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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.
11 Aug 1993: Hall, John
POM. I was just reading a number of articles in preparation for this interview which largely suggest that the National Peace Accord has been ineffective either because proper structures have not been put in place or because the signatories to it haven't put their political weight personally behind it. Given the spate of recent killings, ongoing killings that are going on where would you place the National Peace Committee after almost two years of existence?
JH. So many people talk about the effectiveness of the Accord and one has to say, how do you measure the effectiveness? You will have read in your background articles that people say if we didn't have the Peace Accord it would be so much worse and of course it's very difficult to assess that. I would like to go back a bit and say what has the Peace Accord done because I think it's brought about benefits in many areas. If I go back to the start of the Peace Accord in May 1991 when it was generally thought that something should be set in place to try and prevent political violence from escalating, the State President called a Peace Conference which was boycotted by the newly freed political parties and the South African Council of Churches and that's how I got involved because I was Chairman of the South African Chamber of Business at the time and the churches and business got together to try and facilitate a National Peace Conference and we did that on 29th June 1991 and all the major political parties came together and it was agreed that a Peace Accord should be negotiated. We weren't going to call it a Peace Accord, that flowed from the steering committee that some kind of agreement would be negotiated.
. That gave rise to one of the principle benefits of the Peace Accord which has been the networking of the players. In other words the political leaders came together in working groups right throughout the four months of negotiating, there are eight chapters in the Peace Accord, each group had about twenty players so you probably had 160 members of the political parties that started to know each other, became friends right across the political spectrum, the various population groups and so on. So a network of friendship was established there that is still valid to this day. You can dial a friend, you can dispel a rumour. At that time one the greatest fears was that rumours, if not immediately squashed, would lead to escalating violence. So in actual fact there's a total network that's been continuously expanding as regional and local peace structures have been put in place so that one of great benefits is the ability to dispel rumour and I don't know how you would weight that but I actually weight that quite heavily.
. The Peace Accord sits there not just to be telephoned to squash rumours but it sits there as hosts to groups that are not agreeing in the negotiating process, it can act as facilitator, mediator and host and midwife if necessary to the variety of processes that are taking place. If you weigh the Peace Accord against the actual political deaths then you could actually say quite successfully that the Peace Accord is not really very successful. If you weigh it against the intermediary role which the Peace Accord can play at national, regional and local level then I would say it's success is quite dramatic, that the ability to dial a friend to say, "Are you in fact sending 4,000 arms from Natal to the Transvaal to mount an attack against the hostels?" and the fellow says, "Look, that's absolute rubbish but if you want to prove it get Goldstone to come in here and do a quick investigation or come and investigate it yourself." That's been a very important factor.
POM. The Goldstone Commission in most of its reports on violence has said that the primary, though not the sole, cause of the violence is the political rivalry between the ANC and the IFP. Do you accept that analysis?
JH. I accept it in part. You see it really quite irritates me when people are so definitive because violence in this country is multi-faceted. The so-called political violence is outweighed by criminal violence by a factor of anything from 10 to 1 to 20/30 to 1. Political deaths 9,000, criminal deaths 30,000, violent assaults 15,000, criminal violence assaults 150,000 over a two year period. House breakings 500,000, rapes 44,000, armed robberies 120,000. Political violence is quite a small niche there and where you do find in fact ANC versus IFP would probably be in Natal where there are ANC demarcated zones and IFP zones and when one party tries to increase its influence in another area a certain amount of tensions develop and violence can ensue and they are not always political. People run up the ANC flag or the IFP flag when it's actually an industrial relations dispute as in the case of Brandville.
. That really started because the textile company in Brandville actually fired its workers following an industrial dispute and brought in a bunch of Zulus who lived in hostels. It was a classical recipe for disaster. The people who lived in homes who worked in the factory could no longer pay their rents and chaps were brought in who they saw as stealing their jobs. It wasn't only political but the one group happened to be COSATU/ANC affiliates and the others Inkatha so there was a situation where violence ensured that was not a political gaining ground. In other areas, Harry Gwala of the ANC/SACP controls a territory there with an armed force and IFP in those particular areas are seen as aliens. I'll make it more complicated by saying that faction fighting has been a fact of life in KwaZulu/Natal for hundreds of years and that still continues between the Amakosi, the tribal chiefs, competition for scarce resources. It's not simple. You cannot say IFP versus ANC, it's too much of an over-simplification.
