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This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

15 Sep 1993: Mdlalose, Frank

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POM     I remember when we visited you last year when it was just at the beginning of the stayaway which the ANC were staging from CODESA 2 and they were engaging in mass action and there seemed to have been kind of a rivet driven between the government and the ANC, in a sense they appeared to be on confrontational lines. Yet then in September you had the Record of Understanding between the ANC and the government and the perceptions in many parts were that the ANC and the government had somehow struck a deal and that any assembly, constitutional or otherwise, that is there is really an assembly to ratify decisions already made by them, even though they don't portray it like that. What would be the IFP's and the KwaZulu government's analysis of that part of the situation?

FM     Well our analysis is clear and straightforward. The SA government and the ANC, with its SA Communist Party, came to several bilateral meetings which were in private and these meetings resulted in agreements between the two parties. I think the SA government and NP on one side, the ANC and SACP on the other side, and they came out with the Record of Understanding on 26th September 1992 which agreements had impact on other parties that had not been involved in that bilateral agreement. Now we took exception to that because we felt that other parties in SA had not been involved in that agreement which was binding on other parties, had impact on other parties, and that was what we couldn't live with. And so our President, Dr Buthelezi, objected to that, that was on 27th September, in public and said that no, that would not do. In fact it was preceded, that agreement of 26th September between Mr de Klerk, the State President, and Mr Mandela, President of the ANC, had been preceded by several requests by Dr Buthelezi to the State President to say, "What are you talking about in private, between the two parties?" All that we got was, "Oh, oh, we're just trying to get them back to the talks because they've run away from the talks." That was all. Now when the results came out it was clear that many agreements had been made and certainly four of them had impact on us as well as other participants.

POM     Could you point to the kind of things that had been reached which affected your party, say, more so than other parties, but affected your party materially?

FM     Well materially we were affected by the Constituent Assembly. We have always objected to the Constituent Assembly and we're not the only ones that objected. The second one was the issue of weapons, cultural accoutrements, which is weapons, traditional weapons. We know them as cultural weapons. We also have the issue of the hostels. There are many, many members who belong to IFP and we have never been consulted, nor was I consulted on these agreements, they never asked us. The fourth one was the question of amnesty and we were involved in the issues of amnesty, not just of course ANC, I mean other parties were involved. So we objected to conclusions being made just between the two parties to the exclusion of others.

POM     After your bilaterals with the government and after you had withdrawn being still engaged in the process of bilaterals and after bilaterals with the government and the ANC and the release of the second draft of the constitutional proposals at that time the IFP responded, "As a condition of our returning to the negotiating process it must be ensured that decisions to which we objected and which were taken without our participation are set aside." What specific conditions and decisions were you talking about?

FM     First you must understand that sufficient consensus was pronounced on two occasions and we objected to the pronunciation of that sufficient consensus by the two chairmen, each one on his own day.

POM     How would they define it?

FM     On 15th June the chairman of the National Negotiating Council declared sufficient consensus for moving on against our request that we postpone further meetings until we have consulted our principals on a specific issue that we were dealing with them and we said we would like to consult our principals back home before we can move on with the rest of the agenda. We were ruled out and were told that there was sufficient consensus, we had been ruled out. And that sufficient consensus was defined by head counting, fifteen were for moving on and eight were against moving on and three abstained. So it was fifteen versus eleven and they said that, no, there is sufficient consensus, and we said we must go back and consult. That was refused and so we walked out. We got back a few days later by which time in our absence they had already decided that there would be elections on 27th April 1994. It had been mooted before, it had been discussed before, but the final decision within the Negotiating Council was done after we had moved out.

     Secondly, on 2nd July at the negotiating forum, now there was again a declaration of sufficient consensus on the issue that affected the constitution. We had said that the constitution which was being dealt with by the technical committee on constitutions should actually give openly both sides, the unitary type of constitution as well as the federal type of constitution, that when we discuss we are aware of the implications of both sides. Now we said that's an instruction to be given to the technical committee and that was disallowed. The instruction was given to the effect that the technical committee must deal with improvements or otherwise along the terms of a unitary type of constitution. That is what we disagreed with and it was declared that there was sufficient consensus to move along those lines. That's when we walked out. We realised that there was no way we were ever going to influence the proceedings.

POM     So would you really, or would the IFP, KwaZulu government for that matter, really see the operational definition of sufficient consensus as being one in which the ANC and the government agree? That they essentially push on and leave everybody else behind?

