This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Foundation, 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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.
28 Jul 1993: Zuma, Jacob
POM. Mr Zuma, I notice looking at opinion polls that over the last year there has been a marked deterioration in people's optimism both black and white in the future, in negotiations, in the country and the way forward. What do you think accounts for that decline in optimism?
JZ. I think what accounts for that is firstly the kind of difficulties that have occurred in the process of negotiations and also, I will come back to it, the general failure of populations in general to look at things more profoundly because they usually take the simple route of wanting to see what happens and they read whatever happens in a particular way. They are not like those who are involved in complex things. The general public doesn't look at complex things and therefore these two are related. If things are going well they are happy. At times they forget they could go wrong. If things are difficult they are then the ones who are the most despondent and disappointed. Again, the account also in my own view of the political players themselves, they look at the problems they are faced with more than they look at their population, how they must relate in one sense to their population. Or they look at the way of relating to the population in a particular way. By this I mean that South Africa is rather a very complex country in terms of the criss-cross conflicts that are there.
. If then you are to deal with South Africa you have to know that there are two things which we need to observe, which we don't observe and I don't blame anyone, you can't necessarily observe things because politics at times work on what people believe and emotions. If you are dealing with a complex problem and you take too long to resolve you must naturally expect that in the process you are giving too big a gap for anything to happen in between. You therefore have to know that if you are dealing with a complex situation, time it very well so that no other influences can intercept the process. Because of the political differences and conflict here we have tended to drag the process, just dragged too much. Thus, therefore, the optimism that was there at the beginning began to be affected of the people in general. The questions would be "Will this be resolved really?" And because of the prolongation the uncertainties of certain people begin to take some more harder forms and the very hesitation of the process people begin to interpret it as if nothing is going to come right.
. You are faced in South Africa with a situation where there are two, in the main, two sides to the coin. One is of the whites who are uncertain about the unknown new South Africa, who therefore have a dim view that that is going to interfere with their privileges and also they don't know what those who have been oppressed will do when they begin to flood or invade the domain which has been the domain of the white, what will happen in a government which is not as they have been used to in a white minority government, when that government begins to address the inadequacies of those who have been disadvantaged. On the other hand you are faced with another problem of those who have been disadvantaged for many, many years, who are optimistic and ready and waiting to get into this unknown because to them the unknown is bringing things they never had before, even their expectations are too high, that the process that has begun is going to be there immediately. They are enthusiastically waiting for it, they are impatient. So you have got these two opposing factors.
. Now once at the negotiating level you begin to take your negotiations to the public as we are doing and begin to negotiate in public, not negotiate always in a gentlemanly manner, but try to show how wrong the other side is in the glare of the media, etc., you are then actually saying to these two, "The situation is very bad" and making all demands and everything. Negotiations are supposed to take place because it is the give and take kind of situation in a different atmosphere. Our atmosphere of wanting it as transparent as possible is very good for the people to know but then, of course, they want direct results. They can see people fighting, they say, "But are we going to win?" They are not waiting not knowing what is happening for the date or for the result to come, they are actually seeing it, they see X attacking B, A attacking C and they say, "What is going to happen?" I think those kind of factors have contributed therefore to the general feeling that we don't know what is going to happen because then both sides begin to say, "The uncertainty begins to deepen because the kind of people we have been looking at and hoping that if they take over perhaps they will not do that harm really." You then see them - their uncertainty deepens because Jesus Christ, it means when we get there they are going to try and say let us settle scores. And whilst on the other side, if the government begins to say we can't give in, etc., those who hope for the unknown to bring - they begin to say the uncertainty comes in. "Are we really going to get to the new South Africa?" That is bound to bring down, therefore, the optimism in my view.
. So I am saying they are all to blame for this, the very masses themselves because they generally, it is generally known in any case, they are generally spoon fed and they don't look at the complex nature. But I am saying also on our side we don't take care of them and also we have to fight our own political battles.
POM. Now I've read and interviewed people in the last year in the government and the National Party and the consensus is that the party itself is deeply fragmented, that it has by and large lost its base of support . In fact only about 25% of the people who voted for it in 1989 would vote for it today, that there are splits in the Cabinet between hawks and doves. Is it of concern to the ANC that the National Party and the government is becoming weaker or do you think that's their problem?
