassroots, those younger people that you talk about, haven't understood the process of negotiation. It's all or nothing. We've got the power, we've got the numbers and in the numbers lies our power and so it's a question of, like the PAC, a question of taking over government more than electing a government.
POM Do you see the ANC leadership as being in control of its constituency or is there an element that is simply now out of control?
AH No, there's an element that they're not in control of. Definitely not.
POM Do you think there's been a shift of power within the organisation itself from the moderates to the more militant? Who are the political losers within the ANC and who are the political winners as a result of the CODESA deadlock?
AH If one looks at the non vocal support then the ANC moderates still have the majority. If you look at other communities and within the African community the question of fear still dominates the minds and lives of a lot of people who would show themselves openly on the side of the ANC. I have no doubt that at the moment they're not in control. Jay Naidoo for instance, he's a pressure within the ANC. But I listened to a lady who is a shop steward within the Garment Workers Union on Saturday as she spoke and she said, for instance, that within their structure although they are part of COSATU they are not happy about a 7-day stayaway. So there are real issues that come up. And what is happening at the moment, and this is where the violence comes from at the moment, is the result of unemployment, the result of not having sufficient education and this mental thing about having the power. You could not have had, for instance, in Cape Town two weeks ago such a successful 30000 people demonstrating and protesting about wages and the fact that South Africa is importing goods from Taiwan, woollen goods and textiles, while they are being dismissed in the textile industry because of lack of production and all kinds of things. There were 30000 but within that 30000 probably half a dozen broke shop windows, but then the 30000 and the newspaper headlines and the TV headlines was the fact that the march was uncontrolled, shop windows were broken, looting took place. You will see from our statements, and I'll leave most of this with you, how the media, particularly the electronic media, has been used, consciously or unconsciously, but it has played a contributory part to the whole question of violence in the country. They show the things that prod others into retaliation, and that's one of our problems. That's why we took this resolution again on Saturday calling for the immediate reconstruction of the South African Broadcasting Corporation Board so that we can have an independent control of the SABC, SABCTV. At the moment it's government propaganda and nothing else.
POM Where does the government stand at the moment? What's its game?
AH I see de Klerk's game as the question of finding a way to retain power and the way to retain power is to drive the fear into so-called minority groups about black, total black domination. This scares people. What we call in Afrikaans 'swart gevaar'. The National Party has a history, first it was the communist under every bush or behind every bush and now it's the black danger, and they use situations on television and in newspapers like Boipatong where people who don't understand what's happening will see this as black viciousness. The necklacing of a guy with a tyre, one person, but it's made a national issue in terms of broadcasting. And so the government at the moment is saying to the Coloured people, who will probably be 3 million voters, at least 2 million voters, and they hold a little balance of power, saying that the future lies with the white people, these Africans don't understand you, their culture is different, their language of course is different but your culture is our culture, your language is our language, beware of these Kaffirs. The words are coming back again within the Coloured community. They had disappeared as ugly, the word 'kaffir' and the word 'hottentot' and 'bushman' and so on. But in Coloured circles, and people in the National Party, the Coloured section of the National Party, Willie Diedricks speaks about the kaffirs and this drives the fear into people and de Klerk is hoping that this fear will bring them into the laager, de Klerk's laager as such.
POM I asked you this last year but I want to see if you have any revision of your views on it: the National Peace Accord signed with such great fanfare less than a year ago seems to have collapsed in on itself. Violence has been worse than ever this year.