FM     Well it looks like that's how they look at sufficient consensus. We don't look at sufficient consensus like that.

POM     That's the way they see it. Now you called for the establishment of a federal Republic of South Africa under a final constitution to be drawn up before the first elections. Now many people would say that the reason you adopted this position is that if elections were held that Inkatha might at best get up to 10% or less of the vote and that it wouldn't have a great deal of clout in a Constituent Assembly, therefore it wants as much of the constitution in place before a Constituent Assembly takes place, as much of the constitution in place that can't be changed. How would you answer critics who make that argument? I'm sure you've heard it on a number of occasions.

FM     Not so simple. It would not matter whether Inkatha got 1% of the vote or got 100% of the vote, that is irrelevant, absolutely. What matters is that when we make a constitution as many political participants as is possible should take part. That's what matters. And when that constitution has been constructed with as many political parties as we have now at the World Trade Centre, 26 participants are there, and then you democratise it by putting that constitution before the whole country and if it is accepted by the whole country then that constitution is ready to be applied and then you can conduct elections on the strength of that constitution.

POM     You had talked about that, after that constitution was drawn up it would be then set to the people in a referendum.

FM     And that we think is democracy. And we would be seen, and this is important, what we would be seeing is a constitution that results out of the efforts of as many parties in SA as are taking part in the Negotiating Council. Therefore it has validity and even when you put it to the public you can argue that it has been contributed to by as broad a spectrum of SA as possible. The other side would be having an election first before the constitution, then you would have a Constituent Assembly and any one or two parties coming up to do the constitution, will do the law of the country as a mere one or two parties, and it doesn't matter whether those would be IFP or whoever else. We think it would be wrong. So the argument that says because we think the IFP will have 10% or 1% or no percent is irrelevant.

POM     So if it did go to a referendum what proportion of the people would have to approve of it in order for it to become binding?

FM     In my view, and this of course has never been properly advocated because it was always put off, it would be a simple majority of the people of SA, the people of SA. But some people might argue that it should be 60% or whatever. That's a negotiating point but it is a point that was never put before the Negotiating Council. But if it is something that has been agreed upon by all the parties by sufficient consensus, which means everybody has contributed there, then the final thing comes out to the country, I feel quite sure myself it would receive far more than just a mere 51% of the people of SA.

POM     In southern Africa, perhaps even Africa as a whole, if you look at countries that have approached democratisation and drawn up constitutions, can you point to countries which have done it the way that you suggest, and to countries that have done it the way that the ANC and the government want it done?

FM     Can you point out two countries in which is has been done, a Constitutional Assembly?

POM     Can I? Namibia.

FM     Namibia, yes. What else?

POM     Angola.

FM     They're not going to win Angola. Are we going to turn that way now? In fact if you take Zimbabwe, you have in Zimbabwe just what I think we're discovering, all parties took part and all parties formulated a constitution and all parties got back home from Lancaster House having a constitution that has been accepted and that's what works. That has happened in all the British colonies in fact and we were formerly a colony of the British. That's how it has happened in the other colonies. There are only two countries that I am aware of where you had a Constituent Assembly, that was Namibia and India.

POM     After the second draft of the constitution came out, I'm saying 'you' as being statements from either the IFP or the KwaZulu government, you said, "We are more than ever confirmed in our original position that the negotiating process is moving from incurably wrong constitutional premises and is rushing the country into a constitutional and political disaster." What do you mean by that? What are the principles that are wrong?

FM     Well I mean exactly that, to be politically rushed, we have to come out and agree to only electing people who will make the constitution. It means that the party that is most powerful then, then that most popular party whatever it is, the ANC or IFP or PAC or NP or whatever, it's not relevant what party it is, but that party will then be needing a constitution for the whole country in its own interest obviously and it will be making the law of the country by itself. That is not democracy.

POM     So can I sit here and say with a fair degree of confidence that (i) if there is not a rethinking on the question of what sufficient consensus is your party and the KwaZulu government will not agree or become party to any agreement reached in either the World Trade Centre or a Constituent Assembly that would follow it?

FM     Yes, I don't see us going into it.

POM     You don't see yourselves going into it. The second thing, as I recall, being issues that IFP/KwaZulu wants a strong federal government with those powers entrenched in the constitution and made part of the constitutional principles before there would be a Constitutional Assembly. Is that correct?