JZ. It is of concern to the ANC that situation which unfortunately is a situation you can no longer say is that secretive. It's an open secret, you know for a fact that big names in the government have fallen by the wayside, who started this process. So it is not just hearsay. One may not know the extent of the problems but any political player at this point in time would not say people don't look at things from different angles. But basically it is a concern because if the National Party goes at this point in time, who comes in? That's the question. I don't think if the CP won the elections today we would think something good has happened. I don't think they can afford not to negotiate but I think the stance that they will take will be a totally different one and I think there will be more difficulties so you wouldn't want that kind of thing. So it is of concern. If we are to cross this bridge, which is very difficult as I have said, I think you do need to negotiate with somebody with some credibility in his constituency because if you are negotiating with somebody who can't deliver his constituency then it is difficult. So it is of some concern.
POM. What about the townships and the inability of anyone to control the violence that is going on there? I saw Tokyo Sexwale on television last night saying the violence is defeating us, that they can't put a lid on it. What's different with the violence today than two years ago and why can't the ANC enforce discipline on its own people not to engage in faction fighting or not to be involved in criminal activities or whatever, or just being on the rampage I suppose is the word I'm looking for?
JZ. Well I don't think we can not control violence. I also don't think it is easy to control violence given the circumstances right now. You have to ask the question why violence in South Africa takes this kind of aggressive posture. Now we often miss the point because we often think people are generally not willing to be controlled, or political organisations like the ANC are failing to control. I think that kind of approach fails to look at the causes of violence and look at the effects because what you see are actually the effects of the cause of the violence by apartheid. Perhaps what goes on now when the lead has been taken a little bit off apartheid and oppression is an indication of how intense and violent apartheid has been to the people. So this is actually the reaction to apartheid. You will recall that the police in this country were among the first to actually practise the method of burning people to ashes and it is they who employed the system of infiltrating agents to organisations to a degree that you cannot describe. And those that were seen to be opposing apartheid were dealt with ruthlessly. So this culture of violence emanating from apartheid has become what it is. Now the complicating factor is that within the government structures, within the police and the army, those methods that were used to repress are now being used by what you call the third force, no longer now summoned or with the consent of the government but using their ready-made structures to deal with violence.
. There are experiences, I have dealt with violence to quite a large extent and if you look at Natal you do have occasions where the IFP and the ANC talk and agree and sign peace at a political level but somehow things get back. Now you can't say these two organisations are dishonest. No-one can tell me that these two organisations would like their members to be killed and therefore no-one can tell me that they would not like peace.
. There's a third factor that is always unhappy when peace is achieved and that's the third force. In Natal if in a particular area there is a lull there would then be a professional assassination of a senior person either on the IFP or on the ANC side, deliberately leave evidence to suggest that in fact it was that organisation. Both sides, if they realise one of their leading cadres or men or person has died they take up arms, they fight without looking at who actually killed the person. So all you need with this charged atmosphere is just to kill one side and go away.
POM. Why after three years has nobody been able to identify this third force in more concrete form or detail?
JZ. I will come to that. I just want to describe it here in the Transvaal because in the Transvaal it takes a different dimension. The third force. All you need here is to make a squatter camp or a location, have your one or two or three people emerging from there with balaclavas one evening, just shoot indiscriminately into the hostels and disappear, run towards this place, the location. The hostel dwellers, they are definitely attacked by the squatter camp, they then attack. Same thing. You need to put one or two or three people to attack the squatter camp, pretend to be attacking from the hostel and the squatter camp or the location is going to look like then the battle is there. So it's so easy for the third force. Now because of that you can't control the situation because you are not therefore dealing with a normal situation where your members were angry and you can talk to them and put politics. There is a factor that you can't talk to.
