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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

07 Jan 1993: Zuma, Jacob

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POM     Mr Zuma, let me go back to two periods of time. You had the deadlock at CODESA followed by Boipatong and the collapse of CODESA, you had this period in July and August of antagonism between the government and the alliance culminating in the day of the strike at the beginning of August, the march in Pretoria. You had a cooling off period between Mr Mandela and Mr de Klerk, the Record of Understanding followed by what appeared to have been a very successful meeting in the bush at the beginning of December. What accounts for the change in dynamics? Would you run through what were the dynamics that propelled the action along this particular projectory?

JZ     You are saying we start at CODESA 2? Well what happened at CODESA 2? I think, firstly we all went into CODESA with a clear mind that we were going to have very hard negotiations on a number of issues and this was done through the Working Groups since CODESA 1. At a particular time there was a very strong feeling that we need to bring to a close those kind of negotiations because we couldn't negotiate endlessly and that CODESA 2 should come. Now there were a lot of discussions that took place and a lot of agreements that were reached and very good agreements, but as we got into CODESA 2 it was clear there were specific issues we could not conclude and some of these issues became very pertinent to the whole process insofar as we were concerned. We couldn't move without those agreements being reached.

POM     These would specifically relate to?

JZ     Related to how the decisions would be taken and particularly the majorities, what majorities in terms of the decision taken and also our argument against the proposal by the government wanting to have a veto power kind of majority and also to have the second House as the House for veto for minorities. So we couldn't go through that. In a sense that tended to cause a very serious problem. However, CODESA 2 said in a matter of four weeks we should come back with a decision or an agreement, but the manner in which that crisis was handled it was not possible in the circumstances to have the four weeks implemented. The manner in which we dealt with this was how each party explained itself, seeing fault with the other tended even to widen the gap in a way. The government was blaming us, we were blaming the government.

     But as a follow up to that you then had two things that were important in my view, (i) the government continuing governing the country whether CODESA is on or not. With us, therefore, the hopes of having an agreement which would then make a new government come about, being not in a position to move in any way, in other words just remaining where we were. What is often not understood is how the oppressed majority had pinned their hopes to CODESA. For a long time they had never had a possibility where they thought a new government was coming, so CODESA became the main focal point, the main hope of the oppressed. So when CODESA deadlocked unknown to many people those hopes of the many oppressed were dashed.

     So the anger, the frustration, everything, had to emerge as I say with their organisations that were also being frustrated in a sense because you had the government, CODESA is off but the government will continue, now what happens to us? Now if that was the case, we then said we are going for mass action to still struggle and make the people make more demands about bringing about the new government because at the negotiating table we couldn't arrive at an agreement so it means the struggle by the people had to continue. So then we said we need mass action. Now mass action has often been misunderstood because people think that we then went into this mass action just to disrupt life, cause violence but you will appreciate that the frustrated, oppressed majority, if the ANC did not come up with a planned, controlled, disciplined mass action you could have ended up with an uprising uncontrolled, because once their hopes are dashed people had to look at the ANC as the leading organisation, what is it doing? If it was not doing anything they would have done their own thing uncontrolled. So by the ANC planning the mass action helped to discipline the struggle as it has always done. There were then specific actions that were to take place. One of the days that came shortly thereafter was June 16th and it was one of the days that we and the oppressed people, we were going to demonstrate our anger and protest against the government's intransigence. That day went very smoothly and everybody thought that since the ANC has talked about mass action there is going to be violence, but there was no violence on the day to the great disappointment of many.

     Now a day or two thereafter Boipatong emerged. Now those who staged Boipatong tried to prove a point that actually mass action is a violent thing. When there has been no violence why was there mass action? We then had a situation where this massacre of so many people added salt on this sore. We couldn't do otherwise at that point in time. We couldn't, when the atmosphere was like that, fail to indicate because the police, it is very clear and I think evidence shows that they participated in one form or the other. Then we said we can't negotiate. That's what further lengthened the period, so the animosity was more than before so we couldn't go back to talks. Instead of CODESA being deadlocked we actually said we are pulling out of talks and made demands that the government had to meet.

