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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

28 Aug 1992: Coetzer, Piet

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POM     Piet, I have a starting point since this is a question on which we have received many varied replies. The question is the sequence of events that led to the deadlock at CODESA, why the government and the National Party said they can't accept the offer that was made to them, but we understand the basic mix-up as being that the ANC came in with a proposal for a Constituent Assembly being a 66?% and the government came in with its counter offer of 75%, that the ANC moved to 70% with 75% for a Bill of Rights. Then what was the sequence of events after that?

PC     Well it's not quite as simple as you described it. It's a little bit more complicated. The fact of the matter is that there were various proposals at various stages. In the final days of the run-up to CODESA 2 the government put a number of proposals, variants, on the table. First of all we said that the interests of regions should be accommodated in the constitution making process and our opening gambit, if you want to call it that, was that the regions should be represented in a second house or a Senate and that the Senate would be part of the constitution making process. In other words it must be passed by them as well and the ANC then said that is going to be unacceptable to them. We said, OK, we will drop the Senate as part of the constitution making process. Remember that at that point there was more or less consensus that the constitution making body would be an elected interim national assembly. In other words it would have two functions: the writing of the new constitution but at the same time act as an interim or transitional legislature.

     We said OK then we'll drop the requirement of the Senate being part of the constitution making process, but then we want to ensure that the interests of regions are properly represented and protected in the National Assembly. The formula that was put forward that all decisions on the constitution the basic norm was two thirds, 66?%, with two exceptions: 70% for all decisions affecting the interests of regions and 75% for the Bill of Rights. The logic behind that is, is that minorities have the biggest interest in the writing of the constitution because they are the people who are going to need the protection of a constitution most and therefore that requirement during the writing of a constitution - that's not to say that those percentages would have been part of a future constitution, it was just for the writing of the constitution.

     The ANC then on the last day came with a proposal that said the 66?%, the 70%, at one stage they even said, "And maybe even 75% for the Bill of Rights", but there was a rider to it. Remember now that this was on the morning that CODESA was supposed to have started. They said, "But if consensus on that basis cannot be reached within six months then we fall back on a straightforward majority." The straightforward majority then writes the constitution and then there's a deadlock breaking mechanism, it's taken to a referendum, to the population by way of a referendum. And we then said, "Hang on", and I personally typed the statement at the time, we said there are interesting elements in the suggestion of the ANC. We're willing to discuss that further but one cannot do that, take such a serious decision within an hour or two and we suggest that all the other recommendations by the various working groups of CODESA should be taken to the plenary, be put before the plenary for possible adoption and that we can then, after CODESA 2, revisit this whole issue. And they then said no, that's not acceptable.

POM     Let me just summarise to make sure that I have what you're saying very, very clearly. You're saying the ANC came in with a proposal of 66?% for general matters, across the board; that the counter offer of the government and the National Party was 66?% for general matters.

PC     We did not make the counter offer. They made a counter offer. Our offer, our model was on the table and they came with a counter offer.

POM     Their counter offer was?

PC     Their counter offer was two thirds majority and 70%, but the rider, that's the important thing, was a deadline of six months.

POM     Two thirds for which?

PC     Two thirds across the board.

POM     And 70% for?

PC     70% on the question of the regions and the Bill of Rights.

PAT     It went to 75% then?

PC     Well the 75% was never formally put on the table but they said, "We might even look at that." But then the six months deadline came which is a very important factor.

POM     So your proposal on the table was?

PC     Two thirds, seventy and seventy five. Seventy on the regions and seventy five on the Bill of Rights.

PAT     And two thirds for everything else?

PC     Two thirds for the rest.

POM     And theirs was?

PC     And theirs was, in the final analysis, at the end, almost exactly the same except for the 75%. They said 70%, but they added something and that was the six months deadline. Now why do we say that was unacceptable, that 70%, or the six months deadline? Because after the six months deadline you would even fall to under the two thirds majority, you get a straightforward majority.

POM     In the same body?

PC     In the same body. To a 50% and then a referendum by the population.

PAT     Yes, a 50% passage there, a simple majority.

