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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

05 Aug 1992: Fismer, Chris

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POM     Chris, because our time is somewhat limited because I'm late - you served on one of the Working Groups, Working Group 5. Can you tell me what the main issues that came before that Group were, how issues of contention were resolved, how consensus was arrived at and what issues were left hanging at the end of the Working Group.

CF     Our Working Group had to deal with time limits, the setting of time limits for implementation of decisions and the drafting of legislation flowing from decisions. Now in a sense I think our Working Group was a bit ill conceived and it appeared after we started with our work that we should in fact wait for other Working Groups to have decisions that should be implemented and time scales to be set down and legislation to be drafted. We spent our time waiting for other Working Groups. There was a bit of a different approach from the ANC people initially and parties supporting them but they had the approach of trying to set down time limits before decisions had been reached, to say that at this date we must have interim government, at this date we must have a final constitution, at this date we must have elections, things like that. Whereas our approach was that it's impossible to set down time limits if you don't have the decision that should be implemented.

     Other Working Groups then felt why, once they have reached the decision and they have gone through all the hectic debate to get to that decision, why should they then refer that decision to another committee who should then draft the legislation not knowing what were the internal dynamics and why should they then set down time limits. The Group who made the decision can just as well decide on what the time limits will be. And in the end one of the only decisions that we reached at CODESA 2, people think there have been no decisions but there has been one small decision, or a few small administrative decisions, one of the decisions was to do away with Working Group 5 so that if CODESA resumes again it will be without this committee and that the Daily Management Committee, they will do the co-ordination between different groups but the drafting of legislation and so on will be done by some other specialists who will be asked to do it.

     In fact it was not only Working Group 5 that has been done away with, the idea was to scale down CODESA. It started out as a bit circus, if I may refer to it as that, which I think was good for a start. It created the image at that stage of the people coming together and the representatives of the people were there, a big hall filled with people with a lot of Working Groups and every day new committees and so on. In the end it was good for public relations to show that we're together but it wasn't a very effective organisation and a very effective structure, with a lot of people not really effectively involved in the negotiations, just sitting there because they have to have representatives, so many people there. So I think the idea at CODESA 2 was that at that stage the time was right to move to smaller structures, less representatives and only the report-backs to bigger occasions. At that point the Daily Management Committee had just started with a structure where in fact they will be doing everything at CODESA when everything was put on ice for this period of a month or two for the mass action.

POM     I must say that when I heard that the ANC had offered a 75% veto threshold for a Bill of Rights and 70% threshold for inclusion of items in the constitution ...

CF     That's the National Party position proposal. The ANC were on sixty six and two thirds percent.

POM     And then the ANC offered 70%?

CF     No, they then offered accepting 70% but within a time limit of six months and if things are not complete then a referendum.

POM     OK, and the National Party countered with?

CF     Then the National Party said no, this is something that needs further consideration and further negotiation, we're not prepared. We were already then in the time of CODESA 2, the plenary session, the delegates were sitting there, we were waiting for this committee to come back and then our delegation said they are not prepared to finalise this thing. It needs to be come back upon and thoroughly be debated, when at that stage the ANC said, well then if you don't accept that now then there's no agreement on anything. And the whole package of agreements that we had already thrashed out in the working groups were then laid on ice.

POM     What's your understanding of why they would have taken that course of action? What have you seen happening in the ANC in the last couple of months leading up to this week's mass mobilisation?

CF     I think what happened in that half hour, couple of minutes, when the plenary session had to start and we waited for this group to come back and the discussion that they had on percentages, I think had very little if not nothing to do with the failure. I think the ANC came into CODESA 2 to see that CODESA 2 should be halted at least for a period of more or less two months and that they should have a political campaign for two months before things can go on. I have no doubt about that and the technical reasons found on that particular day being given, I don't believe in that for one minute, there were other reasons.

POM     So what would be the purpose of the delay and the need for the campaign?

CF     The reason for the delay and the campaign is, in my view, it would be a naive and I'm not getting to the roots of it if I try to give one single reason for it, there's a package of reasons. The package of reasons include, inter alia, that their followers felt that things were moving a little bit too fast, too little report back, that they weren't involved in the process any more, that they were coming to a situation where they only see their leaders on television when agreements are being announced and that they felt the government were setting the pace, the government was having the initiative in the process. And there was some form of dissatisfaction, I think revolt is a bit too strong a word, but dissatisfaction from the lower ranks in the ANC against this tendency and the ANC realised that they should do something to create the impression with their grassroots support that that's actually where the decisions come from and they won't find themselves into final agreements at CODESA 2 and after that without their followers having the impression that they have demanded that. That's one reason.