     So the situation then was a big situation how do you deal with that? It took a long time until the National Executive Committee of the ANC met and worked out the demands which were responded to by the government and we responded again in another memo, but we thought it's now going to be a communication kind of channel and we were not keen for that. And a channel of communication was then established between our Secretary General and Roelf Meyer, the Minister of Constitutional Development, to discuss our conditions. The summit emerged with the Record of Understanding and was a culmination of the government's response to our demands. As soon as we reached that many obstacles had been cleared insofar as our views were concerned. Then you had IFP protesting and emerging with this new grouping against the Record of Understanding. That became another new dimension.

POM     Let me back off to another very important thing which in my view happened during that period. With most people who I have interviewed in the ANC and in the National Executive of the Working Group over the last two years one of my standard questions has been: is this a process about the sharing of power or the transfer of power since the government always talks about it as being about the sharing of power? And invariably the response I would get from any member of the ANC was that this is a question of the transfer of power. In October you had Joe Slovo's paper in The African Communist followed by a draft of the Strategic Perspective, followed by debate at the National Working Group, followed by the adoption of a version of the Strategic Perspective. Could you run through the logic and the tensions that were at work during that process? It seems to me to be a fairly fundamental divide between what I would call moderates, if you like, for want of a better word, and more hard line members of the ANC.

JZ     No, I don't think I can discuss that one in that session because I know the first light projecting that situation in that way. Rather the issue at stake is the view of the government and our view. So that was part of the problem, power sharing and the transfer of power. The manner in which the government understands this and it tries to argue and the manner in which we did, I don't think I will discuss what happens in the views of the ANC. Any organisation before it formulates a particular position a debate has been seen in a meeting, it doesn't mean that if somebody shares or argues from a particular angle that then necessarily shows the divide between the moderates and the hard liners. I think even in business companies people don't just agree, they always have different views. What is important is what emerges as a product of a debate or whatever, rather than what debates indicate because otherwise there would be no organisations because people would be just agreeing from their sleep and saying, fine, I dreamt this agreement. Particularly in politics people do have different views on different matters. That is why in conferences items are debated, at times not necessarily agreed on consensus and people vote on the issues and once the majority has said this is our position, that becomes the position. What we have to look at is the position that emerges rather than how the process moved. So I wouldn't debate that one insofar as what was the debate internally in the ANC. We have been debating a lot of things. I remember in 1960 when the ANC was banned, the debate about non-violent struggle and the armed struggle was a serious debate. We have always had, because of the nature of our country, happenings that generate debate in the ANC.

     But the point that I would like to get into is the issue of power sharing as understood by the government. The government says you need power sharing and provisions as to the details of it should be worked out, should be entrenched in the constitution so that they are going to have a situation where the constitution is going to mean all parties are government whether they have won the majority or not, by constitution. Now that is, in our view, the government or the National Party trying to work out almost a veto power situation. They have been governing on simple majority in this country, not because the situation is changing. They have never considered the minorities that during their time the minority rights or minority powers should be entrenched in the constitution, that they are part of a government. They are talking about a kind of an enforced coalition constitutionally enforced. Now we say that's not the point. We want the transfer of power. There is nothing that has changed in what we are saying. What we are saying is because of the South African situation you have got to recognise the fact that for a period you have got to govern in some partnership of some kind, and there is good reason. And we say that does not need to be entrenched in the constitution. The party that has won elections should win elections. However an arrangement should be there as to how other parties come in, we are talking of government of national unity. We think that is important. It could be an agreed point but we don't want it entrenched in the constitution. The constitution must be very clear. In the debates, in the negotiations you could emerge with different arrangements. You could, for example, agree that for a certain period you could have this entrenched and after this period it is not there.

POM     You could have a clause entrenched in the constitution for ten years?

