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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

02 Aug 1992: Newsline TV Programme

Click here for Overview of the year

(Nelson Mandela, FW de Klerk, Frank Chikane)

POM     The government is involved in the violence, that is the first reason for the collapse of talks.

Nelson Mandela:

NM     The crisis has arisen because the government insists that self-appointed leaders in CODESA should draw up the constitution which must bind an elected Constituent Assembly. The crisis, therefore, is over democracy.

Q     All right, you said the government or the police were involved in the actions that you mentioned. The problem here, Madiba, is do we have the evidence that they are involved in what we suspect?

NM     The evidence is coming out but assuming that we had none this would not conclude the matter. Remember that SA invaded Angola. When the matter was raised publicly they denied that they were in Angola. We had no evidence. It was only when dead bodies started coming to SA that they had to admit that they were in Angola. Also there was information that they were in Mozambique assisting Renamo. They denied it. It was not until Roland Hunter produced documentary evidence as a man who participated in those attacks that the evidence came out. We accused them of having killed Goniwe and others. They denied it. That was way back in the mid-eighties. Only now has evidence come out that in fact a highly placed state official was involved and the fact that we had not the evidence does not conclude the matter.

     There is in fact evidence. Let me say, and I regret that you have asked me this question because I would have liked to deal with matters that bring us closer. Mr de Klerk knew that our people were killed with dangerous weapons since September 1984 and by August 1990 more than 5000 people have been killed with these dangerous weapons. Now in the Transvaal it was a criminal offence to carry these dangerous weapons. Mr de Klerk, knowing that these dangerous weapons had been used to kill no less than 5000 people, changed the law to make it legal for people to carry the same dangerous weapons in public. I asked him to indicate to me why he did that. He just had no answer. That is evidence of his involvement by the action that he took which can only be explained on the basis that he wanted to give capacity to certain organisations to kill more innocent lives.

     Then there is the question of the hostels. I led a delegation to him in May last year and I informed him that these attacks come from the hostels, that the hostels must be phased out and transformed into family units and that in the meantime they should be fenced around so that the task of monitoring the movement of people in and out of the hostels could be easy for the police. He undertook to do that. It's more than a year, he has not done so. If he had carried out his undertaking many lives would have been saved.

Q     OK, now you said, Mr Mandela, the negotiations broke down as a result of a difference in democratic dynamics. What must be done to get the negotiations back on course and structures like CODESA also back on course?

NM     We are very clear that we want to resume negotiations. You must recall that it is the ANC that started the process. All that Mr de Klerk did was to respond to our initiative. Therefore we are keen that these negotiations should resume what we have been discussing with Mr de Klerk for more than two years. You must remember that I started these negotiations with the government whilst I was in prison, way back in 1986, and we have been able to sit down and talk and we have achieved a great deal through negotiation. The political organisations, like the ANC and others, have been unbanned, the state of emergency has been lifted. The majority of political prisoners have been released. Exiles are coming back. So we have achieved a great deal but it is quite clear that the government has not got the political will to cross the democratic threshold. That is the problem. We have now submitted certain demands to them and we say until they respond positively to those demands we are not going to waste time to discuss with men who do not appear to be alive to the crisis that is existing in the country, that is facing the country.

Q     Even at bilateral level?

NM     We have cancelled negotiations both at bilateral and at multi-lateral levels.

Q     Now the persuasive effect of the Special Representative of the UN, will it have anything on the because we are now in a deadlock, will it help us go back to negotiations?

NM     Let us understand the purpose of the visit by the Special Representative, Mr Cyrus Vance. He is coming here not as a mediator but to address the question of violence. Of course he has seen all political and religious leaders who are involved and we welcome that. But it is not so much the question of mediation by Mr Cyrus Vance as the government complying with the demands that we have put forward. Until we are satisfied that the government is prepared to negotiate in good faith and to address the demands that we have submitted there is no likelihood of negotiations resuming.