     The other reason I think was the referendum that we had the whites' only referendum in March which they felt was an exercise where for two months the government and the National Party had the front pages of the newspapers, had prime time on television and that it was a big propaganda exercise and a big victory for the National Party with a lot of support that the National Party could have to itself. And I think they wanted a sort of a similar exercise. They wanted a two month period where they will have the front pages of the newspaper and main time on television and their people giving explanations on their line of thinking. So if the referendum was a propaganda exercise for the government, they needed something similar.

     Another reason connected to that is I think that they became concerned about the tendency of their support having dwindled since 2 February 1990 and the National Party support having grown. I think they felt that some political exercise was needed to get the sort of support that they had before 2 February 1990 and to get the National Party's line of support to go down. And then maybe a last very important reason, which I don't think has been in the minds of all the members of the ANC but most definitely amongst some of their people, is that they have realised that they are on the brink of a sort of agreement, the package that has been put together at CODESA and they maybe just wondered is this what we fought for for 44 years, participating in government with a lot of other people? Isn't there a chance that we can try for a last time to see if we cannot succeed in really bringing down the government, gaining again a lot of support, putting pressure on the government supporters where they would become anxious and turn against their own party and where they can get international support again and maybe see in a month or two can't we really win the whole thing for ourselves? I think that's what they wanted.

POM     How large a part do you think that latter factor played? Can't we win the whole thing?

CF     Most definitely from the Communist Party oriented people and how large their support is and influence in the ANC it is difficult for me to say.

POM     I have noticed that COSATU has moved, it's on centre stage. Do you think there's any kind of internal, I won't say power struggle, but internal debate going on in the ANC itself over the struggle for the direction that the movement should take in negotiations?

CF     Yes. And especially coming to a lesser extent from the Communist Party, but to a greater extent from COSATU. In a sense this mass action was also a reason that if we try to, within their alliance, if they have tension within the alliance, sort of let's get a common opponent again and act for two months against the common opponent to bring ourselves together. But most definitely I think COSATU is dissatisfied with the ANC's performance in negotiations. People like Jay Naidoo think they could have done a better job, the ANC is too soft and that they want most definitely a stronger stake in government than what the ANC is negotiating for at the moment. What the end result of that will be is difficult to say at the moment.

POM     Of course Boipatong would have been central to the whole thing, the catalyst.

CF     I must say I wouldn't go so far, I think it's taking the whole theory of conspiracy and so on too far to suggest that Boipatong was planned to really pull together this mass action campaign. I think it was a very sad and a very tragic coincidence of events.

POM     What I meant more was that it happened at the right time for the ANC.

CF     It happened at the right time, most definitely. So much at the right time that some people even have a conspiracy theory that strings were pulled in such a way that that thing happened. But I don't believe in that.

POM     One other thing that has struck me is that in the last two years I've heard what I call two different languages. That is the language of those who believe the process is about the sharing of power and those who believe the process is about the transfer of power and that this impasse, deadlock, whatever you want to call it, these two languages have clashed with each other. The National Party, it's policy has evolved over the past year, two years, considerably from racial groups, if you talk about protection of norms and standards, where is it with regard to what it means now by power sharing?

CF     I think we were quite a distance away from each other with the sort of power sharing ideas that we initially came up with and the ANC definitely came from a background where they would have liked to take over the whole thing, have all the power. I think the process of CODESA, just on factual proposals and so on, the people have moved closer to each other and by the end of CODESA 2 I think that, yes, there were still major outstanding issues but the larger package represented a model of power sharing to a lesser extent maybe than what we envisaged two or three years ago but most definitely not a single party rule take over that the ANC would initially have liked.

POM     So what would have been the elements of that package?

CF     Well, a two chamber parliament, proportional representation in the National Assembly or the lower house, a multi-party democracy, those sort of principles. But when you get to the nitty gritty I think we still want multi-party democracy more enshrined in the constitution where the ANC believes it should be more of a spontaneous coalition.

POM     Sorry, when you say multi-party democracy, do you mean a multi-party Cabinet?

CF     Yes, yes that's part of what we think should be enshrined especially in the interim constitution. And the ANC believe, they say, yes, it can be also a multi-party Cabinet but then as a spontaneous gesture from them.

