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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

11 Jan 1993: Botha, Louis

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POM     Colonel, the last time we talked, as I recollect, you were convinced that the ANC hadn't given up on the armed struggle and that their ultimate purpose was to seize power rather than to go through any electoral process. What would be your assessment today of where that part of the situation is?

LB     Well as we see it today it would appear that there's been a change of opinion within their leadership. If one can go back to the withdrawal after CODESA and the subsequent problems they've had and this country's experience and then some of the statements made by people like Dr Mandela and Cyril Ramaphosa it would appear that reality has come home and that there is a definite move towards a constitutional settlement, a solution rather. But within the ANC there are certain little groups which are still pushing for "the armed struggle" to go on, but I think they are in the minority.

POM     So as you would look at 1993, what are you expecting to be the major developments?

LB     We had some very good news recently, as recent as last week, with COSAG, the Concerned Group of South Africans consisting of Bophuthatswana, Ciskei, Ulundi, KwaZulu and then one or two of the smaller homelands, including the Conservative Party and then the groups to the right of the government indicating that certain problems or if certain answers are given over certain questions that they would then return en bloc to a CODESA type of conference which, of course, was first class. First class in this aspect that the Conservative Party has never joined CODESA and this would be the first time for them to actually sit down in that type of forum where the ANC and the government are sitting together as well. So, yes, it certainly looks good for the future. It's certainly welcome.

POM     I want to take you back to a couple of events of last year which occurred after we talked, which I think was about 1st August. The first is about the stayaway, the mass action of the early part of August. In this part of the country was that a successful mass action?

LB     Difficult to say in this sense that one must look at it objectively and in order to maintain an objectiveness is very difficult. I would say from my point of view, and this is my personal point of view, that it wasn't such a great success. You will have political figures saying, yes, it was a great success, so somewhere in there lies the truth. The whole idea of the mass action was like the so-called Leipzig option where you roll it and it gets bigger and bigger and then the whole government collapses, you force it into a position. That didn't take place at all, so that's why I say it wasn't such a great success although there were certain concessions made so from the ANC side or then from the mass actors (if that's a correct description) they had success because they attained certain goals as well. So it's very difficult to answer that one objectively.

POM     But was it successful in the sense that most workers here did not work?

LB     On specific days yes. In that sense it was a success but then it has a negative spin-off, your economy suffers and your economy takes a plunge and we are having a bit of a battle with the economy. That's common knowledge and that has caused problems and I think this has contributed to the realism within the ANC. Again, if one looks at some of the public statements by the leadership of the ANC they express concern over the state of the economy and as recently as in the last two weeks on TV some of the leaders of the ANC have indicated that there won't be any mass action this year which would seem to be a realisation that mass action is only going to cause further problems.

POM     When you make an assessment of the ANC or assess it, again objectively, and I remember last year you told me you were going to do an assessment of the CODESA process and I don't know whether you ever got around to doing it or not?

LB     Yes I did.

POM     How do you divide up the ANC, into what categories? Pragmatists, activists, moderates, hard liners, communists, non-communists?

LB     Any organisation no matter where you are has those divisions as you've just mentioned. Yes, they are certainly present within the ANC but that is a straight political question and it's one which I'm going to avoid answering because of the way that things are moving at the moment. I don't want to say yes, A is so-and-so and B is so-and-so, C is so-and-so. I don't want to put labels on people.

POM     Sorry, I don't put a label on specific individuals. I just want to use it for assessment purposes. What are the best categories that you use in order to describe them?

LB     OK. All those categories fit the ANC. They have the pragmatists, they have the ideologists, the ones that cling to the old pre-1990 set-up, they have the younger people, the young Turks if you want to call it that. Yes they have that. They have their realists and I personally like to believe that Nelson Mandela falls in the last category, the realist. He realises where we are going and that we have to come to some type of settlement and the quicker the better for everybody.

POM     The second thing was the retirement, some would say the forced retirement, of a number of senior police officers which was interpreted at least in the media and certainly by the ANC as being de Klerk meeting one of their concessions, i.e. in some form of reform of the SAP itself. How were those retirements taken within the police force?