JZ     Not necessarily ten years, could be five. I'm just saying, depending on the argument as we emerge, you could have no clause at all, have a general agreement as we have been agreeing with the government over a number of issues, that at first we'll do this. People may feel we can't trust another party once it takes over and you could emerge with that one. Now I'm merely painting a scenario, that the government says let it be entrenched permanently in the constitution. Now we don't agree with that. It is a transfer of power even if you have an arrangement that says for a year or two or three, after this then because you have specific reasons why you do so. After that you get back to the normal accepted universal situation. That's the transfer of power. In other words where the majority exercises its power. We are looking at the situation very objectively, that in this country because of the apartheid system it's not, it's that, without the constitution, written up in the constitution, politically speaking, you can't say one party must just rule on its own over everybody else because we feel there are dynamics that need to be taken into consideration, there are sensitivities you need to be aware of.

POM     Such as?

JZ     Such as the fact that if you take the white fears, for example, white fears, they fear that a black government will revenge [a black government will do a ...]. Now no matter how correct you are politically, it is a fear, it is a perception. We think we need to address those. Now to address those you may come to a situation where you say, when we are governing you do need to incorporate, even if they did not necessarily win elections, but to have some people that the white community will have confidence in, in government, they will feel at least they were part of it. Equally, if the National Party could win the election they can't hope that the black people will feel there's been a change in South Africa. If De Klerk won the election they will still feel nothing has changed. I am sure De Klerk himself will have to say what kind of other people do I bring in so that you do away with those perceptions.

     Now this is what we are addressing in the document we are talking about. That you have got to accommodate the partnership kind of situation in order to run the country for the betterment of our people, not as a situation that reverses our position of the transfer of power. Transfer of power means that people vote for a particular party that wins. That's the transfer of power. How that party utilises the power in terms of dealing with its perceptions, that's something else. Whilst the National Party says whatever majority is there, it means nothing whether they have got a majority or whatever because the entrenched constitutional thing works. That's the difference I think between the two approaches.

POM     My understanding was that two years ago ANC members would have talked about a voluntary coalition, but you're talking of a voluntary government of national reconciliation, and the government is still saying we want things entrenched permanently in the constitution. Now you've moved a little bit, it seems to me.

JZ     We're still saying 'voluntary'. We still say 'voluntary'. We've not moved, I don't think we've moved, we're still voluntary. With all what we have now said we have seen the necessity of it. At that time we were saying if you want to you could do it. We are now saying it is necessary to do that voluntarily.

POM     It's necessary to do it voluntarily. And that may result in some clauses in the constitution?

JZ     No, no. We are not necessarily saying so in the constitution. The point I was making about the clause in the constitution is we are saying voluntarily that is what we need to do. But we are saying that as a result of negotiations you may end up with such a clause in terms of limited terms. That's not our position. I'm merely trying to show that rather than to take the extreme of the government, to have a permanent thing, as a result of negotiations a possibility exists that you may end up with some clause for a limited time, etc. It's not yet our position.

POM     Generally was the thesis of Mr Slovo's paper that even though you have an election today, tomorrow you will inherit the entire state apparatus and if the entire state apparatus is hostile to you, particularly in the vast and bureaucratic civil service and in a vast and right wing security apparatus, that those two forces can operate to destabilise you very easily in the short run and prevent you from achieving your objectives and that therefore some way must be found to more or less co-opt them, to make them part of the process of change itself?

JZ     I think over some of the factors that objectively speaking have to be taken into consideration, there are two factors in this country if you want to simplify the political equation, that you have got to look at which argue eloquently for the necessity of some partnership. The government on the one hand possesses that kind of state machinery which would include security forces, etc. Now if you moved into that situation with that hostile kind of situation as a new government they could actually make you ineffective in running the government. That's a reality unless you have the way to handle that. You can't be negative towards them because they've got that kind of capacity to undermine the new government. Equally, the current government does not have any political support or political legitimacy. With its capacity of the state it cannot run the state because we can undermine it politically because we have got massive political power in the country. So there are these two powers that if you look at the situation objectively they have got to say, how then do you make these two? If I could simplify the capacity of the state which has been totally white and the security forces, etc., and the political - how do you do this? If we took the political power you could be undermined by the capacity of this. If they maintained it we could undermine them with our political power. So you have got to be objective to say how do you balance this, how do you make these, produce the good for the country rather than to be in contradiction inside and therefore make nothing move forward. I think that approach tends, perhaps in a roundabout way, to deal with this reality, how to deal with it. The government perhaps might have been aware of this and would then say you can't move, you've got to entrench things here so that these things we could move together. We say, we can't do so even for these factors. You can't then make an artificial thing in the constitution and force coalitions. You can't. It's a political situation that you have got to agree and look at and understand and say how do you handle it politically? And that's how we look at it.

