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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

21 Oct 1992: De Klerk, Willem

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WDK     I prepared, more or less, in a few words the first three on mass action, then the Bisho massacre and Buthelezi and violence and so on. Shall we go through them then?

POM     What I wanted to do, since events are moving so quickly in South Africa, is just for you perhaps to talk about the last week a little, since the parliament opened again in Cape Town. FW seems to have been experiencing some setbacks with the opening of parliament. I think there was rejection of the legislation that would open the way for blacks to enter parliament, the fate of the Indemnity Bill seems up in the air. Some people are saying that in his opening speech to parliament he appeared more uncertain of himself, or at least that it was his least impressive public performance in the last couple of years. What's happening? What's your sense of what's going on?

WDK     OK, I will give you a few brief remarks on this. I think that, yes, this parliament wasn't a successful parliament. They anticipated that it would be successful but after the breakdown of talks it was really a parliament without any real agenda. That's the first answer. The second is that the situation is so tense at this moment that I think he's very cautious not to be too outspoken on different issues. The third thing is, yes, there was reaction in his caucus especially from Cape Province MPs and there was a lot of criticism in newspapers, English newspapers and Afrikaans newspapers and that made him definitely a bit uncertain.

POM     Criticisms in what regard?

WDK     I would say the critical remarks that are made against the government. It's more or less that the government has lost the will to govern on account of a lack of severe action and there's not enough firm intervention and final decisions and it appears for his power base, or part of his power base, that things are simply sliding along, I would say. Also the criticism that the government allows itself to be shunted around by the ANC, that it is not aggressive enough towards the ANC and bends over backwards to accommodate the demands of the ANC. And there's also criticism that it seems as if the State President has lost initiative, that his initial, positive image has faded considerably. He stays in the background too much. That's also a criticism. That's more or less the atmosphere of the parliament and then all of a sudden the reaction of Buthelezi.

     But just before the parliament he achieved it, as you know, to find something of a reconciliation with Mandela and that there will be bilateral talks and I think this caution on the one hand not to be too hard on the ANC because they are on the brink again of new negotiations and on the other hand the awareness of the criticism against him made him a little bit shaky. That's true. But I think the whole Indemnity Act thing and the question of blacks in parliament and so on, that's more I think theatre, political theatre, and technical points and so on and I don't think that it's really that important. I think the people that oppose these things want to say it's not now the time to finalise these things we must leave it for the interim parliament.

POM     But do you get any sense of serious divisions arising within his own caucus?

WDK     Definitely not. Definitely not. I think that is an exaggeration of the press. I would say there are a few individuals but according to my information he persuaded them and something of the uneasiness and shakiness that was in the caucus is now addressed and everything is calmed down and his power base is consolidated at this moment in time. But there is a mood within the whole white community of despair, a mood of the economy is very tough and we're not going to handle this whole situation with the ANC. That's the mood and they want FW to be more forceful and to be more final and from his point of view it is of primary and overall importance that the government must still focus on a negotiated settlement. And by acting forcefully it will fuel confrontation to such an extent that everything that has been achieved so far may become undone. And I think that's his basic motivation. A settlement cannot be reached without the ANC. The ANC are experiencing internal problems in their own ranks.

POM     That's what I was going ask you, are there countervailing forces within the ANC that would like to see perhaps everything become unglued and for a much tougher line to be adopted?

WDK     Just repeat that please?

POM     Are there forces within the ANC that are still pursuing this so-called insurrectionist tactic, believing that continued emphasis on mass mobilisation, pushing the government to the wall?

WDK     Yes I think those forces are still very active but luckily, as you know, I think the more moderate and realistic section of the ANC won the argument. There is still this compromise within the ANC between their radical factions and their more realistic factions. But I think the more realistic faction is now busy winning the argument and FW also tried to play into their hands to strengthen them in the whole internal debate of the ANC. He's trying to keep doors open for them.