FM     Yes.

POM     So if you got your way on the entrenchment of powers in the constitution, entrenchment of the powers of the region in the constitution, a definition of what those regions were to be, and if they were to become part of the guiding principles set before a Constituent Assembly, would you then think you could find a way to become part of the process again?

FM     If we could have a clear run towards heaven, the constitution of this country being accepted and then elections being done on the basis of that constitution, if we could have that and then of course a government is put on, even if that government were later on to change the constitution in terms of the constitution that itself is there I would have no problem. Constitutions are not cast that they must never be broken by any government but it's got to be broken in terms of its own regulations.

POM     Then again, can I say with a sufficient degree of confidence that if there is an election for a Constitutional Assembly you will not take part in it under any circumstances?

FM     Mm. An election for a constitution making

POM     It's not constitution making, a body that would be simply only would not be executive or legislative?

FM     No, we will not elect a party to make the constitution for the country. That's the basis of it all. Simple and straightforward. We won't go to elections to elect a single party. Whether that party is going to be ANC or IFP or whatever, we won't go into an election to elect a single party to make the constitution for us. We need the constitution to be made by the people of SA, that's our principle. And if you think that's not democratic I don't know what is democratic.

POM     What you would be saying is that at the negotiating forum this constitution should be drawn up on the basis of widespread consensus.

FM     Yes.

POM     That after that is done it should be put before the people in a referendum and that after that there should be elections.

FM     Correct.

POM     Now one of the points that has been made, since there is a great deal of worry about Inkatha and the KwaZulu government staying out of the process and what the consequences of that might be, one supposes that has been put forward at various times by the ANC and by the government, is that they should call a referendum and say to the people of SA, "Do you agree with us that this is the proper way forward? We form a technical executive committee and we elect a body to draw up a constitution and to be a legislative and executive body at the same time, and do you want us to go forward on that basis or do you not?"

FM     Well you see that is now being all defined. One could discuss that and see how they are defining that referendum. If they don't want a referendum then they've got some way to find they can never look at what we are talking about. We were blind on our side in terms of how a referendum would be collated. We put it very clearly, it's on paper and I've just reiterated it now, and we were quite clear on how that would run through into a referendum and after the referendum to the constitution of the country. And I would like to follow that process. Now the other one of saying a referendum for this one, that one, it's not been well defined so I would have no (part of it).

POM     I want to just back up to the National Party's congress in Durban about three or four weeks ago where Roelf Meyer said, and I quote him, "It seems to us that one of the most important things Inkatha leaders want is to ensure self-determination of the Zulu people. We believe that is attainable." Is Mr Meyer correct in his assumption?  Because as a result of that he proposed a four point plan: (i) at the national level a federal system should be provided for "allowing the regions to determine their own futures"; (ii) the constitution should make provision for specific powers which could exclusively be exercised by the regions; (iii) the national constitution should provide for regional constitutions; (iv) provision should be made for the development of the regional KwaZulu/Natal constitution.  How far, if it all, would those proposals go to meeting your demands?

FM     Well as you outlined that, as you are outlining it here, that seems to be in line with how we feel about it. There's only one problem, what Mr Meyer has in mind, that KwaZulu self-determination may not be quite exactly what I have in my mind about it.

POM     Can you explain what you have in mind about it?

FM     What we have in mind is when we say 'determination of the Zulus' it's not Zulu completely ethnic, that must be kept in mind. We have never confined ourselves to ethnic definitions the way the government has for half a century. You can see that in SA in terms of the Zulus we have here in terms of the people who live in the land of the Zulus, whether they are white or green or blue or whatever, those are in our opinion Zulus, they live in KwaZulu and KwaZulu is from the border of Mozambique, getting around Swaziland, right through the Drakensberg mountains down to the top part of Transkei into the sea. All that land is now the land that is occupied by the Zulus and the people that live there are Zulus, black and white.

POM     That would include the territories that were created by the British after the defeat of the Zulus in 1879 or something?

FM     Yes.

POM     So you're saying that your claim to territory is not based on apartheid, your claim is based on the division that was made in your territory before the Union of South Africa even came into existence, you have a historic claim that goes back beyond even the foundation of the SA state?

FM     Yes. Way back before Union.