POM     Just to recap, to make sure I've got it accurately. You began with the position where there would be a transfer of power and with any coalitions a partnership should be voluntarily correct, and you move to a position that it should be a transfer of power but that voluntary partnerships will be necessary.

JZ     Yes.

POM     For a period of time. That's about as far as you go to. What's happened to De Klerk in the last six months? Last March he came riding out of the white referendum like a knight on a horse. He had all this acclaim around the world for two years for the reform which he was making and he always seemed to be the initiator over all the process. Everything he did seemed to go right, now everything he seems to do seems to go wrong, as though he's lost his touch, he's had it. A series of scandals in his government, resignations of members of his government, revelations of the Goldstone Commission regarding the activities of Military Intelligence, you have the action he had to take in firing or suspending 23 Generals. And yet when that happened the ANC didn't kind of jump down his neck and say, we told you all along, we've been telling you for two years that elements in your military have been up dirty tricks. You kind of stepped back. Do you see him as becoming weak to the point that he may lose his ability to deliver his constituency, that the stresses and strains within his own party might overtake him? Do you see a fairly strong De Klerk negotiating with you?

JZ     I think we have known De Klerk for many years, known the National Party. We knew that the world was reading De Klerk artificially, not in reality. Part of that is correct but parts of it not at all correct. We have known that the National Party had developed a tradition, in fact since the sixties, a tradition of moderate and hard liners, since the sixties, during the time of Hertzog, during Vorster's time, etc. That had become a sort of tradition in the National Party so we knew that and that those who tried to move correctly at a certain point will have to stop. In fact if you know how Dr Verwoerd ended his reign you will realise, he was actually murdered right in parliament because he had reached a point where, I am sure, he could not move any further. If you look at Vorster who took over, how he himself was made to bow out of the state by PW Botha, you will realise the problem after the Muldergate scandals, etc. You will realise, much as he had suffered a stroke, PW Botha, but how he moved out of power it was not pleasant at all when De Klerk came in. The tradition within the National Party, people have followed it, wouldn't be surprised to find De Klerk going up and down in terms of what he's trying to do. De Klerk would have issues but they have moved faster, swifter to a new South Africa before many things happened. A lot of things have happened around De Klerk. Very key Ministers just disappeared out of exhaustion. I mean it's unheard of, it's unusual.

POM     A lot of exhaustion, it's one of these phrases that's a euphemism for something else.

JZ     Exactly. And nobody has explained why key fellows, Gerrit Viljoen was actually number two in seniority, Barend du Plessis very senior, very powerful. But that I think explains the problem De Klerk has and because he can't pretend he did not know what the security forces were doing and if I was in his shoes I would say before any blanket is taken off I should move as fast as possible. I think the recent period was time catching up with De Klerk in reality and if he doesn't move further time will even catch up with him more seriously because there's a lot wrong in the decades and decades of apartheid rule in South Africa. So to us it was not a surprise. We had always said the world is misreading the National Party, they are reading into De Klerk too much as an individual. De Klerk himself as an individual, if you had followed him before he became the head of state, you would know what positions he occupied and what line he pushed. That's why I'm saying it's traditionally the National Party. We did not think we should take advantage of this and then hammer out the situation simply because all what happened confirmed in any case all what we've been saying, so we didn't need to repeat what we've been saying. And secondly, it is a fact that you need a De Klerk, to negotiate with De Klerk a new South Africa, because at least he does have a vision of a new South Africa. We may differ, but he does want to move. So if De Klerk goes and we got somebody else we don't know, you may actually end up with this whole process being reversed or totally discredited.

