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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.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

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POM     Rory it's been eighteen months since we last talked and I assume you got copies of the transcript.

RR     I did, thank you very much. I'm always amazed as to how intelligent and how stupid one is.

POM     Just looking at the situation now, where do you think things are at? If I take the phase from the deadlock at CODESA in May, Boipatong and the collapse of CODESA, the mass action in August and September, the hostility between the government and the ANC, then the meeting between Mandela and De Klerk resulting in the Record of Understanding, Buthelezi stepping out to do his own thing and the meetings in the bush and everyone seems geared up for a resumption of multi-party talks and for elections for an interim government at the end of this year or at the latest the beginning of 1994. Could you speak of the dynamics of the flows that were going on during this period as you see them?

RR     All right, again sort of thinking as I talk and talking as I think. The big issue, the core issue up ahead of us is the question of an election, the possibility of for the first time ever a universal franchise, all adults, all races, South Africans coming out to vote their political preferences and that's the issue that will both concentrate people's minds on the one hand and on the other hand will be the thing that will be behind people's thinking when they are going through whole ranges of other sorts of behaviour and activities. To talk briefly firstly about the election. When will it be? We don't know yet. The National Party suggested a timetable that has I think in March/April 1994. The African National Congress immediately responded to that by demanding that it should be in October 1993. If I was to put money on it, and I in fact nearly encouraged a friend of mine in the ANC to put his Christmas turkey on it this coming year, I don't think we'll see an election this year and I think that it will be later rather than sooner. My earliest prediction would be about the middle of 1994. Despite that, and it seems a long time away, it will build in the course of this year to being an obsession in South Africa. The overriding issue will be buried under market research done by hundreds of institutions showing that the ANC up two points, down two points and Inkatha is up one point, down one point, etc., etc., as we go along towards it.

POM     Why do you assume it will be later rather than earlier? And in whose benefit is it to be later rather than earlier?

RR     It's plainly in the National Party's benefit for it to be later rather than earlier for a couple of reasons. Firstly, who would have said in February 1990 that three years later De Klerk and the National Party would still be in complete control of South Africa despite the fact that Mandela was released, the ANC was unbanned and the negotiated political process has been commissioned. De Klerk is still in control of the entire structure of the country, most particularly the broadcast media, the important broadcast media. He's in no hurry to get rid of that position. He's accepted that he has to but there's no hurry on that and the longer he can keep SABC/SATV under his control the better for him in terms of the election prospects. So there's a very real interest on his side to make sure that it takes longer rather than shorter.

     On the other hand, on the ANC side, I think there are an enormous number of skills to pick up and an enormous number of structures to be put into place before they are going to be capable of getting out their voters. As I think we might have spoken of last time I was then, I think, either in the Democratic Party or very recently in the ANC and I now have been in the ANC for quite some time and just how formidable the logistical tasks of getting the ANC's people to the polls is going to be is beyond my mind's capacity to comprehend. What are we going to do with farm workers in the middle of the Karoo, farm labourers? How are we going to get them to the polls? How are we going to get any information at all through to the people who are living in such conditions? And it's not a few people, it's hundreds of thousands of people, what could be the numbers that could turn an election are living in little platteland dorps and back of the Transkei places that are - there's just such work to be done by the ANC before they are ready for this election.

POM     But then shouldn't later suit them rather than earlier too?

RR     Certainly. If it looked like there was going to be an election in March this year I think the ANC would hit full panic buttons. It just couldn't do it. I think there are formidable forces to delay it and the most obvious of which - what the National Party has, which is a very important card for being able to delay the matter, is the situation of the Bantustans. The National Party has said that it is intolerable that foreign nationals should vote in a South African election and the government of Bophuthatswana says that there's no way an election in South Africa is also going to be an election in Bophuthatswana without the process having been fully negotiated with them. These issues have to be settled. Bophuthatswana and the Ciskei most particularly are playing wild cards here and they are demanding a better deal before they become part of an election process in South Africa, they are demanding whole ranges of provisions that they plainly not going to get. So this process still has to be seen through and it can be delayed a hell of a long time through that process so I think it's going to be much slower than many people might anticipate because of those sorts of logistics.

