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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

Apr 1994: Botha, Pik - Campaign Speech

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Rapport

To be with my friends here in the shade of these beautiful trees. I can assure you here this afternoon after we brought in Inkatha on Tuesday the whole situation changed in South Africa. On Wednesday I was in Johannesburg, I addressed four meetings and some of the buildings were far away so I had to walk in the street and black South Africans came to me, greeted me. There were even ANC people who came to me and said to me, "I will admit Minister Botha we need you, we need you and De Klerk, we need you. Without you the country will be doomed, doomed."

That contact, that perception, has spread like a veldt fire amongst our black people because they saw De Klerk brought Buthelezi and Mandela together. Those two fought each other, their followers killed the people and then Buthelezi says it's Mandela and Mandela says it's Buthelezi and Buthelezi says it's Mandela but the people die and the people die and De Klerk brought them together so that black people must stop dying. And our black people can see now this is the man they can trust, this is the man that is a Christian, this is the man that can bring two black leaders together and tell them to stop killing the black people of this country. That's a man we can vote for because he does not see colour he only sees his Christian duty and responsibility. And this is the message that the National Party will carry to every corner of South Africa.

I want to say to you this afternoon we are moving over them now and getting their support because the majority of black and white, coloured and Asian are decent people. They want a decent life. Now that they have been liberated from apartheid they don't want to be oppressed by communists. They don't want to be oppressed by corruption, they don't want to be oppressed by Civics who warn you and intimidate you and threaten you. South Africa deserves to be properly liberated and that is what we must do on 27th April. We must liberate ourselves. Already apartheid is out but let us throw out now the other forces that threaten us and let's move forward as one people but respecting our languages, our culture, our diversity, our music, our art, that is what the National Party stands for. National means all inclusive, all over the country. It's like a big tree, big enough for all the various birds to make a nest against the storm and the heat of the day.

I am very grateful to all my friends here today. We are not black and white any more. We are South African believing in the same religions, believing in a good community life, a sound family life, upholding traditional leaders, respecting each other's languages. That is the National Party and this message we will send across South Africa so that South Africa can be finally free, completely of fear, of intimidation, of threats and I say to you, you see David everywhere. You have heard how he warded off five attackers yesterday. That is symbolic. I think it was God. It was God who tested David. It was God who tested David and look what he did. When he stood up they ran, they can't even go to hospital now because the police will get them I know. So they are bleeding, they are wounded but they can't get medicine because of what they have done.

This is what we will do to the ANC and I want to say this, although I'm not against the Zulus but Buthelezi was very foolish he should have sat with us but he didn't. He left it to us alone to negotiate the constitution. Buthelezi was sitting with Ferdi Hartzenberg, with Eugene Terre'Blanche, with Mangope and Oupa Gqozo. These are funny people, they are funny people, particularly those people from the Eastern Cape the Xhosa. I've got good Xhosa friends but there are some funny people there like Holomisa. He's a funny man. He should have been in the circus as a clown. That's where he belongs. We in the Northern Transvaal depend on the Shangaan, the Boere, we know each other. We know the mistakes we've made. At last it's behind us.

Let us now take Northern Transvaal together and develop it, bring the tourists. I've got a dream. My dream is to take this whole Limpopo River, 50 km north, 50 km south, in Mozambique, in Zimbabwe, in Botswana, our side, and we make it the greatest, the biggest game reserve in the world so the rich people from Europe they will come, they watch the birds, they can pay R100,000 to shoot an elephant, they can pay R60,000 to shoot a lion and we will make it a money spinner, a source of income for us. Northern Transvaal is the clean part of our country. Here are good people. Here are solid people. Here are people who trust God and this is what the National Party wants.

So my friends, thank you. We are together in parliament, in Northern Transvaal. In this parliament we will not be stopped any more because the tide of history, that raindrops have fallen, it will come down in a river now and it will run stronger and stronger and stronger because our common Christianity binds us together for this life and the life hereafter. Thank you very much.

Two groups representing two very influential churches in South Africa, the Zion Church of Christ of which George ... is a prominent leader in Venda and the St Agnes Church, ZCC church who are also represented here today sir, we respect them and we thank them for their contribution.

I want to tell you an incident that happened to me at Elim the other morning. We were having a meeting with Thelma and Alfred, she was speaking, she was on the bakkie and I was standing next door and there was a group of chanting ANCs right in front of us and there was a man standing with an ANC placard, he had the St. Agnes badge on his lapel and I looked at him and could see he was getting worried. So I left him for a while and then I did this and he had a pamphlet in his hand, while Thelma was speaking I said to him, I said, "Listen, if you don't know, that which you carry on your lapel stands for Christianity. That which you hold in your hand stands for communism." He dropped the pamphlet and he left and we never saw him again. Thank you very much.