POM. But he said the primary but not the sole cause.
JH. I doubt whether it's even primary.
POM. Would you say the same in relation to the violence in the Transvaal?
JH. As far as violence in the Transvaal you cannot pin it down to ANC/IFP. You can say that in part it's ANC/IFP but if you say it's Zulus living in hostels versus the community, is that IFP/ANC? The IFP would adopt the hostels because they are largely Zulu people and you could argue that hostels become fortresses but the mere fact is that the breakdown of community structures has forced people to be polarised either over scarce resources or because of political affiliations or because of warlord affiliations, whatever. If you've been doing the study, I guess I'm just telling you what you know already.
POM. Do you think the warlord element is becoming an increasingly dominant element in the violence, that in fact there are warlords and gangs who can't be controlled by either the ANC or the IFP even if they do think that they are simply their own?
JH. I actually don't know. I don't think anybody in this country can give you a fully documented answer to that. The fact is that in Vosloorus and Thembisa the PAC will say that the people in those areas operate under the flag of the PAC but Benny Alexander if you ask him, and I'm sure you will, will say, "We cannot go into that area ourselves, we'll get killed." They are not PAC supporters, they are just flying the flag. And whenever there's violence I always say, who gains from this violence? In most of the joint operation committees in violence torn areas under the auspices of the Peace Accord it's the ANC and the IFP and the police working together manning those stations. So the IFP and the ANC are now planning to go into these violence torn areas in a show of solidarity that they're at peace, 'please don't use political affiliations for violence'.
. But the other fact is sheer poverty and people living in despair, food purchases, statistics are going down. It's not in the affluent areas of South Africa, it's really where people are starving and they are living in a state of tension all the time and that tension is ignited by agents provocateurs, the drive-through killers in motor cars. Who the hell sends them there? Are they sent by the right wing who offer them R500 a body? Are they sent by somebody else with similar aims and objectives of destabilising the communities to delay the election? Who actually gains or is it just a car stealing gang who have got a multi-million rand business who say the last thing we want to see in this community is peace and stability therefore let's destabilise.
POM. I've noticed a change in language in the last year. People have stopped talking about the third force and started talking about a 'sinister' force. Many would argue that the people who gain from the violence is the government.
JH. What would the government hope to gain? If you had said that three years ago, that the government could actually have a strategy to divide and rule so that you totally polarise the Zulus and totally polarise all the ethnic groups in the country, then you could have said that was the old apartheid strategy of homelands, Bantustan development with a strong government in the centre. I think they crossed the Rubicon literally in January 1990 when the economy had collapsed, when we had no foreign exchange reserves, the country was bankrupt and we had to change. I don't think there was any thought in the minds of intelligent people that they could take the country through a five year civil war and hope that there should be anything left of the country at the end of it. It just defies the imagination. The people that I know that would not think that way, so I think that's a ridiculous thought.
POM. The ANC have religiously held to this point of view and year after year after year they trot out the very same explanations of the causes of the violence which is that the government is behind it. Do you think that their unwillingness to admit to their own complicity in the violence, that in fact ANC people are involved in it too, makes it more difficult to stop the violence?
JH. I think the ANC admit their role in violence. Certainly at Peace Accord meetings they did. They admit that there are elements in the townships that are uMkhonto weSizwe forces gone bush if you like, and who are terrorising communities, holding communities hostage. I think the ANC are outstanding in the way they admit their involvement. The sad thing is, of course, that when people makes these allegations against the police's complicity in the violence chapter and verse evidence is not there. Even Lawyers for Human Rights talk about the weight of statistical evidence against the third force or the government complicity. I'm not that clever. I just know that there are policemen on the ground who are stressed beyond belief, vilified within communities, attacked and shot, who react as human beings from time to time. I also know that there are police stations who are known where the staff of those police stations come from the old regime and still behave as if the old regime is in place and those are steadily being isolated and then moved. The sinister force, the planned structured sinister force that's destabilising I can't get my mind around. I have no great knowledge. I chair meetings, I talk to the same people, you talk to more people than I do, much more, but I'm in touch with the communities via the Peace Secretariat.