POM     To go back to the question of the ebb and flow of the dynamics.

RR     The dynamics that it has around it, political actors, political players should never be criticised for the fact that they know and understand the importance of political power. Power is what politics is about, getting into power and staying in power and the National Party and the ANC and other players also realise how absolutely important the business of staying in power is and that election is plainly going to be where they are going to be testing those issues, whether the National Party is going to remain in power and how it's going to remain in power, that election will tell. The National Party has no intention of being out of power. From those factors it has constructed this elaborate set of - well it's looking at a couple of things. It's looking at the possibility of winning that election and I think there are some people in the National Party who actually believe that they could win that election, but I think wiser people in the National Party realise that that might be a forlorn proposition. The second thing that they want to do is make damn sure the ANC isn't so big that it will win. So if they can do anything to disaggregate the ANC, to tear it to pieces, to break it into chunks, they will follow those strategies as far as they possibly can.

     And the third thing the National Party is attempting to do is to devise as a constitutional principle what they call power sharing and the top line and the bottom line of power sharing. It seems to me to be that the best deal the National Party would get on power sharing would be the one they have been talking about in their model constitution where there would be a tripartite presidency and no legislation would come before parliament unless it had been agreed by consensus by those three parties and plainly the National Party anticipates being one of those three parties. So the best power sharing option they can get, which is the one they propose, is that no legislation would reach parliament unless they had approved it. That's a pretty good deal for a minority party. The bottom line of power sharing, that's the best option of power sharing for the National Party, the lowest one they seem to be willing to bite would be that a party with about 15% or 20% support would be in a position to veto any legislation that it found to be obnoxious for one reason or another. That's the other face of power sharing that they're determined to see written in as a constitutional principle.

     So they've got this three part agenda running in the National Party. One to try and win the election, two to make sure that the ANC can't win it outright, and three to have the election in terms of constitutional principles which would leave them in a position where they could effectively command legislation in the future South Africa. Now that's a pretty tough profile. The ANC obviously should not be expected to be wonderfully enthusiastic about this. It has another agenda entirely. It's agenda is also to take power in South Africa which it feels has always been its birthright, and to take power in a way that it can actually govern without being totally hamstrung by minority parties through power sharing arrangements. So I think that there's still a hell of a lot of struggle ahead of us to either alter the National Party's conception of how the future of South Africa would be on the one hand or for the ANC to lose ground and have to accept a compromise set of arrangements.

POM     Has not the ANC already come some way towards doing that when they adopted this document Strategic Perspective?

RR     Yes. They've been kite flying. They've been flying ideas in front of their people in order for their people to become accustomed to the fact that they are going to have to deal with the National Party in some way or other in the future. What that ANC strategic objectives document said was that it's very likely that the ANC - it's a sort of sunset clause arrangement. For a limited period of time, like the 10% or 20% of the seats in the Zimbabwe House were retained for whites, that for a limited period of time they would go into a joint government arrangement with the National Party or other minority parties as long as those minority parties were not going to be in a position to totally incapacitate the majority party's ability to govern. So that's a kite flying arrangement. That isn't a serious offer, I don't think, in the sense that what they are really saying is that we would just like to co-opt you guys just to make damned sure we can govern. We can give Buthelezi, like Savimbi was offered Minister of Culture or something or Minister of Brutal Hostels, we can give De Klerk Minister of Internal Dynamics, but we will govern. So what they were doing was two things. They were putting forward what was to their opponents a facetious offer, an offer that couldn't really be taken seriously because obviously it isn't a power sharing option, but on the other hand what they are doing to their followers is saying, look we're going to have to do a deal somehow, we can't just take power, take the flag down on the Union Buildings and put a new one up with a tank in front and say here we are. There are going to be heavy compromises made and there are going to have to be deals done with other parties.