POM     Before Union. So now, again, what I've been trying to get at is we've been told that every party is bending over backwards to get you re-involved in the process and yet it would appear to me, listening and following it, that Dr Buthelezi is getting more adamant than ever that unless his conditions are met, Inkatha or KwaZulu simply will not participate and will not accept the outcome of any agreements reached at the negotiating forum or in a Constituent Assembly. It seems to me that the more he says this, the more adamant he becomes, the less the room for manoeuvre. Politics is all about manoeuvre and trying to find a route to compromise.

FM     The first thing that must be understood is that Buthelezi is not a dictator. You are saying that Dr Buthelezi says this and he doesn't allow room for manoeuvring, it's as if we are dealing with one individual, full stop. He is the mouthpiece of all people and so when you say Dr Buthelezi, you should rather say KwaZulu government and Inkatha Freedom Party because he is the head of those two organisations. They are two separate organisations, he's head of that. So those are the ones that are saying whatever is being said through the mouth of Dr Buthelezi.

     The second thing is we have put up very clear ideas right from the beginning and these have been pooh-poohed all the way through and we have seen no lateral concessions, there have been no concessions, but there can only be one concession, at the moment we have seen no move on certain parties to examine what we are talking about, what means this? We said from the beginning, let us agree on these first two points as being priority points: (i) how to deal with violence; (ii) the setting up of the form of state and then the constitutional principles to follow, then the run up everything else to come up after that. When we were dealing with of course we were doing that, in fact the negotiating forum on 1st April agreed with that. In some cases one felt that it was a begrudging agreement but we were agreed on it. And when on 26th April I, as National Chairman of Inkatha Freedom Party, put forward our ideas about how violence should be dealt with, I was thrown out of court. You are aware of that?

POM     Sure.

FM     When I had a document and I made it clear, let me present this document fully as it is for the whole Negotiating Council, to deliver it, and the question is there are another ten, twenty documents, it didn't matter, but this is an important document that we as IFP wanted to put across. I was told that, no, no, no, you can't take more than five minutes. I had made a circulation of it in advance because I thought people should know what I'm going to be talking about. I told them, I said, "This is going to take about twenty minutes to present." There had been discussion to say normally five to seven minutes when somebody is talking, but then I said, "Look, this is a presentation of my party about the solution on something that we think is priority number one, on which we've agreed on 1st April, point number one, and now grant me the indulgence to allow me to be able to talk for some twenty minutes." Do you know what happened, Mr O'Malley? We had an argument which went on for more than two hours that I should confine myself to five minutes and not allow me to go on to twenty minutes. That was the sort of prejudice that became evident quite early in the negotiating process and ultimately all I had to do was to say, "Well the document is submitted then and you are disallowed from reading it." Now that was the first thing.

     Then the second thing, point number two was the form of state. Up to today we have never had a discussion at the Negotiating Council to say let us determine what form of state we will have, whether it's going to be unitary or it's going to be federal; can we discuss and decide between these two? They haven't accepted this priority number two. We have never had that discussion coming up, instead we have heard the technical committee on constitutional issues coming up, one constitutional presentation after the other along unitary lines. We've said, "Look, we hear, that's fine, that's along unitary lines. There's nothing wrong with presenting that but we must surely also have one that will give us an option on the federal part so that we can compare and contrast." That has never been forthcoming.

POM     Some people would say that in the second and third draft of the constitutional proposals that there was a strong tendency towards regionalism or federalism, that powers would be entrenched in the regions, these powers would be entrenched in the constitution, these powers could not be changed by the central state.

FM     Is that so? I don't know that one.

POM     You don't?

FM     Because I know that what powers they have been given, even when they were called strong powers, they still could be changed by the central state.

POM     So you're saying you object to the idea of the powers being devolved to the regions from the state, rather than being invested in the state, in fact it would cede powers to the central government?

FM     Yes, that's how it is. And we would have loved to have a clear-cut constitution as an option put forward so that we can argue and say that is what we would support, who argues against that? But that would never happen.

POM     Do you not think then that what Mr Meyer said in Durban, like the four points he outlined that at the national level a federal system should be provided for "allowing the regions to determine their own futures" should go a long way towards meeting some of your objections?

FM     That was said there at the congress, he's not talking of what was going on at the negotiating chamber, the Negotiating Council.

POM     In bilaterals does the government ever come up with a document like this for your consideration?