PC     Yes simple. And our reaction to that was, remember now that was hours after CODESA was supposed to have started that day and we said one cannot take such an important decision under this kind of pressure and therefore we said OK, why was the six months thing a serious problem for us, that deadline? We doubt whether it's possible to write a constitution in six months under the best of circumstances. But it also creates something else. If you look at the negotiating model that the ANC have been following it is a classical model that was developed to a large extent for the South African Trade Unions by Cyril Ramaphosa himself and they used that at CODESA. How does that model work? When you negotiate with an employer you look at the whole package and you break it down into components and you negotiate the various components of this package, but you save one crucial issue for the last moment. In terms of South African labour legislation there are certain deadlines, certain periods for negotiations to take place before you go to arbitration, before you can have a legal strike ballot and that sort of thing. So what they would do, they would use up the time on these various components of the package but save one crucial issue for the last moment and then put in a very high demand that the employer cannot develop. What classically would happen is the employer would say, hang on, this would push up the cost of the package way above what I can afford or am willing to settle for, and then says, but then we will have to revisit the rest of the package. And they say, "Ah, you're not negotiating in good faith because we've already got consensus on that." Now not negotiating in good faith in terms of labour legislation is one of the grounds for a strike ballot. But be that as it may, so they push the employer against that deadline and then put in that high bid and then go for the strike because then you have the disruption and the cost of the strike for the employer and that sort of thing and in that way you get bigger concessions out of the employer than you would otherwise get.

     What have they done at CODESA? If you look at the CODESA model it was broken up into five components, five working groups. In four of the working groups we made tremendous progress. The ANC from the word go regionally wanted by the end of March that CODESA 2 should take place. We said that's too early, we don't think one should put a deadline to something, you should ensure that you actually have enough substantial to report about before you have a plenary. When we got to March, the working groups had hardly really started working and then May was set. In four of the working groups we got to consensus fairly easily in terms of formulating recommendations and so on. And then Working Group 2, which is the crucial one, about the decision making procedures and so on in the constitution making body, we couldn't get to consensus and we were pushed against that deadline of CODESA 2.

POM     So whereas an employer would weigh the cost of a strike against meeting the demand ...?

PC     That's their miscalculation of that fact. That's the miscalculation that they made, that some of the basic elements are different and the nature of it is different. There's also another element that I think one must understand and have understanding for the position of the ANC. We went through our crisis in 1982 when the party split. In 1989 we had a Federal Congress, we put our constitutional proposals on the table based on a unitary state. We went into an election in 1989 and got a mandate to negotiate a new constitution with everybody. So we've covered tremendous ground moving from the right towards the middle. The ANC came into the negotiations starting off from the Harare Declaration and had a lot more ground to cover towards the middle than we had to cover and some people in the ANC, in private discussions, would say negotiations moved too fast for them to keep their constituency fully informed and keep them abreast of developments. The decision about mass action was taken before CODESA 2. Some of them have publicly admitted since then, they needed mass action to some extent, they needed a bit of a consolidation face we believe and that played a very important role.

     Personally, we think that the strategy that they chose, mass action, stayaway and that sort of thing was a very high risk strategy but it's also not an uncommon political manoeuvre. We would over the years of reform, would move left in terms of policy, in other words towards the middle from where we stood, but then at the same time we would move somewhat right in terms of rhetoric and strategy to give assurance to your supporters: we're not selling out, we're not going soft all of a sudden, the classical kind of thing as you would move left in terms of policy and then at the same time you would unban some of the organisations at the time or you would go for strikes on ANC safe houses in Lusaka, in the neighbouring states and that kind of thing. And I believe that what we've seen here with the ANC is while they had to move towards the middle as well, and to some extent from where they stood move towards the right, with mass action and that sort of thing they moved left in terms of strategy to try and bring their constituency along again.

POM     But it's left in terms of rhetoric.

PC     Yes, left in terms of rhetoric.

POM     And they have to keep moving right in terms of ...?

PC     In terms of formal policy.

POM     Just to give you an example of how we've shifted to thinking in a similar light is we were talking as we were coming up here about the ANC's reaction to the retirement of these 15 Generals and putting in three black generals and the ANC response was that it was just, what was the word?

PC     Well they objected to the unilateral restructuring.

POM     Space shifting, unilateral restructuring.

PC     It's a third of the bloody general staff.

PAT     It's a major restructuring.

PC     Yes it's a hell of a job.

POM     This would be moving left in terms of rhetoric, [to say to their constituency we'll ... out the SAP, we'll also ...out the SAP as the ...]