POM     This is what I tried to get you to go through for me. At the beginning of this summer after the collapse of CODESA you had a lot of talk about the Leipzig option and rolling mass mobilisation and the insurrectionist model of the seizure of power and for a period there it looked as though the moderate voices were dulled, you did not hear from them, you were hearing from the more radical. Now there seems to have been, not an 180 degree turn, but certainly the more pragmatic seem to be once again asserting themselves and not talking about a Leipzig option but actually saying this time we're going to have to cut some heavy compromises here if we're to get our way. What's been going on within the movement to account for these shifts?

RR     Let me try and give you two explanations one of which is a sinister one and the other which is a less sinister one. The sinister explanation operates something like this; that somewhere in the corridors of government or in the corridors of the military apparatus which is operating independently of government, which I doubt, men sat down and said, look the ANC is going to hold a march into Bisho. Gqozo has no following whatsoever - he's an old friend of yours, I remember you had met him last time we saw each other. Gqozo is the soft option Bantustan, it could well be that they could crack Gqozo and dump that thing and they would have to put in a minister as an Administrator and it would be a massive symbolic victory for the ANC and would consolidate their hold again in the Eastern Cape and would take away one bridgehead of support for the National Party within the African community. And if Gqozo goes on Friday, Mangope has got himself a massive problem next Tuesday and because Mangope's hold on power is better than Gqozo's by a hell of a long way, but it's also very tenuous, and if mass action wins in the Ciskei it could win also in Bophuthatswana and if it wins in Bophuthatswana it could also win in KwaZulu and then all of those bridgeheads of conservative black voices who can be the only way the National Party can get into African communities in an election arrangement are gone. We can't let this happen, say these heavy number of people in the political or military structures.

     You must remember behind it also is the election, as I've said, and the National Party looks at market research now that shows that it has control of the white community, or dominance in the white community, dominance in the Coloured community, dominance in the Asian community. It's got that. It's got fuck all from the African community and that's where the people are and because of its history of not getting anywhere there. It might have a little bit here and a little bit there but it's not breaking that wall. The only way it can break those walls is with alliances by Buthelezi and others and hence that strategy is there. So now these guys are sitting thinking that it's very likely this mass action which is developing quite a heat can put Gqozo out and then this domino effect starts happening around us so this mass action has got to be stopped. It's got to be stopped in Bisho right there and then and we do it like this. All the head soldiers in the Ciskeian army are whites who were seconded there by the SA Defence Force, are either still under secondment or have resigned from the SADF and are now working for the Ciskeian Defence Force. They are all under our control so the military arrangements still - so what we do is we organise that this ANC march has a very bad ending. We raise the cost of mass action against the homelands to a point where the respectable leaders in the ANC say we can't put our people through this.

     There's another plus also, we take Hani out while he's there because Hani is giving us a hell of a lot of trouble. So we have a good day in the sense that there will be a stop to the ANC's mass action programme, we can probably get Hani as well if we shoot straight which is another great plus and if there's a complete fuck up and the world comes down on us like an absolute ton of bricks all we do is dump Gqozo and say we're sorry this thing is completely out of our control, it's a disgraceful event, we've taken Gqozo out, we're putting in an Administrator, it will never happen again but we stopped the mass action and the only cost is we've lost Gqozo and Gqozo is nothing to us anyway because he's got no following so that we can do this arrangement, say the guys behind the counter.

     They then set up the arrangements in Bisho in a totally sort of random, roundabout way. Pik Botha is left out of what the big agenda is and Pik is frantically trying to stop this march so at the end of the day the South African government can claim its bona fides that they really worked 24 hours a day to get Gqozo to behave on the one hand and to get Mandela to stop this march on the other, because Pik was in it up to his neck the whole time desperately trying to do it. Pik failed, we've done our bit, the march goes ahead, it's shot to pieces, where Hani was standing or was supposed to be but he was too clever for them, he changed his clothing, he changed his bodyguard and he was somewhere else, was in South Africa, it was shot to pieces, they missed him but they did their best to take it out. It was a good day's work for the South African government because that process of taking on the domino of the homelands stopped in its tracks and mass action stopped in its tracks at the same time. The cost register is too high.