POM. What I find interesting is your remark that at the meetings of the Peace Committee that the ANC are so willing to admit that they have lost control of some elements of the youth in the townships. I get a similar kind of acknowledgement, but it's very, yes that's there as a factor but the main factor is the government in one way or another. But leaving that aside ...
JH. I accept that what you say is true, that they are constantly hammering the government and hammering the police which I believe is not always constructive.
POM. That's what I mean. Unless they develop a more constructive attitude to understanding the dimensions of the problem does it make it more difficult for the National Peace Accord to accomplish its mandate?
JH. It makes it very difficult. If you want to talk about how effective the Peace Accord should be, it was envisaged that the National Peace Committee, which I chair, would operate at national policy making level and it does and the Secretariat would be the engine room which set up regional and local peace structures and their job would be the conflict resolution and conflict prevention and the creation of peace committees and then into that stabilised society would flow reconstruction and development funding where the Peace Accord sub-committee on reconstruction and development would act as a catalyst for aid agencies to put money into newly stabilised communities and thereby create job opportunities, restore the shattered economies and whereas poverty comes in the door love flies out of the window, we thought we would try love comes in the window poverty flies out of the door. That was the thesis and very solid and that Goldstone would in fact investigate acts of political violence.
. So you have the peace makers, the peace builders and the peace keepers type of clichéd concept and that was how it was meant to work. But the flaw in the whole thing was that the signatories to the Peace Accord were not able to force the Peace Accord down to regional and local communities because, quite frankly and in my view, they didn't have control of those areas. Until you have an election you don't know what your membership is. I don't know what the ANC's paid up membership is. I know what COSATU's is. I'm not too sure what the IFP's is. So how do they control communities, particularly on the Reef, which are fairly cosmopolitan communities where the whole plethora of ethnic groupings in those townships - how do you know who your supporters are? If you have a rally in Soweto and you get 5,000 people and there are one million people there does that give you some indication of your support? One million people living in the greater Soweto area.
. So I think it's an illusion that the political parties can actually send down edicts to their regional and local leadership and get the Peace Accord enforced. It's a total illusion and so I believe in the commitment of the signatories to the Peace Accord. At regional level they are ineffectual and at local level they are ineffectual except in one area, they keep people from each other's throats so that the minute an area boils over into violence the police are called, structures are there with the political parties to actually keep the deaths at 120 instead of 2,500. That I really think is provable.
. But what they should be doing, and this is the drive that we're pushing for now because we've got to have stability before we can have elections, is to have locally negotiated Peace Accords. The areas where that has happened are Bekkersdal, Kroonstad and Mpumalanga, Middelburg and Port Shepstone where the local communities have actually said, "Enough. We've got to actually negotiate our own rules of how we're going to govern ourselves in the absence of an elected Town Council." And those where they have been successful there has been peace and in spite of efforts by political parties to disrupt that peace because they see themselves losing control of those areas, the peace has been sustained. So the drive now will be in fact to get the local and regional Peace Accord signed at grassroots level, regional level because the floor was that the signatories signed at the top.
POM. The elite.
JH. The elite and nobody else knew what the hell it was all about. And when I made the suggestion that in fact those leaders should get their regional and local leaders to sign the Peace Accord it was rejected out of hand because they weren't at all sure that Harry, or somebody, would actually sign the Peace Accord and what do you do when one of your Executive Committee members says, "I'm not signing this cockamamy document."
POM. Do you think the fact that neither the ANC nor the IFP, or perhaps to another extent the government, is in control of its constituency as it relates to militant activities, what are the ramifications of that in terms of moving forward? Can you have elections if the present level of violence continues or must you have elections in any case?