AH One has to look really, when you analyse, I think again let's refer back to the SABCTV, they started off by quoting the second interim report of the Goldstone Commission as saying the cause of the trouble is IFP, Inkatha and ANC. And if you look at the report I think that's the tenth point that he mentions. The first thing he says is that this must be seen as the fruits of apartheid because it was in the apartheid situation that the culture of violence was created. It was in the apartheid situation that came the resentment against the police because every policeman was seen as an enemy. In black circles policemen were referred to an I N J A which a Xhosa word for a dog, there comes the inja, there comes the dog. This in the minds of people has still not - I mean I'm appreciative of police and I'm sad when they are killed and so on, but it's going to take a long time before that image of the police as serving as part of the oppressor is going to be eliminated from people's minds. I've got no doubt that it is ANC/IFP and we were supposed to meet on Thursday, a plenary session of the Peace Accord and Gatsha has, well not Gatsha, the IFP, just received a telex just now from Dr Mdlalose, have asked for the postponement of the Peace Accord plenary session because of the statements that Nelson Mandela made at the United Nations Security Council, forgetting that Buthelezi made just as vile and otherwise statements. But it's sad, you see I can only say Buthelezi was the first person to use the word I used earlier, to say that we are the 'caretakers', but he moved within the South African political reserve from a caretaker to being the person that Buthelezi still sees himself as being part of the future government and he himself, you know CODESA, the members of CODESA, of Inkatha serving on CODESA, will not make a decision unless they first get permission from Gatsha Buthelezi. He talks now about, condemns the ANC for withdrawing from CODESA. Why did he withdraw from CODESA? He used the King because he himself has lost support among Zulus. He still has, again like the ANC, the older generation support, in terms of the youngsters he doesn't have the support he had before.
POM That's among the younger members of Inkatha?
AH Zulus. So now he uses the King as a rallying point behind Inkatha. Gatsha Buthelezi won't go because the King is not there, so he hopes by taking that stand to get more support from the Zulus because they all have a loyalty, in spite of political differences, a loyalty to the King. So now the Peace Accord plenary session has been postponed until 11th August.
POM But the structures, even if they were set up, never seem to have percolated down to ...
AH There again, I mentioned this in my speech, I've got a copy of my speech here for you, and on the question of violence and I mentioned, off the record I mentioned, I used a simple example in Natal. The Labour Party has a representative living in Richmond in Natal and there were clashes and killings between Inkatha and the ANC and this Mr William White, Labour Party, he's unfortunately in it, he resigned from the Labour Party because we are too supportive of the ANC and he is more supportive of the IFP, and he acted as the arbitrator between the two groups and after two days of discussions he managed to get them together and on the third day they were going to the Magistrate's Court to sign a Peace Agreement at Richmond. And the third day dawned and he said he discovered that there was a third force which upset the applecart and the two groups were at each other's throats again. And that third force is police aligned, or police itself, but police aligned is the word that he used. So one has got to look ...
POM Did he see this third force as being aligned exclusively with the IFP or the ANC?
AH No, aligned with the government.
POM With the government?
AH The government itself doesn't want to see peace between IFP and ANC and there were issues, I mean you take last week a lot of media, electronic media, propaganda about the fact, and they showed pictures of police uniforms that were found on a purportedly ANC guy who was arrested. They give people the impression that the ANC are using police uniforms to get at the police. There's no proof of this whatsoever. I mean I can take a camera and put something down there and point at that and say, "Here is proof, look what is happening here." That goes on the electronic media.
POM So you would see the bulk of the violence as being IFP/ANC political rivalry but it is stoked by the National Party because it allows them to undermine what the ANC says, undermine the ANC and the IFP.
AH Keep this fire going you see.
POM And when the fire goes they can't hold on to ...
AH They can't afford a peace agreement between the ANC and the IFP because then you've got six million Zulus together with Xhosas. They must keep them apart. It's the old question of divide and rule that de Klerk is trying that way.
POM Given the conditions in the country at the moment, is there any way you think, and I noticed again a report on the conference in the Port Elizabeth paper that you talked about getting ready for elections and Peter was talking about mobilising the electioneering end of the party. So could you at this point in time have free and fair elections in the country?
AH No, no. We saw this in Kimberley. The police have taken sides with the National Party. They openly assisted the National Party in their propaganda. In one area in Kimberley, in Green Point there we had a problem, that was the other problem, that the ANC, and this is one of the things we're talking to them about at the moment, the ANC Northern Cape refused to support the Labour Party in this election because they said it's an election for the tricameral structure and they had a half page advertisement in the Diamond Fields Advertiser to say, "Save your vote for a democratically elected structure". So that was an issue also. There were 8000 people, registered voters, living in Kalashiwe(?), it's the African location, 8000, and we asked for a polling booth for those 8000 people and the government refused to give us a polling booth because they wouldn't have got a single vote in Kalashiwe. It's Coloured girls married to Africans, or Coloured chaps married to African girls and they were registered as voters for this issue. We couldn't get there. It was a question of intimidation.
