About this site

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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

23 Jul 1993: Hartzenberg, Ferdi

Click here for more information on the Interviewee

Click here for Overview of the year

POM     It's just been a year since we talked. There have been many changes, politically speaking, in the country. Could you characterise what those major changes are and in what direction the country is moving?

FH     The thing is what happens at the negotiating process. I think the fact is the negotiating process is only a rubber stamp at the moment of what has been bilaterally agreed to by the government and the ANC and the SACP and the other parties are only used to confirm the bilateral decisions. I think the most important thing is that the ANC and the SACP came to the negotiations only for one purpose and that is to get the election date and that they've got already. Nothing else has been sorted out, not the violence, that was the understanding that the first item on the agenda should be violence and that the negotiating forum must deal with violence and see to it that it is stopped. Nothing of that sort has happened, it is escalating. Secondly, it was the understanding that the form of state must be sorted out before real negotiations started, the form of state, whether it's a unitary state or a federation or a confederation. Of course that hasn't happened. At the moment I think the ANC and the South African Communist Party are getting what they want and if there is not sufficient consensus at the negotiating table, because initially when it was the time to decide on the name for the forum there was no consensus and the division was the same as it was afterwards on certain important things and as a result of the fact that there was no consensus and not even sufficient consensus it was decided not to name the forum so it is only the forum now or the process, as a result of differences.

POM     So how would you define sufficient consensus? [It seems to me that in CODESA ... ]

FH     I think sufficient consensus must be that you must have not only of the participants but of the population, the parties representing certain groups, you must have the vast majority of the population to support the decisions and if that is not the case the parties who voted so far against certain decisions they represent a substantial percentage of the population and I think it is not possible to have peace without the consent of all those people. Therefore I don't think it is sufficient consensus because it is eight parties out of twenty six who are not in favour of what is happening now and it is parties representing lots of people. The Inkatha Freedom Party and the KwaZulu government, they represent the Zulu nation which is the biggest nation in South Africa and I think the Conservative Party represents the majority of the white people in South Africa at the moment because the government has lost their support. And the other parties, Bophuthatswana government, Dikwandetla Party, Chimoko Party, Ciskei, they represent a lot of people and I don't think without them a decision will be a solution.

POM     What do you envisage happening now that you have withdrawn, the IFP have withdrawn?

FH     I think now the next step is they must decide. The government and the ANC will most probably - you see I think what they were after was to get the ANC, the government and the Inkatha and the KwaZulu government. They would have regarded that as the main parties and if they agree then that is enough and they will walk over the rest. Now that hasn't happened. I don't think they will get the Inkatha Freedom Party and the KwaZulu government because they are not prepared to stand under an ANC government and therefore they will have to rethink whether they are going to continue because the KwaZulu government, their attitude is that there must be states and the power must be vested in the states and not in a central government because if it is vested in a central government any time they can take back the powers from the states. The other problem is the date for the election is not only a date, it is an election for one Constituent Assembly, only one, on a one man one vote basis and once they have been elected then they can draw up a constitution and it can ignore anything else because they will say they represent the majority of the people and what has been negotiated was between leaders and is not representative of the will of the majority. If they are going to do that then, of course, it will not be democracy it will be colonialism, communistic imperialism.

POM     So you are saying that even if the leaders of the parties agreed to certain principles to be enshrined in a constitution that once there is a Constituent Assembly ...

FH     They can ignore it.

POM     - that it can say, we ignore all those recommendations and we are simply going to go ahead and form a constitution on the basis of the will of the majority?

FH     Yes.

POM     In the event that the elections will take place on 27 April ...

FH     That we will announce later what we will do, not now.

POM     What would be the strategic reasons for doing it and for not doing it?

FH     Of course it is important not to say now what we are going to do now with that one until later.

POM     What options then do you see open to you between now and then?