LB     Some of those Generals, not all of them, were very strong personalities and their sort of ideologies, because although they were members of the force they still had the political line to follow. They would be to the right of the government and it didn't fit in with the government's change and the government announced that and they certainly offered the packages, as I recall, to certain Generals and they took them and others who weren't offered also retired early because they didn't like the way that things were developing and they decided to go. Some of those Generals decided to go because they had the opportunity to go. Again one or two of them would have been transferred elsewhere and they didn't like the transfers at this stage of the set up. There was one General who is at national level. He would have been transferred down to regional level so one could construe that as a demotion and he wasn't prepared to do that. So you have many reasons for the group going.

POM     What I'm getting at is that within the police force itself what kind of impact did it have? Was it seen as de Klerk mollifying the ANC, giving in to what they want? Did it cause forms of demoralisation, especially since it's generally believed that many rank and file of members of the SAP would perhaps be more supporters of the Conservative Party even than the National Party?

LB     I don't know whether I can agree with your last statement. I'll come back to that now because I perceive the younger generation differently. They seem to mix more easily than the middle group. To get back to your statement about the Generals. Yes, within certain quarters of the force the retirement of some of the Generals was negatively received. It's like any big company if the Managing Director or the Directors start leaving it has a negative effect but I think as a whole the reasons given and the direction that the Minister of Law and Order and General van der Merwe spelt out subsequently has been accepted by the members. Let's get back to your last statement that the younger members of the force would tend to go over towards ...

POM     No, I didn't say the younger members, that in general rank and file members ...

LB     General rank and file, yes. I don't think I can agree with that assessment. If one goes to certain areas some of the members yes, but of course you've got to take the averages, you mustn't take the exception and make that the rule, I don't think I can agree with you because I see how the youngsters, and I say the youngsters now the rank and file at junior level are mixing and how they are accepting some of the changes and I think it's very nice. I don't think there are that many problems as people would like to believe there are.

POM     When you look at the townships here, look at the levels of violence that have occurred in them in the last two and a half years, though there was far less here than in the Transvaal, are the youth a continuing problem in the townships even here? Is there the capacity for an explosive outburst? Are the youth here, by your assessment, attracted to what APLA is doing?

LB     Just stop there, you've asked several questions. Let's answer them and see how far we can go. The areas in the Eastern Cape over the last two years have had minor problems in relation to the Transvaal and Natal. Now one of the reasons is that there seem to be fairly stable type of people here. There isn't the political rivalry one has in the Transvaal, the political rivalry one has in Natal. There's mainly one sort of tribe here and those are Xhosas whereas in the Transvaal you have different tribes. In Natal you have different tribes as well. So, yes, there has been less, far less problems here. The potential for violence or for unrest is great. The reasons are the old historical reasons, scarce resources, education, that type of thing which still exists today and it's going to take many, many years, if ever, for that backlog to be wiped out. So the potential for problems is great. There is in the last while sort of (in Afrikaans they use the word 'wedywer') in other words competition for membership. The PAC seems to be wanting to take youngsters, specifically the youth, over from the ANC. But their more radical demands, in certain areas they seem to have succeeded but to what level is very difficult to assess. A lot of the youth are very impatient with the political process. They say it's taking too long to get where we want to be. Now one can sit and talk about this type of thing all day. Their expectations are greater than the practical things which will occur in life but the PAC seems to ignore this and push, "When we take over you will get all this", the old Freedom Charter sort of style. In fact Nelson Mandela the other day warned the ANC members that the road to prosperity is going to take far longer than originally anticipated. Realism. Whereas the PAC have taken an opposing line, "When we take over we're going to take over everything and everybody's going to have everything." So that's very attractive to a person who has not got anything and a person who's not mature, if one can use an expression like that. We realise that you can't take a cake and cut it up so that everybody gets quite a bit, the cake is very small, and you can't take from the strong and give it to the weak and expect the strong to remain strong. So it's very difficult. But the potential for violence is there, yes, unfortunately. And what has contributed to the problems is the border thing right up to Ugie, Elliott and MacLear and then down here the Bisho area, the Ciskei, the activities of the ANC and the PAC across the border, so that has also contributed to a possible problem.