     That's the sinister explanation of what actually happened to the mass action campaign. The less sinister explanation is quite frankly the population of the masses got a bit leg sore and got tired of it and they couldn't quite see what the benefits were because the negotiation process was under way and it seemed that that should have been tried a bit further. The costs to them are enormous in terms of disrupted jobs and no pay and attacks and angers and all of those passions and the ANC leadership could see that they can't keep this thing going for ever, so close it down now, revert to a negotiations profile and let's get on from there. You will probably find that there is a bit of both in the explanation as to why the mass action slowly dried up or completely dried up after the Bisho massacre.

POM     What about Buthelezi? Where does he fit into all of this? Does he have the capacity to be a real spoiler unless he is accommodated in some fairly fundamental way?

RR     The ANC policy has always been to over-accommodate rather than to under-accommodate, for many reasons. Buthelezi. He is one of the most interesting people in South African politics, there can be no question about that. He's the longest survivor in South African politics. I think he's been in this game since the sixties hasn't he, in a very central role? People in the ANC will tell you of the amount of time and trouble they spent with him to convince him to re-establish Inkatha as an organisation in the late seventies when Inkatha was re-established. It was something that he had already thought about and wanted and apparently Military Intelligence were also involved in that at the same time so it was really a marriage of a most extraordinary type. Buthelezi in the late seventies was a person who had a group of advisers around him that seemed to me to have a lot of sophistication. Lawrence Schlemmer was in there, I think Kane-Berman was in there, a whole range of people were advising him.

POM     Kane-Berman, John Kane-Berman?

RR     I think they have been close for quite a long time. Kane-Berman was Secretary to the Kwa/Natal Indaba also at one stage and there was a time in the late seventies, when I was told that he was the guy who wrote Buthelezi's speeches then. Whether that is true or not I don't know, but I think they have been pals for a long time. At the time I think Buthelezi took what was a highly creative initiative in finding a space that was occupiable to mobilise black people into a political structure and he took it. He found the constitutional hole and he went through it and he set up, for the first time ever in South Africa, mass black organisations.

     How this whole thing turned or not I think the story still has to come out and it still has to be dug up but there's no doubt that in the early eighties for some reason or other his closeness with the ANC started turning and changing. Maybe because he occupied an institutional position. It was inevitable that it should always have to have happened. Being in the institutional position he was in he appeared to be a credible black leader with a very big following and also at the same time he was talking the language of free enterprise which made him, of course, highly desirable to both the American and German and British governments who had very vested interests in free enterprise in South Africa because they had very big commercial investments here for a time and who saw this man as being a very important part in the process of keeping free enterprise in South Africa.

     So for a long time Buthelezi had an open door to the White House, No. 10 Downing Street and to Germany. I am sure that is a highly intoxicating position to be in. It's really heady stuff when you can pick up the phone and get hold of Ronald Reagan or Margaret Thatcher at a minute's notice. And I think those governments took Buthelezi up in the palm of their hands and he became an extremely important part of opposing the ANC's strategies at this stage, of how to bring democracy to South Africa. ANC strategies were essentially armed struggle and sanctions and disinvestment, most particularly in the early eighties and Buthelezi became an opponent of those strategies and once he became an opponent for those strategies I am sure it was inevitable that he was also going to become an opponent of the ANC, which he did become.

     So from where Inkatha was actually set up with ANC agreement, slowly he began to oppose their strategies, slowly he began to become an opponent of the ANC until finally, from what one reads and what one can see, in the middle to late eighties he became the single most important part of the state's counter-revolutionary strategy against the ANC. He was the black guy who they could tout around the world to try to hold sanctions back. He was the black guy whose organisation they could use as the blunt instrument of Unita or Renamo to attack the ANC physically in ways that the security forces could never have got away with because the world would have cracked the whip over them and made it impossible. So slowly but surely Buthelezi ended up in the position of being the total opponent in the total onslaught.