FH     Oh I think we must make it clear to them and because at the negotiating table we have made out a strong case for self determination and they rejected it. The Zulus also made out a strong case for a regional state not controlled by a central government and they rejected it. The same with the Tswanas, the same with Ciskei and it was rejected. Now I think arguments are not enough to convince them. Now we will have to take stronger measures to try and convince them to do that and one is, if the constitution was tabled yesterday at the World Trade Centre and it will be not be public until next week but of course that constitution makes no provision for self determination and it will not accommodate the Zulus and the other people. So I think the next step is that the people who disagree will form an alternative. That is one possibility, to form an alternative negotiating forum so that we can demonstrate that there is not consensus and we are not satisfied and how many people are involved and that they will then have to reconsider the situation. I think that is obviously a possibility, that is probably the next step that we will have to take but it depends on what is happening next week at the negotiating forum.

POM     How do you think the National Party or the government sees the Conservative Party now? In 1992 the Conservative Party looked at if it was dead on its feet and it has now slowly won back, these surveys show it has won back the support of a large number of white people.

FH     Well I think the National Party realise that, that they've lost since March last year when the referendum was held, the total situation has changed and every survey indicates that the National Party represents less than 25% of the constituents, of the voters of the House of Assembly and they were not able to recruit support from other sources so the National Party has reformed itself out of power. But they are there and now they want to use their position in parliament and the previous results of the referendum and elections. They want to rely on that without the support base at the moment and therefore they know that the people are flowing out of the National Party to the Conservative Party and also to the Afrikaner Volksfront and I think now they want to rush it through before it can be tested how much support they have. That is one aspect that we must now organise, to indicate what type of support they have. Of course they have stopped by-elections. It is not possible in a by-election to prove because there are no by-elections. The other thing is there are still municipal elections and all the elections that have taken place in the last month or two they have lost totally, even the Inkatha Freedom Party beat them in Johannesburg. Inkatha Freedom Party came second and the National Party came third in Jeppe, a by-election in one of the wards in Johannesburg they lost it. They also lost other wards in Johannesburg and that is the place where of course the Conservative Party was not very strong but now we are gaining ground.

POM     Over the years when I interviewed Dr Treurnicht he was insistent ...

FH     That was not an issue when the AVU was formed. The AVU, it was never discussed even in the Conservative Party. It was other issues but not negotiations. We agreed, there was total agreement on the issue that we shouldn't participate in CODESA. For that reason, that was never an issue between us and the people who formed the AVU. It was on other issues.

POM     What other issues were there?

FH     Well it was actually the size of the area that we claimed. That was the issue and we said we mustn't draw a map, we must propose a process to get to a final map because you cannot sit in an office and draw maps and think that will be realistic and it will be accepted by the people. It is interaction between the people, the various nations, that will finally determine the boundaries and that was our attitude that we should follow a process, bilateral negotiations of testing the people on the ground and finally come to a conclusion and they said, "No we mustn't do that. We must claim a certain portion of the country". And we disagreed and that was the reason for the split.

POM     But yet you had been adamant that you would not enter into negotiations in CODESA and yet you did.

FH     Yes, that's right. That was right, we were not prepared to enter into negotiations when CODESA was on because when they started the first decision taken by CODESA was the Declaration of Intent and that Declaration of Intent said that South Africa is a unitary state and the constitution must also be written in that respect, namely for a unitary state. Only one central government for the whole of the country with regions of course. We are against it. So it was fruitless for us to enter into negotiations if it is from the basis of a unitary state and for that reason we said, "No we will not participate in that." Since then there was a change and that is that they said the form of state was open and we can first decide on the form of state, not a unitary state. It can be a unitary state or a federation or a confederation. In other words it was open.

POM     Did you in bilateral talks discuss this with the government and the ANC?

FH     In bilateral talks with the government.

POM     And the ANC?