. The other factor that they have introduced is actually to infiltrate paid agents who must, on both sides, pose as very angry militants and wanting this war now and yet they are paid. Now why we have taken three years not to find? You know we had people disappearing in South Africa, there are people who are unaccounted for. It was not until Dirk Coetzee deserted the police force that we actually got to know the details of what happened to specific individuals. Because of the repression they developed sophisticated methods of actually making it difficult for you to discover what they are doing. You are dealing with some of these people from the police force. They actually have their people in the investigation. They twist their investigations to their liking. It is actually not very true that in the three years nothing has come out. I think there have been people confessing in the process, telling stories of what they have been doing in person. But more than that there was a massacre I think around the Greytown area, in the area called Trust Feed in Natal and when this was done we all believed Inkatha had killed the ANC people for a long time until a policeman investigated properly. There he came with the police who actually massacred those people deliberately and gave misinformation to say it was the IFP. So we actually have had the examples of the third force but shortly after the massacre and a long time thereafter everybody, the bereaved families were hating Inkatha that Inkatha has killed our people. And that is what it is all the way.
POM. Now Judge Goldstone after he analysed the cause of the violence, the primary cause, not the only cause, was the political competition between the ANC and Inkatha. Do you accept that finding?
JZ. No. That finding will form a very small part of the cause of the problem. I think Goldstone was not able to make a good judgement and there are reasons why. Basically part of the teams that are helping him to investigate are the police and the South African Police do not have a good record in investigating themselves. Goldstone, like any honourable judge in this country, looks at the documents presented to him by investigators and makes judgement. He doesn't do it himself. His investigative arm is the one that shapes his opinion by the manner in which they present reports. You see unless people have short memories, not long ago violence was not in Natal but it visited every corner of South Africa before it went to Natal. One time Matanzima in Transkei caused repression and violence. At another time Sebe in Ciskei caused untold violence. At another time the Venda leader, Mpepu(?) was killing people. Reverend ... had to run away from the country. At another time Skosana at Kwandebele with his Impogodo(?) Police Force was ravaging that area. At another time the KTC in Cape Town it did. Violence that has not stopped. But in the Eastern Cape, Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage, there is such violence. After all the most brutal murders in South Africa that we have seen were the murders that were committed against Comrade Matthew Goniwe and others. Now all the places that I have counted there was no ANC and IFP political competition. Now for a judge to make that mistake and to make the judgement, base his judgement and forget this background, I think that is a serious matter. I'm talking about the period before violence got to Natal. And finally it got to Natal. What you found in Natal in the first instance was actually violence between IFP, UDF and COSATU on the one hand, the ANC was not there. People argue these are ANC allied but of course they were different organisations. The ANC came and it is a factor, we are not saying it cannot be judged not a factor but to say it is the main factor is actually a mistaken judgement.
POM. To just concentrate on Natal for a moment. The ANC leadership there, particularly under Harry Gwala, seems often out of line with the national leadership. It didn't want Mandela to meet with Buthelezi, they see themselves as being in a war situation. It's like an eye for an eye even though it leaves everyone blind. I want to put that in the context of negotiations, there are two or three things, you can address them all together. The IFP walks out of negotiations because it disagrees with the definition of what is sufficient consensus:-
1.. Do you believe they have a valid point, like when they went first to CODESA it was just the government and its allies and the ANC and its allies and if the two went together then that was it and the other parties were just too minor? Here you have got three power blocs, the two major ones still being the ANC and the government, but you've got COSAG out there too. Should they have more of a say, i.e. should sufficient consensus be no longer described just in terms of what the ANC and the government want and if they go ahead on that basis should the other parties, particularly the IFP have more of a say? That's one.
2.. Buthelezi has laid down some extraordinarily hard terms for returning to the talks. Do you see him returning?
3.. If the price of getting him back was really to accommodate to a large extent his demands do you think that the ANC in Natal would feel sold out and that rather than there being a peace that it could lead to even more instability and more deaths?
. That's a long question.
JZ. Yes. Firstly the IFP, really they don't have a valid point at this point in time by moving away because there are two blocs. I think it would be a mistake in politics to think that political organisations and parties would not align on certain positions, that is inherent in political life. To believe that because you don't like it, it must not happen is actually wrong. I don't think there is a party in the multi-party negotiations which is not aligned in either way or that way depending to the degree of their alignment. COSAG itself is an alignment group which holds a particular viewpoint. Now you can't say because your kind of aligned forces are in the minority then complain because it could have been the vice versa position. What is important is that if you negotiate insofar as the issue of the - after all, just before that, negotiations are about many opposing factors or two opposing factors otherwise there would be no need to negotiate if we all agreed before starting to negotiate. What is important is that we all should accept the principle that in negotiations it means negotiations. You come in with your propositions, you can't come out with your positions as they are or even bettered. You could, depending, you should expect that your position could alter, could change. You may have to give, you may have to take. That's the spirit of negotiations. The blackmailing of negotiations is an unfortunate situation to put impossible demands but it happens in politics, people walk out, take their briefcases and walk out of negotiations, it is a feature of it because people want to get what they want. But I think the degree to which you should end, you can't just go overboard.