POM     Are they appreciative of that do you think? Are the moderates appreciative of the fact that he has to bend in so many different directions to keep a way open for them to come through?

WDK     I think so, I think so. I think there is, I won't say an excellent, that will be an overstatement, but there is a rapport at this moment in time between FW behind closed doors and key figures within the moderate section of the ANC.

POM     Who would you point to as those key figures?

WDK     I would say Ramaphosa, number one, Thabo Mbeki, he's still a very influential man, not the number one man any more but definitely the number two, three or number four man. Jacob Zuma. Mandela himself and the main players in the economy. The economists within the ANC are becoming more and more realistic.

POM     Would you point to any particular individual there? Is it Tito Mboweni or ...?

WDK     I would say Mboweni is a very important man, yes, and the other fellow, the Indian, I can't remember his name now. And even the communists, Slovo and Hani, I won't say they've become more moderate but I will say they are becoming more and more accommodating.

POM     Were you surprised by Joe Slovo's statement about mandatory power sharing built into the constitution with perhaps a sunset clause?

WDK     Yes I was a little bit surprised. There is of course the feeling that this is only a strategy. Especially Ken Owen in his column in the Sunday Times tore this whole thing of Slovo apart. I think there's one danger. The government is trying it's utmost best to tear the ANC apart, to force the ANC to get rid of their SACP colleagues and I think that's not really a positive strategy because the more the government tries to tear the ANC apart the closer their ranks will become. I think one must give them the opportunity to get their own house in order. I think it's good strategy on the part of the government to keep more of a low profile in this regard. They are playing too hard on the rift between the ANC and the SACP. I wouldn't say the rift but the tensions, let's say the tensions.

POM     Yes I had noticed in the paper that it was like a reversal to old stereotypes of the government always referring to the ANC in terms of communists and radicals rather than as just the ANC per se.

WDK     Yes you see that's especially. I know that the feedback was also given to FW that they mustn't play this too hard. The ANC itself is working on it. The moderates within the ANC are working on it to gradually define more of a distance between them and the SACP personalities. The SACP is really not an organised political party and a real force if you count votes and that kind of thing, but there are personalities, leading personalities, opinion makers within the ANC Executive with communist sentiments.

POM     To go back to our questions.

WDK     Are you satisfied with this answer?

POM     Yes.

WDK     OK, the mass action was your first question. My comment will be that this whole mass action was and is more successful than the government anticipated. They hoped, and this was the information they gave, that there would be resistance to the mass action among the black community. So it was more successful. I don't think it was that effective in the sense that it united the different factions of the ANC. I think that the realists in the ANC, in the face of mass action, tried to consolidate their base while the revolutionaries with the mass action tried to consolidate their base. And I think this whole mass action thing brought about more tension in the ANC and it also caused tension among the peace loving black people on ground level and especially the black middle class. So from the point of view of the influence of mass action on government, yes, I think they underestimated it. But the effect in the sense of the ANC's motive to unite different factions, I think that was not a success. Politically it was successful from the ANC point of view in the sense that it made the government aware once again of the urgency and the tempo which the situation requires. So, yes, the mass action placed new pressure on the government to find a compromise. In that sense it was successful.

POM     My understanding from the Record of Understanding between the government and the ANC is that even though mass action won't be used to push political issues as such, that COSATU is still taking an independent course of action and remanding to itself the right to engage in mass action and social and economic issues when it wishes to do so.

WDK     I agree to that and that's part of the internal problems within the ANC.

POM     Is COSATU emerging within the ANC as a partner in the alliance with a very clear-cut definite agenda of its own and the power and resources at its disposal to make itself perhaps more loudly heard than other elements in the alliance?

