This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.
14 Aug 1992: Gqozo, Oupa
POM Brigadier, it's been just about a year since we last visited you and it's been a year of a lot of change in all of South Africa. In your opinion are things generally better (1) in South Africa and (2) in Ciskei than they were a year ago?
OG No they are generally worse in this respect that for many people democracy has come to mean lawlessness and that there must be no authority, there must be no-one who is above any other. There must be non-recognition of all structures and the people are already putting the cart before the horse. They think that there is already a new South Africa and everybody interprets the concept of the new South Africa in their own different ways, for their own convenience. Many people think that the new South Africa will be blacks governing whites, and blacks having no boss and all that suppression and oppression will now disappear. All of a sudden they will be millionaires and all these things. And as a result of that the present structures of government, some organisations like the ANC are using those simplistic thinkings and dreams and imaginations to lead the people's minds away from the proper norms and standards of normal society. They make them feel that they are no more subject to any laws of the present government, or governments, or any structures. They make them feel as if they will accelerate the coming of the new South Africa or they will change the transition from this government to the post-apartheid government faster if they completely destroy and disobey legitimate structures of government.
POM Do you still believe that the ANC is trying to overthrow the present South African government?
OG Overthrow is a more sophisticated word for the ANC. They are just trying to make everything chaotic so that everybody becomes so dissatisfied with the present government that people instead of negotiating methodically and systematically a proper system of government, there must be such confusion that people will be pushed into accepting anything the ANC comes up with especially leadership without proper pondering. They use mock psychology and mock pressure to do their things. Instead of negotiating respectably in offices, they want to negotiate by screaming in the streets. Usually they are not peaceful, as they usually say, "It's a peaceful march, it's a democratic march". It's nonsense. It's usually characterised by abusive language, completely rude statements from their leaderships, completely uncouth reference to leadership of the governing parties and they are the non-governing parties. They are polarising the communities into groups and sectors for their own ends to marginalise certain people and ignore certain people and regard as irrelevant certain people so that they can get that clique of happy-go-lucky rascals to be on their way who are very keen to take over and revenge themselves over those people who had something while they did not have anything.
POM I subscribe to a couple of news clipping services coming out of South Africa and in the last year I have noticed a number of the stories were about you, about the conflict here in the Ciskei, reports that your regime was getting repressive, there were intimations of coups and there were so many stories coming that I would think any normal person would say, "I've had enough of this job I'm getting out of here." Could you comment on a possible happening, like internally what the forces of opposition have been doing, where those forces have been coming from, how you've dealt with them and on a personal level how you deal with living with the threat to your life that comes from, or your position that comes from occupying ...?
OG It's too long, but if I can remember first you commented about the press. At first the press and journalists and reporters used to be highly respected people. There was a time when you could not really ignore what is coming out of the press but right now I can tell you, ignore everything that you see in the press because they are all liars, they are all manipulated by the ANC. Especially in this country there is a complete, terrible culture of journalism. It is manipulated, some of them are intimidated and there are no ethics any more. They are just working for the cause of liberation so they speak but they are actually, they are the ones that contribute to all this mess in this country by propagating a myth that the ANC is the only big party in this country, which is a lie.
The ANC hasn't got even a tenth of following in this country. If we were to go for numbers ANC would be pathetically very low but they have an international network. They have been all over, they have got offices all over. That is their edge and they have intimidated all the journalists with death and destruction of their properties if they don't write what they want and most of them have infiltrated the media of course, through their agents, long ago. They are the only organisation which has the benefit of funding. In every place in this country that puts them completely unfavourably in a better position than any other organisation. With funds any movement can be anything. They are the only organisation which is having arms caches and armies and running around unaccounted for. No-one accounts to anybody and they are running around, they don't recognise our boundaries, they don't recognise our authorities in our countries. They don't recognise anybody. They don't recognise even South Africa. They don't have a land which they are ruling, which they have to account for the people's housing and needs and other social and economic needs. They are just rabble of ex-convicts suddenly unleashed to the community through concepts they have created of so-called political prisoners.
Everybody that is their member or that they have recruited in prison they make sure they get out under the pretext of a political prisoner. You can imagine 75,000 odd prisoners being unleashed on a peaceful society all of a sudden and all of them having a vengeance against the authorities. So you have a terrible situation. Newspapers, what they write is rubbish. They only write what the ANC tells them to write and they have been given people they should target for their smear campaign, for their discreditation campaigns. So I am one of them, Gatsha is one of them, Mangope is one of them. Many others that are not stooges of the ANC and the communists are one of them.
POM Do you consider Ciskei really to be in a state of war with the ANC?
OG No, if we were in a state of war I would have wiped them out. They are just attacking us. They are terrorists, terrorising our people through guerrilla tactics. They come here and they throw a bomb at 2 o'clock at night in a Chief's house. They come there, they throw a hand grenade at a Headman's house. They kill a Councillor or a Mayor in broad daylight and they run away with balaclavas and so on. They kill somebody and they run away to Transkei and you cannot touch them. He kills somebody and he runs away just across the road to East London which is in South Africa, he gets lost there. You've got to go through diplomatic channels which is a complete nonsense. I am surrounded by South Africa where these guys have easy, free rein. De Klerk has completely capitulated and he has completely abrogated his responsibilities of maintaining law and order. He has completely demoralised the police because every time the police does something in his proper duties he is crucified by de Klerk. A lot of commissions of enquiry would be led and whenever the ANC kills people it's normal. They killed the enemy. That concept is so much here that when the ANC gets one of their people killed then the whole world is looking at that. They kill thousands a month throughout South Africa, they kill thousands a month, no-one says a thing. In Natal during their so-called peaceful march six people died, eighty houses were petrol bombed and burnt, seven or twelve business were destroyed, butcheries, dry cleaners and bottle stores.