Mr Minister, leader of the National Party in the Transvaal we are privileged to have you with us as the door opens before us next week as we all go to cast our vote, as we step out into the sunshine of the new South Africa, we ask you, Mr Botha, to sound the last a battle cry of this campaign, the last battle cry of the National Party for freedom, peace and justice. And we call on our voters, on all the voters of the Northern Transvaal, to put their trust in the National Party, to put their trust in a team of leaders who have already put their trust in God. I give you Minister Pik Botha.

Mr Chairman, thank you very, very much for this welcome. At this moment the National Party is concluding its campaign in South Africa. As a matter of fact all parties must conclude their campaign today. This afternoon, now, President de Klerk is in Cape Town and I am in Northern Transvaal and between Cape Town and Tzaneen we want the majority of all the votes of this country.

I want to emphasise a number of very important issues before you vote. Because today is Saturday and tomorrow is Sunday and then comes Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. By next week this time the election is over. If each of you who are here now in this hall will go out from here in the next three, four days and spread the word then we must get a majority in Northern Transvaal.

You can see the team, here's the team, the National Party team, look at them. What a team! If I have them in a cricket team we will win the cricket! If I have them in a soccer team we will win the soccer. If I have them in a rugby team we will win the rugby. I am very proud of this team. I understand the ANC also have a team and one of their best players was a man called Ramodike. I could have told them more than a year ago not to put that man on their list but they put him on. It was better that they had him on their list because I understand Ramodike then he was ANC and now he's out of the ANC. It will take our men, black and white, five years man for man they are people of quality. Now the pamphlets come from every walk of life. We have chiefs, teachers, church people, business people, farmers, doctors, lawyers.

On second thoughts, last week in Johannesburg in the regional office of the ANC one man came running out of the building and luckily there was a police car in the street, so they stopped and this man said to the police, "Look I've been kept prisoner in that building but there are four or five of my friends, you must come and rescue them." So the police went into that building and then they came to a place where there was a prison cell, absolutely like a prison with bars, iron bars, iron door, everything just like a prison. And then they told the ANC there, "Drop your gun or we'll shoot you", and they rescued those other men. Later the ANC said, "No, it's not a prison cell, it's a storeroom." It's not a storeroom it's a torture room. If you see the pictures of the men, they were beaten, their toenails were pulled out, one man's arm was broken. Have you heard the ANC apologise for this? Have you heard the ANC say that they were sorry? They just took these men, they locked them up, they beat them, they tortured them and when the police asked them, "What are you doing with these men?" they said, "No, they wanted to steal a car." That means if you and I walk out here and we see four or five men and we think maybe they stole oranges or tobacco or Coca-Cola and we just take them and lock them up and beat them. These are the facts. This is not politics. This is the truth.

You will remember the trial of Winnie Mandela where a small black boy was killed, one of the witnesses disappeared. That man is now in Zambia. I wish that man can return so that he can tell our people what happened, to give evidence to court, so they took him out of the country. That man was badly beaten up. The other day at Shell House when Inkatha arranged a march the ANC shot Inkatha people from their own building. [Now the position is that all guns, all guns of the ANC have to be ... by the court for ... behaving at National Party meetings.] Mr Mandela said that they would take steps against the ANC members who behaved like that but they don't listen to him. He is a chief without people who listen to him because they carry on like before.

Today when I was at Hoodspruit our black members told me that the ANC threaten them. So we must take steps against those people.

I want to ask my supporters here if the ANC continue like this here or in Venda or in Gazankulu you must try to get us the names today, tomorrow, so that I can send it to the Electoral Commission so that those people can be punished. You must not be frightened of them. The ANC support in Pretoria, Johannesburg, Vereeniging has now dropped below 50%. They are just shouting, they are just a bag of wind and they've got a leader whose followers don't obey his orders. If we had people like that in the National Party we will immediately tell them to go, we don't want them.

When the first black people joined the National Party I invited some of them to come and see me in Pretoria. The first man said to me he was a school teacher and then I said to him, "But why do you want to join my party because just the other day you and me could not even meet at Naboomspruit, they would have thrown us out and said, "Look Pik Botha you are a liberal and you are having to get out." And he said to me, "No, no, no. When I saw the ANC come and take the children from the school and force them to march in a political march I know that the ANC does not behave for the education of the children." The second man was a businessman, he had a shop and he had a garage and he sold petrol. So the Civics came to him and said to him, "We want R2000 per month from you. If you don't pay that money we will burn the shop, we will destroy your garage and we will burn you." And that man said, "If they behave like this before the election what will they do to me after the election?"