WDK     Yes, yes, definitely so. I would say that the COSATU people, who are also very much influenced by the ideologies of socialism and with their command of the masses, the blue collar workers, COSATU is a very dangerous faction within the ANC and there's a lot of tension between the so-called elitist political leadership and the so-called workers' movement, and that's COSATU, and I know that there's also a lot of tension between Jay Naidoo and some leading figures within the ANC Executive. So that is definitely dangerous and, well, I'm not a prophet, but I foresee that eventually when there will be a final rift between the ANC, and I don't expect that in the next two years or so, but after the interim government is institutionalised I'm sure gradually the rift will more and more come to the fore and it will be between COSATU and the rest.

POM     Where does somebody, and I'm asking you this because I interviewed him recently, somebody like Sam Shilowa stand? Would he be an ally of Jay Naidoo?

WDK     You are talking of whom now?

POM     Sam Shilowa, the Deputy Secretary General of COSATU.

WDK     Yes, I would say they are very close, Naidoo and Sam. I would say they are very close in their motivations and their strategies. But hopefully, and that's still only a hope, some of my ANC friends in the moderate camp assure me that they are still in full control of let's say the Executive of COSATU and that COSATU will fall in line eventually. And the business people, the business community, the black business community people and the white business community people are in very close contact with COSATU in something of persuasion and negotiations and with the so-called economic debate. COSATU is very much part of that, not officially but there are regular meetings between COSATU executives and business leaders. There is initiative still to convert, so to speak, COSATU into a more realistic perspective on the South African economy and the work force and boycotts and all those kinds of things.

POM     OK, we've dealt with mass action. If I'm hearing you correctly summarising it is that it was more successful than the government had anticipated it to be. That it was not very successful in yet uniting the fractious elements within the ANC and that it was partially successful in the sense of making the government more aware that it had to pay more urgent attention to some of the demands of the ANC.

WDK     Yes, that's correct.

POM     Now the Bisho massacre and the impact on the process, and again my context for that is that again from over here I got the impression that the white press, even the liberal white press and the Democratic Party, put a good part of the blame on the ANC itself for provoking a situation that would likely lead to violence whereas the black press saw it very much in terms of once again this was the security forces of the South African state shooting down unarmed blacks. It was a form of polarisation.

WDK     That's a correct assessment. The white press put the blame on the ANC and the general feeling, including that of the Goldstone Commission's investigations, was that the ANC must take most of the blame because they did not honour their agreement in regard to mass action. But the ANC revolutionaries and the black press would then deny their share in the disaster. My information is that this is also political rhetoric. In their inner circles, in the inner circles of the ANC revolutionaries they admit (and that's direct information given to me) that there was provocation on their side and that Ronnie Kasrils overstepped the mark. I believe that good things often follow bad things and this is the reason why I believe that Bisho, specifically Bisho, contributed to a new spirit that reconciliation is urgent and it also contributed to the fact that the Brigadier Gqozo's days, I think, are numbered. His own people and the government are sick and tired of him and there is a lot of pressure on him to change to an interim civil government. So that's the good things that follow out of the bad things. So that's my assessment of the Bisho situation.

POM     Let me ask you a delicate question. I've interviewed Brigadier Gqozo three times in the last three years, do you think he will be around to interview a fourth time or that his days are sufficiently numbered?

WDK     I think his days are numbered really. I know that his days are numbered and I think somewhere today in one of the newspapers, definite signs of a coming clash between Gqozo and the South African government. So I think his days are definitely numbered.

POM     Do you think just on Bisho though that the black community, what was your understanding of how the black community saw it? Did they see it in terms of once again a vicious attack on them that was really propagated by the South African state?

WDK     The locals?

POM     Yes, the grass roots, the ordinary people.

WDK     No I really don't think so. You know the ANC's accusation that the government is behind the violence, etc., etc., etc., that is really losing credibility and if you watch the press carefully you will see that the ANC are talking less about the government's share in violence. They are watering this story down. I do not expect that the ANC will admit to having a share in the violence, you know politicians do not easily admit to being a party to this kind of thing, but I expect that the ANC is more level headed also in their viewpoint on the so-called share of the government in violence. And the Goldstone Commission did not entirely exonerate the police from any blame but, yes, there is a cooling down of this whole thing that the government is the so-called third force, etc., etc.