FM     No. Actually we have come up with a document that sets out a federal state for Natal, KwaZulu-Natal. We've also later on seen that that the technical committee never started to make that constitution available for federal and we have even gone on to put up what we consider to be the federal Union of South Africa, we've put that up and it has never been put before the Council for deliberation. We have not had any support from the Council in that direction. What often happens is in public, for one reason or another, the government spokesman will dance between federal and strong regions and whatnot, you never know what they are saying, you never know where they are, they talk out of both sides of their mouth and they will catch the gullible to think that, well they are saying it's federal, but in actual fact that's not what they are saying.

     A typical example occurred at the Joint Executive Authority end of the year, that was in April this year, a typical example was that Mr Meyer spoke and at the beginning spoke of, it was in Natal, "Yes, a federal type of government", and we thought, now that's wonderful, it's come out from his mouth at last. Then before the speech was half way through he was saying, "Yes of course, strong regions, strong regions." Now we are not taken in on strong regions because we know that in SA we had strong regions by way of provinces and the power of these regions was taken away by the central government and there was no way they could get them back, and that was done right under our noses. So the leadership of KwaZulu-Natal which was confined to whites, which was wrong, but nevertheless it had a legislative assembly, but it was taken off in 1986 and all the people that are there now are   So now we have seen what is called 'strong', so when you talk of strong regions it's meaningless.

POM     I want to present two options to you, one is that your demands are not met and the process goes on. What options do you think you have at that point and in what direction will the consequences of those options lead SA?

FM     Hope springs eternal in the human breast so I say that we have hope on this point. We hope that common sense will prevail and that people can listen to other people's views and discuss other people's views and have their mind just to hearing what others are saying. Before that happens we don't see that there is a good way ahead in SA. We don't think that our views and our demands must be acceded to by everybody, we are not dictatorial, but at least let there be good, clear discussion. What we are saying, not to be drawn and quartered on the basis, that let's see how many support us but not without any discussion. We don't think that these negotiations are supported by a majority in the chamber.

POM     One thing you said is that there should not be an elected body to draw up a constitution. If the ANC went back on that, that being one of the principles of their platform from the very beginning, they would lose an awful lot of support among their supporters and they would be perceived as having backed down on a matter of fundamental principle, so they're kind of caught in a bind. You're caught in a bind that's saying that you would settle for only something like the negotiating forum drawing up the constitution beforehand, so you're both stuck at these points. Both have a lot to lose in terms of both faith and support if either one moves from its position. Where in the middle, where do you see some way of carving out a middle ground where you can find agreement?

FM     You know I don't consider myself to be just now in the negotiating chamber and I don't see that I can now say these are compromises that I will take because Mr O'Malley, with due respect, is not the ANC as far as I am aware. I don't know, of course, but as far as I am aware he is not really a representative of, nor the leader of, the ANC, so we would not be negotiating with Mr O'Malley. So I can only put in what our position is and we put to you what you know is the position of the other side and all we are saying is that let us get together to discuss with the other side, but I wouldn't discuss my position with you and say I'm prepared to say this, that or the other. I would want to say I want to outline my position, I want to argue my position clearly and fully and I want us to hear your side until we get to a compromise of some sort. But I won't work out the compromise out of the dark.

     I want to tell you something too, and I am talking in a manner that is consistent, when we had been having a military type of constitution produced by the military community all the way through with all the traps one after the other, not only the three, four, but four, five and more, when we had that sort of constitution and we kept saying, "Let us hear the other side too, a further constitution as well so that we can discuss, not impose it on people." And that's what many people lose sight of. When we said let's have that section, then we were told, "OK, we now set up what is a common point, an equilibrium." Now you have this word defined, even if it's not defined, we're now talking of a equilibrium between what and what. That is not logical. You must have both sides put forward, then when you have discussed what subjects are in the minds of both sides for that argument or the discussion at negotiation, then and only then might you be able to say, perhaps you could reach each other with this point and on that point, perhaps you could agree on this. Then there could be a way for them, there could be an equilibrium or there could be a compromise. But you can't have a compromise from one position only with what is unstated. What sort of compromise can you have? That's what I'm saying now. I would not be in a position to talk of any compromise before I have my side put over and argued.