Q     The UN Security Council sent this Special Envoy to SA as a result of your special initiative. Do you think this will be persuasive enough on the part of the government to consider your request and demands?

NM     I would hope so. There is nothing I desire more than that we should reach a solution. It is my belief that all South Africans, black and white, in every corner of our country want peace, economic stability, security, a bright and happy future for our children. It is the duty of all the leaders from all walks of life to contribute positively to the creation of a climate which will make it possible for solutions to be reached. I would believe that there are men and women on both sides of the colour line who believe in the necessity of peaceful solutions in this country and I think in the long run their effect will be difficult to resist.

Q     OK. Let's look now at the violence, Madiba. We are running out of time.  A basic question here. We know that there is some great deal of difference both on the part of the government and the ANC regarding this stopping of the violence. What role would you like to see the ANC playing in stopping the violence, before we come to the government?

NM     We have done our best. We will continue to do so. The very fact that I took the initiative to call a special session of the Security Council shows my concern and the concern of my organisation for the ending of violence. The fact that we have signed the Peace Accord is again evidence of our desire to curb violence. We have signed the guidelines which were prepared by Judge Goldstone, again because of our desire to help in ending the violence.

Q     We are almost remaining with one minute. Now let's go to something else, the mass action. How did you arrive at it and why?

NM     There are two ways of addressing problems. One is of negotiations and persuasion. If you fail to reach solution through that method the only other way known in the world and throughout is that of power and that is why we have resorted to mass action to get an immediate transfer of political power to the people.

Q     OK. One thing that hit the newspaper headlines this morning, that which was said by your colleague Chris Hani, that the ANC units on the ground look like they are loose and are running amok. Would you like to comment on that one?

NM     I asked Comrades Chris Hani and Tokyo Sexwale to go and investigate this matter in the Vaal.  These are views which he expressed after that investigation. Everybody knows that we have had difficulties in controlling our units in the Vaal because of the tremendous pressures there. If the government and the security forces did their work of maintaining law and order our task of keeping other young people restrained would have been easier.

Q     You still hope we will achieve peace within the foreseeable future?

NM     I am very confident about that because the men of peace are more powerful than those who are against peace.

Q     In short, ten seconds, a special message of peace to the people of SA at this time.

NM     My special message is to put forward the huge vision which we have about SA, a vision of a non-racial society in which all South Africans are equal.

Q     Madiba, thanks very much for your time and participation. We had a very limited time today. We will address some of these issues next time.

FW De Klerk:

FDK     Mass action is bad for the economy. Mass action has a delaying effect on peaceful negotiations. Thirdly, mass action, while we absolutely accept the right of people to protest, but mass action in a volatile atmosphere does not help to reduce violence. It rather increases the risk of violence and actually increases violence itself. Fourthly, the international community wants us to return to the negotiation table. Africa wants us to return to the negotiation table.

Frank Chikane:

Q     Thank you. Now the SA Council of Churches also issued it's code of conduct with regard to the way in which protest actions should be conducted in this country. My guest tonight is Rev. Dr Frank Chikane to tell us more about it. Welcome Dr Chikane.

     Let's quickly get your view here. People are asking themselves what is this code of conduct of mass action?

FC     Well it's important that we start from the basis that people have the right to demonstrate and protest in any form of democracy but there are rules and when you come from a culture of apartheid where people were not allowed to express their views freely, you got arrested and sent to jail just because you expressed yourself in a particular way, people developed a culture of intolerance, a culture of violence which was the way in which they could resolve their problems and we are saying now at this stage in our lives in SA we must observe the fact that people have the right to make choices about what they want to do and that their code of mass protest is meant to do exactly that. We are aware that there is a National Peace Accord, we are aware of the Goldstone Commission rulings, we are aware of all other documentation but this is a simple message to South Africans in simple language to say allow people to make choices whether they want to stay away or do not want to stay away.