POM     That was one of the questions I think I had for you, the fact that the ANC has maintained since August of 1990 that the government is behind the violence and the series of questions were - do you think the Goldstone Commission has done a lot to diffuse the credibility of that assertion?

WDK     I think so. I think the Goldstone Commission and the monitors from abroad, from the United Nations and the European community, etc., etc., that they are really, their presence here and the agenda of the Goldstone Commission is definitely very helpful to bring more truth in the whole question of violence. To underline the truth and to show clearly that there's a lot of propaganda going around about violence.

POM     Do you think that the ANC's failure to admit that it has any responsibility for part of the violence?

WDK     I won't say that they will never admit that. I think they are gradually, with the new peace initiatives and the bilateral talks with the government, that there will gradually be the moment when they will admit something of it.

POM     What I'm getting at is do you think that their willingness, at least to date, to refuse to admit that they have had a hand in the violence precludes the question of violence from being fully addressed, i.e. unless they say, yes, we too have been involved therefore we are as culpable as other parties therefore we all must become part of the solution, that that kind of admission is necessary before in fact you can address the question adequately?

WDK     I think so. I definitely think so. And I think it was strategy of the ANC not to admit this and to deny this bluntly. It was a strategy but now at this moment of the whole development I don't think that the ANC will push this point further. [and they will come to something of a ...] Of course we're also part and parcel of the whole profile of violence and let's all the leaders of the South African community address it. I think we're on our way to that kind of situation.

POM     Now going to the Record of Understanding and in fact I was in South Africa just for the day that that Record was published on the 28th September and there was a lot of relief and there seemed to be a general feeling that things were once again headed in the right direction and then immediately you had Buthelezi's response and that dampened the hopes of what it might achieve. Could you evaluate how Buthelezi inserted himself in a very politically astute way into that process?

WDK     I'm sure you're well informed on this. Buthelezi was fully informed about the bilateral discussions between the government and the ANC and he was kept informed about the progress and decisions of these discussions and also of this whole outcome of this discussion. And he agreed in principle and he is trying to assert himself by boycotting negotiations and to use his capacity to exert pressure by involving the CP and Mangope and Oupa Gqozo. But there is the danger that he's starting to mobilise Zulu ethnicity. That's the danger, I think switch it from Inkatha to Zulu ethnicity. But then on the other hand there is resistance against him among the Zulu people, especially those in the PWV area. That's more or less the diagnosis. But again Mr Meyer tells me, in private, that serious talks are being held behind closed doors between the government and Buthelezi and it would appear, still very vague, that the ANC are also working towards a discussion with Buthelezi behind closed doors. I think Buthelezi can delay the process but he cannot derail it.

POM     Yes. But the specific questions I think I had asked you were - I spent quite an amount this summer going around to hostels and talking to hostel workers and residents and mostly they saw themselves as being Zulus who were under siege and it struck me that a bilateral decision between the government and the ANC that mostly Zulu hostels should be fenced in was likely to be a lightning rod for violence.

WDK     Yes, but you see Buthelezi agreed more or less in principle on this too and then he switched all of a sudden in public. And the hostels in question are not all Zulu hostels, there are also Xhosa hostels in question that must be fenced in. So I really think that Buthelezi didn't play the game and that's typical of Buthelezi's political reactions for the last ten years now. That's the problem with Buthelezi. I'm sure that there's not really very deep concern about the whole Buthelezi question but it helps the government in this sense that they can go to the ANC and say, well, we must make some compromises regarding incorporating the King of the Zulus in this negotiation process and that kind of thing if we want Buthelezi with us. So again it cuts both ways. I think Buthelezi is a problem child at this moment in the whole process but then on the other hand it helps the government to activate some compromises with the ANC regarding Buthelezi and the Zulus.