JH. You can't have them on the East Rand where people are too frightened to go to the shops never mind a polling booth. But Soweto right now is actually quite peaceful and 85% of the country is peaceful. Violence is sporadic, the country isn't in turmoil. A lot of the communities are actually peaceful. Violence flares up after some incident or other. So if you had to say where would a polling booth be effective and where would the poll be accepted, you take a map of South Africa and probably every area where you stood a reasonable chance of success was a black pin you'd have a hell of a lot more pins than red if you chose red to be your colour of a flash point area where voting would be almost nonsensical. So I think there's a great deal of hope because everybody understands the problem.
. The World Trade Centre, the funny squiggles on the flip chart there, we are involved in this whole role again behind the scenes is trying to - if something looks as if violence is threatening we are supposed to get involved in that act firstly as a watching brief and then as a sort of action brief. If in fact the negotiating process looks as if it's going to hit a stone wall and that's going to lead to civil war, for example, we would have to get involved in that. Now the whole election is, I think, holistically inter-twined, that we get the proper route map at the top of the negotiating process, i.e. that we have a commitment to a constitution, regional and local constitutions before the election based on Bill of Rights principles. That I think is very important. Whereas the ANC would say, no, we need an interim constitution and then a Constituent Assembly flowing from whoever wins the election. Those are areas of conflict. Get those out of the way and get regional constitutions based on Bills of Rights factors, I won't go into too much detail, but with 30% of administrative things to be decided by the new legislature you've probably got an environment where people can actually calm down a bit on the way the country is going to be governed, very important. And then people, once their minds are off that, then we can start focusing our minds on actually getting regional and local peace accords signed in those violence torn areas.
POM. If I'm hearing you correctly, in your view as many features of the constitution should be spelt out before a Constituent Assembly particularly with regard to the tricky issues of the devolution of powers either from the centre to the periphery or from the periphery to the centre, the full powers of the regions, which of these rights will be entrenched in the constitution, this should be done before a Constituent Assembly and then the Constituent Assembly is under less pressure when it comes in to perhaps modify in some way some of what's already in the constitution that was drawn up, say, at the World Trade Centre.
PAT. Don't you then have a situation that takes you back to your peace negotiation process where you have a group of elites and one is not sure who they represent in negotiating and it just feeds once again the conflict, the legitimacy?
JH. I think those are elements, nothing is simple and, yes, I can be accused of over-simplification of every damn thing. I find it easier that way. It gives people less headaches. But the fact is that constitutional principles have already been agreed. The fact is that a Bill of Rights, everybody has put forward their Bill of Rights and if you put them all on top of each other they all overlap probably 80% of the way. I was looking at the ANC one just yesterday and you say, well I can live with that - adequate compensation for confiscation of land, justiciable in front of the courts, all these sorts of things. If in fact they have all been agreed in principle and they are very close then logic dictates that those should be capable of incorporation in the constitution, not an interim constitution but a constitution. And regionally as well. Why should those factors, those Bill of Rights issues, not be incorporated in a regional constitution? If you take the moon shot approach, in other words you get up on the moon and you look down at South Africa and you say, there's a country with a lot of regions and they've all got reasons to exist, ethnicity, economic, whatever it may be, there are certain natural areas which should be governed by a local administration. Then they should have a constitution and the constitution should in common sense terms incorporate a Bill of Rights and then the national governing body which is necessary, it's going to add a tremendous amount of value, should be the custodians of Bills of Rights and have other residual powers which have all been basically agreed and that should be capable of incorporation in a national constitution.
. And so if the facts have been agreed the logic says why shouldn't they be incorporated in a constitution which needn't be 100%, it could be 70% and 30% left to the legislature which has been elected to finalise some of the details of the constitution. Everybody agrees to that in principle. That's the moon shot approach so that the 30% that's left still to be negotiated in Natal for example would be negotiated by the elected legislature in Natal taking into consideration the differences in Natal economically. It's got a totally different economy to Venda and if Venda and the Northern Transvaal was an area, their 30% of issues to be resolved would be different to Natal. That seems to be accepted in principle by everybody. If the Bill of Rights in a base constitution with a bit of ability to vary backed by the two thirds majority of the legislature capable of changing the constitution itself, surely that's enough safeguards for any political party be it AZAPO, PAC to say, hey, we can live with that.