PC     Yes, Patrick, that's part of it. I think the other thing that's part of it, it would be very difficult for the ANC at this stage to give us credit for anything because what one must never forget is that while we are busy writing the rule book of political life in the new South Africa, because that's what competition is, it's the rule book, the game has started and the competition has started at the same time. And that complicates the process.

POM     Let me ask you a question about that because there seem to be contradictory demands on the demands of negotiations, the demands of electioneering. As a party you want to broaden your base which means you want to reach out to what would be called moderate black voters, professionals, other people and that to do that you have to put in your rhetoric and propaganda, push the ANC left that they are full of radicals, full of communists and you associate that kind of image with them in electioneering, more to say that we are stable, the centre, pursuing a steady course. And as you do that, the more successfully you do that in electioneering, the more difficult it is to negotiate.

PC     In that I think our approach and the ANC's approach is somewhat different. We are not in a strong election mode at the moment. We don't believe that in practical terms it would be possible to hold an election quicker than 12 months after you've struck the deal, after you've decided on the constitution, on what the basis of an election is going to be, just for the mere practical, logistical arrangements, that is most probably going to take in the order of 12 months. And that leaves enough time for electioneering, so at this stage we're not in a very strong campaign mode. What we are involved in we're establishing branches, new branches all over and putting the organisational infrastructure in place throughout the country. So we're not on a massive membership drive. We are rather going at this stage for leadership elements in the communities so that you set up the proper infrastructure. It's one thing to mobilise support or to drum up support. The success of the National Party in white politics and recently, if you look at the Diamont by-election and that sort of thing, is the ability to turn support into crosses on a ballot paper, mobilising people. That takes quite a bit of sophisticated infrastructure and organisational skills and so on and we are concentrating on that at this stage.

POM     I have noticed that in the period preceding, and in particular succeeding, the mass action there was an increasing tendency for ministers and even the State President to speak of the ANC more in terms of the communist element and the radical element.

PC     Well the radical element, we believe, does have the upper hand to some extent inside the ANC at this stage and thus of course if you involve in a boxing match and a guy is presenting his chin then you would be a fool if you don't take the opportunity.

POM     Where does the party place Mandela in all of this?

PC     I would place Mandela, in terms of his personal approach and so on, no doubt with the more moderate, middle of the road people. Whether he is totally his own man we doubt that seriously. One would get very conflicting signals from him sometimes in his speeches, sometimes from one day to the next. If one analyses his speech that he made at the end of the Pretoria march, on the steps of the Union Building, he was very conciliatory, he brought down the 14 so-called demands to three, that sort of thing. Then two days later he was back on 14 demands and seemed to be heading in a different direction again.

POM     So when your party sits down to figure out what the ANC's strategy is in order to develop your own counter strategy or whatever, what elements do you place emphasis on? What do you look for as signs of shifts in nuance or rhetoric or policy?

PC     Well the involvement of the South African Communist Party and the prominent role they seem to play in the ANC is a problem for us. It's an ideology that's not very tolerant and not very flexible and something difficult to deal with. But we are convinced, and looking at the ANC from the outside, that it's not a well integrated organisation, that there's definitely some real factions in there and various constituencies operating under that umbrella and we obviously are trying to rather strengthen the hands, if one can put it this way, of the more moderate people, the pro-negotiators. There are still revolutionaries in there as well. We have no doubt about that.

POM     When the Communist Party said we believe in a multi-party democracy, did you accept that?

PC     Did the Communist Party say that?

POM     When they came out with these new defined positions and said what you had in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union was really state communism, the accent of democracy, you all take this as just a loose - that they would fall back on the same old ...

PC     We don't take that seriously. We really don't take that too seriously because there's no example anywhere in the world of a communist regime that did not operate on a communist elitist single party model.

POM     Given what seems to have been, at least during the period we've been here, the emergence of COSATU as a very active, sometimes it would appear almost independent actor in this alliance and given the degree to which its leadership is associated with the Communist Party and given the degree to which the NEC and the National Working Group of the ANC is, if not dominated, at least the Communist Party has a very sizeable influence within it, what kind of conclusion does this lead you to?

PC     Well that negotiations are going to be a tough process, it's far from over. It's not going to be easy to strike a deal.

POM     In terms of that, there are two items on which again we have had very contradictory interpretations. One refers to the powers of the regions. One understanding was that it was agreed, even though CODESA never formally finalised anything, but that it was agreed in Group 2, two things were agreed regarding regions, (i) that the geographical definition of the regions should be defined in phase 1, that is prior to an election. And to quote from CODESA, "Regional boundaries and the powers of regional governments will be defined in phase 1 prior to elections and require consensus from all parties in a constitution making body for these to be changed."