POM     Could you discuss that a little more?

LB     Well if one looks over the last couple of years and specifically the last couple of months at the border area and then let us identify a whole stretch of Transkei from East London right up to the Ugie, Maclear, right up to Aliwal North, that sort of area. Transkei wants historically that portion of the country. They claim it as part of Transkei and it would seem that certain people within Transkei are using the old terror tactics of burning and destroying and stealing cattle and causing a problem for the farmers as a way to get their goal so that the farmers would leave the area and the government would in the end just give it back to Transkei or give it to whoever wants it because it would have no value. So there have been numerous burnings of farms, ground, grass, grazing, attacks on farmers and it would appear that the people have fled back into Transkei in many cases. There have also been attacks identified out of Transkei directly into the Republic. Now one can blame various people over this but the Goldstone Committee is sitting at the present stage and the evidence was led last week. It hasn't been rebutted or refuted and we will see how it goes within the next couple of weeks because we've made certain very strong statements there to the effect that certain organisations, let's name them, APLA is to blame for certain actions, and they certainly haven't taken issue and denied it or brought evidence to the contrary.

POM     What about APLA? It's suddenly sprung from nowhere to receiving a lot of attention and some people say this is because it's because white people are being killed by blacks and not black people by blacks and this changes the dimensions.

LB     I don't think it changes the dimensions. It's just the way it is being done. Your farming community, no matter where you are in the world, are traditionally very conservative and very sensitive and so any attacks launched on them cause a problem for any government. I think if this is the approach, that any attack on them - we were talking about APLA. Yes, there was an interesting article this weekend in the paper which put it into perspective. Prior to 1990 APLA's attacks were always 'militarily' orientated. In other words against the SADF and SAP. Subsequently they seem to have reverted into attacking so-called soft targets. There seems to be a gap between the leadership of the political PAC and the military APLA. One only has to look at the performance of Benny Alexander on TV a little while ago when they taxed him on this to realise that there's a wide gap between the Field Commanders of APLA and the political leadership and it would appear that the political leadership has no control over the military and that has caused problems.

POM     If these kinds of attacks continue do you think there is the possibility that they can destabilise the situation?

LB     Yes definitely. Definitely. The state as recently as December, round about the 10th to the 16th December, sent out a whole group of internal stability units and visible policing people and established bases in the Maclear, Ugie, Elliott area down to Queenstown area to combat crime as a whole and to try and protect the farmers, to try and stabilise the situation. They are still there and how long they are going to be there depends on politics again, when this type of thing can be sorted out. A lot has been said about cross border raids and if these raids continue from Transkei, Transkei denies that it comes from there but all evidence points and from the evidence led at the Goldstone Committee under the chairmanship of Mr Steyn it's very clear that there are specific bases. But, please, when you talk in terms of bases don't think in terms of sandbags, machine gun placements, a firm military type of base. When you talk in terms of an APLA base you're probably talking of a house that they use, a safe house. They use it for a night or two or three and then move on to another house. That is the type of place and I think when people spoke of APLA bases they visualised in their own minds a military base. It's not like that at all. Yes, quite a lot has been said about the possibility of a raid across the border to eliminate or to wipe out, or whatever, these bases, by Minister Kriel. But that's something that the government has to make a decision on. It's not something that the police or the military will make a decision on.

POM     How is General Holomisa perceived by security, by the SAP?

LB     I'm very cautious to answer that one because that can land me knee deep in politics.

POM     It will be years before this will ever come out, if ever.

LB     No, I'm very cautious. I was asked that question by media people. I think on 16th December I was up in the border area with a whole group of media people and the one reporter asked me the same question about lawlessness in Transkei and I said to him, "OK that's a political question. I'm not going to answer it but let me answer it to you in this way. Where do you live?" I knew he lived inside Umtata. He said, "Oh I live in Umtata." So I said, "What is your perception of law and order there?" "Oh", he said, "there's no law and order. It's lawless." So I said, "And then you've got the cheek to ask me to pass a comment on the border. You must just take it through. I'm not even going to reply." So in replying to this, the same applies. My perception is that he has no control or very limited control in Transkei.