. Insofar as the issue of sufficient consensus, again I think there is no valid point. The issue of the sufficient consensus was discussed with the IFP in the meeting, or the prelude to CODESA, and agreed and was used in CODESA for the whole period with the IFP being there and it was re-discussed when the multi-party process again resumed. A lot of argument and finally agreed. Now you can't then, when sufficient consensus doesn't go your way, and begin to look at it in a different way because there are many decisions that we have taken that we are all party to. We are using the same method of taking decisions. So I don't think this is a valid point.
. And also to walk out in the manner in which the IFP has I don't think it's also a valid point. You can't say, "We can only negotiate if you accept what we are demanding now." So what's the point of negotiating? Because what the multi-party did was to accept every concern of everybody to be put, to be debated. By so doing you are not necessarily saying, "We then accept your point" like the Afrikaners misunderstood because by people saying we are ready to debate the issue of self-determination they thought we are then accepting that self-determination is going to be the result. That's a wrong kind of thing. You can't say the form of state is a condition before I negotiate. You have to negotiate the form of state. So I don't think they have got a valid point, unfortunately. But people are very emotional about the positions they take.
. I don't think in my view that the IFP will stay out because it's illogical. Why? We could have made impossible demands from the beginning. We should have made many players not to participate even in the process itself. We didn't do so because we believe that the process must be as inclusive as possible. We must resolve our problems. Our view is not to have problems. I think it's important for the IFP to be part of the process, to argue their case within the process and make some of us who don't see their viewpoint see it and we must be ready to accept what they say if it makes sense and is logical. Equally they must be ready to accept the points we are making and I think they would come and they will be part of negotiations because you can't hope that negotiations then will stand still because one or two parties don't feel negotiations should proceed. I think we have bent backwards quite a lot.
. You will recall that at the beginning even on some of the issues like the regional ones we didn't think that powers for the regions should be entrenched in the constitution initially but we have come to accept that OK that is fine, you have to because we also want a strong regional government in any way. And once we say so then the demands differ. It looks like shifting the goal posts. Now you can shift the goal posts but I don't think you can do it indefinitely really. I think all parties have to pay prices in the negotiations and I don't think there is a problem with the ANC based in Natal because they are part of the decisions that are taken by the ANC at the national level and if anything it would be with their consent. We consult extensively. There is nothing that we do without them, they are part of it. I'm not now talking about some of our individual colleagues who could make statements at one point or the other. I'm talking about the ANC in broad terms.
POM. How about the CP? Do you think they will stay out? There doesn't seem to be any way to accommodate their demands.
JZ. No the CP won't stay out. They will come in. These are parliamentarians, they are used to the parliamentary system. But besides that they can't stay out. They will participate. The CP has taken, in my view, an opposition stance in negotiations unfortunately. Because they are in opposition they are continuing with the opposition stance and I think they are going to be in opposition with the negotiations as well as up to the new parliament because they know very well that their demand is impossible. In fact if we were not negotiating we were to tell them what their demand amounts to, it is actually worse than apartheid because by action what they are trying to say is, "We are not ready to be governed by majority government in South Africa. We are not ready even to be in partnership with the blacks. If apartheid goes and that has to happen, rather for us to be in South Africa, we had better have a separate state." It's worse than apartheid in fact. They actually are living in yesterday's world, if not the day before yesterday's world. They like it, opposition.
POM. That's what they know how to do?
JZ. They just don't know how to do it.
POM. That's what they know how to do. They know how to do opposition, they don't know how to do inclusiveness.
JZ. That's right because that has been their tradition. It was one thing when they were opposing the National Party, now they have got to oppose the people who have been disadvantaged or oppressed before and that's what they have been doing all the time. I don't think, for example, they even agree with the IFP. It's just to them a convenience to try to have some weight around and say, "We are not the only ones".