At Green Point when we persuaded the leader of the community there, who is a member of the ANC, to support us, it was fairly late but on election day against our 400 votes, the National Party got 12. But at seven o'clock that evening they brought out the police force with tear gas, wearing masks, intimidation, very clearly. One of our drivers, as your driver was coming the people were given a cup of coffee, and he took it quickly and spat it out. He was fined R20-00 by a policeman for spitting in public. This sort of intimidation took place. And it was the question of money. Every canvasser was paid R100-00 and R10-00 for every vote they brought in. We don't have that kind of money. The fact is you see and as I say, as long as de Klerk can keep the ANC and IFP at each other's throats he stands to gain.
POM So as you look at this process that began two years ago with the release of Mandela and the unbanning of the ANC and the lifting of petty apartheid and all the rest, have you become more disillusioned with the manner in which this whole transition is being managed?
AH That's right. You see I think you must look at the fact that the government agreed to an interim government. They agreed to a Constituent Assembly. Then came the differences. When de Klerk saw that he could get support from other so-called minority groups then the National Party became more hard line in terms of the time structure. Initially they agreed that by next year we must have our Constituent Assembly and they agreed to the whole question of an interim government, every party at CODESA must be represented. But once we started working out how, within the Patriotic Front we said we want control taken out of the hands of the National Party, from the South African Defence Force, we want the police taken out of the government, National Party control, we want the media out and let us appoint a commission to supervise in the interim period, the media, the police, the SADF. That would instil a greater confidence in people in preparation for the election, for a democratically elected Constituent Assembly. The government has moved away from that and de Klerk now says there's no hurry about a Constituent Assembly.
POM So, again, let's see if I'm hearing what you're saying correctly. For the first year or so the government or the National Party saw the ANC as going to be the major player and made noises about an ANC/NP alliance and then as time went on their own tactics of the ANC and the IFP at each other throats which they could use and feed to their advantage, they began to think in terms of while we can pick up support from the Coloureds, the IFP, from the Indians, we can maybe pull a bit of the black vote in as well and, by God, we might be able to put together a coalition to win this thing, therefore the longer we keep this process stalling the weaker the ANC becomes because of constant feuding with the IFP and the stronger we become.
AH I agree with you on that completely. That's how I would see it. This has happened, is happening. Initially when we sat around, over the years after Nelson's release we used to have what we called a meeting of executives and de Klerk would preside over a meeting of the Labour Party and every other party, IFP, all the others except the ANC who were not part of the executive, total executive within South Africa. But once CODESA came into life and became the focal point of the political development in South Africa and these other executives, like ourselves, Labour Party, Gazankulu as a matter of fact also at that particular juncture, Lebowa, Deconquetla, all these, were all supportive of the ANC. And then came the process of division. He hived off, caused trouble between Gazankulu and Lebowa where he is prepared to give temporary citizenship to the refugees from Mozambique in Gazankulu, which would imply that being temporary citizens, becoming citizens over a period, something like almost half a million refugees would have the vote.
Professor Hutchinson has now left the Patriotic Front and he's now with de Klerk. But Lebowa is angry, ... is angry because this has undermined his own situation, so whereas Gazankulu and Lebowa were together within the Patriotic Front they are now at each other's throats and this difficulty is being spread, the difficulty. So what I would see politically is that de Klerk is playing for time to have a growing division within the ANC, to have a growing dissatisfaction within the Patriotic Front and they did definitely estrange initially Gatsha Buthelezi and the IFP, and even in the eyes of many people and the ANC younger people themselves, they were seeing the bilateral talks and bilateral agreements as the ANC selling out. But once they dug in their heels then it was the government, now the other day went on television at CODESA with all the people supportive of the government. There was Inkatha, Rajbanji, there was Reddy, there was Deconquetla and so on. So they are definitely playing for time in which they hope to divide much further.
POM Do you think that was one of the unintended consequences of the fact that he defeated the right so decisively in the referendum?
AH I don't think that was a factor really because you see what de Klerk has done to the Democratic Party is an illustration. He got that 70% as a result of the Democratic Party supporting him and the question was phrased in such a way that nobody could say now, except of course the Conservative Party. So everybody said yes. But that yes vote was a yes vote for reform not a yes vote for the National Party. You see what he's doing to the Democratic Party at the moment and their attacks and continued attacks on the Democratic Party and their attempt to do what they did to us, they do that with the Democratic Party. In the Democratic Party you had those five chaps going to the ANC and another group getting ready to go into the National Party, like Tony Leon and others and you will be left with a small core of Democratic Party in parliament.