Q     Don't you think we are slightly belated perhaps with this effort? We already believe in a culture of intolerance.

FC     I don't believe that we are belated. In fact this is just the right time. It is important to begin to educate our people, both the masses and the security forces because the security forces have the problem that they were trained to interfere with anybody who protested peacefully because that was never allowed in the old order. So it is just the time now to educate our people in preparation for a new democratic SA.

Q     What then do you say to those who say, but we still don't have democracy, we don't see any need why you should tell us to out of the blue become intolerant whilst we haven't actually got what we're trying to get at?

FC     I think that culture was imposed on the people. It was the conditions on the ground actually created that particular climate in the country. Now that it is possible to restrain all the forces at play it is important to educate our people. It is much more effective when you allow people to make choices, when you prove your support by simply calling people to stay away without actually intimidating them in any way. If you want to go to work and you want to show your support by doing so it is your responsibility so that people show how much support they have for whatever call that they make without anybody being forced to do so. I think it's good news for anybody who is reasonable in terms of political mobilisation.

Q     Let's look at tomorrow, tomorrow is again mass protest and some people will choose to heed the call, others, of course, would look at the other way of not heeding the call.  Do you believe that people are going to be moving about freely without any intimidation in case they want to get involved or go ahead with their lives?

FC     Well it is our call to all South Africans, those who want to go to work must do so peacefully and those who want to stay away must do so peacefully and those who have called for a stayaway will prove their support by seeing people staying away without actually being forced. Because if you really have a hearing and people support your position they will show by their actions and so our appeal is that no-one must interfere with anybody's rights. All the people of SA must make their choices.

Q     Other people would say you are trying to dictate to them why they should be doing - they know what they are up to and they should go ahead with the mass action, it is just their way. They are dictating from the churches.

FC     We are not dictating to anybody. We have tried to consult with as many parties as possible and as many groups as possible, including business. We have also sent this document to the government. You will remember that in 1990 we produced a similar quote of this nature and so I am expecting that all South Africans will appreciate that this sets the good of everybody else by being peaceful, by allowing people to protest when they want to do so, by not interfering with them when they actually do so peacefully.

Q     So this other call of fears from certain sectors, that's likely to make a ripple effect on the whole scenario of violence? Do you perhaps believe in that type of perspective or do you believe you're counteracting that?

FC     Well I believe that we cannot use violence to deprive people of their democratic rights otherwise the violent sources will generate the violence so that no peaceful protests are allowed, no democracy is allowed. I think the key issue is that we need to educate our people to exercise their rights and appeal to the security forces to protect those people who exercise their rights as part of a build-up for a new society. I really believe with a combination of the monitoring group coming from the UN, the monitoring groups who we have called upon throughout the country, through our regional councils and churches, that there will be restraint tomorrow and we are not expecting that people will get out of hand.

Q     Let's go to some of the nitty-gritty that's in your document. You speak of organisers of protest actions must publicly issue instructions to ensure that their instructions are carried out in a disciplined way. Do you think the organisers have been told in time that they should be able to comply with this type of request?

FC     There have been discussions with the parties involved, we have had discussions with COSATU for many days now. We've talked with the ANC about it and so there have been preparations on the ground to get them to understand and accept the view that they need to inform everybody else, and they have done so I think. Publicly they have put up adverts to that effect so I am really encouraged by the efforts that have been made.

Q     You go on to say they must declare their plans beforehand. What then if they say it's not a good strategy to declare our plans beforehand, we might be disrupted and things might not go according to the way we want them, security forces would interfere with us and that type of thing?

FC     We have discussed that element and they have raised questions about it but I am happy that in one of their advertisements they have already given what they're going to do each and every day throughout the week and I am hoping that for every day details will be given so that people can expect what will happen and make the necessary adjustments for it.