     Now what happens? I've been to Ulundi. I'm sure you have also. I've interviewed him there and it was the most pretentious interview I've ever had in fact, the time I met Buthelezi. I came back with Inkatha ties and cuff links and all manner of wondrous things. Having been to Ulundi, as you have also, you realise, like in Bisho, like you do all over the place, that this is a Hollywood charade town but at the same time the guys in it have got really real power, they have control over territory and they've got big German limos and they've got lovely offices and Cabinet rooms and Kings and Queens and Ambassadors towed up there to say hello to them. It's a nice lifestyle and what does the ANC threaten? The ANC threatens to end all of that so you end up with a fight to the finish around your job. It's a very powerful conservative thing. I've seen it right here where Democratic Party people are now being pushed to actually implement Democratic Party policy which is a one city arrangement in Port Elizabeth which means that those Democratic Party Councillors are out of a job and they're not liking it at all at this stage. They are finding any number of ways of keeping their positions. They'd rather have the bureaucracies amalgamate, but the Council must remain as the Council is, the white Council running the whole city and so on. At the end of the day power and jobs and a phone call from George Bush, which isn't going to bloody happen if you're just an ordinary Zulu black at a university somewhere, and so you don't want to give that up.

     And we've built this enormous, the National Party is showing us also, this enormous apartheid bureaucracy, the safe, good jobs with lekker cars and great holiday houses and all sorts of things. We've developed a Rolls Royce aristocratic bureaucracy and the ANC threatens to disrupt all of that so these guys are going to hang on in there for as long as they possibly can. They are going to have to be dislodged, if they are going to be dislodged, at the end of a process of great pain and if that process isn't going to happen they're just going to have to be accommodated. Buthelezi is number one in that. Buthelezi isn't going to go away. He's been in the middle of politics since the late sixties. He's going to want to stay in the middle of politics for quite a while yet.

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

RR     Oh they could. Unquestionably.

POM     Does he still have sufficient resources and does he have the capacity to play the Zulu card in a sufficient way to ensure the continuing low level civil war in Natal no matter what settlement is made between the government and the ANC?

RR     No, he doesn't have any of those capacities and I think we're seeing right at this very minute, time might prove me to be a bad prophet here, but I think we're seeing in Angola, how the moment the CIA and the South African people are no longer supporting Savimbi, how suddenly it's going to look like a pack of cards here. It's going to come down in a great heap and that might be what's happening there right now. I might be wrong. It might be that the CIA and the South Africans re-supply or find some other ways of doing it and keep him there. Buthelezi couldn't last a minute without the South African government. I won't say couldn't last a minute, let me try and put this thing together. The Human Sciences Research Council, I refer you to their work, not mine, and they plainly are not ANC apologists, but their opinion survey work tends to show that Buthelezi and Inkatha have the support of I think it's a third of rural Zulu speaking South Africans and under 10% of the urban Zulu speaking South Africans, a couple of whites here and there and nothing else. Now that's a power base, sure, it's probably a million people, so he remains a vibrant political operator but on the HSRC's own figures Mandela has twice the following among Zulu speaking South Africans than Buthelezi has. So there's nothing going for him there except the control of his territory and this Hollywood charade town that the South African government has built for him. If the South African government were to pull the plug on him he wouldn't last very long at all, but they can't pull the plug on him because he's their only block of a million black voters that can come through the polls in their favour. So he's got them as much as they've got him. It's an embrace to the death. They'll never pull the plug on him.

POM     So you see the government as not yet having decided whether it's better long term interests lie in trying to align itself in some way in a partnership with the ANC or in trying to be the primary partner in a coalition that would involve Coloured, Indian, Asian voters and a block of black voters brought in by Buthelezi and maybe by one or two of the other homeland leaders?