POM     OK. I want to put that in the context of Dr Buthelezi, yourself, other leaders of the IFP saying, "No return to the negotiating table until we are firmly assured that there will be no Constituent Assembly which will draw up an election." I hear what you saying but that's not an absolute position, that if your position is given a thorough and full hearing on how you think the process should be run and that is counterbalanced by fair and comprehensive discussion of what the ANC and the government want, that if the negotiating forum still said, "We want to move forward with a Constituent Assembly", my question would be, would you at that point accept that decision if you find yourself in a minority?

FM     No, no, that is something that we could look at. I don't want to say in advance whether I can accept or not accept. That's a position that can only be taken when we have seen both sides fully.

POM     OK, so it's not cast in stone. You're saying compromise is possible.

FM     The point is this, you are stubborn, I'm sorry to say so, but you seem to be stuck up with the issue of constitutionalism, that's the most important thing, the Constituent Assembly, are you accepting or not accepting that? We think that is not the way to sort things out, with due respect.

POM     That's fine.

FM     But we are saying we must be allowed to put our point of view and argue. The other side has been argued ad lib but one side, our side, has not been argued ad lib. So if I am being pressured, I'd like to say at the end when we have argued freely, won't you accept that, and we have not even argued about it. I think that is a wrong question, with due respect.

POM     Let me move on to something else, I might get more respect. I'm only joking.

FM     I've explained to you, I think the inquisition that you are giving me makes me  a little ill at ease.

POM     OK. Two questions on the violence, first of all the violence in KwaZulu-Natal. Do you think with the current level of violence that you could at any time in your future have free and fair elections?

FM     I don't see how we could have free and fair elections when the people are being mowed down left, right and centre. I don't see how.

POM     Dr Buthelezi in Germany last week said that a cessation of violence, or some way to deal with violence, would be one of the preconditions to the IFP and the KwaZulu government returning to talks. So is the emphasis on the constitutional side or on the side of violence?

FM     We have said, and I'm repeating what I said earlier, that we said violence is priority number one and we went on to the negotiating chamber to talk about violence. We said, "Let's get that discussed", that's when I was thrown out of court because my presentation was going to last for twenty minutes and so we argued for two hours that twenty minutes would be a waste of time. It shows how much people think of violence. But now people are dying in their hundreds and we thought that it was something that must be settled. We couldn't talk about anything that was going to settle that and yet we feel that it's really very important and we think if we could have a way of doing it, then I'm not suggesting that if we had said we had the solution that I put forward and studied it and argued that there would be no violence now. But that was a submission which could have been improved upon and that to me was an important thing and I think to all of us in Inkatha, and I think also with others. It's an important thing that ought to have been given priority number one. Now that doesn't mean to say that's the only thing that has to be done.

     Point number two, the form of state, also the constitution is important. How are we going to deal with the constitution?

POM     So you believe that there could not be free and fair elections given the violence?

FM     I don't think there could be.

POM     Two, given that you've had a low intensity civil war in the region over the last ten to fifteen years, can you envisage a situation where the ANC could come into northern Natal and organise branches without there being a lot of bloodshed?

FM     But they have branches there.

POM     Can they hold mass rallies?

FM     They have mass rallies. Even my district, Mdadeni, Mr Mandela has been there, they had a rally at Mdadeni. I think some of them are most uninformed. I'm sorry to say so. The theory is that we don't allow in our areas ANC to form branches. Of course it's absolute disinformation. At Mdadeni where IFP has strongest support we had Mandela coming in to address the people. He was received by the Mayor of Mdadeni who is chairman of an IFP branch in his ward, he was received by Mr Shabalala. That's on record. Then of course the stories say we don't allow them to form branches there and people accept that. They swallow that hook, line and sinker. He has been to Mdadeni, one of our strongholds, and there is no violence. There was never an attempt. The branches that have been established there - in fact when they were first established, long before Mandela came in there, I'll tell you something, they were never molested. They held a meeting, the ANC, they were never molested, but of the people that attended I have information, I have my own informer who was there, it's naturally good to have that in political parties, my informer told me that there were scarcely a hundred people there and when they were asked how many are full members who are paid up, it was hardly a quarter, that's what my informer said. And this time they said, look, we have to have elections whatever happens, you know they are so few, and elections were conducted and some people elected to the post but they never had support. Mr Mandela went there about a year later and he had a meeting there and there were children there, there were about 1000, 2000 people I am told who attended there and he addressed them in an open field and that's when he called for 14-year olds to vote. I think he might have intended to do that, if I saw only 14-year olds around me I might have been tempted to do the same thing but of course I wouldn't, but that's why they called for that and there was never any violence there in the stronghold of IFP. But then the disinformation, which is to the gullible unacceptable, is that we don't allow the ANC branches to be formed there.