POM     Is there, I think you brought it up earlier, such a thing as the Zulu card that Buthelezi has the capacity to mobilise elements of Zulu nationalism whether it be through the exclusion of the King. Say if the ANC and the government were tomorrow morning to reach a whole set of agreements, does Buthelezi by saying, "I withhold my agreement from these arrangements", can he be a spoiler? Can he for example, in a place like Natal, bring about a situation of endemic, low level civil war where it just destabilises a democracy trying to get on its feet?

WDK     Yes I would say again, I want to use the words you say, yes he can be a spoiler, and this will delay the process and there can't be any settlement without Buthelezi's consent, that's for sure. But Buthelezi is not that important and I think there's a lot of pressure from Kaunda now as you know and also from other black actors on Buthelezi not to be a spoiler. He's playing the Zulu card. He's playing the whole thing and I think initiatives of the government to include the Zulu King in the negotiations and a few other things will - I think Buthelezi will not then be in a situation to mobilise the Zulus and certain compromises will be made by the government with the consent of the ANC.

POM     Turning to the question, this is on page 3, on the political constraints which there was talk of during the summer at least, or your winter, of FW being under, whether he could fully reform the security forces or bring them - whether they were fully under his control. In your opinion are there constraints on the degree to which he can successfully address problems within the security forces?

WDK     Yes. I would say that the security forces are really not per se against new politics. I still believe, and that's more or less my information, that there are individuals and pockets in the security forces who belong to the CP and the AWB. But control over the security forces is not really an essential problem. I don't expect any mobilisation of security forces against the whole reform process. And the security forces are also being restructured at present with better leadership, better training, promotion of blacks to higher ranks and that kind of thing. So really I don't see the security forces as a main actor in politics. I think that's exaggerated.

POM     If you look at the situation over the last several years, what do you see as the major cause of the violence?

     (He went through a list of several factors that contributed towards the violence. One of those he mentioned was the fact of the propensity of countries in Southern Africa in particular to settle disputes through violence. He was wary of stating it in this way because of the potential racial overtones which he thought it might have which he did not wish it to have. We discussed this and he said he would send me on the names of some people who were working in this area.)

POM     Could you just go back for a moment to the one you said could be interpreted as having a racial overtone and it was the manner in which Africa itself dealt with questions of violence, because I think that's all been misunderstood in the west that these things are black and white?

     (Again he mentioned the propensity of countries in Southern Africa in particular to settle disputes directly through violence than through other negotiated means.)

POM     It's an area that I'm very, very interested in, if I drop you a line and remind you could you just send me on the names of some people who are doing work in this area. It's an area in fact that I think - I'd really appreciate that because I think it's a very important factor and one that's very misunderstood or looked at in the West purely in terms of racism where it's not racism at all. This is a simple question but a complex one if you will give me half the answer and it is that in the absence of the violence being brought under control, can you negotiate a successful, stable, political settlement?

     (Yes, he believed that you could in fact negotiate a successful political settlement in the absence of the violence being fairly brought under control even though he believes that the violence in South Africa might last for several generations.)

POM     I have just been going through, that's why I had a question there about your understanding of what the ANC had already agreed to at CODESA before its collapse, because I have been going through a list of the features which the Weekly Mail said have been agreed to. I just want to see if they correspond with your understanding. One was that it had been agreed that regional boundaries and the powers of regional government will be defined in stage 1, prior to elections.

POM     Constitution making bodies for these three channels. Is that your ...? OK. Two that the constitution, the second one was that the powers of the regions would be determined, would be enshrined, the powers of the regions would be defined before the constitution making body would sit and that it would be agreed that the powers of the regions would be enshrined in the constitution.

     (Willem de Klerk agreed with this.)