FH     Because the government discussed it with the ANC and we had the bilateral talk. Of course the other thing that happened is since the break up of CODESA 2 the COSAG group was formed, the Concerned South Africans Group. Then we realised there are other people who agree with us on certain fundamental principles, namely that it mustn't be a unitary state. The decision was taken by Dr Treurnicht, of course by the party but under his leadership, that the situation has changed and now we can enter negotiations providing that we must get self determination. That is what we are going to the table for. If we can get self determination then of course we can further negotiate on the implementation of it and so far they have rejected it. So the reason for us to leave the table is the fact that they rejected self determination, that they adopted the election date for one Constituent Assembly that excludes self determination and so we said, "OK we're not going back. We will wait for this constitution. We will study this constitution". I've received it this morning and now today we will start studying it and then we will make up our minds whether we are going back or not but from what I've seen there I think they haven't changed their attitude but I'm not sure, we must discuss that. We must study the whole document and then we will make up our minds.

POM     Let me clarify one thing. Your party had bilateral meetings with the government?

FH     Yes.

POM     But you never had bilateral meetings with the ANC?

FH     No.

POM     But the government implied that it was speaking on behalf of both the ANC and the government?

FH     No, no, that was not the case. The government only spoke on behalf of itself but they have been in negotiations with the ANC and when we had discussions with the government, that was at the beginning of the year. The whole COSAG group, the government said that from their point of view it will be open, the agenda, although the government has already agreed with the ANC in the Record of Understanding that there should be one, only one, Constituent Assembly. And they said they are morally bound to honour that decision but if there is strong enough resistance then of course it can be changed but they will not support us. They said so that they will not support us but that self determination and federation and confederation will be on the table. They said so. They and the ANC have already agreed on a unitary state but it was on the agenda and we tried our best and now it has been rejected.

POM     Dr Buthelezi said not so long ago that there was a fifty/fifty chance of a civil war in this country unless ...

FH     Unfortunately. That's not what we want but I think you are aware of what is happening in Africa now in the Congo and in other areas in Africa after the cold war. They have tried for democratic elections and now it is ethnic in Africa and I can tell you that the Zulus will never accept an ANC government. Therefore in these last minutes we try to convince them not to go ahead because we will not be able to control our people and the Zulu government will also not be able to because it will not be accepted. Therefore we must warn them and we must make it clear that please, listen to us, we can solve the problems. You can satisfy the needs of all the people. It is possible. In a confederation you can have states with self determination, self determining states. You can have that. You can have a federation or more than one federation in a confederation. You can also include a unitary state, not for the whole of South Africa but for those people who want a unitary state you can allow them to have a unitary state. You can allow the people who want a federation and you can allow the people who want self determination in a confederation. So you can accommodate all the needs and all the aspirations of all the people but if you go for a unitary state you will only satisfy the needs and aspirations of the ANC and you will neglect all the other people and that will not be a solution. So we say, it is exactly the same position in the previous Soviet Union now. You have the Russian Federation consisting of 25 republics. They are part of the confederation and 14 other states with self determination. They are also part of the confederation. So that is the way that we must do it. Of course then in future things can develop and you can see whether they want more closer co-operation but in a confederation you can co-operate economically and technically and in any other respect and you can have political self determination and you can have a federation or you can have a unitary state. That is a solution but they don't want to listen to us.

POM     When you talk of an independent Afrikaner state would that be a state in which, let's say in some way the borders were determined and you had a white majority and you had a black minority within that?

FH     Unfortunately, I don't think it is possible right from the beginning to get such an area where the Afrikaners will be in the majority. Therefore you will have to negotiate ways and means because what we need now is we want to replace white domination by freedom and not by black domination. That is what we need in South Africa. It is the time for freedom now for states and for regions and nations who want to have freedom. Everybody must be free and if they don't want to be free then of course they cannot be forced to be free. But what we need now is freedom and in order to get that you must start where you are now and you must negotiate and you must get ways and means and measures so that you can make nations and states free and to solve the remaining problems.

POM     In an Afrikaner state would blacks have a vote?

FH     You see, that is the one problem. We will have to sacrifice land for freedom and if we sacrifice land then of course you make land available to other nations and to other states and in return for that you must get freedom in the sense that the citizenship must be sorted out otherwise it will be no solution. If we take only a small region and the majority in that region is not Afrikaner but it is members of other nations then of course we will not be free.