POM     That's why I ask you these questions, to get rid of disinformation.

FM     Thank you very much. I just hope that you can check with Mandela, "Did you ever go to Mdadeni?" He was there. That was not a stronghold of ANC. Still they do go on to say they're not allowed to have ANC meetings and such-and-such things.

POM     The third question on the violence is that let's say the government, the ANC and yourselves were able to arrive at sufficient consensus around, at the constitution making body, do you think the Harry Gwala's of the world would accept that or do you think that that part of the ANC's organisation would break away from the national leadership and say after ten years of fighting the KwaZulu government and Inkatha we're not about to settle, it seems like a sell-out?

FM     I don't know, it's something that would be internal to the ANC what they are saying or doing.

POM     Just from your own knowledge of the situation - here I was just asking you what do you feel?

FM     If I'm forced to make observations I can only say that it doesn't appear to me that ANC has got discipline. To me it looks like they are moving in all sorts of directions and so even that direction could quite well happen. Peter Mokaba and Harry Gwala might go their own way and I don't think anybody is going to control them. Nobody has got the power to pull things together.

POM     Two quick last questions and thank you for the time, I'm aware of it, I know you have to run. Secession comes up and goes away but it's talked about, discussed a little and people paint scenarios of what could happen if there were secession. Can you see a situation arising where the only option left to Inkatha and the KwaZulu government would be some form of secession?

FM     I cannot completely exclude that but that's not our policy and that is not our way.

POM     OK.

FM     I can't say it can't happen if we are pushed.

POM     Over these last few months since this kind of stalemate arose, as a result of the bilaterals you're having with the government and the ANC, are you more hopeful that things will be worked out or less hopeful?

FM     Hope springs eternal. I never lose hope but I couldn't say I'm more hopeful. That's as honest as I can be.

POM     Have you ruled out, again, if your demands are not adequately met has the party ruled out contesting in the election on 27th April next year or would it contest on a regional basis but not the national basis?

FM     That we will still have to look at. The issue of elections on 27th April, now the problem that we've got is it's elections for a Constituent Assembly and I don't accept that. It would be a wrong election. I know that may people have accepted that election and the emphasis is it's the first democratic election in SA. Sure, let's go out and vote for the first time. Hey presto, we've arrived. The narrow minded official thinkers can do that. But I think what one wants to know is what are you voting for?  I think that's rather important.

POM     Many people in the NP, this is the last question, really are on your side on the whole matter of how the government has kind of 'divorced' the IFP and treated it in the last year and it's been a matter of concern to many senior members of the NP. Do you think that rift is moving to the point of becoming reconcilable or that there are still grounds, since Mr de Klerk himself said the two parties have more in common than either has with the ANC, do you think there are grounds on which there can be a kind of reconciliation and an alliance?

FM     Between the government and the IFP, or you mean reconciliation within the government forces?

POM     No, the IFP.

FM     I don't know that there is any reconciliation. There have been lots of activities that have generated a lot of distrust between us so the issue of generating trust I think it's just not on unless the government takes some completely different approach. What's happened internally, of course you'd have to ask them.

POM     OK, we hear again about there being within the NP and the government, there being hawks and doves, people are named here and people are named there. So just for a matter of consistency I've heard the same thing about the IFP, that there are hawks and doves, those who are more willing to make compromises and those who are less willing to make compromises. Would that be an accurate statement?

FM     I don't know what is meant by hawks and doves and I can't answer for the NP, for the government, I'm not part of them, not having had discussions I'm not aware. But I can tell you that in Inkatha we have democracy to express our views freely within the party so that when an issue comes there's often a difference of opinion about that issue. We are quite open and we come to a conclusion when we all agree. I think in a body that has about two million members it would surprising if there was only one idea and everybody singing one idea. I think that you'd then say that's a dictatorship. You'd then say that's monolithic, it's not democracy, all sorts of things, but I think we've got an open mind. There are many opinions in Inkatha and they bounce around and we let them bounce around and at the end of the day we come to a conclusion about what line to take. So if you call one side hawks, you call the other side doves, please yourself, but we would call it democracy in my understanding of democracy. It's free expression.

POM     Thank you very much for the time.

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.