POM. Do you think the provision that was made in the first draft of the constitutional proposals, that this was an interim constitution and could be scrapped completely by the Constituent Assembly, in essence will lead to disagreement, will lead to violence?
JH. Will lead to violence, yes. I think it will.
POM. It's like starting the game all over again after you had gone three quarters of the way at the World Trade Centre.
JH. It makes the World Trade Centre negotiations and the TEC absolute nonsense and could lead to real violence because if you get to the Constituent Assembly that is bound by the constitutional principles there's an argument in certain circles that says principles don't force you to do anything. They actually say that what you do should be measured against those principles and are they justiciable, which is a new word for me but it's bandied around a lot nowadays.
POM. It's a word I've heard a lot in the last two years.
JH. Those are valid points and so what is said is that you move into a Constituent Assembly, they never reach agreement on the new constitution and after two years there's a deadlock breaking mechanism which allows government to be dissolved. You go to a new election and the newly elected government can do with 50% plus one or a coalition between the SACP, AZAPO and the PAC, can then decide what kind of constitution is going to run this country which could be a total unitary state with socialist, to hell with the Bill of Rights, total communisationalist principles and we have to reinvent the African wheel all over again. I, for one, say to hell with that, wearing my South African citizen's hat and not Chairman of the Peace Accord hat. And there's a tremendously strong feeling among people who actually understand the potential for this thing to ...
PAT. What does the ANC have to do to get the government into accepting that approach?
JH. It will. The government will accept it. You mean the Constituent Assembly approach?
PAT. Yes, they seem to have done that.
JH. Well I don't think they have. I think that the IFP may be playing the role of stalking horse. I'm not sure how the politics work but when the realisation comes that you're giving somebody a blank cheque to the future of the country then I think you'll get down to the nitty gritty of ...
POM. So when you say Buthelezi is being used as a stalking horse?
JH. I don't say that. I mean that could be a scenario.
JH. I've got to be careful what I say.
POM. I'll send you on a transcript of this anyway so you can ...
JH. Don't, don't! I walk a tight rope and if you want to destroy me completely you can say that I made judgmental statements, the IFP are a bunch of bastards and the ANC are a bunch of this and the government are that, that I'm useless as Chairman of the Peace Accord! I'll leave it to your good judgement.
POM. But if the IFP were being used as a stalking horse?
JH. Unwittingly perhaps.
POM. It would be being used by the government?
JH. Yes, the COSAG group, I shouldn't actually introduce that term 'stalking horse' because it locks so readily into the mind. I would say we need somebody and business could be playing that role, but then business, it's constituency is not as powerful as people always think it is.
POM. Do you think, these are two related questions, this time last year when we were here most people we interviewed said by and large the right was dead, had been destroyed in the March 1992 referendum, it was in disarray, there were disaffections, there were accusations and one comes back a year later and finds that the different elements of the right seem to have come together under the AVF, under Constand Viljoen. You find that the base of support for the National Party seems to have dramatically crumbled, that only one out of four of the voters who voted for them in 1989 would vote for them today. Do you see threats in two ways (i) on the rise of the right - is it a more cohesive powerful force than it was and a real threat to the process today? And (ii) does the seeming collapse, it might be only temporary, but seeming collapse at the moment of the base of the National Party pose a problem also in so far as de Klerk may soon get to the point of not being able to deliver his own constituency?
JH. I've only got a theory because I actually don't know, I don't think anybody really does. The actual number of people that are involved in rallies and marches and that sort of thing is relatively few, good for television coverage. I would think that there is so much uncertainty in the country right now, uncertainty equals insecurity, insecurity leads to people thinking bad things and doing bad things. I think it's the source of all evil. And so I would have the view that the government appearing to be the lame duck which it is, not able to move in and crush uprisings, ordinary folk would say, hell, Constant Viljoen who promises kragdadigheid, sort of the strong hand the power that we've always enjoyed in the past we can rally to that kind of flag.