POM. When you look back to June of last year when the ANC walked out of CODESA and CODESA collapsed and take the year or 16 or 17 months that have gone by, what differences are there in what the ANC had on the table then and what the ANC has on the table today?
JZ. I don't think there's very much difference really. I don't think there's very much difference. There have been a lot of details which have gone into the issues which are being negotiated. We have processed a lot of positions. Also in the process of negotiating, hearing other parties, looking at our position, I don't think there is much difference there.
POM. Could you look at concessions? When you look at the government do you think what they had on the table then is much the same as what they have on the table now or do you think it has been changed a lot?
JZ. No in general, I think in general we have maintained the same kind of area but there have been a lot of discussions, including bilateral discussions between the ANC and the government which has helped a great deal to clarify issues, to further probe into issues. You will recall that at the time we are talking about, if you talked about the government of national unity the government would say, "We want nothing of that kind". You will also recall that if we talked about the Transitional Executive Council, people said we can't have that. So there were lots of things that in fact, even the government were saying nothing doing. But because of the intense discussions and clarifications we have come around those issues that were then those issues of contest are now agreed. What is being worked on now are actually the details, how should they look like, what kind of details do you put in. And yet at that time there were more contentious issues that people were fighting about. You will also recall that even the government of national unity the government did not want.
POM. What is the difference between a government of national unity and a power sharing government?
JZ. Well l don't know how people understand a power sharing government. We understand a government of national unity. The difference is the government says, "We cannot part from power. We can't imagine ourselves out of power. We have to be part of the government instead of giving power we have got to share power." The very expression itself gives you that indication. It is a little bit arrogant. We have got to share power, you take this, I take this, share power. So the kind of conceptual understanding of the thing smells the question of people who don't want to leave power, they must be part of it, we must share, you take so much, I take so much. That's where the emphasis is from the government. When they talk of government of national unity the emphasis is not that you take this power or you take this, we share it. Ours is that we work together as a collective of many players for very clear reasons that we are from a conflict society, that these constituencies have been put apart for so many years that it is important that they see us symbolising unity, working together, so that they could begin to work together. We begin even, in other words to dissolve suspicions and everything. We begin even before getting into power to show that the emphasis is not on power by the Transitional Executive Council, there is no power there. You go to the elections and you say we have the interim government and we should all be there. All people who are suspicious, who are these constituents, must have confidence that we are all there. Even when the new constitution is there we say that we must work in this constitution and begin to reconstruct South Africa together. So the emphasis really is just different.
POM. The Financial Times of 10th June did a long survey of South Africa and I'll just read you one or two sentences for you to say whether they are correct or incorrect or how incorrect are they: - "The first post-election Cabinet will include the leaders with more than 5% of the vote but Cabinet posts will be distributed proportionately and De Klerk will have veto powers over a very limited number of issues. The ANC also has conceded significant devolution of powers to regional government."
JZ. De Klerk will not have veto powers. The ANC, as I said earlier, at first it was saying no powers should be entrenched for the regions. We have come round to saying, fine, there will be powers entrenched for the regions, defined and entrenched. So as far as that one it wouldn't be wrong. But the veto power, that is what actually irritates politicians. No politician is going to have veto power, so that's the wrong assumption.
POM. When you look at the next period of time what obstacles do you see in the way of achieving a final lasting stable settlement?
JZ. I don't think there will be any more, more than what we are seeing now. I think the kinds of demands that people are putting across are to me the very last obstacles. We are going to the elections. What has happened, which I think is important, the Working Groups that were there during CODESA with clear representatives from the parties, you now have Technical Committees and those people would define things not because of their emotional political feelings but because of the scientific reality. I think that has gone a long way to help us, to define some of the things which would otherwise be fighting. Even the issues that have been raised now, sufficient consensus, etc., all those issues have been defined. I think we are going to resolve these as we move forward so I don't actually see major obstacles that are going to be facing us in the near future.
POM. When you at the draft of the constitutional proposals that were put on the table on Monday, would you be 70%, 80%, 90% satisfied with what is contained in them, or 40%, 50%? Where would you put your general level of satisfaction or dissatisfaction?
JZ. If you class me as an individual I think 70% plus I would be happy with. There are certain things to be looked at but I think by and large it does meet our complex situation, a kiss for the temporal people. After all it is a transitional constitution. People ought not to make it such a make or break as if this is now the final constitution.