POM     The ANC walked out of CODESA. They have already agreed to federalism, i.e. in the sense that the powers are not devolved from the centre but the powers are enshrined in the constitution. And two, that they have agreed that the boundaries of the regions will be drawn up in a body other than the Constituent Assembly itself, both of which must make them very nervous.

     (He agreed that they had entered into some agreements that they would rather not have entered into and that would have given them problems.)

POM     Were the ANC out-negotiated by the government in that regard? Or do you think they may lead the government to agree to a settlement where 70% would have been required, or that the government turned down the best offer it could have gotten?

     (He agrees that the government did in fact turn down the best offer that it could have gotten. He refers to this in the first interview that we did.)

POM     Looking at the CODESA process, analytically, before new negotiations get under way, what do you think are the lessons of the CODESA process itself? How do you think it wasn't efficient and how do you think it must be improved if it's to deal with some of the problems?

     (Here he put the emphasis on the fact that the CODESA process was far too unwieldy, that it needed smaller and tighter committees that could operate more efficiently and that there was too much attention given to the smaller parties and not enough of the focus on the necessity for working things out between the major parties, i.e. there should have been more attention given to the bilateral arrangements between the ANC and the government.)

POM     Do you think that the ANC could go back into a new CODESA and say, well we said that nothing was agreed until everything is agreed and we want to re-negotiate our position on how boundaries of districts or regions should be defined, defined within a Constituent Assembly, or do you think what has been agreed upon must be accepted as having been agreed upon?

     (No, he believed that the agreements arranged at CODESA must be kept and that they can't be unilaterally broken by one side and that if one side wanted to re-negotiate something then that the government, for example, would also be open to having some of the positions it had adopted re-negotiated as well.)

     (He believes that the government has been far the more accommodating partner in the last 2½ years because it realises the absolute necessity of reaching a negotiated settlement with the ANC. This it understands more clearly than anything else and that therefore it has been prepared to make concessions to bring the ANC along in the negotiation process.)

POM     There seems to be this one issue, call it the language issue, between the government always speaking the language of power sharing and the ANC talking the language of the transfer of power. That seems to be coming into increasing focus. My understanding is that Mr de Klerk has said that under no circumstances will he accept on behalf of whites a settlement in which there is not real power sharing, that is again power sharing at some executive level which would give the white minority a say in a new government itself. Do you see that as one of those conditions on which it cannot back down?

     (Prof. de Klerk differentiated between two different phases of power sharing. One would be the interim period of power sharing that might last for any place up to two years in which there would be more or less a fifty/fifty sharing of power between the ANC and the government but he thought that both the government, the National Party and the ANC accepted at this point that when a new government under a new constitution, i.e. around 1996, came into effect that that would be a majority government but it would be a majority government in which there would be proportional representation, that it's proportional representation not only in parliament itself but also within the Cabinet. For example, if the National Party were to secure 30% of the votes in an election that the National Party would be entitled to 30% of the seats in a multi-party Cabinet.)

POM     What this means, not being the only model, but one model might be that if the government won 30% of the vote in a national election not only would it have 30% of the seats in parliament but it also would hold 30% of the seats in the Cabinet.

     (Yes, he agreed to this and also brought in the question of there being an Upper House. One of the factors here is that a period of fifty/fifty power sharing during an interim government period would allow for the creation of a climate of trust between the parties.)

POM     You talked about COSATU, which I think you agreed was emerging as a power in its own right, becoming the more assertive partner in the ANC/SACP/COSATU alliance, which still seems to hold out for taking its own position on questions relating to mass action. So the question, I suppose, is, as the political scene develops do you see COSATU emerging more as a political player in its own right as distinct from being a member of the alliance of the ANC?

     (He saw COSATU emerging as a political player in its own right with a very powerful and a very organised constituency but believes that in the short run, however, the ANC could keep COSATU within the umbrella of the alliance.)