POM     Where does control lie?

LB     There's no control anywhere. There's no control in Transkei, very little. They like to believe that they're in power and they control Transkei but all you have to do is get in a car and travel through Transkei. Nobody can guarantee your safety. Now his argument was that this happens in South Africa as well. That may be so but there's a difference in the consequences after that. Here at least your case will get investigated and many times the people responsible are brought to book and your treatment differs widely. So there are differences, although it's very slight, if you're shot, you're shot.

POM     So if you were to look at the Transkei police as a professional force what would your evaluation of them be?

LB     There are some very good policemen there. Let us talk about the vehicle staff, murder and robbery and the stock theft unit and the drug staff. There is very close co-operation between those and their equivalents in South Africa. Apart from that there's very little co-operation. That's a problem that they and us have, stock theft. Stock gets stolen this side of the border and gets taken there and stock gets stolen that side of the border and gets brought this side. So it's a common problem and if we don't co-operate we're never going to get our cases solved. So, yes, certain circumstances have forced close co-operation.

LB     Posturing. Posturing. There's no doubt that he supports the ANC but that's his democratic right. He can support the ANC that's not a problem. But he postures a lot and if you look at it it's a straight political thing. Who recognises Transkei? Only South Africa, nobody else. And we watched with interest the United Nations reaction over his invitation to the United Nations' observers: Come in and come and observe for yourselves now. And we thought it was interesting to see how the United Nations handled this one. I'm talking under correction but I think it was Mrs King, I may be wrong but it was one of the leaders of the United Nations groups that's here, "No go. We can't do it." That's South Africa's problem. And we then waited with bated breath to see whether he would then invite Judge Goldstone. At first he announced he's going to have an independent Judge, he didn't want anything to do with Goldstone. Subsequently he has now said he wants Judge Goldstone. I think that was just a tactical move by him because there's no way that Judge Goldstone can get involved in Transkei as well. He's going to get bogged down in detail, this is what I'm trying to say. He's going to have dozens of little - it's like a Senate hearing, you're going to be splintering of into forty, fifty little groups just now and you're never going to get to the nitty gritty of what you want to and at the end of the day he's supposed to be independent so he'll have to use his own people. The interplay there was interesting for us sitting on the sidelines to see how the United Nations was going to handle that one.

POM     In your estimation, is he aware of APLA safe houses?

LB     He must be aware. He's got an Intelligence Service. He denies that there are any bases, that's his point of departure. He denies that there are any bases and, again, I say when we talk in terms of bases don't think in terms of military bases where they've got bombs and sandbags, because this is what a lot of people, some of our own members, perceive. You hear the comments passed, you talk in terms of bases, you can identify it's that house or that house, but they don't remain in their houses for long periods. It's more in the nature of a safe house where they receive training and then they move on to another house. He must be aware to answer, he must be aware, but he denies that they exist.

POM     There was an article in The Business Day or The Mercury last weekend that made some comparisons between APLA and the IRA, the point being that in the IRA you have a very small number of what would be called volunteers and maybe no more than altogether two hundred who would be called active service volunteers and operate in very small units and yet who manage to tie down thirty thousand troops and police and impose a whole order of coerced security machinery on a society. Do you think APLA has that kind of capacity?

LB     Well it's doing it at the moment isn't it? If one looks at the number of bases that have been established all along the border area and you can attribute that partly or partially to APLA's activities which also then extends into just generally lawlessness, cross-border stealing and that type of thing as well. So, yes, an interesting analogy is that they are very few in numbers, say 800 at the most, if that, but look what they are doing. They have certainly caused a problem for the farmers along the border areas, right up through into the Free State. If you take General Calitz, the Regional Commissioner of the Free State, a while ago last year in December 1992 he placed a policeman on each farm along the border area so that's two hundred policemen staying at farms now, policemen at each farmhouse are just there already excluding the bases which we have created. We've got a whole security apparatus placed in position to protect the farmers and the people there.

