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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

1994: Holomisa, Bantu

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1994 Election Campaign

(Padraig O'Malley, Patricia Keefer and an interpreter. Please note, speed of recording on this tape is not constant, and the sound quality is bad. Language changes all the time between English and Xhosa. The tape is constantly switched on and off. 'X' refers to the interpreter.)

POM     The stadium is in reality nothing more than a big field. About how many people on hand?

PAT     Maybe 150.

POM     Maybe 150 people here. Lots of glitz. All of the young people arrive with their ANC literature and an ANC flag. There's Mandela's picture and an X beside it on the front. Officials from the IEC arrived. People are dancing to the music and the whole occasion is rather festive on the streets. There were quite a number of people lined up on either side waving ANC flags, giving the salute or just waiting. Each person who comes in is given a sample ballot. The IEC is supplying a sample ballot. They are moving people in from the periphery onto the field itself.

     Crowd estimate of about 200/250. A lot of young people, ten years of age or under. There's a camera around which a whole mob of people descend. Mostly young people but all with ANC flags and visors. People are still streaming in for an event that should have begun at ten o'clock, it's now a quarter to eleven. African time certainly exists.

     They have made a back-to-back platform in front of us with one microphone and one, two, three, four, five chairs and there are two microphones about 50 yards distant from the microphone. I guess the idea is to keep the people behind the mikes that are standing there for questions. They will perhaps come forward to ask the questions.

     At 10.15 we left for Matsilo(?) Stadium and now it's going on 11 o'clock and the General has not yet made his entry into the stadium. We must have been here now for about 20 minutes while they're trying to build up a crowd. With more people pouring in one might be led to believe that they've gone out and rounded up some of the masses, those who were lining the streets adjacent to the stadium. About a quarter of the people at this rally are probably below voting age. Lots of guns flashed by Holomisa's security people. Compared to Orange Farm this is a model of bureaucratic organisation with MK guards, about 10 20 feet between the crowd. The crowd stands behind the MK guards who stand stiffly at attention.

     The crowd has increased now to 300 or 400 but, again, remember the huge number of children. One young man asked Patricia for her pen so that he can write down on his ANC pamphlet that he got for Holomisa.

     11.15 Holomisa's entourage of cars comes into the stadium with the security people hanging out of open windows or out of the open roof. Holomisa's car itself is escorted by oh, they'd be cheerleaders, majorettes you call them. ANC banners, cheerleaders and none of them are paid. There may be about 400 people present. Holomisa gets a rousing welcome, his security guards are around all the time.

     Maybe a crowd of 600, at least I'd put it between 500 and 600.

     That's about four seconds for the introduction. He stands at the microphone more like a military man with his hands behind his back, occasionally just ... with one hand. ... having identification and registration books ... Holomisa has a rhythm to his speech in Xhosa and has gone into Sotho. One bow to vote ANC, two bows to vote ... Don't make a mistake and vote for De Klerk as a favour on your second ballot.

BH     The Goldstone Commission has revealed that some of Generals in the SAP are allegedly supplying weapons to the IFP and therefore the pressure now is on the shoulders of President de Klerk to see to it that there is free politicking in Natal and we are not even prepared to talk about performing elections in Natal or in any other area for that matter in SA.

POM     He is not really inspiring. He talks more of the government working together.

BH     Goldstone Commission has vindicated our position which we have been advocating in the past, that there is indeed a third force in this country and that third force is being sponsored by the government of SA.

POM     No promises ... Sub-Council on law and order.

BH     As well as the Independent Electoral Commission and of course the TEC, they are now working on a plan to make sure that all the polling stations will be guarded by the security forces of SA, Transkei, Bophuthatswana, Venda, Ciskei, MK and APLA we are planning to make and to bring those forces together so that we can deploy and guard all the polling stations so that our elections are declared, when they are finished are declared as having been free and fair.

     Nothing is going to happen to the supporters of the IFP. Are they going to vote on the 27 April?

POM     Inkatha.

BH     As you go out of this stadium this afternoon, go and recruit them to join the ANC because the Inkatha Freedom Party leadership has got a package together with Nationalist Party. They are going to encourage their followers to go and vote for the NP because their policies are the same, they are both calling for federalism, of federating and strong regional power. There is no difference between the NP and the IFP but President de Klerk is using the IFP and the violence in order to gain more concessions from the ANC but unfortunately they are not going to get any more concessions between now and the 27 April.

POM     Must make sure there is law and order.