Q     Let's take another one. I'm sorry I have to go through some of these points as they arise. Somewhere in there you have called for journalists to be excluded from the whole scenario of tomorrow but other people might say they also have the right to go ahead and get on with their lives, why give preference to certain groups of people and what do you say to them?

FC     I don't think we are actually excluding journalists. What we are saying is that journalists, like other emergency people who are dealing with emergency issues like saving lives, etc., journalists must be allowed to do their work in a peaceful atmosphere, climate, without being threatened because the publication and communication of information is part of the democratic element that is crucial in our lives so we moved that journalists should be allowed to do their work.

Q     So in other words the journalists as well as the ambulances and the emergency services are excluded, in your view, from the call tomorrow?

FC     I expect that you can't actually stop an ambulance working. If people get injured you do need an ambulance and if journalists have to record what is happening they should be allowed to do so and that is our understanding on the basis of the code which we have produced.

Q     Let's see, we're only focusing on tomorrow. What role do you see yourself playing in this type of situation?

FC     I see it as a long term document. It is a beginning of an educational programme, it is a beginning of the type of future that we are looking forward to and I believe that if we stuck to these codes we will be able to work towards a much more peaceful, non-violent, democratic SA and I am hoping that this practical experience of what will happen today will be used for the future, as a future reference.

Q     Should anything perhaps not go according to how you wish it, say people get caught up in violence, what role do you see yourselves playing again in trying to calm the situation, again get the people, to instil it in those

FC     We have called upon all our church leaders, regional councils to monitor the situation, to be on stand-by. We have given emergency numbers as well to deal with that situation and we will always be available to assist in whatever way where there are difficulties. But I am hoping that reasonable South Africans will take this code seriously to save lives in the next few days because lives are important, we need those people in a democratic SA.

Q     Let's try to wrap up here, we're almost out of time. On that basis, what about the organisations that come up with programmes that are likely to try to counteract the other ones?

FC     As long as it's a peaceful activity they also have the right to protest but it shouldn't create conflict where you cannot control the situation and so people have the right to protest for or against and that is their democratic right and we should grant them that. But the key issue is that there should be no violence whatsoever or carrying of weapons or expression of violent activities.

Q     What do you hope to see tomorrow?

FC     I am hoping that tomorrow will be a day when South Africans express their feelings about what they want to see in the future in a peaceful way that is befitting the type of society we are looking forward to in the future.

Q     Thank you very much Dr Chikane. That is all from us at Newsline. Join us tomorrow at the same time. Good night.

Freek Robinson - Agenda TV Interview:

FR     Mr Mandela, welcome to you tonight. We also have with us two journalists to help me put questions to Dr Mandela and they are Jon Quelane of the Sunday Star and also Brian Pottinger of the Sunday Times. May I also remind you that this programme is shorter than usual because of the Olympics later, that will start probably about twenty to nine. Let's start immediately, therefore, with our interview, Mr Mandela.

     The mass action campaign starting tomorrow was specifically designed to force the government to adhere to some of your demands. Could you tell us, at the absolute minimum what do you expect from the mass action campaign, what do you wish to achieve by that in terms of those demands? Exactly which of them have been adhered to, which not, what do you hope to achieve?

NM     The purpose of mass action is to induce the government to confer political power to the people of SA. By that we mean the immediate installation of an interim government of national unity and free and fair elections for a Constituent Assembly. [ of that as a reason between the ANC and the government is over democracy.] The government insists that self-appointed leaders in CODESA should draw up a constitution which will bind an elected body, the Constituent Assembly. We find that unacceptable. We have therefore submitted certain demands to the government. We want those demands complied with. We are not in a position to say that if they comply with this particular demand then we will resume negotiations. We would not have submitted those 14 demands if all of them were not crucial. They are all crucial.

FR     But there has been movement on some of them?