POM     They are saying, we are for voluntary power sharing not for mandated power sharing?

CF     That's right. But I think we're both talking of power sharing. Although in the last two months with their campaign they have tried to paint a picture of a much more polarised point of view where they said we want minority rule to still exist, we want absolute minority vetoes, we want elections with a majority government but they can only act if it's the wish of the minority. That sort of picture they painted which I believe is unfair and not true and which I understand is part of their political rhetoric. Maybe in some circles we have painted them too strongly as these people who want to take over and have everything for themselves.

POM     But it seems to me that they have moved back more to saying that the drawing up of a constitution must be the work of a Constitutional Assembly and that part of the impasse at CODESA was that they are against an interim constitution being drawn up by CODESA, a non-elected body, which then can only be amended by an interim parliament or whatever.

CF     I think a lot of their demands that they are putting in their campaign in the last two months are demands of things that have already been agreed upon at CODESA and that the answer to many of their demands is exactly let's implement what we've already decided at CODESA. I think that's part of their aim to create the impression that once those things are implemented, where two months ago if it had been implemented after CODESA 2 it would have been implemented as a result of negotiations, this is what we all think should be implemented. If it's implemented now the people might believe that it's being implemented now because it has been the demand of the ANC. I think that is what their strategy has been.

     We completely accept that a final constitution will be drawn up by an elected body and that is what CODESA has more or less agreed upon. What we say is that the small period of time, the short period of time, that period of time has not been determined, whether it's three months or six months or two years or whatever, where this elected body sits to decide upon the final constitution that we now at CODESA or around the table should determine what are the rules of how that body will be elected and how that body will function. And that set of rules, we call it an interim constitution, now they try to create the impression that we want to negotiate the interim constitution which should then be the final constitution. No, that elected body can draw up the final constitution, they can decide upon it. But that interim body should function according to certain rules. We cannot move from where we have a constitution now into a vacuum and then hope that out of that vacuum will develop a constitution again. Any government should be under constitutional control the whole time and if this constitution must be abandoned, and we want to abandon it as soon as possible, it must be replaced by some form of interim constitutional control before you can move to a final constitution. And that's how I understood the process that has been more or less agreed upon at CODESA. Now they make of us very dirty sort of people trying to have the strict rules for the interim phase.

POM     They would argue that you're trying to write the constitution rather than discussing what you put in the constitution.

CF     What we say is that during this interim phase that body should not only have the task of drawing up the final constitution. We say that body, that interim constitution, should completely replace the old constitution and that new elected body should completely take over the task of governing the country. In that sense the legislature should not only draft a final constitution, they should also keep themselves busy with the drafting on a day to day basis of the ordinary laws of the country and the interim executive should have the complete task of running the country. Therefore, I think our proposals for the interim phase go in fact further than what they originally asked than just an elected body to sit there and write a constitution.

POM     When you see a period of transition, how long do you envisage that to be?

CF     Again I'm trying to interpret what has been agreed upon at CODESA, what we agreed and what we were on the brink of implementing and that is (if you can look upside down): we have the constitution, the present constitution there, this is the final constitution, it's something like a final constitution but for argument's sake that's the final constitution. At CODESA in our own minds we believe it's impossible to take one leap from the present constitution to the final constitution. That's not acceptable and we thought CODESA accepted that as well. We see it moving through phases, maybe calling in the first phase, second phase and third phase and moving in this direction to the final constitution, saying that this is the present constitution. The first phase is a preparatory phase where on the one side the pre-set constitution more or less remains intact, the present government and the present parliament remains intact. But alongside that we get a Joint Interim Authority or Joint Transfer Authority consisting of all the CODESA parties with different sub-committees and that these sub-committees do the preparation work for the first election. For instance a sub-committee on the electoral vote, electoral control, a sub-committee dealing with the media, on how the media will be handled up to the first election, a sub-committee dealing with control over the police and the defence force up to the first election. But they have a restricted task of preparing for the election. While they are doing that the present government under the present constitution goes on with its day to day task. When they have finished with phase one, with their preparatory task ...

POM     Phase one, it lasts how long?