PC     I think that puts it a little bit too strongly. I think that just the principle of regions and regional governments and a loose definition of regions was the way we understood it and that the finalisation of the role of, the functions and the boundaries of regions was up to the constitution making body for it to be hammered out there and not a prior decision on that. That's not the way I understood it.

POM     I want to reconcile that with the idea that the interim government or whatever, there would be the transitional constitution, would be the body that would draw up the - is that the right place, the transitional body?

PC     Part of the deal would be, the bottom line for us is that during all stages and phases of the process government should be based on a legal constitution so it's almost impossible to escape a situation where in a multi-party conference surroundings you negotiate a transitional constitution, but that is not binding at all on the final constitution. The final constitution can look totally different and we accept that one of the toughest debates during that phase between us and the ANC is going to be about the role of the regions because we start off from two totally different departure points. Both parties accept the principle of regional government, that there should be a second tier of government. So regionalism is accepted. But our approach is that the areas of jurisdiction of the regions should be constitutionally based, that should be devolution of power, devoluted power that they have. In other words regional power defined in the constitution. The ANC's approach is a more centralist approach where they are saying that all power principally vests in central government who delegates functions to the regions. In other words, and when you delegate power, it is something that you can withdraw at any time as well. And that is the main difference and we accept that that debate is going to be one of the tougher debates in the constitution making process and it's not a debate that you can finalise at all before you actually get to the writing of the final constitution.

PAT     The writing of the interim constitution?

PC     The final.

PAT     You don't want to negotiate?

PC     You don't want to negotiate that but the principle of ...

POM     Now it's my understanding again that the principle that is in the Declaration of Principles that was adopted at CODESA ...

PC     The Declaration of Intent.

POM     Yes, it said that the powers of the regions would be entrenched in the constitution, so that's in it's principle of intent and in a similar way that in the Principles of Intent it had agreed that the powers and boundaries of the regions would also be drawn up before there is an election.

PC     Before an election?

POM     That's what I'm getting a.

PC     In terms of the final constitution.

POM     That's right, OK.

PC     Not the interim constitution but the final constitution?

POM     Yes, what I meant was is that one understanding we have is that there is agreement that the boundaries and powers of the regions will be determined before there is an election for a constituent making body, but that the constituent making body may redefine or throw out altogether.

PC     It's wrong, quite wrong.

POM     OK. And the second thing is that there is agreement that the powers of the regional government will be entrenched in the constitution.

PC     Yes. That was agreed in terms of the Declaration of Intent. The ANC has moved away from that position.

POM     Now they've moved to saying the power must be devolved from the centre to the regions.

PC     Not devolved, delegated.

POM     Delegated, OK.

POM     But at that point in CODESA they did agree to the entrenchment in the constitution.

PC     Well, at CODESA 1. Remember now the Declaration of Intent was adopted by CODESA 1 and so they have moved away from that position. But, Patrick, I don't think that that sort of detail at the point where we are standing now is that overridingly important for the simple reason that all indications are that when multiparty negotiations, multilateral talks start again there are going to be new players involved as well, especially the PAC on the left and the so-called new right on the right. So while CODESA, the plenary, never adopted the recommendations of the working groups the status of the consensus that was reached in the working groups is very seriously in question. Whether one can start from there and just move on, you would at least have to revisit and make sure that the new parties that become involved feel comfortable with them so some of it I am sure will be changed.

POM     So a number of these arrangements in all the Working Groups could be subject to ratification?

PC     To change, to qualification and change. We hope that it will not be necessary to start de novo, from scratch again.

POM     Hypothetically that's possible?

PC     Hypothetically that's possible. Hypothetically that is possible that we might have to start de novo. That's why I said the details at this stage are not so important. What is more important is the process of developing what one could call national consensus on key issues.

POM     Also what I'm getting round to asking is, the ANC blamed, they say the government wanted the talks to deadlock because they wanted more time to build their constituency, undermine us in the townships, build a constituency among black voters. Most people that I have talked to in the National Party and the government say the ANC wanted out. What I'm asking is, do you think that the ANC alliance began to realise that it in fact was committing itself to regions being defined and entrenched in the constitution, were committing themselves to the boundaries of regions being drawn up and agreed upon all before a Constituent Assembly and that their grassroots, their activists were saying, "No, these are not matters for settling in a transitional constitution, these must be ..."?