RR     I think like any sensible politician they haven't closed either of those options off but I think they see the possibility of them being involved on a long term basis with the ANC in government as being remote. They plainly would like that, they would have no difficulty with that at all but I think they realise that the ANC's following would find that very difficult to swallow. They might be able to sell them on interim arrangements, on short term things, on sunset clauses, on some sort of minority vetoes in a new constitution, but the ANC's followers want the ANC to govern. They don't want the ANC/National Party to govern.

POM     It struck me after the deadlock at CODESA when the ANC negotiators had offered 70%, that a veto threshold in a Bill of Rights, and there were all kinds of a ruckus at the grassroots or among activists that they were in effect selling out to the government, that there had been no consultation. It appears to me that it would be very difficult now for the ANC to go back into negotiations with a document like the Strategic Perspective as its framework for negotiations, saying in effect that we will offer you executive power sharing, we will offer you maybe twenty Cabinet positions, we'll offer you seven. Surely the rank and file would go even more berserk over something like that?

RR     I think the process we're seeing with the Slovo paper and others is that they are actually bringing their followers into the debate now because they know it's a little late. There will have to be some arrangement made. Looking at the balance of forces in South Africa right now, assuming that there is only a National party and an ANC (obviously things are not that simple at all) but what has the National Party got? It's plainly not a decayed communist regime of Eastern Europe that you give it three shoves and it falls over. The National Party has got, as I say, probably majority support in the white, the Coloured and the Asian communities, which is not huge by way of numbers at all but it's where all the financial and human capital in South Africa is held. All of the best education is in those communities and all the money is in those communities. It's got dominant support within the business community certainly, it has control of the bureaucracy, the security establishment, the parastatals, the electronic media. It has certainly better control of the independent press than the ANC has. In all of those fields, and they are terrifically important minority fields, the National Party has got the ANC run out of town. What has the ANC got? The ANC has got probably the majority of South African adults willing to support it. If it's not fifty percent it's very close to it on the one hand and at consensus amongst the important international players that white minority rule in South Africa must end and that democracy must be established here so they are willing to push the National Party along on those lines. That's all the ANC has got. And a bit of worker muscle through COSATU. That's how the two things are finding each other out. And I think that shows the ANC to be much more vulnerable than many people might think it to be.

POM     So would you, for example, at the end of the mass action where the ANC insisted that they had the most successful mass action of all time with huge numbers staying away from work and the government, saying they began talking about three weeks, then it became two weeks, then it fell down to two days, they can't sustain this kind of thing and most of the people who stayed away were probably intimidated anyway. Do you think that that the ANC were political winners of that round in the sense that they shocked the government in some way or forced the government to begin to respond to its demands or is the government really still doing things out of haste that suits its own strategic intentions?

RR     I think both sides lost a bit of blood and both sides got a bit of a victory out of the mass action. I think the ANC showed the National Party that it can, and certainly it showed the business community and some of the elites to which the National Party is very endeared, it showed them that it can still inflict a hell of a lot of pain, that it can in fact stop South Africa in its tracks. It did prove that. On the other hand I think it proved to itself that it can't do it all the time and continuously. It's people are just going to say enough is enough after a while and the National Party, I think, would have got some sort of sense of comfort out of that, that there are limits to what mass action can do.

     We saw in Port Elizabeth years ago with the consumer boycotts here when the UDF then called for a consumer boycott of white businesses, there was an absolute, total panic through the white community. There was an over-reaction of the most extraordinary type. The same sort of hype we saw when the ANC called the mass action campaign with the press absolutely hysterical and business people, everybody, quite berserk. It was as if the whole country was going to dissolve the next day whereas in retrospect, looking back on it, the consumer boycotts in Port Elizabeth certainly had an impact but the impact on the white psyche was enormously greater than the impact on the businesses. OK Bazaars might not have sold as much samp and beans. Premier Milling, which is in the same group, was selling the same amount of samp and beans in township stores, so the business was still done, it was just done in a different way. Likewise with the mass action campaign.