POM Was that here in Bisho?
OG No not in Bisho, in Ciskei itself. Then about seventeen rent offices were destroyed by fire. These guys, when the Police Patrol, when it goes this way, three or four boys get this side, they have been paid by the ANC, they throw petrol bombs at the place and they run in the dark, you can't follow them. The places are dark, there are no street lamps, not in all the places. So the ANC, I am not at war with the ANC. If I was to be also an organisation that is not accountable to people, like I am a government. I cannot really go and say, "My police, my army, get every man we know of the ANC and kill him", like they do. Chris Hani, it's easy for him to say "You MKs, comrades, get every man you know who supports the government of Brigadier Gqozo killed." He does it. We know of people who are completely on the hit list of the ANC but you can never prove it, you can never get them and they never have a programme when and where they are going to hit. That is their advantage. We are not at war with them. If we had to be at war with them we would fuck them up because we know exactly where they stay but I am a government, all those people are supposed to be my subjects.
POM Do you think the ANC is trying to overthrow you? Do they want to topple your government.
OG Overthrow is an ANC word again. They can't do it.
POM Are they trying?
OG All they are doing is trying to terrorise people into not supporting my government. That's all they are hoping to get, but if they get that right, they still have got to look at me and I don't know how they think they are going to do it. They may frighten the hell out of everybody but they will still have to come to me. They will never frighten me. So they are wasting their time and those people will not favour them just because they are frightened by them. There will despise them and then also eventually they may stand up and say, "Now we're going to fight back". And that's what I think is happening now. People are fighting back like hell.
POM There was a time in the last year when you met with Nelson Mandela? Is that right?
POM Could you tell me about that meeting, what you discussed and what kind of relationship you developed and whether it's been a good relationship or whether it too has fallen on hard times?
OG No, we haven't got any relationship with Mandela. We have no relationship, we have never had any since we last talked because Mandela is one of the most unreliable guys you can ever talk to. He's one of the most useless guys in terms of control. He can't control his people so you come to him and you convince him factually but Mandela will never be able, he's not in a position to tell his people to do anything. He is led by his people. He's led by these youngsters, these young boys. He's led by these young boys and you can just forget - you talk to him it's like talking to a stone or a dead something because he has no power over those people. He's got to do what they like. He's got to please them. Even if they kill people he will say, "Please, Brigadier, for the sake of peace, please release those people". Then you ask him, "What do you think of the many people that these guys have killed?" Then he will say "But they are angry". He's talking rubbish. Everybody is angry. We are also angry. If you are angry you don't have to go about killing others. So he's got a childish mentality, he's got a convict mentality, let me say, because he's talking rubbish. So I will never talk to him because it's useless to talk to Mandela. He is the one that is telling these - whatever the ANC is doing they are doing exactly what Mandela says they must do. I have no respect for him.
POM But when you did meet him, what was the purpose of the meeting?
OG He asked for a one-on-one meeting and we could definitely not get along, completely. We couldn't get along completely. I refused to be dictated upon. I refused to be intimidated by him and so on.
POM So what was he trying to do?
OG It was a one-on-one sort of thing so I don't think I should tell you. What I can say, if he reads this he will know that on that day what we talked about. I refused to be dictated by him. I told him to go to hell. If he thinks he can go to war with me then he must try me. They are getting to war with me. He threatened me actually that I must realise that the ANC has not yet started war on me. If they really go full scale to war with me I will not be able to manage it. I said "Just try me. I'll fuck you up."
POM When was that meeting?
OG I don't know when but it was the last meeting I had with him.
POM When you were at CODESA what were the positions that your government brought to CODESA? When you went there what was your government looking for?
OG My government is looking for negotiations with every interested group or any group that has an interest in the future of the country. We have an interest because we are a country. We are leading a nation of Xhosas. We are leading a nation here which has already developed certain infrastructures. We have developed here the best civil service that you can find in the southern hemisphere. Blacks. You go to South Africa they are all white civil servants in big positions but here from ministerial level right up to the grade one it's blacks and we've got an infrastructure here of whole judiciary system. There was an infrastructure here of the whole agricultural system with various parastatals. We have an infrastructure here of government buildings and government administration, Post Office and technical businesses and so on. So we have an interest to protect those and to make sure that we get the best deal into the future as possible.
What I'm saying is that Mandela hasn't got that to protect. He has got nothing to protect and I'm saying that we are feeling that we are the most important people in those negotiations because if we are to change from the apartheid era where these were merely puppets of the South Africa government under their repressive system where we were just told what to do, what not to do, how much to get, what to do. The whole thing was a unitary situation where we were just muscled from the centre. We have had enough. We have suffered more than the ANC have suffered in actual fact because we have always been under the thumb of the apartheid regime.
So we feel that now that there is this new era coming which has evolved very fortunately. You don't force things to happen overnight, you evolve into a situation. The time for being rude like that has passed. Through international pressures, through changes throughout the world, through the climate of change throughout the world, not necessarily through the ANC pressures outside or their terrorist activities inside. Of course they have made their own, their sanctions and everything have made an impact into what we are doing today but we said we want to be one again with the whole South Africa instead of these segmentations.