CF     I'll give you a guesstimate of dates now. After that we have an election with everybody participating. The one person one vote election. We have then a complete cancellation of the present constitution and moving to an interim constitution, an elected body which will then come together and that elected body then has two tasks, normal day to day governing of the country and making of legislation and the second task of writing the final constitution and as soon as they have completed that task they adopt the final constitution and we're here. Now prediction or a guesstimate of a time frame for this, we have completely refrained from doing so and our higher echelon of leaders say it's impossible to do that because too many variables can play a role to bring changes about. But if I can be true to you and say to you what's a personal guesstimate, we were ready at the end of this session of parliament in June to already implement phase one and we hoped that phase one of transfer or interim that that could already have been in place.

     With the failure of CODESA 2 we could not have done that, but that has been laid out at CODESA 2. Now we hope that when this week has passed, when the mass action campaign is something of the past, that within the next month we will be able to return to negotiations and that that agreement will revive and that that can be implemented when we get together in parliament in October for a week so that that phase can then be started by the end of this year. I don't know how long they will take but if I look at CODESA and how long CODESA has taken and so on, I think they can complete their task in six to twelve months which brings us to somewhere from June/July 1993 to the end of 1993.

     That's a fast scenario that in the second half of next year we can have elections. If not the second half of next year then in the first half of 1994. We can have these elections, we have then a cancellation of the present constitution and the implementation of phase 2, an interim parliament. That interim parliament, initially we thought (and that's the National Party approach now), we would like to see this interim structure to look as far as possible as what we would like to see in the final phase and that all the sort of checks and balances and all the sort of democratic controls and accountability that we would like to see in the final constitution we would like to see in this interim constitution.

     And, therefore, our approach is that we don't really care how long this thing goes on. It can go on for five years. It can even become more or less the final constitution. If not, and that seems to be quite a contentious point, and they think we have a hidden agenda of trying to enforce this thing for ever, and therefore we're open minded and say OK we can have some form of - if it's 18 months or two years. I think they will be busy with their task for two years more or less because they will also be busy with day to day governing of the country and then they will realise if you had a very expensive and costly election both for the government, both for the parties, with a lot of possible tension and violence, if you had gone through this election and now you have a final constitution within six months, should you have then another election in six months time? We think that's a bit ridiculous and therefore we don't have any problems, if you have that election you know what the position of parties then, it has been sorted out, all the claims, exaggerated claims by all the parties will be gone then, smaller parties will have disappeared, the main players will then have their proportional representation. If that goes on for two, three, four years before you have the next election we think that's more realistic.

POM     So how much of this is agreed on? Is any part of it agreed on?

CF     How I understand it, what has been agreed upon is this phase, that's agreed upon.

POM     Awaiting implementation.

CF     The last Afrikaans word was .... the Joint Interim Council or something like that. As I said there have been many name changes but the concept and even parts of the details that have been agreed upon. This structure which we say should be agreed upon before elections, it should be agreed upon by CODESA, that's CODESA.

POM     That's the interim structures?

CF     Yes. What we call the interim constitution should be agreed upon before we enter those elections and there are still a lot of outstanding issues here although it has been agreed on a two-chamber parliament but there's difference of opinion if both chambers should accept the final constitution or only the National Assembly. That's an outstanding point. How the executive will be constituted is still an outstanding point. That there will be proportional representation has been agreed upon. That there should be regional government has been agreed upon. What the powers of regional government should be has not been agreed upon. That's more or less how I understand the main features.

POM     Last year I saw two stories coming out of South Africa and at times it was like there were two different South Africas, one involved CODESA, progress, that was for most of the year. The other one was of unrelenting violence. The ANC has insisted, like for two years, that the government is involved in a destabilisation programme and nothing would move them from that belief. My question would be, I've been here often now and I've talked to a lot of people, prima facie in many cases it would appear to me the SAP either did nothing or they took Inkatha's side or actions or the lack of actions, that's questionable, but it struck me that a politician of de Klerk's astuteness would be responsive to the argument that if these were white people being killed on this scale he would be doing a lot more and he would have taken some kind of sweeping action like appointing a special commission to look into the specifics of the operations of the police force or he would have suspended perhaps a couple of commanders or officials because their actions or lack of actions appeared inappropriate, that he would have done something visibly political that would have said that I am not only doing something about this but I want to show you that I am doing something about it. But he did nothing, the issue went on and on and he kept saying there's no direct evidence to link us to it, just appointed Judge Goldstone. What I'm getting to is, is he in total control of the security apparatus or are there constraints on him? Could he take large scale actions to move against elements in his security forces or would that threaten his position in some way, his own position?