NM     Not as far as I am aware, certainly not from the point of view of the government.  There is no shift on the question of their acceptance of majority rule, of the Constituent Assembly, an elected body drawing up the constitution. All that they have said is that this particular issue can be discussed, this particular issue can be discussed. That is not the way we would like them to respond. We want now a definite answer for them as to what their attitude is on the demands that we have submitted.

FR     When you say that you want transfer of power I guess that you want to do so constitutionally, in true negotiations?

NM     That is what I have said. The question of the installation of an interim government is a peaceful way of bringing about this mechanism of government. The question of a Constituent Assembly is also a peaceful way of bringing about change in this country.

FR     The interim government that you are referring to, is that the one already agreed to at CODESA, the basic principle? Is that the one that you're referring to or do you want different structures?

NM     No, the agreement that we have arrived at is the one which we put forward, which we demand, but you must remember that we went to CODESA 2 with the intention that there will be an agreement between ourselves and the government that a date would then be specified for the installation of an interim government. It is quite clear that the government has not got the political will to cross the democratic threshold and this is a problem that has arisen.

FR     Let's just understand what you mean by democracy, Mr Mandela, because it seems to me that you have a difference with the government on that particular point. They say they accept the principles of democracy, you say they don't. What exactly is it about the points of view of the government that you disagree with?

NM     Democracy has got two components. Firstly, the full participation of the masses of the people in decision making. The ANC stands for a solution in decision making. The ANC stands for a solution which brings government closer to the people. Any form, any formulation, any definition of democracy which falls short of getting the masses of the people to participate in decision making is no democracy. Secondly, the second component is the accountability of the government to the masses of the people who put it in power. That is what democracy means. We have stamped it out in other scenarios. We have proposed a bill of rights which sets out the rights of every citizen, universal franchise, the right of free speech and movement, religious worship, the protection of property. Secondly, an independent, impartial, non-racial court which will entrench the bill of rights, a multi-party system so that each party should have the right of canvassing its point of view, regular elections, the principle of proportional representation so that as many parties as possible could participate in government and an economic system which promotes the welfare of everybody. That is what we understand by democracy.

FR     Thank you Mr Mandela. Brian Pottinger has indicated to ask some questions.

BP     Mr Mandela, I wonder if we could just turn for a moment to the mass action programme this week. The PAC has accused the ANC of intimidation and Mr Chris Hani has confessed or admitted that the self-defence units created by the ANC are running wild. I wonder if you could talk a bit about how this would fit in with the ANC's concept of democracy and democratic process and, secondly, what sort of guarantees you could give that your members will abide by the code of conduct which you have drawn up for this process.

NM     Firstly you must remember that you are talking to the leader of an organisation which started the whole process of negotiations in this country, not the government, it is the ANC. Undoubtedly Mr de Klerk has played an important role. He is the head of the government and he has brought about significant changes but he has fallen short of what we would expect him to do to lead, to help lead the country to the greater South Africa that we are all fighting for. You must remember that we started this initiative and, therefore, when you raise questions of this nature you must bear this in mind. We have not only started this initiative but we have taken precautions to ensure that there is no violence in the course of this mass action, demonstrations that we are planning.

BP     Mr Mandela, there would appear to be already some indications that there are and I was wondering if you could tell us what you would do to control that?

NM     I asked, I requested Comrade Chris Hani and Mr Sexwale, the chairperson of the PWV region, to go to the Vaal to go and investigate because we became aware that our own people were not complying with guidelines that we had set. There was a great deal of intimidation. We are dealing with that.

FR     How are you doing so, Mr Mandela?

NM     Just a moment. If the government carried out its duty of maintaining law and order our difficulties would have been far less than they are now because the reason why some of our units have gone completely out of hand, it is because they are being attacked and there are no visible signs on our part that we are defending our people. That is one of the difficulties that is facing us but we have issued guidelines and have made it clear that any form of intimidation is against our policy. We are calling meetings with the same units and pointing out to them the dangers of not heeding the guidelines which have been set out by the organisation. We point out that we want these coming demonstrations to be peaceful, disciplined and non-violent, and that is why I have called upon all peace lovers, all democrats, to join this strike and to be able to take part in controlling it, in ensuring that it is confined to the purposes which I have defined and that is the immediate installation of an interim government and leading to free and fair elections for a Constituent Assembly.