POM     Last couple of questions, and again thanks for taking this time and particularly at the moment for bearing with me with all the other things you have on your mind. Since the referendum in March, it strikes me again as an observer, that FW appears to be having a harder time both within his own constituency and within the black constituency and many people have made the point to me that if the referendum that was held in March was held again today it might have a much harder time passing. Do you think he's been going through a more difficult phase? Was it inevitable given the initial successes that he had to go through a more difficult phase? Do you think that this polarisation of attitudes in the white community, hardening against the ANC and that people might not be amenable to passing a referendum in the force they did in March?

     (Yes he agreed that FW has been losing support within both the black community and the white community and that his loss of support within the white community doesn't reflect at the moment any particular threat to his position. Yes, he agreed there is a polarisation of attitudes between the whites and the ANC partly as a consequence of mass action and partly as the economy continues to deteriorate and whites believe that the ANC, or the COSATU/ANC/SACP alliance's actions in regard to the economy show a total disregard for it and its importance for the future. He also referred to the question regarding the increasing propensity on the part of the government to lead the ANC and the SACP together in some kind of radical alliance. He felt that this was a mistake, that the more the government tried to tie the ANC and the SACP together that the more the bonds of loyalty between the two would be reinforced and that what the government had to work at more subtly was to disengage the ANC from the SACP. He did not regard the SACP as being a political party of particular political significance but that it's importance, again, arose from the fact of its having members on the National Executive of the ANC who were in influential positions. However, he did think the attacks by the government on the alliance between the two was a mistake and would only reinforce that alliance, not diminish it.)

POM     The very last question is on what seems to be emerging in the post-CODESA period, was this kind of loose alliance between the Ciskei, KwaZulu, Bop, the CP talking about federalism. You have the government itself putting increasing emphasis on federalism as a possible solution, particularly strong federalism with considerable powers entrenched on the state and local level. Where does the government fit into that kind of alliance between Ciskei, KwaZulu, Bophuthatswana?

     (Professor de Klerk saw the emphasis on federalism as being an emphasis where the government should in fact put its efforts. He thought that the government should not take its eye off the ANC. He was not of the opinion that the alliance between KwaZulu, Bop and Ciskei and elements of the CP was really going to go anywhere. He thought that Brigadier Gqozo, for example, was finished and that we would not be hearing a lot of him in the future. He foresaw a showdown between the government of South Africa and Brigadier Gqozo and saw the government moving the direction of bringing the homelands and the independent states for that matter into a system of regional government and thought that's where its emphasis was going to lie.)

POM     The question was, why doesn't the government deal with the homelands and the independent states by having them fall into line simply by taking away their budgetary resources without which many of them would be so impoverished that they could not survive?

     (Professor de Klerk did not think this was a particularly viable alternative although it might be an alternative of last resort. Instead he put his emphasis on the government's increasing efforts to bring about a system of regional government. On the amnesty question, again, Prof. de Klerk thought the government had to look after the needs and interests of its own constituency and the fact that it was not offering or looking for anything more than what it had negotiated with the ANC put the matter in some perspective. However, it was something that the government needed in order to keep its own constituency in line, in order to bring its own constituency with it as it went forward in the negotiating process.)

POM     If there was anything you had to rewrite in your Seven Forces in our Politics?

WDK     Well I think the seven forces are still going. The dynamics change almost every week. They're still going.

POM     Thank you every so much for your time.

WDK     Thank you very much Mr O'Malley and I'll see you next year then.

POM     Indeed. And I hope the passing of your wife is not too grievous an occasion.

WDK     Thank you very much and it was very nice to see you and good luck with all your work.

POM     Thank you very much.

     (One of the reasons Prof. de Klerk gave for the violence or the continuation of the violence was the politicisation of what he would regard as criminal violence, i.e. the proliferation of gangs being able to marauder or carry out crimes that are then conveniently wrapped up under the label of being political in nature but which are not, which are only just criminal in nature.)

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.