But we need not dishearten you by a long speech. I can make it very short by concentrating on the true facts. Firstly, where are we now? Saturday. On Tuesday agreement was reached in Pretoria between President Mandela and Dr Buthelezi and President de Klerk. The week before Inkatha and the ANC invited people from overseas to come here and resolve the problem. I am sure you have heard Dr Kissinger was here, Lord Carrington was here, the Chief Justice from India was here and several important people from America, from Europe, from India, from all over the world they came here. After two days they all packed their suitcases, they left. It was the ANC and Inkatha who could not reach agreement.

You know as you sit here, you know which are the two parties that fight each other? It is Inkatha and it is ANC. One day Mandela says it's Buthelezi's fault, then Buthelezi says it's Mandela's fault, then Mandela says it's Buthelezi's fault. It's always the other's fault. No-one ever is prepared to look at himself. For many months they have been quarrelling like this and during those months a lot of black people have died and they have left a lot of widows and they have left a lot of children without fathers. But last Tuesday President de Klerk stepped forward, he brought Mandela, he brought Buthelezi, he made them agree so that Inkatha can participate in the election. He persuaded them to sign that contract. Now there is new hope in South Africa, a vast number of our black people are very grateful to President de Klerk for ending the violence between Inkatha and ANC.

I ask you a very important question now. You must listen carefully please. If the National Party was not there now, if President de Klerk was not there now to bring Inkatha and ANC together what would have happened to this country? If we should have come and said, "No we're also tired, we don't want to participate in the election now the country is South Africa, South Africa cannot be governed by Inkatha and ANC", what do you think would have happened to you in Northern Transvaal? When I put this question to a black man in Johannesburg he came to me and he said, "Thank God for De Klerk". He said to me, "If De Klerk wasn't there now the whole country would have been in trouble."

On Wednesday I was in Johannesburg and as I walked in the street many black people came to greet me and one of them was an ANC supporter and he took my hand and he said, "Minister, now I admit we need the National Party." This reception, this appreciation is now spreading throughout the whole of South Africa. It's like rain coming out of a drought. It's raining, for people to feel the rain, they feel the rain of hope, they feel the rain of the National Party which will save this country. The National Party does not seek black votes or white votes or Indian votes or Coloured votes. We want the votes of South Africans, all South Africans. The colour of a person's skin has disappeared from us. We now want people of quality, and we say all South Africans. We are the only party in the country that wants all the people to be under our tree and umbrella. Every community can speak his language, every person can belong to his church, there must be freedom for the communities to live the way they want to live.

The parliament in Cape Town or the future government in Pretoria must not be able to tell the Cape or the Shangaan or the whites or the boere or the Venda how they must live here. You yourself must make those decisions here in your province. You should vote for the National Party candidates. They are your people, they live here with you. They will serve your interests, they will be close to you. You can visit them, you can talk with them. They will be your leaders here and they will know you. If it is the ANC who will represent them? Maybe they send Joe Slovo, a communist, because the ANC candidates are too weak. Their strongest candidate was Ramodike and he was knocked out even before the match began. Now I hear he wants to join the other party, the UDF. I want to ask UDF please accept him. Ramodike, wherever he is the other birds fly away, he's off the list of the ANC.

This man from Gazankulu, he told me himself he is National Party. Then Mr Mandela invited him to go with him to get the Nobel Peace Prize in Norway but Mr de Klerk also got the Nobel Peace Prize. When we came back there ... I think it was too cold in Norway. Then he was like a reed, swinging from this side, that side, this side, that side but luckily there are strong people in Gazankulu, in Venda, in Lebowa. There are strong people, you see them here. They don't go this way one day and the opposite direction the next day. We have to work together.

President de Klerk closed the book on apartheid, closed it for ever. He liberated Mandela. He liberated the ANC and the PAC and other parties and now he's moving forward and he's even made peace between Inkatha and ANC. This is the task of a leader. President de Klerk straightforwardly admitted that apartheid was wrong. That is a strong leader. A strong leader can make mistakes but his strength is only tested if he admits those mistakes.

I have not heard the ANC apologising for the fact that they and the communists are friends and partners. I have not heard the ANC apologising to the relatives of those people that they threatened and harassed. They have not apologised to the families of those people that they killed in Angola in their own detention camps, so the position must be clear to all of you, the whites, the blacks, the coloureds the Indians, it must be clear now to all South Africans, there are two possibilities, only two. If the ANC comes out of the election too strong the result will be the following: the money that we need from England, from America, from Germany, from Japan will not come to this country because those rich countries don't trust the ANC. They say the ANC has the wrong people so we will not be able to create more jobs. You can only create more jobs and more work if you vote more roads, if you vote more schools. But if you want more roads and more hospitals and more factories you need money. You can't do it by sitting under a tree and dreaming.