     This enormous hype built up in the media about the fact that South Africa was about to be brought to its knees and the economy destroyed, the economics the ANC is following, you know you burn the sugar cane down to the ground and then you hope the new crop will come out of it. At the end of the day the ANC's capacity in mass action isn't anything like as great as one might assume it to be. They can't stop South Africa continuously for ever. It's own people stop just as much in the process because they've got no income and it's a very real sacrifice. There are limits to the success of a consumer boycott against white businesses and there are limits to what you can do with mass action and I think the ANC discovered some of those limits this time and I think that the National Party saw them discovering this and they got a little bit of a smile in the corner of their face. But at the same time they took a pounding. So both sides got something out of it and lost something out of it.

POM     As you look at the next year, what do you see? Do you see the resumption of multi-part talks?

RR     Yes it has to be so.

POM     It has to be because in the essence of that happening?

RR     Well what other option is there? Because to continue the economic stagnation, and I think you will find there are many forces that will drive South Africans back to the negotiation table, not least of all it will be international backers, the international community who plainly want it at this stage. There is a consensus that they wish for, the end of white minority rule on the one hand and that it must be a South African negotiated constitution on the other. At the same time I think we accept that they have investments in South Africa and they don't want to see them going vrot (rotten) and they don't want to see this process going on for ever. They want to see it completed and they are wise in that respect. They can hurt, there's no doubt about it. They continue to exercise an enormous amount of pressure on Pretoria and quite efficiently sometimes. And plainly also the ANC is enormously vulnerable to the international backers, almost all of which are Western European or North American and to the extent that pressure can be put on them there it can hurt. And those pressures are going to be for a resolution.

     Mrs Thatcher, the Tory government, I understand that there are supposed to be a million British passports held in South Africa. Now they don't want to destabilise the country at all. They don't want a million people setting off, or a hundred thousand people saying there's no future in South Africa let's go back to England. They've got an unemployment problem of their own of the most enormous dimensions. They really don't want to be picking up other country's instabilities as part of their responsibility structure now. They want to see this thing sorted out so they will press and they will work hard and they've got a lot of power in that regard. I think those sorts of forces will come into play, not least of which also are South Africans. There's not a newspaper or a magazine that isn't howling to the political actors to get on and do something for God's sake, we can't just wallow around in the mud for ever, we've got to be constructive about our future. So those sorts of pressures will come into play and they will bring the politicians together. Not just those pressures, also the politicians, I think, enjoy the process with all its ups and downs. That's what they're in politics for and they understand that responsibility.

POM     But you would see at the end of the day significant concessions being made by the ANC, particularly compromises, in order to get their hands on the levers of power?

RR     Yes. I think the ANC will be in the business of compromising. The ANC's present position is that it wants to be able to govern. It believes it will have a majority at the polls and it wishes to exercise that majority through the ordinary techniques and constitutions of government but that it is willing to accept some set of arrangements that will pacify the minority players in the National Party and Inkatha particularly, and it's willing to work those things out either privately or publicly depending on how you want them and that would involve, as I say, the odd compromise. I've heard an ANC speaker in Port Elizabeth say they would be perfectly willing to have Buthelezi in the Cabinet. They all make those sorts of offers and deals as long as they can govern without anybody being able to stop them governing. That's their present position. How far they're going to have to compromise on that as the negotiation process continues is the big question. What are they actually going to have to concede in order to be able to get that election and win it?

POM     OK. I'll leave it there for today. I might, when I go back, pick you up on the phone and do a longer phone interview with you.

RR     OK. I hope I've been of some use.

POM     The interviews on the phone are sometimes more successful in the sense that the quality of the recording is much better. It's crystal clear, doesn't pick up any extraneous noise or whatever. We had subscribed to Monitor but we're never receiving issues.

RR     There's one coming out here. We've been slow in production.

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.