POM     So you would envisage that in an independent Afrikaner state ...?

FH     Afrikaners and those people of European origin who associate with us and in our strive for freedom. If they don't want that then of course they can become a citizen of another state if they wish to. I think the first step in the process is to consult the voters of the House of Assembly to see who wants to be included in that state and who wants not to be included. If they say they want to be included in KwaZulu or in the Eastern Cape then you must allow the people, with their property, that is the first step to determine the boundaries because there are a lot of people who don't want to associate with such a state and therefore I don't think we must force it. Of course that is the last thing that we will do. So if they want to join a unitary state or if they want to join a state in a federation then they must get the opportunity to indicate that and then it will be a first preliminary boundary and then with bilateral negotiations you can come to a final conclusion.

POM     Am I correct in trying to sum up what you said that the choice for blacks whether to live in that state or not to live in that state, to join some other federation or unitary state or whatever, in the case of those who will choose to remain behind and live in the Afrikaner state that they will not be citizens of that state?

FH     They can be citizens, that of course can happen, but you get internationally recognised forms of citizenship with more responsibilities but also some citizens ...

POM     Would they have the right to vote?

FH     They have the right to vote but they have more responsibilities. Other citizens, they have the right to be protected by law and order and other rights but not the right to vote, but they have less responsibilities towards the state. It's not necessary for them to, for instance as far as taxes - they will pay less taxes and not all the taxes. You've got four types of responsibilities and the full citizenship you have full responsibility and also the right to vote. The other citizens have the right of protection, they can live and they can have the right to certain services and everything, protection and housing and all those type of things, but not the right to vote, with less responsibilities.

POM     Now where would Coloureds fit into this?

FH     It was an international convention on citizenship.

POM     Where would Coloured people fit in?

FH     The who?

POM     The Coloured people as distinct from Africans.

FH     The Coloured people and the Indian people, of course it will be the same position with them.

POM     What is the difference between what you would be proposing how an independent Afrikaner state would operate and how South Africa operated under apartheid? What would be the difference?

FH     Well I think it is a hell of a difference. It's a hell of a difference because you will now have various states and they will be free and if a person who is living, say for instance a Zulu, because I think it is also important for the Zulus that the people who are living here that they be citizens of that state otherwise if they cannot vote then of course they can lose the election in their area. But it is a tremendous difference from what we've had because at that stage we controlled the whole country and all the people in the country. Now we are sacrificing land and we are not controlling the rest of the people, we are only controlling our own people.

POM     Again, how is that different from apartheid which really said whites have the right to vote, blacks do not have the right to vote, they belong to other nations whether Ciskei, Transkei, Bophuthatswana or whatever?

FH     Well the fact is that the self determining states, we actually control them. They have self determination but not - the self governing states in certain areas they have no jurisdiction. For instance, for a lot of things the South African government were the responsible authority in that region and of course that will change. As a result of the fact that you sacrifice land of course those people will not be included, large numbers of people will be excluded. They will not be part of the Afrikaner state and therefore you will have a measure in the meantime otherwise you will have no freedom but you will solve the problem and if the people, if it is negotiated that that is the solution, then of course a negotiated settlement is as good as an internationally recognised convention or a habit or a law or whatever. So the fact is that we must get the solution for South Africa otherwise we will not have peace. And I think you must also take into consideration that our nation, that we have a different history. We didn't come into this country and wipe out the other nations like in the United States and in Australia. The people are still here and we put in everything, we developed the country and we developed schools and hospitals and industry and everything and the people also get the benefit of it but now, now they say, not all black people, only a portion the ANC, they say, "You cannot be free. We are now going to dominate you." And we say, "No that was not the idea. We built up the country and we realise that there will come a time when we cannot control the rest of the people. They must become free but we must retain our freedom." And that is where we are now.

POM     How would you distinguish between the CP at this point and the AVU?