CF     I would first disagree with the view that he has done nothing. The whole National Peace Agreement was a government initiative. Initially the ANC didn't want to participate in the first conference and it has been structured after the first conference into a second conference to make it possible for them to participate, but the whole idea of the National Peace Agreement with all the involved structures was initially a de Klerk initiative. With that a standing commission on investigating all these things, which resulted in the Goldstone Commission, was an absolute singular de Klerk initiative to have that commission appointed with all the powers. There were long negotiations before it was broadly accepted but that initiative came from him. In the last two years, since 2 February 1990, we have seen, I think, a tremendous change of culture in the police force where they have been the force responsible for enforcing the state of emergency where now they are a force that drew compliments from United Nations observers on the way they handled mass action and on the way they handled protest marches and so on. I don't for one moment argue that they are really the ideal force with no mistakes, but I think the mere fact that de Klerk was able to transfer that force from what it had been into what it is now within a short period of two years, without having a revolt from that circle against him I think is a major task and to then make a statement that he has done nothing, I don't think is fair.

POM     What I suppose I'm saying is, does the possibility of a revolt ultimately put some constraints on the degree of action he could take?

CF     OK. What I've said is just reacting to the impression that he has done nothing. I think if you evaluate what's happened in the last two years, if there had to be a right wing revolt, or an army revolt or a police revolt, then it should have taken place already. That's my view. They had a clear indication, just from the speech of 2 February 1990, that if they have to stop him then they should take action and they didn't take action. The result of the referendum was a clear indication that now things will move into that direction. The whole debate of the validity of de Klerk's mandate to bring about all these changes which were a debate in white political circles. That debate is dead. Nobody questions his mandate to do these things any more. So if they would have liked to have a revolt in police circles or army circles due to the fact that the government doesn't have a mandate to do these things then they should have done that a year ago. I think that the right wing threat, and with that the potential threat of the army and the police, is something of the past. It's gone, they've lost the opportunity if they wanted to use that opportunity. With that I think that the cultural change, the change of culture in the police and the defence force has gone so far that the people, the individuals, who find it impossible to associate themselves with the new culture, they have resigned, they have just left and their potential to organise something dangerous is gone.

POM     On Sunday night on Agenda, I don't know whether you saw it, Mandela was interviewed and the first question was: "You say that Mr de Klerk, have made accusations that Mr de Klerk is personally responsible for the violence and what do you mean by that?" And he uses the argument that, "Mr de Klerk unbanned a range of weapons, I don't know what the names of the weapons are, but one could not use these weapons until Mr de Klerk unbanned them and they had become instruments of killing in the townships and when I went to Mr de Klerk and asked him why he had unbanned these weapons, that they are killing our people, he had no answer for me and to that extent I hold him personally responsible." What would you say to Mandela in response to that?

CF     It's a bit of a changing argument because it's a softer argument than what they have used on occasions when they have said there is government involvement. In the beginning of this protest stage they stopped saying there's police involvement or a government involvement, they said there's a de Klerk involvement. De Klerk is killing our people and that's the posters that they printed, that they supplied to their supporters in the march, that de Klerk kills our people. So that was a very strong line. Now it's an argument only to certain dangerous weapons which he referred to, some aspects of traditional weapons but the fact that he doesn't reverse by implication makes him responsible. I don't think it's a valid argument for the sense that a lot of what's been forbidden of weapons and so on is the result of National Peace Agreement decisions that are being implemented by government. With that there is the difficult task that it is not only the supporters of Mr Mandela that should be taken with in the process, it's also the supporters of Inkatha that have to be taken with in the process. And that it is not only agreements with ANC that should be adhered to but also agreements with Inkatha and in a very polarised situation the actions on dangerous weapons without the involvement of Inkatha could have been the sort of ignition to a more dangerous situation where they will become involved again in the process. I think the only thing that happens is alongside the whole handling of this matter there has been a very serious attempt to take Inkatha within the process so that they don't revolt against the process. A lot of actions have been taken against them but then after the process of really taking them with.

POM     Do you think in that sense that Buthelezi can be a spoiler, that you can have agreement between the government and the ANC, the two major players, and I talked to Buthelezi last week and he reiterated this line very strongly that he will not have the Zulu people held hostage to an agreement which is made without their participation. He just won't do it. He's categorical and insistent. Do you think it is a consideration that must be taken into account?