PC     I don't think that grassroots in any country would take such a sophisticated look at things and especially a process of negotiating a new constitution. Grassroots work on perceptions, perceptions and impressions. The fact of the matter is that the process moved very fast. If you think that in November of last year we had the first preparatory talks to set up CODESA 1. In December we had CODESA 1. Five months later, five and a half months later, you had consensus in the CODESA structure of almost all the important elements of a future constitution and the process of putting it in place. That, in terms of political processes of keeping in many instances an unsophisticated support base informed and up to date with what is happening is neck-breaking speed. Anybody who ignores that fact will not understand what will happen. That's why I'm saying, I'm not too worried about the details at this point in time.

POM     So why do you think the ANC wanted out at that time?

PC     They needed to consolidate. They needed a period of consolidation in terms of their support structure. I've seen minutes of the Johannesburg region of the ANC, a meeting that took place in April of this year and within that meeting the ANC's national leadership was openly accused of selling out at CODESA. Things were just happening too fast for people to keep up. I think one would be naive if you think that you can develop a constitution and keep the so-called grassroots with you within a period of months.

POM     You are again looking at differentiating public rhetoric from the private understanding. In the leadership of the party and the government is there an understanding that Mandela needed to do this, that he had to find out, just as the white referendum allowed De Klerk to eliminate or ...

PC     Absolutely, absolutely.

POM     - get out from under the burden?

PC     There's a very important thing that you've mentioned now. We've also had our problems keeping our support base with us in this process, therefore the sort of setbacks - there are other factors as well, one must be careful not to oversimplify, like the state of the economy and so on - but that was one of the reasons why we were experiencing setbacks in by-elections and we had the referendum available as an instrument of consolidation, of confronting people with the real national issues and the ANC does not have that instrument. It was very interesting that during the period of mass action quite a number of ANC spokespeople have referred to mass action as their referendum, their way of mobilising and illustrating their support, that they are moving with in this process.

POM     During the March referendum the ANC was understanding and sympathetic to the government's position and they made the ritual noises about another whites' only election, but in the main their remained silent. In fact Mandela at the end urged whites to vote yes in the referendum. Some people would say that a similar sympathy and understanding was not shown by the government during Mandela's referendum.

PC     Well the point is the mass action, by the nature of it, and stayaways, is confrontational. I don't think it's apples and apples. Our other problem with the mass action and the stayaway was the cost to the economy, at this point in time, if it wasn't the intimidation, the risk of violence and everything that goes with it. We just thought it was too high risk a strategy to follow. It might have been a lot more productive to have gone for a process similar to what one had in Namibia at one stage during the Turnhalle Conference where people would almost take a sabbatical from the negotiating table and would hold report back meetings on a very large scale, nationally.

POM     In your evaluation of the stayaway and the week of mass action, would you say, yes, that it succeeded in nearly closing down the private sector for the better part of two days anyway? Would you say that it's impact was achieved through intimidation or through people's voluntary participation?

PC     That is always very difficult to quantify. Let me say first of all that the two days of the stayaway in many instances employers and employees had made alternative arrangements where people worked in time beforehand, production time, have put in extra production time during Saturdays and those sort of things. So, although people were not at work there wasn't that big loss in terms of production. That is part of it. When you look at the role of intimidation and how do you quantify that, that of course is not easy to quantify. It's not just burning down somebody's house. There's a history of necklacing, of necklace murders. All you have to do is stand in front of a guy's house and shake a box of matches if you have an idea that he intends going to work and you don't do anything physically threatening, but you're sending out a message. Those kinds of things happen. One must not forget that what's happened in the South African commuting industry, your black commuters are almost entirely dependent on the mini-taxis, the mini-buses and if they don't run it's not possible for people to get to work. And they did not run.

POM     What I'm getting at is that when you look at the action you have to evaluate it's extent, pervasiveness, effectiveness, however. Do you come down and say, yes it was effective but it was an effectiveness achieved as a result of direct or indirect intimidation, mainly, or do you say, my God the ANC can really mobilise it's supporters to voluntarily ...?