POM     That's my question, do you need to have de Klerk?

JZ     So you do need to have De Klerk who has some muscle to negotiate and deliver his constituency. I think any negotiator would say that because otherwise if De Klerk was not there you may end up with splinters and a lot of problems and the process will be more difficult.

POM     Do you think that De Klerk is in control of the security forces or that in a way over the years he has been hostage to them, that while he may have known of certain activities that were going on or may not have known, that he couldn't take drastic unilateral action because the military would either move against him or because there are enough dirty secrets hanging around since the bad old days that he can be tarred and feathered as quickly as anybody else?

JZ     That is a complicated matter in the South African scene. I think many of the factors that you mention were there. One, hostage. Hostage from the point of view that with the period I have just referred to in South Africa you had in Vorster's time, South Africa was a police state, out and out. You had PW Botha's time, South Africa became a military state. So the security forces were actually the ones that were running the country in reality. If you had De Klerk coming in to try to bring a civilian element of government, to begin to shift the security power, it's not a small thing. He couldn't do that within the short space of time that De Klerk has been in power. If he had been in power for a long time it would have needed a long period to shift them bit by bit, very strong, very sensitive kind of situation that we're dealing with. So I think he's a hostage of some kind. My view is that he knew many things are wrong but he prayed, please if these things cannot be revealed things could move smoother. But the quicker he moved, the more worries with the security forces, what is going to happen to us when the new South Africa emerges? So they were more jittery, more uncertain and because they couldn't challenge him openly because he had the political power and he was thinking how to deal with it, if you remember he removed some ministers and tried to place others, and they would therefore resort to violence so that the situation must be more difficult and they must use their technical know-how to perpetuate violence which would be one thing to delay the process until they are settled in their minds as to what is going to happen. So he has been a hostage.

POM     So in a way there were certain constraints on him, how fast he could move. So on the one hand when you say, if I had been De Klerk I would have moved a lot faster and on the other hand there were constraints?

JZ     There were constraints on his side which then made him a victim and because of those constraints, by allowing those constraints, that allowed time for many things to happen and much if he moved, if he moved swifter, nothing would have happened wrongly on him. But because he has been part of the system it was not easy for him to move. In his own analysis it would make him to arrive at the wrong answers and that's why he then did not move swiftly enough. He moved very slowly and therefore allowing more things to happen and therefore more difficult the situation became.

POM     Since you've come back to the country and in all your dealings with ministers on a formal and informal level, have any of them ever said to you that apartheid was wrong?

JZ     I think that has been said repeatedly. They have said that. I think that one is an accepted thing they would say without hesitation, that apartheid, they were pursuing the wrong policy. They have said so, formally and informally.

POM     Wrong in a moral sense or just wrong because it didn't work?

JZ     Not that it didn't work, actually wrong in the moral sense. Wrong because they started looking at the other group of people wrongly and they were making a mistake. I think that's what they accept, at least those that one has dealt with.

POM     So on the question of an amnesty, the ANC's position now is that there should be disclosure and the naming of individuals who did wrongdoing?

JZ     That's our view. If you are giving an amnesty to an individual, what is it that you have given an amnesty for? You can't just give a blanket amnesty, you don't know what the person did. You need to know so that you are clear, even your conscience is clear that this person did A, B, C, D and has now been pardoned. You can't just pardon a person when you don't know what the person did. He says, "I did wrong things". What? I just need a general pardon. I mean we think so.

POM     Would the ANC adopt a similar attitude towards the investigations it's been carrying out into the wrongdoings in camps in Angola and Tanzania?

JZ     Of course. We will pursue that policy that we have been pursuing all the time.

POM     Will it be equally balanced on both sides?