FH     There is a difference of course because the AVU say that they claim only a small portion, that is the first step. We differ on that one. We say the process must return to the board. Secondly, they say in that small portion everybody must get the vote. So there will be no freedom for us. We will not promote that. We will not put in any effort to promote that because if you get that it will not be freedom and the first election, you will lose the first election in that area so there will be no freedom and the most important thing is that you will divide our nation into as many groups as there are regions. Of course, from that point of view it means that we will be subjected totally and of course that is not acceptable to us.

POM     What, again, would be the connection of the CP?

FH     Let me tell you, we have formed the Afrikaner Volksfront, about 20 parties or groups, not only political parties but also organisations like the Agricultural Unions, the Mine Workers Union and other trade unions joined the Afrikaner Volksfront, also the AWB. They are one of the parties who joined the Volksfront and the CP is also one of the parties who joined the Volksfront, and the Generals, they actually are the Executive Secretariat of the Volksfront. They are the Directorate of Generals. They are responsible for the planning and to see that the Volksfront is running properly throughout the whole of the country and so on.

POM     Two things, one is the assassination of Chris Hani, how did it impact on the direction of politics?

FH     Well I don't think it has an impact on the direction because the direction was the direction we had foreseen and I don't think it's changed the direction. I think what happened it created some violence, that was so, but I don't think it changed the direction.

POM     What was the official CP reaction to the event, given that Clive Derby-Lewis ...?

FH     Well Clive Derby-Lewis, we don't know to what extent he was involved because he was not in court yet. He must still appear in court. But from what you have seen in the newspapers he was not directly responsible for the killing of Mr Hani. To what extent he was involved, that we will have to find out. At this moment he has not been found guilty.

POM     Is he in jail?

FH     Yes, he's in jail at the moment. But the fact is that it was not a plan plotted by the CP. We have learnt of that thing on the news. We didn't know that there was a plan, if there was a plan we were not aware of it. And it was not a CP plan. The CP didn't plan anything like that.

POM     Now I read in a number of papers following Dr Treurnicht's death and your assumption of the leadership that the CP would move more towards the right and there was a possibility of a split within the CP itself between what would be called the moderates and the more hard line?

FH     No, I think some people hoped for that one because that was what they hoped when the AVU was formed and the AVU would split the CP seriously, but after that event I think it is obvious that the people realise that the only force that can change this situation is the CP in co-operation with other groups in South Africa. For that reason we are not changing our attitude. Our policy was a confederation and co-operation and peace between the nations of South Africa. That is still our policy. We are not going to deviate from that and there is not at all a danger that there will be a split in the CP. I think after the AVU has left and after the death of Dr Treurnicht we are united much more than we have been ever before. So there's no possibility of another split in the CP. In the National Party perhaps I think so.

POM     In the National Party you say?

FH     Oh yes, of course, a lot of people, you know it is one of the tactics of politics. When you see you've got problems in your party and people are dissatisfied and they are leaving the party then you say the opposition is going to split because the people will not leave one splitting party to go to another one. And of course a lot of people have already left the National Party. Some of them didn't join another party but they simply resigned, lots of them resigned and as a result of the fact that there are no by-elections any more it is very easy for them to resign and to leave politics because they are not satisfied. Others went to the Inkatha Freedom Party and at this moment there is unrest in the ranks of the National Party because people are not satisfied with what is going to happen.

POM     Would you expect a number of National Party MPs to defect to the Conservative Party?

FH     Well that we will have to wait and see. I think perhaps the most likely thing ...

POM     If you were a betting man would you say there will be?

FH     Well we will wait for that one and see. I think the most obvious thing that will happen is perhaps that they will first come to the Volksfront and then watch the situation. I think we must wait and see what is going to happen.

POM     If the CP decided not to contest the elections next year [... a constitution with their being an interim government,] what options are open?

FH     I think the first thing is, in any case we've already said that we will not recognise the outcome of that election because beforehand we know that it is not democracy, it is colonialism. For that reason we are not going to recognise, we will not be in the position as Savimbi that after the election we say we're not satisfied. We have said that now no matter whether we are going to participate or not but the other thing is also sure, whether we are going to participate or not we are also going to elect our own representatives who will represent our people so that they can control the people and that we can start the battle for freedom.