We would like it to be a federal system of government where we will have boundaries which are geographic and economic boundaries. The boundaries must take into account the infrastructure and the networks of transport and roads and communications, in effect the industrialisation process and programmes must be taken into account. They must be viable in terms of agricultural viability and other things but they must have a same character to avoid conflict. It must be conflict reducing as much as possible and it must be such that it is manageable and it is one character, one personality, one group which feels together and which is not feeling bundled together.
For that reason we demanded that Ciskei will incorporate into a bigger state which will be one of the states forming the unified South Africa. But it will then be a united South Africa under one flag and one national anthem and one citizenship, but with different states and different State President's or whatever. Like the federal systems in Switzerland, Belgium, Germany, UK, United States and so on, Canada.
POM So in Working Group 4, that was on the TBVC, what actually was agreed on and have you agreed with what was agreed to and what actually remains unresolved?
OG We know that we have agreed on a federal system and the ANC was odd man out together with its communist friends and they resented it because the people who were federalists were more in number than them. We were eleven and they were about nine or ten. Yes they were ten and we were eleven, they were nine and we were eleven, I think something like that, I'm not sure. But then they realised that through CODESA they are going to fail to just take over, seize power, they would fail. Then that's why they walked out and, of course, we also said that it should be a federal system, there should be a clause there which says that the constitution cannot be changed unless it is above 75% majority. So they wanted 66% or something like that. We said they can go to hell and we stood firm, so they realised that now this forum is not, although the whole management of CODESA was monopolised by the ANC and its communists, but they could not manipulate it to do what they wanted so they decided to take it to the international arena where they also lost. I went there and despite what lies they have been telling to their friends in the United Nations we managed to tell the people there that these people have been lying to you, they are liars, don't listen to them because you are wasting South Africa's time in coming to fast resolution of their programmes.
POM What kind of reception did you get at the United Nations? Were you pleased with it or did you feel that you were being marginalised?
OG No, I was pleased with the reception. The reception was tops. I was sitting next to the Secretary General. I didn't know him. I only knew him after the second day. Somebody was friendly to me and then I offered my hand. He was always chatting to this guy and he told me he's the President of the anti-apartheid, I forgot that, but after that I said I'm Brigadier Gqozo. He said "Oh right", then I was embarrassed because the other gentleman he has been talking to I did not know, so I said, "I'm Brigadier Gqozo" and he said, "Yes, I'm Boutros Boutros Ghali". I was shocked because I've been ignoring this man sitting here. I was very angry. I was not a happy man at the United Nations. I felt there I am just invited to say my piece and after that I will go and then I was actually not impressed with the high accolades they heaped on Mandela. Everyone was making Mandela a god, "We are so pleased to have the presence of the President of the African National Congress, a man who has fought his whole life for the liberation and peace", when I knew his people were killing my people and Inkatha people daily in South Africa. I was disgusted. I thought, this place this whole forum here is so low, it is so away from the fact, it is so far removed from reality, if it is not that, because I believe that they know exactly what is happening.
The hypocrisy here is unbelievably high, it is connivance at big, high levels. I was disgusted with the whole body. But I should say that I learned because after that we learned that many people were just saying things there because they feel they are expected to say things like that. You know the more radical you become the more you catch the eye of the big guys in the United Nations and the OAU who are mostly, of course, revolutionaries if you look at the choice of people representing countries in that. So one really asks oneself, "Is that a proper body really to unite the world?" But it's big money, it's big businesses, it's big manipulation, it's big connivance, it's big lobbying, it's spreads its contacts, its connections. It's all rotten I can tell you. But I was happy because I knew that today I will tell them what the reality is. They know it but I'm going to remind them. I'm going to make sure that they realise that I'm not impressed with all the hypocrisy that they've been doing here. It's like a religion. Everyone standing up, "I'm so glad we have now amongst us". It is completely false. I felt like throwing up. I'm not used to hypocrisy. You know I'm a soldier, I'm a straightforward man. I want to say the real thing factually, I want to be practical about it. I don't like just niceties for the sake of diplomacy and for the sake of compliance.
POM In negotiations they say that those who have the power will do better than those who don't have power.
OG This is true. Now, right now in South Africa it's survival of the fittest and I am prepared to be the fittest. I'm prepared to go back to the barbaric ages. I'm prepared to do what could be done to make sure that my people's interests are protected.
OG The only thing South Africa cannot bulldoze is the Supreme Court. I will fight my rights through the courts, that's what I've decided. South Africa can do that, of course, but eventually they will find that they have really antagonised a friend and a genuine one. If they do it, well whatever happens, the ANC might win now but then what does it do with all the dissatisfied people. It will have to buy weapons and war machines just to protect just the leadership for the rest of their lives and that will be the most chaotic and bloody country for ever because then it will not be backed by the majority of the people. That I can assure you. But if we come to what South Africa to me or not ...
POM What leverage do you have to protect your position at CODESA so that the ANC and the government can't just get together and make a deal and say, "Listen, Brigadier, we've made a deal. The deal is the following. Fall into line or we simply pull the financial plug and you're down the drain"?
OG Well they can't do that. I am not the only one. I have allies and we can be very strong if I put my resources together with those of other people who think like me and who are equally suspicious of South African treachery as I am. South Africa has never had a record of being human and it has always been selfishly looking at its own white interests. And it is still doing so now. I'm not the only one who is sick and tired of the ANC and South Africa together. The South African government would rather sell you for two cents today if it thought that it's in its interests or its future would be secured with the ANC and the international community. They always put the international community and the ANC's feelings first rather than put the feelings and the interests of the people of South Africa first. And now they won't bulldoze all of us. Let that be a fact. They won't bulldoze all of us.