FR     Jon Quelane?

JQ     Thank you. Mr Mandela I take it in good faith that you have set out to control the elements and units of the ANC in the action starting tomorrow, but the charges that Mr Hani makes are very serious. He says the elements, these self-defence units that were set up by the ANC, have become a law unto themselves. Now with due respect sir, it is one thing calling upon them to behave, quite another to get them to behave. Independent information, apart from what Mr Hani has said in the papers this morning, is that it is actually elements of the ANC fighting against themselves. A minute ago you said they were being attacked and the security forces were not doing their job. There would seem to be a contradiction in terms here but in addition to that, how do you ensure that your calls will be heeded by these elements?

NM     We must understand what is happening. There are some of our units who are very disciplined and want to follow the policy of the organisation. There are those who want to take the law into their own hands. So operating in the same area you would expect them to have discussions, you would expect them to have differences. It is something in that situation which has been started because not only are there differences between the defence units of the ANC but they are also being attacked by hostel dwellers, people are dying, and some of our units feel that we are not doing enough to defend them and for that reason they are taking the law into their own hands in order to defend themselves. But this is a matter which we are addressing. We have met all these groups, spoken to them. We have asked them to come together in the particular area. I have actually been there to address this question, to discuss with them, and I am confident that we are going to resolve it.

FR     You will leave it at discussion and nothing else?

NM     No. If people don't listen to our persuasion then we must take drastic disciplinary action but I don't think that we have reached that stage. Disciplinary action will depend on what each individual has done. It might be suspension, it might be expulsion from the organisation.

JQ     Mr Mandela, intimidation goes, I think, deeper than being threatened verbally or physically. I think that even the fear of just being attacked, forcing you to stay back home just because there is a remote possibility, a remote probability that you might be attacked, constitutes intimidation in itself. Now how would you go out and assure people out there that really wish to ignore the stayaway that they would be fairly safe, no houses being bombed, no lives lost, no attacks in the dark at the train stations and at the bus terminals?

NM     You must bear in mind that this intimidation is taking place on a wide basis not only by these units of the ANC. People are being attacked and slaughtered in funeral vigils. There has been this attack at Boipatong. It was not the ANC that has attacked innocent and defenceless civilians, so don't confine it to attacks and intimidation by the ANC. The security forces are intimidating our people and you talk to anybody in the townships they will tell you that we are being killed not only by people from the hostels, we are being killed by policemen. That intimidation is on a wide scale. If the government and the state security forces had done their work of maintaining law and order, our task of maintaining discipline among our own units would have been comparatively far easier than it is now when the security forces are not doing their work.

BP     Mr Mandela, you touched on a critical point here when you said earlier that the government and the security forces have a responsibility to protect the lives of individuals and citizens, and they do, they have an absolute responsibility and it's theirs to perform. What confuses me, however, is when the security forces do attempt to try and fulfil that duty, as they did, for example, this week by sending 25,000 troops and police into various trouble spots, the ANC's instinctive response is to criticise them, to challenge that action. It's been a pattern throughout. I wonder if you could respond to that and suggest how it is possible for the security forces to maintain order without being in the townships, given the fact that the ANC clearly cannot maintain order themselves in those townships?