POM     You are going to elect your own representatives to?

FH     Our own representatives. We will elect our own people. Of course they will not recognise them but we are going to elect our own people, our own representatives, not in parliament, but representatives of the nation so that they can act on behalf of the nation, you understand? Elected people who have the support of the nation to act on behalf, also to control the people otherwise everybody will act on his own and there will be chaos. So we will have to elect a body representing the nation.

POM     So if you did contest the elections it would be on the basis that you regard the whole process as being illegitimate and would not sit in a Constituent Assembly?

FH     That we will have to decide on. You see there are various options and we will have to consider them. You can contest the elections and you do not sit in that house or you can contest it and you can sit there in opposition but you do not participate if they also allow one representative of a party like that in the government of national unity, you don't participate in the government of national unity but you sit in the House of Parliament and you oppose where it is necessary to oppose and like an opposition you put your case for self determination. That is a possibility. The other possibility is not to serve in that parliament and the other possibility is not to participate in the election.

POM     When you or members of your party talk to ordinary white people what are the differences in their attitudes now from when the referendum was held a year ago?

FH     I'll tell you exactly. A lot of people left the National Party. They have now joined the Conservative Party and since the referendum of last year violence has escalated and last year it was between the Zulus in Natal and the ANC and also in the Witwatersrand but since then it has escalated, the violence, on the Zulus but they have entered a new stage. APLA and uMkhonto deliberately kill our people on the farms and soft targets in the cities and elsewhere. Now they try to spread the revolution to the white people and if their idea was that they will threaten the people and that the people would become frightened they made a hell of a mistake, the people are angry, they are angry and it is more difficult to control them. The reaction was exactly the opposite. It will not subject the people. It will not convince them to bow to their demands. They will stand up and now our job is to control it so that we do it in a peaceful way and to try to avoid civil war.

POM     Just to back up a little bit, we've got ten minutes left. Roelf Meyer stated after his meeting with the AVU that the government were open to the principle of Afrikaner self determination and was convinced that ...

FH     That is absolute nonsense Mr O'Malley. That is not self determination, it is a dummy. Self determination without your own government, without writing your own constitution, what we say is self determination and then we mean self determination in the real sense of the word. Not a dummy. The name self determination and then no self determination. That is totally unacceptable to us because we realised that that was their plan, that was their plan to use the AVU to say, "Look we will accommodate you", and then to say they represent together with the National Party the majority of the Afrikaner nation and the white people and that of course is totally nonsense because the AVU represents nothing. Nothing. They haven't got one branch in the whole of South Africa. They haven't had a congress. They haven't had one Constituency Council. They have no support. They are just there with an office and a fax and six or seven members of parliament and no followers. So everybody knows that. They represent really nothing. So we will not fall for that one. We want self determination in the real sense of the word and we're not going to back down. Never.

POM     In the event of you not being accommodated, does that mean the inevitability of some kind of civil war?

FH     Mr O'Malley, we will not start a civil war let me tell you. But we will not back down and they will be the aggressors. It was the same position one century ago. We wanted self determination, our forefathers. The British didn't want to give it to us and then they came with force to suppress us and these people are going to do the same thing and that's why we are preparing ourselves to defend ourselves because we know like anywhere in Africa now where they use violence to put the minorities down, we realise that is what they are going to do and therefore we are going to defend ourselves. Therefore we say, "Please don't push us that far. Let us be sensible and solve this problem." We want to prevent that. But if they don't listen they create the violence now, they are responsible for the killings. It's not us who are organising to kill people and burn down schools and kill policemen and kill white farmers and kill black people in the townships. We're not there. We're not responsible for the violence and the killings. They are responsible for it and we know that they want to do the same to us. And of course what must we do? Must we sit and say, "Look, we accept, you can subject us." No nation in the world will do that and we are also not going to do that.

POM     Do you call upon people to arm themselves?