POM. Were you concerned about what would appear to be an increase in support for the PAC? I read one article where I think it said that the PAC had now become the second largest party in the country it had passed the support of the National Party. (a). Do you believe that? And (b) Is it a source of concern with the APLA killings that support for the PAC in sections of the African community is increasing?
JZ. Firstly I don't agree that the PAC has gained support and that it is now the second largest party. I think that's a wrong conclusion. I don't know who, what could be shown to prove this besides what perhaps people have written out of their own suspicion because even the surveys have not shown the PAC becoming the largest party. Yes, perhaps within the blacks there has been that kind of - the youth in particular as it has been reported - and this is because of the fact that, as I explained earlier, the kind of militancy that is brought by violence people tend to think that you can solve problems in that way. I'm not worried about the PAC. I'm the least worried. You see there is one thing if you are dealing with emotions of people. It's quite another when you are dealing with the hard facts, what you are actually looking for, what you are trying to make. I don't think the PAC has so far offered anything in my view as a line of march or as a clear scenario of what we need to do, how we look at the government tomorrow, except slogans. I wouldn't fear that kind of support and I would also say the ANC would not be a living organisation if it just kept on growing and people were not worried about one thing or the other. It's not only now when we negotiate. During the armed struggle when there were operations the blacks supported us, when they thought the ANC was not hitting they got angry with it. It's not because the ANC loses support as such I think it has something to do with the emotional feelings of the people because of certain events. I don't believe, for example, that the PAC has an organised structure more than the IFP, seriously speaking. Evidence on the ground now, you will hear of IFP opening branches all over, you can have your own view about it. You can hear it, you can hardly hear PAC opening branches or launching branches.
POM. They launch a branch and nothing happens.
JZ. Yes. You can't even hear them that they are launching branches. They had people arrested and they tried to muster demonstrations against the arrests. They were pathetic. There were about 20 or 200 people in all of it, it was a big occasion, but the IFP when it marches it is a massive march. They fill stadiums. PAC has never filled any stadium except on June 16th where everybody goes in Cape Town, the day for every oppressed person. They have never organised a rally for the PAC and PAC alone and said we are filling stadiums. I think the ANC, its marches and rallies, the only black organisation that follows those kind of things is actually the IFP. So if somebody was saying to me that the IFP is the second largest I would say there is evidence for that. The PAC I don't see evidence unfortunately. So I would have a problem with that. I think they are misleading and it's a poor PAC, they have been misled to think they have got big support. I don't think they do have big support. I'm not disagreeing with their kind of APLA thing. They have picked up some support but not to make them a larger party.
POM. What do you think was behind the government's, or Kriel's arrest of 73 PAC people?
JZ. I think it was a misjudgement, it is an old misjudgement of the National Party. Just yesterday's methods. One, I think it showed his own views insofar as the negotiation process is concerned. I think he exposed himself as one of the hard-liners. Two, wrong method to think that harsh action will teach them a lesson. Thirdly, to show their constituents, who still have teeth, we can still bite, we are still strong, that kind of thing. It was an unfortunate kind of happening. I think also the kind of reasons really I don't think they had anything very profound, I don't think so.
POM. I want to look at two events, one is Bisho and what was the political fallout of Bisho and, two is Chris Hani's assassination and the political fallout of that both, particularly Hani's death, both internally and externally within the organisation itself and then maybe the larger political process.
JZ. I don't think in the organisation itself there was any fallout on the two occasions. I don't think so. I think Bisho was part of the action that was planned that went on and there was a shoot out. There was a lot of press speculation about people who might have taken certain action but there wasn't, within the organisation, a big problem. I don't think so.
POM. So it wasn't a turning point where some argue that the hawks lost out and the moderates were able to reassert themselves to get back to negotiations?
JZ. Not exactly. I think it was just one of the ups and downs of the struggle that emerged in the process. You could have not had a shoot out there and the march could have been a success, like marches that were successful. I don't think so. I think people read into it too much, then also looked for hawks and doves too much on that one. Insofar as Chris Hani, I don't think there was any problem there, absolutely no problem because why should it cause a problem? He was killed by the other side. All it did, it gave actually impetus to the process. You will recall that it was then that we began to say a date for elections is therefore necessary. So it actually boosted the process rather than giving problems internally. There were no problems at all internally.