POM CODESA operates on the basis of what's called, (is it sufficient consensus?) sufficient consensus exists and my understanding is that that means that if one of the big boys, the big players like the ANC or the government ...
OG We don't recognise the big boys.
POM It would stop it in its tracks as it did. Do you think that if you decided to pull your people out that it would stop CODESA?
OG That would stop, yes. Only the previous Management Committee and the Daily Management Committee was monopolised and there were more ANC and SACP people in that than any other party, so it was wrong from the beginning. The CODESA make up was wrong from the beginning. That's why we are not going to accept CODESA to come back as it is. It must be restructured completely.
POM How would you like to see it restructured?
OG There are various options which I think we are talking about now with my allies and it would be premature to talk about them now, but they are completely different.
POM This is not going to be published for years, so it is confidential and I want to get just an idea of who your allies would be? Who do you count as being your allies?
OG It's Bophuthatswana, KwaZulu, Qwa-Qwa (which is under Mopedi) and Gazankulu under Professor ... and we are having a lot of other people who are not at CODESA who are actually supporting us and who we would like to draw into a newly restructured CODESA because many people said, "We will not associate ourselves with this communist toy of the ANC". And they were true because as soon as the ANC pulled out the management was almost all ANC, there was no corner in any room so it was wrong from the beginning. What we would like to see happening is that we must restructure the thing completely so that it has acceptance to most people who don't like to be monopolised by the ANC and the terms of reference must be clearly defined.
And the CODESA that we are looking at must have a convenor for joint multi-party, multi-lateral talks at some stage but we must, as we are looking at a federal system which is a decentralised system, we must stop talking at the unitary platform like we are doing at CODESA. We must regionalise the talks immediately already so that all the people in their various places get to talk in those regions under the boundaries that they already envisage for their future existence and they start getting together, feeling together, bouncing off ideas together and address pertinent on the ground questions like the future of their education, the future of their economic policies, the future of their industrialisation development programmes, the future of their tourism, the future of whatever and what backlogs should be addressed to bring the whole country in par with itself and what types of financing they will have, what types of taxes they will have to impose and so on. After that, after a period of time, a given period they must come together and each must say, "We in this region we feel that the boundaries must be here, we form region Ciskei or federal state Ciskei and we feel that these are the things that we would like to be looked at in terms of the scope of reference, terms of reference which everyone was given to work on for the purpose of this joint meeting."
So I think that would be more fruitful than this nonsense here. We have wasted billions of rand on rubbish and we've achieved almost nothing there because it was never discussions. It was bulldozing by the press, bulldozing by the ANC taking over these things and feeding to the press wrong perceptions about what ANC and National Party have agreed on. In most cases they would meet and then you'd find in the press the following day a breakthrough on this, a breakthrough on land, a breakthrough on education. Then tomorrow it is the subject of debate in the Working Groups and we, principals of these parties at CODESA would just get these discussions and our people would come here more bewildered than ever and they would say "Brigadier, yes, this was discussed here. We didn't know what to say." They would phone here, "Brigadier, what should we say?" I'd say "Scrap it we don't want it". And then in the evening you look at TV - ah, there was a big breakthrough today. It was manipulation by the ANC and the press from the beginning, so that was a farce.
POM So what parties would you like to see at CODESA who are presently not at CODESA?
OG There are various people. There are many people who are not at CODESA now. There are various organisations, about fifteen or so which have asked for joining CODESA but they were refused solely because, I'm sure, the management of CODESA was mostly ANC orientated so they didn't want them because they know if the more moderate people are in CODESA they would lose. Of course the most famous people, except the church groups, there are various church groups who have formed various community organisations that actually stand for righteousness, stand for truth, stand for Christian values, morals and things which have been completely corroded by the ANC. And there are many people who write to me who say, "Brigadier please stand firm and we are behind you. We are your electorate if it comes to the push and we think you are steadfast, you have balls, you stand firm. You don't say this today, tomorrow you say that. You've always been consistent." A lot of time they say, "If we could have a choice today you would be our President for the whole South Africa, any time, because you don't take no nonsense." You bloody get people secured and this and that and that.
POM There is a phrase, "The enemy of my enemy is my friend."
OG Not necessarily. The enemy of your enemy may not necessarily be a friend. But I feel that in many cases if you have a common feeling against something then you can work together to ensure that you win and whether you are friends automatically is another matter.
POM I was going to ask you that in relationship to Eugene Terre'Blanche.
OG No. I don't think their policies are healthy. Individually certain people may have a good heart and humanity but if people are ideologically completely sold on a feeling of superiority and that God has made them superior to other black skinned people then you find no real ...
POM When the ANC made the offer of 70% to be the veto threshold in a constitution, that at least 70% of the delegates in a Constituent Assembly would have to vote for something before it could be included in the constitution and you and the government said we want 75%.
OG Yes. We even wanted 80% at some stage because we don't see why any government would like to change a constitution which a lot of people have sat for years and for months to thrash out and they agreed on, except when people think that immediately they are in power they can start changing the whole thing. Then negotiations are useless. Why should you negotiate all the time with all the parties, because they insist on the unitary system. So we wanted anybody who gets into power that that man must just be a figurehead, the constitution must run itself. The people must run their affairs themselves in a federal system where power is devolved right down to the roots. So we want to make sure that it doesn't change. Presidents and things like that may change but we don't want that.
POM So if the government decided to go along with the 70% would you and your allies still oppose it?