NM     Our criticism is legitimate, the criticism of the security forces. We have called upon them to carry out that duty of maintaining law and order. They have not done so. But the timing of this intervention by the security forces is clearly, in our minds, intended to intimidate the democratic forces which are embarking on this mass action. In fact I have just returned from a place called Driefontein where a prominent leader was killed in the eighties by the security forces. I have ascertained that on Friday and Saturday the Koevoet unit was busy intimidating the people there, raiding from house to house, locking people in their houses and asking them to remain in their houses. That is the Koevoet which we have been told by the government has been dissolved. They are actually operating. Now there is this suspicion against the security forces in the black community and at the same time as this critical moment when the people are on the verge of declaring a strike arouses suspicion that their purpose of going to the townships is not that of protecting those people who want to embark on a peaceful form of protest but actually to intimidate them. There are reports we are getting, for example, that students at the University of Turfloop, University of the North, had been beaten up by the police. Now that is the scenario in which you should see the intervention of the security forces. With that suspicion, which is based on reasonable grounds and the timing, it creates a perception that they are going there to crush the strike and not to protect the people.

BP     Mr Mandela, could I ask then, if the security forces are not to be in the townships, if the ANC cannot control the townships, who rules the townships then? Who protects ordinary civilians?

NM     I am saying to you, look at the matter not academically, look at the matter from the lack of confidence in the police. The Goldstone Commission has made it clear that that suspicion on the part of the masses of the African people is justified. The image of the police, as far as our people are concerned, is a very negative one. Now you send them there on the eve of an important strike when all along we have been making this demand that they must carry out their functions, they only go now on the eve of a strike. The timing has been absolutely unfortunate and the information that is coming through is that they have not gone there to protect residents, they have gone there with a different agenda and that is to make sure that this demonstration on Monday and Tuesday does not take place.

JQ     Really now from all that you have said and from all that has happened, from all that we have seen, SA is clearly poised on a knife edge. Negotiations have broken down, you are not talking to the government, presumably not even at bilateral level, and tomorrow we are going on this unprecedented mass action. There was a time not so long ago when there was a special relationship between you and Mr de Klerk, a special chemistry existed between you, you even called him 'a man of integrity'. Now when all else has failed could perhaps the country hope that you might summon, both of you, the last reserves of that special chemistry to prevail over this and perhaps forestall what might otherwise be a nasty situation? Could we hope for that?

NM     It would be incorrect to imagine that an important exercise such as negotiations between a liberation movement and a government which is regarded as repressive would proceed smoothly. There must be hiccups and there have been. In spite of that we have made solid progress. We have had the banned organisations unbanned. The state of emergency has been lifted. Exiles are returning. The majority of political prisoners have been released. These are positive achievements. We have reached agreement that an interim government of national unity is absolutely necessary. We have reached agreement that there should be free and fair elections for a Constituent Assembly. These are positive achievements and I hope all men and women of peace will be able to recognise that whatever problems have arisen the clear picture that has emerged is one of progress. I am very optimistic about our future and I think that our demands, which were submitted to the government, are very reasonable. I think the government will be forced to address these demands just as they have done in the past and it must not be imagined that approaches of this nature, an exercise of this nature, will take place just smoothly.

     You have returned to the question of my relationship with Mr de Klerk. I differ with him on several issues. I don't like the way in which he has failed to use his capacity to put an end to the violence. It gives me the idea that because it is blacks that are being killed he doesn't think that this is a national crisis and, as you know, since 1984 people have been killed with dangerous weapons, with assegais, choppers, knobkerries. By August 1990 no less than 5000 people had been killed with these instruments, with these weapons. Now in the Transvaal it was a criminal offence to carry in public these weapons. Mr de Klerk, knowing that these weapons had been used to kill people, changed the law to make it now legal for people to carry in public these weapons. I asked him, "What is your explanation for this?" He just has no answer. You could go and ask him yourself.

FP     Mr Mandela, unfortunately we've run out of time, most unfortunately. I must tell you we are waiting for the Olympics on the satellite, that's a booked time. Thank you very much for your time tonight and the opportunity that we've had to put questions to you. Also I want to thank my two colleagues from the press for being with us tonight. Thank you very much, we hope have an opportunity in the future to continue.

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.