. But of course South Africa is long beyond that. Nobody is in power in this country right now. We are actually running virtually in an ungoverned state which is bloody marvellous. The informal sector is burgeoning, communities are governing themselves. They are going almost back to the barter days and how you finally traded wheat to the village next door. The new South Africa is being spawned right in front of our eyes and we don't really see it. I wax lyrical here but one does see it happening and therefore the people who are feeling desperately insecure really would rally to the flag of a Constand Viljoen but in fact as we move towards the elections and the safeguards are built into the constitution with a Bill of Rights, property protection and all that sort of thing, I think the government, the National Party would be seen to have done a very good job.
POM. So it would run on the package?
JH. And I think they have fallen. Somebody cleverer than me predicted that after de Klerk's announcement the popularity of the NP would take a deep dip and the right wing would take a significant leap in popularity, including the IFP. Many whites are joining the IFP. And then there would be the climb up as the negotiations became more acceptable to people, when people got their minds around what was happening and realised it actually wasn't that bad at all, then I think the National Party support would recover quite significantly. That's just my view.
POM. One other thing. Must Buthelezi in some way be accommodated or if he hangs out there, threatens secession or whatever or refuses to be part of the process, refuses to be bound by any of the arrangements made by the other parties at the negotiating council, is that an added destabiliser?
JH. Not in my view. I think that Buthelezi is not trying to consolidate his power for ever and a day. He accepts the moon shot concept that I talked about earlier, that he would fight an election in KwaZulu/Natal under a constitution that was negotiated, that 70% constitution that was negotiated as part of the process. He would fight that election. He would win or lose that election and would accept the outcome of that election. I think he is fighting against a Constituent Assembly and a blank cheque. I think I know that.
POM. The blank cheque being after the two years?
JH. Yes. And the ability never to reach agreement on the constitution. You can have beautiful structures and plans and maps and everything else of how it's all going to work but all you've got to do is actually hold up the process in total bad faith.
POM. What I find interesting, because in CODESA 2 this was precisely the reason why the government said they can't accept the ANC's counter proposal because their counter proposal of there being a 70% weighted majority for inclusion of items in the Bill of Rights and the constitution was if there is a deadlock there are one or two or three procedures all of which led back to 51%, and now one hasn't heard their voice saying that's totally acceptable or are they leaving that for down the road.
JH. I think that's one of those turds of the table that has been - you know they've put the silver chalice over it for the time being, but it's got to be a factor. But in CODESA 2 I was told that in actual fact they had agreed that no (in fact I made a note of it because I meant to check it up) that no election would take place until these constitutional issues have been settled in the Working Group 3 of CODESA 2 and which the ANC agreed to. So I think everything is negotiable and that's why when we talk about holism and the effectiveness of the Peace Accord I still think the Peace Accord has a major role to play because it's part of the whole and I think that there's an eminent chance of reaching a negotiated settlement. It's got to be anyway, you can't have a civil war. Even Buthelezi knows that and I worked with him right through the negotiations in the Peace Accord which was exactly the same, walk out, come back, walk out, come back, walk out, come back. Not always without justification. There was often justification. They were being manipulated and people that were in an absolute hurry, indecently to get something passed just to get it out of the way and they said, "No, we can see the implications in that, we don't accept it." So it's rather like a business having people that want to rush and people who are more conservative.
POM. One last question. What strikes me about the violence on the East Rand is the depth and intensity of rage that seems to attach to it, not just about killing people it's about mutilations, burning people, digging up coffins and burning people.
POM. Do you think that rage has been submerged for years under apartheid and rather than being turned outward it's turned inward?