POM. To put it rather crudely in the context of succession stakes, an article appeared some place where Peter Mokaba had come out and backed Thabo Mbeki to be Mandela's successor.
JZ. No, I think that is a mistaken view in fact, a mistaken conclusion because Chris was General Secretary of the South African Communist Party, he was leading an organisation, head of an organisation. I think because people wanted it to be fitting those kind of things, thought then that the kind of succession issue has come about. After all it's not a new thing. When we were still abroad those two names always emerged from the press. It was nothing new really and the press has always said Thabo is the successor, there is a competition between Thabo and Chris. Nothing so far has been a turning point. As I say, if people who were looking at things more objectively would have said, "After all Chris is now a leader of a different organisation, the South African Communist Party". Therefore to still put him as a hot runner in the ANC I think it was a mistaken view.
POM. He made his decision.
JZ. He made his own decision. People should have known. He was asked not to go, the ANC wanted him to stay. The army, MK, wanted him to stay. He made his decision and went to lead the party. So why to think that he was still interested in the succession - that's why I'm saying it was a mistaken kind of view.
POM. Do you think Buthelezi is playing what I call the Zulu card insofar as he has the King out there banging the drum, making noises?
JZ. He is, he is playing the Zulu card. I am sitting in front of you, I am a Zulu, I don't share the views. The support of the ANC in Natal is massive among the Zulus but he chooses to say, all the Zulus are saying what he said. He is playing the Zulu card.
POM. I have interviewed him three times and I have found him to be hard-line. To say he's a puppet of Buthelezi would be making a misjudgement, that he is somebody with very definite opinions of his own. Does he pull in more, because he's the monarch, the head of the Zulu nation, is he able to turn that into political support for whatever Inkatha or the KwaZulu government wants.
JZ. Well I'm not certain what happens. I know his views, he's a man with very strong views, with very strong leadership as well. I wouldn't be able to analyse whether that could be turned to some support. I'm not sure, I'm not certain when people are carrying weapons and everything and people around are intimidated, I'm not even certain once the ANC people begin to carry weapons, I cannot be certain that then we've got support because it will always look like a forced hand of support. So I wouldn't be able to comment on that one. And I'm saying ANC people carry dangerous weapons and I'm not impressed. I think there has been an element of intimidation into supporting the ANC. I don't agree with it. I believe in politics. You have to make your choice freely, not under duress or under some influence or under some intimidation. So I am saying if you see, I mean the political crowds with weapons and everything in their hands then I have a problem.
POM. The next question I'm going to get to goes back to the article or the proposition that Joe Slovo made last October about the necessity perhaps to share power because you had to watch the long run, and that you would have a bureaucracy. You could have an ANC government but you would have a white entrenched bureaucracy that would muddle you up at every stage. When you talk about affirmative action, I would assume that one of the things the government will try to do will be to entrench the position of civil servants so that nobody is fired.
JZ. If I talk about affirmative action, the South African state machinery has been too white, it has to change. In other words we have got to take those who have been disadvantaged into certain positions, not in a smaller scale because there has been no liberation in this country.
POM. Do you let those people go by offering a retirement package?
JZ. That has not been worked out but it's no way to displace them. I think we are going to rationalise that kind of affirmative action. In government, for example, there are people who have taken pension and they are re-employed in the civil service. There's a lot of that. People have been actually pensioned and they have been re-employed and are still working. It's unnecessary. So details would be worked out but certainly we will have to do something without destabilising that kind of experience and continuity. But it cannot be left as it is, it will have to be handled in a particular way. The problem is that it is too white. It has to change, it has to reflect the character of this country properly.
POM. So I could leave today feeling that you are optimistic about the future?
JZ. I'm very optimistic about the future. In see no reason why we cannot solve our problems and have elections next year. I see no problem in negotiations having difficulties and ups and downs. It is in the nature of negotiations, no negotiator, no player will smile and say, "Look I'm just putting these conditions because I'm just wanting you too be scared". They will all be vigorous about it. That's the nature of negotiations. At the end people are leaders because they carry responsibility. It is going to weigh and prevail that people finally will make right conclusions and right compromises.
POM. That's a nice note to end on.
POM. Thank you.