BH     Minister Hernus Kriel is the Minister of Lawlessness and Disorder. The following is going to happen. You will no longer see the right wingers and inflaming them for going to ... or marching through the streets carrying weapons or wearing uniforms. There will be those kinds of armies under the rule of the ANC. AKs. They will not be allowed to carry those weapons going to political rallies because the current or the existing legislation is not encouraging ... Under the ANC government that ...

POM     More people coming in. The programme finally got under way at 11.45.

BH     And we can draw in the investors ... in SA and we will be selling it outside the ... we have as well as stability we have in SA and by doing so we will be encouraging people, creating job opportunities for our people.

POM     The government will provide R93 million for housing from now up to 1999.

     The crowd has now swelled to several hundred.

     The Department of Education ...?million rand, a billion.

X     Now he says when the ANC is in power it will go around, request both armies to come back. The ANC will not encourage the perpetration of killing that we have had. That will take place after the election. Only one organisation will be voted on 27 April and it is asking the people which organisation is that. The people are responding, it is the ANC. I am saying don't vote for another party, vote for the ANC because there's only one organisation that will be voted on that date, that is the ANC. Where were the other organisations when the struggle was taking place?

     Music.

POM     A bigger crowd than before. The time has arrived.

X     Telephones, electricity ... will this be paid for by the government? He is saying those are government institutions, they will be provided for by the government but there should be control of power.

     They should vote for the ANC on the 27 April so that we don't have ... come to the office of the ANC to see whether ...

POM     There must be about 700 people.

PAT     32nd Battalion and he wanted to know if they were going to be sent back to their original ... and Holomisa said that they would be.

X     There has been a move especially by the Nationalist government that there should be an over-roll or a blanket indemnity of the people that have committed crimes, that is now people in the state security and so on. The ANC is saying, we are not going to give a blanket indemnity. What we want is that as soon as the new government is in power it will set up a commission to investigate all those atrocities and those people will then, that case of indemnity will be considered at that particular time, when those people have told us who actually sent them to do those things, to go and kill the people. What we want is we are aware that in fact those people were sent by De Klerk to do those things so we are hoping that one day they will get ...

     I think he has got something to say with the minimum wage. There will be a standard of minimum wage.

POM     There will be a minimum wage?

X     Yes. A major trade union consortium will definitely look at that.

BH     The ANC is demanding together with the others in the alliance, a living wage.

X     We are going to continue with that especially for those who are entitled to it, old people above the age of 60 can also apply for the old age pension so that they can look after themselves. Those parents who are so poor so those children cannot go to school have to be provided for by the ANC government.

POM     Ten minutes to one.

     Very impressive turnout. Several hundred people again, people are in the stands and roaming around the ground itself. Very large enthusiastic crowd in Bloemfontein. Probably a couple of thousand people, numerous members of the MK, also a large number of ... It seems to be a very well organised rally carried out with efficiency and elan. There are cheerleaders, drum majorettes. I must make a point of remembering the security people leaving Holomisa entirely on his own. It's a hot, dry day. The young girls remind me of school when we had our drill exercises culminating in ...

     Viva African National Congress. Viva. Viva Comrade Bantu Holomisa. Viva.

POM     Voter registration.

X     You see the face of Mandela.

     Look at the level of the ANC. Now what are we going to look at? We are going to look at the spear, the face of Nelson Mandela.

BH     The ANC government is going to prioritise certain issues which are intended to address socio-economic needs. Amongst those is the shortage of housing. Where are we going to get the money from? The money we are going to get it from here in SA by re-routing and prioritising and making cuts for instance to the Department of Defence. We know that a lot of money is invested in the Department of Defence. We are not going to prepare for any wars any longer now. 3,5 million rand, ANC will not be spending such large sums. We are going to have a stable situation, Over and above that we are going to make sure that by building or improving the infrastructure like electricity, because for the first time the majority of this country will be getting electricity, thereby they spend more on electric appliances, then where they are being made there is going to be a big demand and also create job opportunities. Once we stabilise and we make our economy good then we are going to address all these burning problems.

     But when you introduce a programme of affirmative action we must make sure that we don't practice nepotism. That is number one. The programme must be transparent. Secondly, if you have Ph degree and the white man has got Ph degree and you are starting the job on the same day, the salary should be the same. I agree there will be political appointments after the elections but in certain key departments ... In order to improve the standards and productivity we need to make sure that we improve from this base not to lower the standards or at the end of the day we live in poverty. We must participate in expanding this base and divide it accordingly.

POM     He is saying the projects for employment - My estimate, 10 000.

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.