JZ     Yes. When the ANC people started coming back they actually had to disclose what things they sought indemnity for to the government. Why can't they do the same? We have already done it. The other point on that one that we have argued very much, the government can't indemnify itself. We think the government of national unity is the most appropriate body to do that, it would never leave things uncertain in anybody's mind. It will be first a political wing and a political decision, collectively taken so when we say we pardon everybody, we pardon everybody together jointly, because in this case it means we should pardon our own people, Matanzima should pardon his own people. It doesn't work that way because it looks like you are covering up something for what good reason? You may actually end up working with somebody in a new government who is actually a criminal and you don't know. And yet if that somebody is pardoned and said, "Look I did this because there was war, this is what happened, but now I think I'm changing", even if you work with that person in future, you know I'm working with a person who has a background but now is a changed person. You don't work with a person thinking he is actually thinking he is an innocent person and yet the person is a criminal. That becomes a problem to us.

POM     The Buthelezi factor and we talked about this the last time, now he's moved one step further. He has called for this constitution for a Natal/KwaZulu state, he has openly said he is going to establish a federation, that it would be better to negotiate with the government and ANC or anybody else around the existence of that federation. This has attracted support from the National Party in Natal, the Provincial Administration there supports him in what he's doing. One, how seriously must he be taken? And what kind of steps can be taken to accommodate him? Two, does he have the capacity to become a Savimbi of sorts, that he can indefinitely disrupt Natal with this low level civil war? Three, unless he's brought into the process and accommodated in some way, can you have a lasting, stable settlement in South Africa?

JZ     Well I don't know whether I will answer the questions the way you pose them. I don't think in political life a person who is a political and who has any measure of support should not be taken seriously. I think any politician who doesn't take another political person who differs with him seriously, it means he's not taking himself seriously. If anything happens in politics, no matter what views you have about individuals, the fact of the matter is that politicians can grow no matter what way and so you have to take anybody seriously. I think our approach has been to take every political group in the country seriously. Thus we called for the All-Party Congress which led to CODESA. Thus we didn't say, because we have been fighting with the South African government we are the only ones to negotiate a solution. We said every political grouping and administration should come. It's precisely because we treat everybody seriously. So I think that should be very clear. It's not just because of Chief Minister Buthelezi only.

     But if I were to look into what he has done I think in the South African setting there is nothing strange in my view. You have the national government that created a situation in the country, homelands and everything, and we have since taken that on negotiations because we said no matter we disagreed with it, they are now a factor we've got to deal with and that includes KwaZulu and includes the IFP. I think what the Chief Minister has done is to fight his political battle and it is difficult for politicians to say, to prescribe how they should behave in their political life. Some of them go to armed struggle and some of them take the other routes. He has decided to come up with his own views about how he sees the constitutional setting in South Africa. We may quarrel with the manner in which he is doing it but I think that's how he has thought he should work out the issue because at the end of the day a self-government can't declare unilateral independence. I mean it's not possible. Even the so-called independent states in South Africa, once we reach a solution they are not going to exist even if they didn't want to come in, because at the end of the day they are not countries, they are part of South African territory. [The reality will be ...]

     I think what the IFP has done is to fight, is to try to prevent, they have actually said in the broader negotiations they will bring their declarations as conditional proposals to be debated. Once they say so, it means they are, therefore, ready to listen to other people's debates, as other people will have to listen to their debates. People should be ready to compromise. That's what negotiations are all about. Once you have accepted the principle of negotiations it means you are accepting the principle that you will have to listen to the other view and perhaps take certain things from that view and also give away certain things from your own view. Now to me that is key. How the issues are made, how they are politicised, how they are made graphic, that's a different matter. As I say it's a stance, the methods that politicians use. I don't think you can end up with Natal being a problem unless all of us are not able to handle our country.