So those factories which the Germans brought here, which the British brought here, which the Italians brought here, which the Americans brought here, which the Japanese brought here, those factories will close down because the ANC cannot guarantee the ownership, they cannot guarantee to these people that their property will not be touched. They said they will grab it, they will nationalise it, they will take it. So there will be fewer jobs, less money, so crime will increase. [The people will be more ... and they will have to... more to live] and violence will increase and if the violence increased people with money here will take the money out of the country. If you see your cat eat poison and it dies you will take your cat away, you will take it away from the poison. This is what the world outside will do. They will take away their money and this country will become poor. You know what goes on in Mozambique. Ask those people in Mozambique, ask them what happened to them. You have seen what happened in Somalia, in Ethiopia where hundreds of thousands of children are dying of hunger. They cannot be rescued any more, even more will die. So that is the one choice for South Africa is to die.

But there's another choice and that is to live, that is to make peace, make peace ... and ANC. Then the people from England and Germany and Italy they will bring their money here and that will help us to open new factories and if we open new factories our people will have more jobs. If our people get jobs they will be happy. The crime will decrease. The violence will become less and if the violence becomes less more money will come into the country and if more money comes into the country there will be a feeling of happiness, there will be a feeling of hope, a feeling of security. Now this is only possible if the National Party comes out strongly from these elections and in Northern Transvaal, you here have a specific responsibility and I want to appeal to Northern Transvaal, I now call on Northern Transvaal, all the people here to vote for that choice to give us a life, that choice that will give us peace and stability, that will give the people jobs, that will bring new factories and there is only one party and that is the National Party.

So I want to leave you with these last words, don't be frightened of the future. Whatever happens the National Party will be strong in the new government and with apartheid out of the way there is nothing that can prevent the National Party from achieving success. That is why I say to you please vote for the National Party because this party will ensure that we get the houses and the jobs and ensure that we get better education because again the money will come and there will be more black earners and if there are more black earners we get taxes and the taxes go to the schools. We would have done this that a lot of our friends have joined us.

I want to welcome you, I'm very glad that I'm here. Now this hall is full of people and we can all vote for one party. National Party. And if each of you in this hall now, this evening, you will go out as I said at the beginning, if each of you will get 100 other people to vote then we are in the majority in Northern Transvaal. Lastly I want to show you how the ballot paper more or less will look. You see on that ballot paper, that paper is not so thick. It will look like this. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, seventeen, eighteen. There are eighteen parties on here. That's how the paper will look. On this side you have the name of the party. Here in the middle you have the sign, the symbol of the party, and then next, there where my finger now is, is the abbreviation. So here on top you have Pan Africanist Congress of Azania. Then there is their sign and then there is PAC and then there is the face of Clarence Makwetu the leader. I don't even know where the ANC is, it's somewhere there. We are at the bottom. There's De Klerk, there. And then you will see NP and the sign. There.

But now what happens is the following. On Tuesday after President de Klerk met with Mandela and Buthelezi, then the question was, but what about the voting paper because Inkatha is not on here? Then we had for two hours, we could not reach agreement, we said to Buthelezi we will print just one line like that and we will stick it on the back. "No, no, no", he said "Inkatha can never accept that. Inkatha will never be at the back of the paper." He said he wants to be here. So we said to Buthelezi we cannot reprint this whole paper again, it's too late, it will take weeks. Then he said all right we must print a small slip of paper and we can put Inkatha here on top, but the ANC said no, you can't go on top because they say the PAC would have objected. Then they said to President de Klerk, "Please can't we put Buthelezi immediately under you?" And we said but that will be very difficult for us because we have already told our voters, "Vote at the bottom, vote at the bottom". We have to tell our voters where to vote. Then Buthelezi said, "All right if you don't want me on top, if you don't want me at the bottom I'm not prepared to appear on the back then Inkatha does not participate." And then President de Klerk said, "We don't want more bloodshed, we want you to participate because then your followers will not be so emotional and because we don't want more people to be killed I, De Klerk, as leader of the National Party will agree that you can put your name under my name."

But you will see that that slip of paper, that sticker will be different from the rest. If they get the paper, the paper will be folded. I'll show you now. When you come in there you show your identity card, then they put your fingers in something so that you cannot vote again and they will focus light three times, like this once and again like this and this side like this and that side like that. You see. Then they will give this to you like this. Then you will take this, there will be a place, a table like this, the sides will be closed like this so that nobody can see what you do there. Then you open this paper, you open it, you put it down there. Your eye will immediately see at the bottom Inkatha. You just climb one step and vote for De Klerk. Just one step, vote for de Klerk. Then you fold it again like that, like this, like this then you go to another box and there will be a long hole in the box. You take it and you put it in there. If it sticks out you push it in like this. Make sure it's in. Some people tend to think, yes, maybe the tokolosh is in there. The National Party is going to broadcast the following message: (the message is all in Afrikaans).

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.