POM     Would you characterise the situation on the border as being one of, I hesitate to use the phrase but I will, of low intensity warfare?

LB     You see, again, it's one of those things, low intensity warfare, one has to be very careful. It has the characteristics of a low intensity warfare. I don't say it's got to that stage yet but let's look at it objectively. You have X amount of people, military, SAP in position, you must ask yourself the question why? Look at the number of attacks on farms right down from Queenstown, right through into the Free State, Ficksburg and Ladybrand. Through that whole area there have been attacks. Would that be low intensity war? You see some people, for economic factors, would say no it's not for obvious reasons. In other words you bring up the skeleton of the old Zimbabwe/Rhodesia so they would avoid terminology like that, they would avoid it. Realistically one would say it's a very low intensity but it's there, or the potential is there if it's not there now.

POM     Now the farmers so far have not been taking action on their own, unilaterally?

LB     No you see there has been this thing of the AWB on the far right where they brought in X amount of people to also now come and assist the police on these border patrols. Now for a start officially we can't recognise them and thank them for their assistance because, as I said to one of the reporters the other day, it would be like with the greatest of respect to their efforts, etc. etc., if they really wanted to join the Police Reserve and then we can get you under our command then you're responsible to a central authority. But the way they are now it's like having an operation, let's say appendicitis, and I hesitate to use the word 'witchdoctor', but then suddenly a witchdoctor comes and says now I want to give the doctor who is doing the surgery advice on how to do it. It's not a very good analogy but this is what I'm trying to say. They aren't trained for that type of thing but they are not accountable to anyone so it's a very difficult type of situation. So that is the closest the farmers have come then to doing it for themselves in that Maclear area. I'm very glad that they have not managed to keep this group there for very long. There were financial considerations and they had to withdraw them, because at the end of the day I think that is a police or a military function, specifically a police function and that's where it belongs because if you step across a line, you do things you ought not to do, then you know you've got the member and you can catch him departmentally or criminally whereas with these people it's very difficult.

POM     Contrasting General Holomisa with Brigadier Gqozo, how would you assess - let's first of all talk about Bisho, what happened at Bisho.

LB     There's been so much written about Bisho.

POM     What's your assessment of what the situation was and your assessment of Gqozo as a leader?

LB     Again, who recognises Ciskei? South Africa. One has to look at it in that context. Is he a successful ruler? He's not democratically elected but then half of Africa hasn't got democratically elected rulers, so are they successful? You see it's very difficult to answer and I'm referring in the same token to Transkei, the same situation exists. But he's a ruler, he's there whether he's efficient or not. It's not for me to say.

POM     What was the assessment of the action he took?

LB     The action he took after or during Bisho?

POM     First of all during.

LB     Let's look at that. Again, you can approach Bisho at various directions depending on your political affiliation or your political camp. First of all you'd have to go over who is responsible. There's the Ciskei, South Africa says they are independent they must act by themselves. The world says he's not. Anything that happens there the South African government must be held responsible. So you see it depends on your point of departure. I'm looking now purely as it happened on the ground, just get out of the political arena. A mass march was going to take place, everybody was made aware of it. He said no ways, it's not going to take place. After some negotiation it was decided it could go into that stadium. Wire was put up. Whether we agree with the principles and the politics, let's move that out, let's look at what happened on the ground. Wire was put out, the police were put out, the army was put out and everything went well until a group of people broke away under the direct leadership of Ronnie Kasrils and tried to storm through.