CF     Yes. I think it's a serious and a dangerous thing, where in a sense you can laugh or start laughing about the threat from the AWB and so on and sort of disregard that to a certain extent. Inkatha has the potential to be a threat. They can be, they have the potential, they have the discipline, they have the support to be a spoiler and they have to be taken with in the process. I have no doubt about that.

POM     Assuming you have talks with people in the ANC just through being on the Working Group, do you talk to them about this question of violence and why they are so wedded to the belief that it is all part of what they call the double agenda of the government, negotiations on the one hand, undermine us in the townships on the other so that it weakens us there and then people even start drifting away from us towards the National Party because they see that we can't protect them?

CF     You don't come to agreement when you discuss that sort of thing. It's accusation and counter-accusation. I think as a personal view, just to point the argument, I don't have grounds for giving certain percentages, but if you have to apportion percentages of guilt I would say the violence is 40% caused by ANC, 40% caused by Inkatha, 15% caused by other factors like poverty and ethnicity and things like that, tribal fights and so on, and maybe 5% through incorrect handling of certain incidents by individuals in the police or particular units who could have handled it in a different way. Maybe 5%, it can even be less. Now I think the approach that the ANC follows is that they absolutely ignore their half of the part in the violence, their 40%. They make something of the Inkatha part of 40%, which I think is true and then their absolute focus of propaganda is on that 1% - 5% of police indiscretion or whatever you would like to call it. So I think it's an absolute exaggeration of the reasons for the violence and in some way it's raising of a curtain so that the focus won't be on the 40% of violence caused directly by them.

POM     Given then that they are either consciously or unconsciously doing this, must now somehow the violence be brought under control before you can establish the necessary level of trust with the two major partners?

CF     Yes, yes.

POM     How can this be done if the ANC continues to ignore its own role in the violence? You know what I mean?

CF     Yes. That's our difficulty. We say, OK, if government or government agencies or lack of government action or police indiscretions, if that constitutes 1% - 5% of the violence (and by the way these percentages are in my own imagination, there are no grounds for them) we say that if we have a role let's sit in the National Peace Agreement, let's negotiate new structures, let's negotiate new controls, let's see how that can be implemented to deal with that so-called 1% - 5%. But the only way we can really stop violence is if there is an acceptance, and one can include Inkatha because they also deny that they have any role, if there's an acceptance by Inkatha and the ANC of their 80% role in the violence then we can thrash out this whole thing and bring it to an end. But only concentrating on that 5% we will have violence and violence and ongoing violence without bringing it to an end.

POM     If you can't bring the violence to the end, can you conclude a political settlement that requires trust?

CF     I have great doubts. That's one factor if we're not able to bring it under more acceptable norms of control then I have doubts. Then one has severe doubts on what the sort of atmosphere it is in which we will have our first election.

POM     Could you see the government saying that one way to maybe resolve this is to ask the UN to send in a team of monitors like they did yesterday? It would be around the country and they would come back and say to the ANC, "Listen, your guys are responsible for 40% of the violence. We've no vested interests, we've observed, we've seen, we've talked to people and this is our conclusion."

CF     We're completely comfortable with that sort of monitoring. We wouldn't like it at this stage to develop into the sort of monitoring that we had in Namibia, we think that's an exaggerated form of interfering and we wouldn't like to see it at this stage. But the sort of monitoring where they can help to bring about that situation, they don't have to come and say, "Listen ANC, you're responsible for 40%." They must just come and say, "Listen, there's a multiplicity of factors causing the violence and it's not only the police action and you must come and sit around the table." In a sense Goldstone has said that but he used his words very carefully, to say there are political factors and it's Inkatha/ANC fights.

POM     I know you're late for your appointment and I appreciate this, thank you.

CF     OK.

POM     I want to ask you one more question on our way out the door. Do you expect to be back at the negotiating table shortly?

CF     Yes. I'm very positive and have high hopes of the process returning to normal very quickly after this week.

POM     Yes, I hope so too.

CF     The interview of Mandela last Sunday on television, most of it concentrated on reasons for mass action now and on the present situation. But when he was asked and confronted with a question that you have to go back to negotiations, then we saw a little bit of what I call the old reasonable Mandela where he said, "Yes a lot has been achieved. We have had a lot of changes in the last few years. We have to go back to negotiations, there's common ground for agreement." And I think he already started to give an indication of what their tune will be after the mass action is completed. But they had to complete this political concept before they could go on.

POM     OK, thanks.

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.