OG We would oppose it and we would boycott it.
POM It will not happen?
OG No. And as long as the ANC only speaks with the government about that it is no go. We have told the South African government in no uncertain terms that we will not just be party to endorsing your decisions together with the ANC and we just in true African fashion just sit on the sidelines and clap hands and dance. We can't. Those times are over. The South African government has long been ruling us by just merely unilaterally making decisions for us and on our behalf and we think candidly and very humbly, not humbly - we are tired of being humble, honestly just tell them, we have told them, "Those times are over".
POM Did you sometimes get a feeling from the government, and this goes back to my earlier question about the finance, that they think when the times comes they can simply drag you and the others ...
OG No, they know they haven't got a chance. Should we be divided amongst our allies they can.
POM Your alliance you think is a fairly strong one?
OG I think we are strong. I think we can be stronger. Only in most of the allies participants are still feeling individualistic. They don't realise that we can actually turn the tables on the whole political sector. We can actually be so powerful that we will have to lead the whole thing and everybody must consult us. We want to destroy this power of the ANC to kill people without being stopped by the South African government. It is disgusting. Of course the South African government has the key to stopping the ANC because it is a de facto government in South Africa. In Ciskei I can't do much because the ANC is here, these people assemble here with all their weaponry and they are not stopped there. They assemble in East London with all their venom and everything, they assemble there. They will never assemble here in Ciskei.
POM They played, during the stayaway last week, they played this confrontation at the border where they waited all day and then eventually came into Ciskei and went into the stadium.
OG They didn't come into the stadium. The border is just where the road into the stadium is, just that road is the border between Ciskei and Kingwilliamstown so they said, "Look, we can't turn here, the people are too many. Let them get into the stadium so we can address them." They begged on their knees. They said, "OK we would like to go back but please if we go back now the others won't know what is said so can we just get into the stadium, address them and then let us go back?" We said "We give you 30 minutes to do all that." And then they walked into the stadium and back. It is not as if they travelled into Ciskei to the stadium. Have you seen the stadium? It's just here.
POM Is it at Fort Hare, at the university? Is that here?
OG No, the stadium is behind the university. The stadium is just here. So many people are under the perception that the ANC got into Ciskei. No, no, no. The stadium is actually at the border.
POM So you had the story of Chris Hani being on the phone to Pik Botha or trying to reach Pik Botha to mediate the whole thing.
OG Yes. Pik Botha actually phoned in. He completely interfered there in our affairs because he phoned in and said, "Please, Brigadier, don't shoot those people because it will make a big mess for us all if you shoot these guys. That's what they want you to do. They are trying to let you be angry and so on and so on. Please, if I can do anything I would like to talk to them to tell them also to persuade them to go back." I thought that is interference because they can't stop the ANC in their country and now they want me here to do the same. I said, "Not a damn. I'm going to shoot the bastards if they make a false move. And my troops will not stand there the whole day." But because of his interference we had to wait for all that nonsense to carry on. But I am satisfied that the ANC have realised that they can come with all their thousands. They had more than 30 buses from Transkei and they had 25 buses only from Port Elizabeth and a lot more buses and kombis and taxis which they loaded people free of charge, free, they were just getting people in here just to come here and make big numbers. There were no Ciskeians in that thing. I'm sure they had about a sixth of Ciskeian people in that march. The rest of the people bussed in from outside.
POM In negotiations, what's the one thing that you will be least willing to compromise on? What's the bottom line below which you cannot go?
OG It's the federal system. We will not get into South Africa and forego our independence if it is not going to be a federal system where Ciskei will form part of a state, a federal state.
POM Do you want a strong federal system?
OG We want a very strong federal system with powers entrenched in the constitution, devolved to the local government.
POM And will you not budge from that?
OG I will not budge from that. The central parliament must have only those powers that are regarded as unifying the South African nation, that is all. Only national defence, national finance and national foreign policy. Other than that foreign industrial relations and things like that, it's mine. They should belong to the regions.
POM How do you read that period from when CODESA deadlocked and when the government said we won't accept the ANC's offer of 70% veto threshold for the constitution?
OG Not the government. It's when the rest of the other groups who are opposed to the ANC, because the ANC has a few guys that they've intimidated into submission.
POM Would Ciskei and the IFP have said ...?
OG We said "No".
POM So that was the deadlock. The ANC walks out.
POM Then you have this month or less than a month and within that you have the ANC move from deadlock to walking out of the talks. They have 15 more demands they put on the table. You have Mandela making very personal attacks on de Klerk. You have mass mobilisation and mass action move from the back burner to the front burner and of course you have Boipatong in the middle of it all. How do you read what was happening in the ANC during that period, that they kind of moved completely from at least the semblance of a negotiating posture to confrontation, more demands, more hard line?
OG It is a sign of a defeated organisation. They are trying to remind the people of South Africa that, remember, we can burn and force you through violence into anything. Totally ignoring all the agreements and peace initiatives that have been made here. It's just a blatant way of re-establishing their strength through intimidation and violence. They have succeeded in doing that because they have intimidated a hell of a lot of people, they have burned down a hell of a lot of people's properties and houses and they have created havoc. But we think, as they always do, they have shot themselves in the foot. More and more people have now come to realise that these people should never be in government because they are completely ruthless, completely insensitive, they are completely selfish and they will do anything to get power. So they don't care for the people except just for power. They have completely shot themselves in the foot. And they have not won with this mass action. They have actually made a fool of themselves.