     Now there is still a question mark whether this occurred or not. I wasn't there. I'm just merely regurgitating what was reported. The soldiers on the ground seeing this group break away and coming straight at them must have panicked and this is where the shooting occurred. Now politically everybody is holding the South African government responsible and this is why I say depending how you approach it, the South African government's point is no ways, it's the Ciskei's turf and they are responsible. Then one can say what is his assessment? Militarily speaking one can argue that he should have had people with batons and your next line with shotguns and your next line with - no your first line would be teargas and then the final one would be, as we call it, your sharp ammunition, your R4s, R5s, your machine guns type of thing there. But then again I don't think he's got the manpower or that he's got the finance to afford all those things so one must judge him then again in the context of Africa and get out of our first world mentality into their mentality. They have a different way of doing things than we have. This is no exception to the rest of Africa what occurred there and one must see it in that context.

POM     So taking all these things together, how would you describe your, I won't say change of feelings, how are you feeling differently about the situation today than you were when we talked at the beginning of August.

LB     When we talked at the beginning of August you will recall that I was fairly positive about the changes. I'm still very positive about it and the sooner the political leadership of the country get together round a table and come to some form of agreement or settlement, whatever you want to call it, the better. Then the rest of us can settle down and get on with our task, whatever the tasks may be. So, yes, in view of the COSAG development I'm very positive about it, but realistically positive. It's no good being idealistic and when everything crumbles at your feet you've got to be realistic as well. It's not like switching on an electric light, on and off, that overnight by a couple of meetings everything's going to come to a screeching halt, there's going to be no violence and there's going to be prosperity. That's idealistic because to deal with reality is going to take a bit longer than that. No matter what CODESA or CODESA-like structures decide on it's definitely going to take a bit longer, another two, three years at least. If not longer.

POM     Many people have said to us when we're talking about people like Brigadier Gqozo or Buthelezi for that matter and when they continue to make assertions of their independence and take a line independent from the government that the way the government should deal with them is simply to pull the financial plug. If you had to make an assessment in the case of Ciskei or just in the case of KwaZulu, looking at the resources at their disposal, their armies or their police or whatever, do either of those people have the capacity to be a spoiler?

LB     Yes definitely so. If you look at the Zulus they are the largest tribal group although not all supporting Buthelezi. A larger number supports the King than Buthelezi but at the end of the day they have the potential. If you go into a government, there's a minority government in power now, you could very well get this situation where there would be another minority government in power and you exactly want to get away from that. Everybody talks about the majority or talks about democracy and if you exclude them you're not going to have a democracy. You've excluded them and they are going to be spoilers, yes. So the ideal would be to thrash out all your problems beforehand and then settle down.

POM     But do you think he has the capacity to conduct a low intensity war?

LB     Heaven forbid. If they did then we would have problems. Either of the two. Gqozo to a lesser extent but certainly Buthelezi because, as I say, the Zulus are the largest ethnic group so whether they would all support him is a moot point. Very difficult to assess that. But certainly they have the ability and I think it will be very short sighted to just cut them off and say, right you're excluded now. The same way with the Conservative Party, just to cut them off and say you're not on the train now, I think that would be very short sighted because at the end of the day those people on the far right have the technology and they have the ability to pull a plug which is going to cause a wash-away, if one wants to put it that way, at some stage which will then only lengthen the process and then you could have a backlash, the type of thing that will just carry on. So rather, like with the COSAG group, take the whole group into a CODESA type of thing and sit and talk it out. So that's why I am so enthusiastic about what has occurred. The fact that they have all got together. Look there are still problems, there are still problems. The Conservative Party has not given a firm answer. There are one of two questions which they want answered, whether they will go, but as a whole COSAG has indicated that they will be going and I certainly hope they do.

POM     Do you find now that in the course of your professional duties you have more contact with the ANC?

LB     Yes I have direct contact with the ANC the whole time. Not as ANC, but as community leaders because we deal with communities. We're trying to stay away from this stereotype of I'm ANC, I'm PAC, I'm Inkatha. We deal with the communities. I know it's very difficult to get down to the nitty gritty, but we try and keep away from the political tag when we deal with the things. It so happens that in this area it's chiefly ANC. That's why I say we come into contact. We have a meeting on Wednesday in the hall here with community leaders and it so happens that they are all ANC. The United Nations people are also involved. So, yes, we have meetings the whole time.