PC     That we know. Honestly in evaluating mass action I don't think it was so successful. The ANC for their big showcase, showpiece march, chose Pretoria. They bussed in people from all over, the PWV area and even further. Estimates, like it always is with crowds are not that easy but the highest estimates were around 70,000 people. In May of 1991 in Kwathema, the black sister town of Springs, I received a petition from 60,000 people in Kwathema alone. A year later in Pretoria, with Mr Mandela marching in front himself, 70,000 people turn up. In May of 1990 the right wing, the Conservative Party, had somewhere between 70,000 and 80,000 of their supporters at so-called Monument Koppie, at the Voortrekker Monument in Pretoria, and we all know to what extent the CP have become a fringe group. I don't think things like that, in the medium to longer term, really proves anything. The ANC don't need mass action to persuade us that they have considerable support. We accept that. We accept that they are an important player. We accept that a constitutional deal cannot be made with the involvement of the ANC. We don't need mass action but their aim with mass action was not that. Their aim was political blackmail. They said, here's our fourteen demands, if you don't accede to our demands then you are going to get mass action. Now that is not negotiation, that is political blackmail.

POM     Is there any consideration in there of using mass action as a way of pressurising business to in turn pressurise the government or try to create a divide between the business community and the government?

PC     Yes that I think was part of the strategy but I don't think it worked. I don't think it really worked.

POM     On the question of elections, you have this level of violence in the country that despite the National Peace Accord and the Goldstone Commission or whatever has been worse in the last year than in any other year.

PC     In the last few weeks it seems to be coming down as well. Let me just say that on the National Peace Accord and its structures, the National Peace Secretariat, I think that is maturing now and is developing into a force in its own right. The so-called economic forum with also regional forums are starting to develop now and that is also part of the process. I think it was also a mistake that everything was focused on one instrument, just CODESA. I think that's expecting too much, plus there are the negotiations throughout the country at local level, between towns for establishing joint administration, one town one tax base sort of negotiations. So the process itself is still of negotiations and building national reconciliation although it's going through a very bumpy phase, it is still very well and alive.

POM     My question regarding the violence was if the violence persists at this level or even at a reduced level is it possible to hold free and fair elections?

PC     I think it will be very difficult and I think the government, via Meyer, has been on record a couple of time that it will be very difficult to hold elections unless we can stabilise the situation. What is important I think is that the international community in terms of the international observers who were here, that sort of thing, have already during the mass action played a very constructive role because their mere presence, I think, makes people a lot more careful and forces them to exert better discipline over their supporters and I think they can play a constructive role in the future as well. Internationally, I think the playing field has been levelled as well. Two years ago, we from our side would not have felt confident with UN observers in South Africa. Now it's a different story. The perceptions around us and the ANC have changed somewhat internationally and I think the levelling of the playing field has taken place if you just look at how things developed at the Security Council meeting recently.

PAT     Quickly, on the same issue, can you see in that context, how is Buthelezi opening up the stronghold areas of KwaZulu for Inkatha as well as perhaps the marginal areas that he controls around Durban to competitive politics inside?

PC     I think that there again, I mean independent observers and so on can play an important role in terms of putting pressure on him to play according to acceptable rules. We have, and let me say this off the record, we have very schizophrenic feelings about Buthelezi and Inkatha. In certain respects in the negotiations they're a handy partner because we share the same economic values and there are a number of things but we're definitely not easy with his tactics.

POM     Just to follow up on that. Does he have the capacity to be a spoiler?

PC     Yes, we will be bloody fools if we leave him out of it. That as a fact would leave us with an Irish problem.

POM     Some people say that all you have to do is pull the financial plug on him.

PC     Oh bullshit. Pulling the financial plug on him, what will he do? You would have people that are just more desperate and desperation is not the best emotional state for people to be in if you're interested in stability.

POM     Does the ANC, in your mind, exhibit any appreciation for the reality of this? In conversations we have about the KwaZulu question and the elections some people say if we don't have elections there, we don't have elections there and then he's not part of the process. You can't do that.

PC     Stupid.

PAT     I mean do they show any effort to really ...?

PC     Well some of them yes, I think some of them understand it but I don't think all of them fully appreciate it. It's like we had to go through this phase and very careful manoeuvring to split up the right wing, to get a right wing presence at the negotiations. Because if you don't involve them you leave a bloody tumour there in the body of South African society that's going to turn cancerous, and the same goes for Buthelezi. You need not like him or love him, we don't particularly like the ANC, we would prefer South Africa without an ANC, but it's a reality and you've got to deal with it.

POM     OK, thank you.

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.