POM What was the extent of the stayaway in Ciskei?
OG Nothing at all. I had 98%, 98% attendance, 98% attendance throughout all that. My people are here. While they were making all that - all these people were here at work. All of them.
POM And they went to the industries and ...?
OG Everybody went to work my friend. Here, the industrialists, you can talk to them. They are very proud of the government's stand and of me personally. Very proud.
POM When Dr Buthelezi says that KwaZulu and the Zulu nation will not be a party to any agreement reached at a CODESA kind of negotiating structure to which they have not been a party, do you think that the Zulu King, the Zulu nation should be represented separately at a negotiating forum?
OG Yes. I support Gatsha's call for the Zulu King because if you look at it the Zulu King is somebody, it's something not like - they are in a unique situation of their own. He's the Zulu monarch. He's a constitutional monarch and all the other places they have no King, they have got Chiefs and the Chiefs are part of the government structure anyway. They are part of local government the Chiefs.
POM I want you to contrast that with what you said at the beginning. You said Ciskei is a Xhosa-speaking nation. Is the Transkei another Xhosa-speaking nation?
OG It is. We are not concerned primarily with ethnicity. We are concerned with geographic political boundaries and politically and characteristically we think that we are a little bit different from there.
POM Is there a difference between them? This is my ignorance.
OG We are all Xhosa, yes.
POM Is there a difference between the way in which Xhosas are traditionally organised and the Zulus?
OG Yes, there is.
POM Like the Zulus have a King?
OG The Xhosas come from Zulus. We are all descents of Shaka. If you follow the history of Shaka and the wars, Shaka drove all other people, many people down and out of them came Shangaans, through it's a group called Shangaan, and those people there who ran away with the warriors, with this group called Shangaan. Then other Mzilikazi people ran towards ... They called that place the Ndebeles and Mzilikazis. Then the Xhosas came to this side and they were called Xhosas. We are all under Shaka. We are all descendants of the Zulu Kings. It is long and it is true and everybody knows that we are all descendants of the Zulu King.
POM So the King has a special authority that even transcends his being King of the Zulus?
OG No, we are not saying that we pay homage as subject of him but we feel that we haven't got kingdom in Xhosa. The kingdom is in Zulu and Swazi.
POM Last year you had just set up a political party. What's happened? Is it organised?
OG It is organised but because of my busy schedule as the organiser, the founder and President I cannot really move forward very fast and, of course, with the shortage of funds I haven't got good people to run my party. What I am really relying on now is that elections will not be entirely run on party lines, it will be run on principles and standards and morals and beliefs. I think on that score people will say, "I'm going to vote for so and so because I believe in his politics, in his beliefs, in his principles." I hope that is what will happen because when I look at other countries which I visited elections were not run on party lines. Party lines were just to organise people in the community, there were taxi associations for instance, drivers, non-smokers association. You just pull yourself together in terms of protecting a principle or a norm or a life or whatever or an occupation.
POM But if, say, at some time in the future there was an election here, let's say Ciskei is a federal state in a federal structure and there's an election and it is being contested by the ANC and the National Party, where do you see yourself coming in?
OG I would not contest it in terms of numbers of people I have. I would contest it in terms of the integrity that I think I have in this region.
POM But would you form, if you were putting up a party ...?
OG I would yes. I would if I could be independent I would, but my party still it's alive so we can quickly get the machinery to get it going. Perhaps then people could get some funding going. I don't know. But I'm busy. I will be visiting various countries overseas to specifically look for funding for my party.
POM The government at least seems to be talking about the possibility of there being an interim government before the end of the year and they have called a special session of parliament or what they call the Transitional Executive Authority or whatever would be set up. Are you in favour of an interim government?
OG I'm not in favour of that. I feel that all the structures that are now operating are interim enough. You have an interim situation until you get a new thing so I feel that we are interim until the new constitution has been debated and fully thrashed out and achieved, so I don't see why we should appease the ANC and get them into power just to have a little bit of a glimpse of power before they go. I see that they are going to delay the eventual resolution. I don't think we also favour, all our allies don't favour that.
POM Don't favour it?
POM Will they make their opposition felt?
OG We will make our opposition felt, definitely.
POM Do you think you will be able to make your opposition felt to an extent that it won't happen?
OG Yes. It won't happen.
POM In this new structure that you're talking about, when that gets reconvened, will the new constitution be written by that body?
OG Yes, yes. We want that party to write the constitution. After all it represents all leaderships of this country if it is properly constituted. So who else do you want there to write that constitution? We could make committees which will elect a few people from there who of course will only discuss the principles and will give it to academics and whoever and special consultants to finalise it and then it will be brought back to the negotiating parties to see whether we like it in terms of what we have put in. Each group will put in its input. I don't see why we should have a separate Constituent Assembly for that nonsense.
POM Some people would say that you have all these parties ranging from the CP to the ANC to the SACP to AZAPO to the new breakaway party.
OG What you've just called now, except for the CP, is all ANC. All of them they are in different names but it's all the ANC. It's just a farce. It's a communist plot and ploy.
POM The point I want to offer to you is that some people would say that the only way that you can get a real assessment of who has got strength in the country and who hasn't got strength is to have an election and then the people will decide who they want to be there to write their constitution.