POM     Have you found that the quality of those meetings has improved over the years as relationships are developed or are they still as distrustful of you as ever and you of them?

LB     Let me put it this way, what I found at the last meeting that we had in December, and I actually stated it at the meeting, was that a lot of the complaints which the community have can be directly attributed to poor police public relations. Some of those things should never have even been discussed at a meeting like that because of misunderstandings, different perceptions, those things should have been solved at the initial contact and part of our task now is to ensure that these things get solved at the initial contact so that they don't become, not a tactic, so that they don't become luggage which you carry into meetings because those type of meetings in the end get bogged down in all these little things which if the initial contact had been correct it would never have come to the meeting. So that is part of the function. To get back to your question, have the meetings improved? Yes they have improved and all I want to say to you is go and speak to Mrs Howard from United Nations and Mrs King, they will be able to tell you what the quality of the meetings is. But certainly I think that they certainly serve a very useful purpose.

POM     Would there be individuals now in the ANC with whom you have contact, that you've developed a better or more trusting relationship with?

LB     Yes, you do develop, yes that is so. It's still in the early stage but the more you come into contact, the more you talk about these issues, the more they test you with problems and you solve their problems, the more they realise that you are the right person to come to and that we can help each other. Two weeks ago sitting in that chair over there was an ANC member and there was a policeman sitting here and I was sitting at the desk there and it went over a very simple thing. The ANC member was complaining on behalf of another ANC group, or doctor rather, who complained that his cases weren't being attended to. He had reported cases and the cases hadn't been attended to and their perception was that the police were not doing anything at all and they wanted to go to the media. Now the policeman's action from this end was, and we had an opportunity to discuss the case, this is what they've done, this was the classical police work but it wasn't sufficient. And then at the end of the time, by the time they left here they had come to an agreement which they could have come to had both of them used their heads initially but the policeman doesn't want to be told how to do it and the ANC wants to see it out of a different perspective. A different perspective, the doctor wanted to import a lie detector from America. He wanted the people responsible to be put through a test. In this country we don't recognise a lie detector. But to them this was it and they tend to forget that we have a certain legal apparatus. We have to adhere thereto, we can't go beyond it. Beyond that is idealism, just tomfoolery, you're wasting your time. Because even if I then took a lie detector and I did use it in the one thing.

POM     Just lastly Colonel, in your view, and there's more and more talk now of elections, is there a sufficiently good climate in the Eastern Cape that you could have within the next twelve months free and fair elections?

LB     No. We'll have elections but there's no such thing as free and fair elections. Let's get back to elections. There will be elections and I think the Eastern Cape will most probably be the best model, but there is still too much political rivalry. Political rivalry as I said earlier on is fairly stable in the Eastern Cape but the potential is there for problems.

POM     PAC and ANC?

LB     PAC and the ANC, so this is where your problems are going arise. I don't think in the whole of South Africa there will be a free and fair election for many, many years. Intimidation is going to play a part, I'm talking realistically now, I'm not talking idealistically. Idealistically everybody's going to say there's going to be free and fair elections. Realistically, no. There won't be a free and fair election for many years. Again due to many, many years of different things, many, many years of apartheid, many, many years of one group trying to dominate the other group. And there I am referring to the inter-political group, rivalries among the blacks themselves. They are going to be voting also on tribal lines. So, yes, you will have problems for many, many years. Free and fair? No I don't see that. That's idealistic. That's realistically looking at it. But that must not put us off going into that process, you understand? I think that's essential and then the whole system, whatever comes out of it, we're going to have to accept. We may not like it and you're going to certainly hear - I mean one only has to look at the most recent elections in Kenya to realise the type of thing I'm referring to and one is going to get that type of thing happening here as well. Who is going to be the cause, we'll see when that comes but that's the type of thing that we can expect. But then we'll also get one group, be it the AWB, be it the PAC, who are going to reject the findings of the poll no matter what happens. What's going to happen then? So these are questions which will have to be answered before you go into it. As long as you approach it realistically and not idealistically.

POM     OK. Thank you very much again.

LB     A pleasure.

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.