     But it's not only Natal. You've got Bophuthatswana where Mangope says this is the land of the Tswanas and it is not South Africa. So you have a situation of that nature. You have got the Ciskei saying the same, we will only go to South Africa if our country will benefit. You have got the white right, the Afrikaners, who don't have a territory, who say we want a territory of our own. So that is nothing strange in the South African setting of these kind of claims. We believe they should all come together. We should debate the matter. I don't think we will fail to reach agreement, particularly because in the process of negotiations the manner in which we are saying how the regional government should be, the local government, the national government, to me there is very little that will make all of us decide. We met with the Afrikaner group, the one that broke away from the CP. When we presented our views they actually said, look it's a view that we could discuss. And yet they would like to have their own country. And they start from the premise when they introduced their view, we want a country of our own, but they are ready to discuss, debate the issue. They are actually worse than the IFP which is part of South Africa, which is part of the negotiating process. So I think there is more exaggeration in what people are saying than how they are looking at the situation. But it will not be Buthelezi only. Any other political force, if it is not properly handled and is not brought into the process, it will actually cause a problem. So to me it is not only the IFP per se it's how you handle a multi kind of society politically speaking, like South Africa. How do you handle that and ensure that everybody feels he's part of the process and is therefore part of the solution as well.

POM     I don't want to make an analogy, but the events of the last 18 months in Yugoslavia where you had consultation, you had negotiations and then you slowly had slippage, different kinds of leaders declared different kinds of power and began to consolidate their own bases that has resulted in massive slaughter, introducing new phrases like 'ethnic cleansing' into the language. Do you think that gives people ideas as to what they can get away with?

JZ     It could but it's actually, it would be an unfitting knowledge because when you are talking of ethnic groupings they are very homogeneous, very united. In South Africa if you take Natal, it is not homogeneous. You have got a very strong ANC support in Natal. You then have the IFP in Natal. So it's not as if you were talking of one group of people like the Zulus who would say we don't have to have anything to do with anyone. Natal itself cannot agree to the view that it goes away. Already the three ANC regions in Natal have come up to say this cannot happen. So we are not, therefore, looking at that situation where you have one ethnic grouping standing on one side and eliminating the other because in Natal it is not the ethnicity in the main as people say. It's actually political differences. I mean the violence that you are talking about is more in Natal than anywhere else and it is, therefore, more among one tribal group so that grouping can't stand aside and fight everybody else.

POM     This is the last question because I know you have another meeting. If one looks at recent elections, including Kenya and Ethiopia as they move towards multi-party democracy, the ANC wants an election sooner rather than later and experience in other countries shows that the sooner you go the less prepared the people who are out of power are for the election, the lower the turnout and the more time they spend in preparation for an election the better they are likely to do. Why are you insisting on an election sooner rather than later? Are you convinced that voter education, registration, National Election Commission, that all of these things would be hammered out to your satisfaction before?

JZ     No. Firstly we cannot compare South Africa to what is happening mainly in Africa. We can't. You are looking at Zambia, Angola, Kenya. You are looking at countries that were decolonised more than a decade ago, countries that have been ruling themselves. The issue there has not been the liberation of people. The issue has been democratisation by the same people who are ruling. In South Africa the difference is that we are looking at a situation where the first elections is not to correct, like in these countries, an African government that has been there or a conflict among Africans, we are looking at a situation where there are two things involved. Democratisation and liberation at the same time. So the liberation factor is more important here because as long as we have not had elections we have never had a situation of a legitimate kind of government here. We have not had liberation. So the quicker we are liberated the better. We can then go back to what Kenya is doing, to what any other person is doing. At the moment we are actually at the point which they were doing before 1960 just to attain independence in the first instance. I think that's an important distinction to make, that South Africa has two elements, democratisation and liberation. The elections you are talking about carry those two elements, therefore they differ from many. Leaving aside that, even in terms of political development, economical development, we are slightly different from those countries, just leaving aside those factors. But I think it's important to bear this in mind that there are two factors here, that the internal colonial power for the first time will be decolonisation and liberation and therefore democratisation at the same time, so these elections carry many things. That's why we cannot wait. We need to be liberated in the first instance so that the process that follows will be part of the process leading up to the second elections which will then be like any other election that is taking place in Africa.

POM     Have you time for one more question?

JZ     No, I am pressed for time.

POM     OK, thank you very much again for the time and I'll be back in about five or six months.

JZ     The situation will have changed.

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.