OG No. The man who will have strength will be the one to execute the constitution. If now, immediately, we say the man with strength must write the constitution you will never get off there. He will never get off. He will write it in such a way that he will never get off there. He will never be removed in any election so it will be the most dangerous thing that will ever happen. It's what the ANC wants. It knows it will intimidate everybody into voting for it anyway. It will intimidate business, it will break down everything unless you vote it. So that's what we don't want. We are not as vicious as the ANC. We will not be able to intimidate you guys here and say, "If you don't vote for us you don't walk here. You don't go to the sports. You wear arm bands. You do that. This doesn't land here." We haven't got all those international contacts to say, "Now if they don't vote for us we'll stop everything. You do that, you do that". We haven't got Tutu on our side. We haven't got the South African World Council of Churches on our side, which is just a farcical body. We don't have all those. Look these guys are vicious and we don't want them here.
POM So you don't see there's any way at the present moment of having a free and fair election?
OG There will never be a free and fair election, but we will be more comfortable if the constitution has been written completely and then we know that anything can now happen. Even if the ANC gets there they will just be there for, say, four years or for five years and then elections will be there and they will be highly democratic, they will be all democratic principles will be there and they work and then things will be changed. Hopefully if they become the first government they will get so many problems because they will now have for the first time to be accountable to the people. Right now they are not.
POM Do they actually organise in Ciskei, have branches?
OG Yes. They do have branches here.
POM And do those branches try to intimidate people?
OG No. The people here in Ciskei will never get it right because here people are serious about their future. They have their very strong communal fabrics but now they are intimidating people from outside, from Transkei, from East London, from Kingwilliamstown, from Queenstown on my north border, and Stutterheim in the middle, Fort Beaufort, Grahamstown. They are just amongst thugs of the ANC. But they realise that Ciskei has got its own character and its own discipline.
POM When you met Cyrus Vance, what did you tell him?
OG I told him exactly what I'm telling you now. I didn't leave a thing about what I think about the ANC and of course I gave him lists of all the atrocities that the ANC has done throughout the Ciskei only during the period of their mass action and he was disgusted. I am disappointed to see that in his report he just has five lines of what I told him. But then you know these guys, of course the ANC has long been rubbing shoulders with them.
POM What did you think of his recommendations? Do you think they are sufficient to bring a stop to the violence?
OG No, they are ANC recommendations. They are mostly ANC orientated and favouring the ANC anyway and they will be interpreted by the ANC to mean what the ANC wants out of that. So look, things on paper don't help. Practicalities on the ground help. Eventually the ANC will realise that practically they will have big problems. They may brainwash and whitewash everybody's eyes outside but when it comes to the ground, my friend, they will have to come to me and here they will not pass here through a little paper that says, Brigadier we have been told by the United Nations to come and take over your country. I will say, "Now let's see you take it." Look, practicalities eventually work, not perceptions. Perceptions sometimes can be created but when it comes to the real practical side of things they must come down to earth. They will find they have a problem then they will have to leave all those and come and negotiate with me and then I will also stand firm on my principles and say, "We don't move an inch." They will never win if they carry on like this, by just undermining others and simply just ignoring people.
POM Everyone here in South Africa talks about democracy and yet when you look at CODESA and look at all the parties who are participating there in fact none of the parties have had any experience of democracy.
OG And ruling. They have never had any - that's why I say we are the most important. I, Gatsha, Mpedi, Qwa-Qwa, these people who have countries that they are running. We are the people to reckon with in the new South Africa. We are going to contribute towards creating wealth and bring good government and administration in this country. We are not going to let the ex-convicts, people who have been in the bush and bloody running around with AK47s on their backs to come and run this country. Not a damn! Not me, not me, my friend!
POM When you talk about democracy, a democratic South Africa, what do you mean?
OG When I talk about a democratic South Africa I mean a free society where there will be ample security for everybody, for the children, for the elderly, for everyone and where there will be freedom to go to school and to learn, freedom to get jobs without being discriminated against. We mean total collapse of any type of discrimination in my book. And that all opportunities and facilities must be acceptable equally by all whether they are white, green, yellow, pink or coloured or whatever and that there should be total freedom of movement. You can stay where you want to go and to us democracy means everything that apartheid does not. That's basically what I mean by that. But I still feel that democracy also means that there must be mutual respect and I must be able to recognise the other man's viewpoint and the other man must also be able to respect me and recognise me which the ANC never will have in their heads. So I personally don't think that the ANC is any vehicle to look at by anybody for a democratic future of this country. They will be worse than apartheid.
POM Do you think that the IFP were unfairly blamed for Boipatong?
OG It was definitely unfairly blamed. The ANC orchestrated Boipatong. They made it.
POM Why would they have done that?
OG They have killed people there.
POM Why would they have orchestrated a massacre there?
OG Just to bring the attention of the international community and the UN here so that they remove the talks from CODESA to an international forum which they thought they have more connections and contacts to manipulate easily. But they didn't reckon that we would be allowed to go and talk at that place because they thought that we are not recognised so we will never talk there, to state the case against them. So they got the shock of their lives. They worked very hard at stopping me specifically from talking there because they know that I don't pull any punches and I'm practical, I've got practical experience of what they are doing. And I'm not white. I don't feel that I owe them something. Whites feel so bloody, they feel so guilty. They feel that they owe them the world. I owe Mandela fuck all. Nothing. I was more depressed than Mandela. He was in jail sitting there doing nothing and reading books. I wish I could get 27 years in jail so that I get four degrees. I'm very intelligent, I will get five, six degrees in 27 years.
POM When you look at the leaders you've met in South Africa in the last two years since this whole process began, just give me your assessment of de Klerk.