POM So has your assessment of de Klerk changed?
AH Yes. I initially, if you look at some of our speeches, and I think you met Peter my son also who was far more activist inclined than I am, Peter made a speech in parliament saying to de Klerk, "I'm sorry for the things I said to you before." But after saying that and as the two years came on, after Nelson's release, so opinions have changed. For one, I sent a telex to the Ambassador for Italy when the Italian government granted some honour in recognition to de Klerk for his contribution to the breakdown of racism in South Africa. I sent them a copy of a statement which was made by a young lady, Coloured, who was engaged to de Klerk's son to be married. They were supposed to get married last December. She says, "I grew up in apartheid. I came to know what racism was all about, but my worst experience of racism was when I walked into the home of the State President." She was invited by the State President's son, Willem, to a birthday party at the State President's home in Cape Town, Groote Schuur. She says when the State President came down, it was a pool party around the swimming pool, he just looked at her and nodded and then the State President's wife Marike came down, gave her a single stare and then called her son Willem into the house and when they came back Willem said to her, "We'd better go, my mother doesn't want you here." That is racism. De Klerk had called in the father of this girl, who is a member of my party, to try and break up this, he said, culturally they were from different backgrounds. And they are happy now because he's changed his mind, he's now got a white girl friend, so Marike de Klerk has given them the blessing. They were engaged, they lived together in London. Lived together. So if that is not racism, what is? And because of that my attitude to de Klerk has changed. I'm doubtful of his sincerity.
POM So when Mandela says, with regard to the violence, that either de Klerk can control his police force or he can't, he either knows what's going on and he can't stop it, or he goes along with it. Do you basically agree with his assessment?
AH I agree with that.
POM That de Klerk has been unwilling to take the steps that would bring the police under more strict control to stop the violence.
AH You will see in my address to my executive there was a report by [Nichols, Kombanis, Cooper, Sami &] a firm of Attorneys, about the whole question of violence. I'll leave this with you also, I think it will be important for you to see that. What I did quote from that report, instead of having the whole report, I mentioned the Goldstone report on Saturday. Goldstone said in his second interim report (i) socio-economic and political imbalance caused by apartheid; (ii) repressive and oppressive role of police and army in the past; (iii) unbanning of political organisations previously seen as the enemy; (iv) state complicity in undercover activities. We've had so many like Dr Gluckman now again about these people who die in gaol, Steve Biko and things like that. An ex Colonel of the police, Colonel Horak, a couple of years ago my home was hand-grenaded and Horak says that it was the police who hand-grenaded my home, because the Cabinet, he says, had decided because of my leanings towards the ANC they must put a scare into me. They wanted to create the impression that the ANC was responsible for bombing my house. The climate of political intolerance, criminal elements, that is of course a factor certainly, single sex hostels, ANC/IFP conflict, government's failure to take sufficient steps, carrying of dangerous weapons, denunciation of unproved allegations. Dr Waddington who came from England, he said in his report, and the government made propaganda of it, he said, "No evidence produced that the South African Police was directly involved." And they put that on TV. Here was an independent investigator. But on analysis what is he saying? He has no proof that they have been directly involved.
POM But the report was scathing in its indictment of the police.
AH That's right, but he didn't say that. I'm just looking at another one here. And also their propagandising of the question of the Security Council decision to send Vance here. It gave the public a completely wrong impression of what Vance has come to do. At first they didn't want him here. They didn't want anybody from the United Nations and now, of course, they welcome him, but he's come as far as they are concerned not to look at the question of violence. His main duty as far as they are concerned is to get negotiations back on track. But it was the question of the examination of violence which was important to get them back on track and looking at this independent survey that was done, it's very lengthy but I will leave that with you.
According to this report by this firm in a memorandum dealing with attempts to prevent the Boipatong massacre this is what they say: "The Boipatong massacre could have been pre-empted if the South African Police, the ISCOR management and the Goldstone Commission had acted immediately and effectively on receipt of the numerous representations made to them about the KwaMadala Hostel and the danger it constitutes for the communities of Boipatong, Sharpeville and Sebokeng, and the South African Police have been negligent in failing to conduct the respective investigations after countless reports to them by the Vaal Council of Churches on ongoing abductions, kidnappings, rape, assaults, intimidation and murders connected to the KwaMadala Hostel."