JH. No. I think it's people deprived of livelihood. They are in a survival mode and what happens, I mean your value system which is probably very sophisticated as survival comes into focus, your veneers of values just get stripped off and I think Donald Beck would say that we are now down at level three which is a total survival. You know people move out of the tribal collective system and quite often they move into that level three which is people burn down a hospital for the lead pipes to go and buy a hamburger. Donald Beck, he's the American sort of sociologist who has been working in this country with my companies for a long time and he makes it very complicated, I simplify everything as you know. So level one is a hunter/gatherer, level two is a tribal collectivist, level three is people that have urbanised, come into the townships, no tribal support system so they survive on their own and they have very short term survivalistic goals so the youth are quite often in that category. And level four is once again a strictly Calvinistic type of structured society and that's why quite often in our businesses an Afrikaans foreman gets on incredibly well with migrant labour. They both come from a similar collectiveness value system. And then you move into level five, an entrepreneurial, business skills, lower level crooks, higher level businessmen and so on. It's either mumbo-jumbo or it's not but it happens to work for me and I think that Don would say that people in these townships have moved from levels of employment where they lived normal lives and had fairly well structured societies into survivalist levels where totally dehumanising acts can take place. That's probably too simplistic. You should have a chat to him and he could make that last for two hours.
POM. Where is he at?
JH. He actually phoned me this morning. He's based in Dallas, Texas but he's been coming here for years and years.
POM. Is he at a university there?
JH. He's a Values - it's all boring. He's been coming here for it must be 15 years. He's got as much information on South Africa, he wrote the book "The Crucible", have you read that? He's got all that junk in there.
PAT. What do you think happens on the violence scale if these elections don't take place on 27th April or thereabouts?
JH. I think if it's a negotiated delay for three or four months and the economy starts to recover as it will then I'm not at all worried about it.
PAT. But the ANC must be worried because there would be a lot of disaffection.
JH. Well people are waiting for the ANC to deliver. They are a liberation, even today they are a liberation organisation and so, yes, they've got to deliver. And what have they got to deliver? This is the whole question of increasing expectations and so on. I think this illusion that people are expecting to get a house and a car and swimming pool I think that's ridiculous. I think, because I don't know, but the black people that one talks to, it's illusions about the youth, the marginalised youth. We're working with the youth. COSAS for example, we're organising a conference for the COSAS membership all over the country. Their agenda is how can we use protest effectively without it leading to violence? Aids awareness programmes. Township hygiene. Community service. All of these things. In the old days the youth were anti their parents because they were Uncle Toms in accepting the regime. Now they're getting very anti the lack of development, lack of progress. It's so easy to sit up and say oh, that's what's happening. Sheila Sisulu, who I am sure you have talked to, she's organising this together with the Peace Accord, the National Youth Corps, community service oriented. They don't want to be called marginalised. They say hey, we're people, we're here. We're not stupid. We may not be that well educated but we're not stupid. And so on. It's so easy to say this is what those people would want from your value system. In actual fact what they may well want is what my father wanted for me, that I should be able to do better than he did and that there should be no barrier to opportunities. Don't listen to me because I talk a lot of rubbish.
POM. We were with a group the other night at Orange Farm, a semi-focus group, and the issue which came up again and again was education and education is the classic way of getting out of poverty, moving ahead.
PAT. Not so much of a distinction, or at least it's maybe a distinction by not being stated, between what Nelson Mandela has promised, there's a lot seen in the personification of Nelson Mandela as opposed to the ANC. The ANC is out there with everybody else but Mandela has told us we will have jobs, we will have education, housing. Housing, jobs, education. Mandela has promised that and that's why we're going to vote.
JH. As I say, you talk to more people than I do.
PAT. This was down under too. This isn't leaders of civic structures.
JH. Those are people whose views one has to get. Again one has a view rightly or wrongly that somebody has got to work them up into a fervour. You can say we promise you this but I promise it for you over the next twenty years. There's no quick fix here. They know people aren't stupid and they know there's no quick fix.
POM. Thank you very much for taking the time. I'll be back again probably in six months. We're going to spend probably most of the rest of this year here through the elections.
PAT. Whenever they are!
JH. I'm pleased to have met you and I'm very honoured to be on your list of people you talk to.