OG I don't trust him. He's completely feeble hearted, he's completely very weak. He hasn't got any sense of law and order and security. He hasn't got a sense of accountability. He is so intimidated by the international community, he's following politics of appeasement and he is always just retreating. He has no friends, he has no power. This man should have stopped the bloody whole thing in its tracks immediately. He made the reforms but now he immediately went back and sat back and became one of the lads instead of leading and now he's no leader, I'm sorry.
OG He's completely a nincompoop. He's following the youngsters. He has no power. Should he stand firm now and tell the ANC, "No you stop these things now", they will kill him and he knows he's out.
POM Cyril Ramaphosa?
OG Oh, he's a very senseless, callous, reckless youngster who is just power hungry, Cyril Ramaphosa. He is completely a mess.
POM Chris Hani?
OG Oh, no, he's completely callous. I think he's mad. No, he's completely callous. Chris Hani has got not a single thread of integrity in him. He's generally, he acts like a mafia. He's sort of a gang leader. Look the ANC hasn't got any leadership.
POM Gatsha Buthelezi?
OG That is a man of stature, yes. That is a very consistent man. He has always been consistent. He is a man of stature, man of very few words, a man who can really enjoy a hell of a lot. I didn't know him much when I was still at school and everybody was propagandising against him. Everybody was calling him a stooge of the white government. I know that guy hates apartheid and hates being dictated to by whites. I can show you a hell of a lot of meetings where I was with him where he was - you see people outside here don't know radicalism. That man is a real radical but he is humble and he is polished, he is gentle. He is a gentleman. That's what many people usually, I think, OK, if you are gentle with guys and you shake a hand and you smile and you say, "Please sit down", they think you are weak, they think you are conniving.
POM Lucas Mangope?
OG He is a gentleman. He is a bloody good guy. He is well respected by his people. Gatsha is highly respected by his people, let alone what the newspapers say. They are talking rubbish. They are all just trying to disgrace him. Lucas Mangope is highly respected by his people. He has done a hell of a lot for his people in a very short time during its independence. Bophuthatswana would never have reached all that stage of industrialisation if it was still under whites. I can tell you that guy has done a lot of work.
POM Bantu Holomisa?
OG No, I think very little of him. He's completely run by the ANC. He has never been his own man and he's completely just a stooge of the ANC. He's completely no leader in my eyes.
POM Of those you've met in the process, other than those I've mentioned, who do you have respect for?
OG Only those guys I talked to you about. They are the most people who are having a firm stand I can rely on. The others are wishy washy. The others are there, they don't like what is happening but they don't have the proper strength to say publicly, so you have them on your side but you always look this way and say, "Is he still here?"
POM When we come back this time next year, how far advanced will this process be? Will negotiations have been gotten back on track? Will they be moving forward? Will you be in a process of writing a constitution?
OG It will be too bad if that happens without the ANC being really made to realise that it is nothing. It cannot just get what it wants just like that. It will be bad if anything happens, but I don't think it will happen. But I wish that we will be in negotiations but with everybody fully respecting each and everybody else. I think we must have mutual respect in this country. If not we must make people respect us. How? It's going to be my pleasure to really ... I take it as a big challenge and I'm not afraid of anything that will come.
POM Thanks very much once again for the time. I appreciate it.
OG A pleasure.
POM We'll be coming back here year after year for some time and you are always most accommodating and I appreciate it.
OG It's a pleasure Mr O'Malley. I had a lot of things that I had planned but I realised you only come once, let me get you. To tell you the truth I was feeling very bad this morning but before you came we talked with somebody - you will be here next week?
POM In South Africa, yes.
OG I will be in Johannesburg on Thursday with Radio Nguni Sotho. All the radios will be carrying my interview from 6 o'clock to 7 o'clock, live. On Thursday the 30th from 6 to 7.
POM I'll tape it.
OG No, call in and ask me some questions. Ask me something good. I know the ANC will be just insulting me. "Ja, Brigadier Gqozo you are a traitor to the blacks. You are fighting the ANC, the liberation movement." And I will just be telling them, "Now, look, I'm the liberator myself." I think the ANC is just oppressing the people, the black people, further. I'll be getting those types of people trying to denigrate me.
POM Is it possible to get a copy of your remarks to the United Nations and the submissions you made to Cyrus Vance.
OG Yes. Why not? OK let me see. I'm proud of what I said there.
POM You were being watched by a lot of people. Where do you get your energy? You are always so energetic.
OG I'm trying. I'm having a massage about twice a week which helps me a little. I'm trying to stick to a health diet and the only way I can really get myself to do it is to leave the office and go and play golf. I'm a golfer and since I'm in office I've played about three times. I've got a fully equipped gym, a health gym. A real gym in health standards.
POM Do you use it?
OG When they finished it and, "Brigadier, there is a thing, this is how it works." I was so enthusiastic for the whole week I knocked off at about 5. After that I had so many problems. Now I knock off at about 11 and I am so tired, 10 o'clock, 11 o'clock and many times I get home, take more things from here which I couldn't deal with. I have a full programme, other things are coming in. I can't read them now but most of them I can't just delegate, I must know because it is reports that I must make decisions on and various things you can't just delegate, you must read those things to be able to give informed instructions and decisions. A lot of things come to me. I've got to bloody look at this, that, that and those things I take home with me in that file for some days now but I don't read all of them.
POM You can never catch up.
OG Some people say, Brigadier, just tell yourself at this hour I'm going to do this, bugger the whole thing. It doesn't work. I can't leave yet, but I think I must get myself to do it.
POM Thank you ever so much. Take care. I'll see you again next year. My faxes will start arriving in April.