A lot of propaganda is made by the media for instance of research that was done by the Human Sciences Research Council, it's government sponsored and government paid, about their findings and various surveys and the support for de Klerk and so on. But in the Natal Mercury the other day was a little portion, less than two inches, in which it said, "The majority of white South Africans believe that President de Klerk will either not succeed in achieving clean government or he is not sincere in his efforts to root out corruption. Slightly more than one in three whites believe Mr de Klerk is likely to succeed in restoring honour, slightly more than one out of three. According to a nation-wide study conducted by research surveys on ... division a study was conducted among 1300 white men and women in major metropolitan areas." I'll leave that with you also.
He's gone abroad and tried to influence people to see that the new South Africa has already been born. He's angry with me. He called me a political extortionist and after looking up the Oxford Dictionary as to what is extortion it said extortion is one person who persists in placing his demands. I said, "Fine, I am an extortionist because I am insisting on placing my demands." But he was angry because I contradicted him. The one day he had said, when they announced the referendum results, he said on the steps of Tuynhuys, his office, "The book of apartheid is now closed." That very afternoon his Minister of Finance, Barend du Plessis, presented an apartheid budget. And I tackled them on that. I said the book of apartheid is not closed and I could analyse the budget based on discrimination, separation. And the same thing is true, for instance, he goes to the world and he says we've now repealed the Group Areas Act, we've repealed the Race Classification Act which were two pillars of apartheid. But he doesn't say to the world, but I've added into the repeal an additional clause which says that we empower any group of people living in a specific area to form an association to make laws with regard to who should stay in their environment, who should use their public facilities like swimming baths and halls and schools.
POM That's in the legislation?
AH In the legislation.
POM That supposedly did away with the Group Areas Act?
AH Yes, yes. So people hear that the Act has been repealed, that was our big fight and that is where the break came between the NP and the Labour Party when he had an old Act which was called The Protection of Environment Act and under that Act he had it done. We went to him, we negotiated, we fought with him and one thing and another and I remember him saying to me at one stage, "I will not be intimidated." He was angry but they eventually withdrew that but then they came with this.
POM In the repeal of the Group Areas Act?
AH And added ...
POM But language exists? I must get a copy of that.
AH If I can remember I'll try and get you a copy. You must get a copy of the repeal. It's paragraph 7, chapter 7, it's called Norms and Standards, so that a group of people who form an association they can make laws which must be applied by your local City Council. Now he said, "Yes but we're protecting people." Then I said to him, "Look, what white man is going to buy property in a Coloured area?" So we don't need protection from whites who buy up our properties. What Coloured person is going to live in an African area, down in Langa, Guguletu in Cape Town? The only people who are really going to benefit from this legislation are the whites because they now have to define who will live in their areas, who will use their public facilities and so on and empowering them to make laws which must be implemented by the City Council. The same thing too was the Race Classification Act. It was repealed, yet the referendum was held by whites. They used their identity documents to vote. Kimberley, we had a by-election based on race classification. You had to produce your ID card which showed that you were classified as Coloured in order to vote. And that addendum to the repeal of the Race Classification Act says that until such time as a new constitution has been written the Race Classification Act will continue to apply.
POM So babies being born today are still classified according to race?
AH No, the babies born today are not classified. If we've been classified we remain Coloured until a new constitution is written. So he gave a false impression to people outside. It was an American black, I don't know who he was by name, who argued with me about this. [I said I would have given him ... but then I gave it to him.] I said "Please take this with you and go and read it and you can see whether I'm wrong." And he was amazed to find it there, that paragraph 7.
POM Terrific. Well thank you, you've been generous with your time.
AH I'm going to leave with you, this was a Commission of Enquiry regarding the prevention of public violence and intimidation (not the Goldstone Commission). And then this one I'd like you also to look at, Professor du Preez is an historian and he wrote this about the pursuit of the Coloured voter and how the Coloured voter was exploited by the Afrikaner and the NP. It's quite a long document. This was our representation to Vance today. We met with him this morning.
POM Lovely, terrific. Thank you ever so much.