FH     To defend themselves, not for an offensive to attack people but they are attacked now. Our people, every day they kill one or more of our people and what must we do now as responsible leaders of the people? Must we say, "Look your life is worth nothing, let them kill you"? Or must we try to organise the people to prevent it, to defend themselves. Therefore it's not only a matter of arms. Arms are only a small part of it. There must be a network so that if one is getting into trouble he must be able to contact his neighbour to help him, to try to avoid the killings. It is useless to appear on the scene after the death. Then it has happened and what we now try to do is to prevent our people being killed and therefore you must create a network so that people can be in contact with each other and if they notice something that is suspicious that they can take preventative steps to avoid another murder.

POM     One thing puzzled me and that was why the CP was in the negotiating forum when the PAC said that the ...

FH     They said they are fighting a freedom struggle and it is legitimate and they have the right to kill white people. That's what they said and they said they didn't kill people. That's what they said, they didn't kill people, they are only killing whites. Therefore it's legitimate. But our attitude is, and that we already decided in 1990, that any forum where we can put our case if there is a possibility to achieve something there, we will attend such a forum no matter what other parties are present. The fact that the ANC are there or the Communist Party or the PAC will not prohibit us from going to a forum to put our case. It depends on what is the possibility of having successful negotiations at the certain forum. And so it is not a matter of the ANC, that is not the principle whether the ANC or the PAC are there, the principle is to negotiate for a real solution in South Africa as a result of the changes that have taken place, namely that there was no Declaration of Intent, that it was only a unitary state, that the thing was totally open. That there were other parties who feel the same and we have formed the COSAG group. We decide, well it is time to go to that forum and see whether we can achieve something and so far we achieved nothing and that's why we withdraw temporarily until the constitution to see whether there is an improvement or not.

POM     Recent surveys have shown that the PAC ...

FH     I think that is exactly what we have said right from the beginning. In this game that they have started now where you put all these nations together and you want to elect only one government you will eliminate the moderates and ultimately it will be the radicals. Of course that has happened everywhere in the world and for that reason we expect it that the radicals will ultimately take over. The fact is that the PAC and the ANC, APLA and uMkhonto they work together and they are co-ordinated by the Communist Party and they have already formed a third force because the ANC signed the Peace Accord and for that reason they said they must suspend the armed struggle, but that was only on paper because the killings in Natal are going ahead and it is being conducted by MK. They are responsible for it. But they signed the Peace Accord and then they said they will suspend the armed struggle. If the PAC entered negotiations, or when they entered negotiations they realised that there is a possibility that they might be forced to sign the Peace Accord and then they must also suspend the armed struggle, namely the activities of APLA and therefore they have already formed a third group, namely the South African People's Party or something like that. They trained them in border states and elsewhere so that that group can conduct the violence because they use typical communist tactics. They negotiate and they use violence and on the other hand the other parties are there only negotiating, using no violence. Like us and the Inkatha Freedom Party and the other party, Bophuthatswana. So it is not the equal level playing field. It is negotiations.

POM     Do you think that the increasing support for the PAC has anything to do with increasing black support for the activities of APLA? That there is an implicit endorsement of their actions?

FH     It must be so otherwise they would have rejected it. I think so because they have the image of a more radical group. They haven't suspended the armed struggle. The ANC has suspended the armed struggle and of course MK, but they are co-operating. They work together. There's no doubt. If the ANC doesn't get 50%, say they get 45% and PAC get 20%, of course they will co-operate, they will form a government.

POM     Finally, looking into that mythic crystal ball, as you look at the year ahead are you more optimistic about the future than you were a year ago or less optimistic?

FH     I'm very optimistic. I look forward to next year this time when we have our next visit. Perhaps then it will be more clear what is going to happen. But I'm very optimistic that we will solve the problem and I think in five years time or ten years time the problem will be solved, but what is going to happen in the meantime is very difficult to tell.

POM     OK. Thank you very much. I appreciate the time.

FH     It was nice to see you and I'm looking forward to next year's visit.

POM     Well I'll be coming back every six months now. The pace is quickening.

FH     Yes, well perhaps after six months there will be some developments. I think so.

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.