About this site

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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

31 Oct 1994: Continuation

POM     In the 1993 issue of Work in Progress John Battersby wrote an article, he wrote that:- "For an organisation that was almost forgotten inside the country before it's unbanning in February 1990, the PAC has staged a remarkable political comeback."

     You yourself predicted in 1992 that the PAC would win the first free poll election hands down. Yet something went wrong. What went wrong?

KX     In the first place I'm a politician and there's no politician in the world who will tell you before the election that he's going to lose. Everybody is going to win. It's only after the election that some of them have lost but before the election everybody is going to win. The PAC had hoped that the Black Consciousness Movement would be its front because the BCM in the 1960s took over it's language, it called the country Azania, it adopted the policies of the Pan Africanist Congress and everything and as the UDF adopted the policies of the ANC so the BCM had adopted the policies of the PAC. So the same external organisations were represented by these two bodies policywise. Unfortunately, unlike the UDF which continued to play a role for the ANC, the BCM decided that since they had tasted power themselves why hand it over, so they will go independently of the PAC. That gave the PAC a very serious blow. So the BCM then went on to set up its own external office in Harare and that was a blow to the PAC, which meant the PAC had to start from all over again. I played a key role in that with many other people.

     In January 1987 we called the first workshop of the PAC inside the country, a national workshop. The only province that was not represented there was Natal but it was the first time that the PAC met inside the country since 1960. Thereafter I convened the second meeting, a year later, in Soweto and that led to the formation then of a front organisation for the PAC called the Pan Africanist Movement in December 1989. But that really showed that the PAC is now back in the body politic of the country and then the PAC got unbanned in February of the following year so the movement did not have long time to mobilise for the PAC as a front from December to February but by the time February came the PAC was clearly in existence, was visibly present inside the country. And so we had to then take on all that awesome responsibility and I think one of the biggest problems the PAC had was the problem of lack of resources because the western governments did not support the policies of the PAC and therefore could not support it financially. That is what really made a very big dent within the organisation. I think that the organisation, therefore, did not have enough time to do a lot of things. The other problem we had is that the moment the PAC was up there with the socialistic policies and views, all the people who were discouraged, disheartened, disillusioned within the ANC, within AZAPO, within Inkatha, all came to the PAC, so we had every conceivable difficult person who was too difficult to handle there coming to the PAC. They also helped progress back within our movement because they were all the ultra-radicals of every other conceivable party and that is really what also contributed to the whole framework.

POM     Given the fact that the party managed at one point 2% of the poll, despite the fact that it was at the top of the list and most people say if you are at the top of the list it's worth an automatic 3%, it suggests that support for the PAC was virtually non-existent.

KX     No, it's not that. The main reason why the PAC did so weakly, there were many reasons for that, one is that we were not prepared. Psychologically our members on the ground still believed in the army marching in Pretoria, overrunning the powers that be. Number two was, of course, there was a lot of rigging in the elections and the newspapers continue to write about what really happened there and they are still trying to come together, the ANC and the National Party and Judge Kriegler, to manage the news about the massive scale rigging that was taking place in the elections. All those are secondary issues. The main reason that made the PAC to lose was the Mandela factor because people gave Mr Mandela a sympathy vote. It was not a vote against the PAC, it was a vote against Mr de Klerk. A lot of people felt they had to unite against De Klerk and that is what happened. The ANC understood that very well. That is why within the election the ANC hit at the PAC very scientifically without mentioning the PAC. They told the people that if you don't vote for the ANC Mr de Klerk is coming back and thereby at the same time telling - that is a very underhand way of telling people not to vote for the PAC either. But it was a sympathy vote for Mr Mandela and it was the Mandela factor. That will not apply in the next election.

     The next election will be based on the performance of the current government. So I don't think it can be seen as an anti-PAC vote. In fact, even when I walk just down the street the way people come around, I went a few days ago, on Friday I was in the North West Province, I went to visit one of my colleagues there and he was at the parliament buildings, so I went over there, the way people just came out of their departments there, greeting me, seeing me and greeting me and asking me to address them and things like that. You can see the pull of the Pan Africanist Congress is still there. I see it every day as I walk in the streets and people come up to me in large numbers and I sometimes ask myself when people greet you like that, come and stand around you, and you say, "But where were you on election day?" But really you understand it was a sympathy vote for Mr Mandela. It was the Mandela factor more than anything else.

POM     I want you to go back for a moment to when you were talking about rigging, you said 'massive rigging' of the election.

KX     Oh very definitely. There were about three million ballot papers missing. A very significant number of ballot papers to go missing. When the ballot boxes were opened it was a very common thing to find that the ballots are in stacks of ten or in stacks of twenty and people couldn't vote in stacks. It was very common for an official at the polls to take the boxes to his house overnight and bring it back the next day. All this type of thing was very random and the international community admits that the elections, there were massive riggings. But they put pressure on us to accept the elections notwithstanding that on the grounds that number one, your electorate is unsophisticated.

POM     Now did you get pressure from specific individuals? Did you lodge complaints with the IEC?

KX     We lodged a lot of complaints about the IEC. They never even responded to most of those complaints. We went public on the complaints that we lodged as far as these matters are concerned. But it was a very deliberate - there was pressure put on us really to accept the outcome. The other problem of course was the pressure that came on us as PAC leaders. We said that if we say we don't accept the elections, we don't accept the outcome and we take up arms, that is exactly the thing that the white right wing will be waiting for, for the PAC to take up arms to justify their own armed activities. And that would have reduced the country to nothing. What you see at the moment would not have been there had the PAC not accepted. Had the PAC decided to bomb the country until they agreed to fresh elections the right wingers would have joined in and bombed too. And Inkatha Freedom Party would not have accepted the elections either. Had we not been in there, they were also going to pull out.

POM     Do you believe, as many people have suggested, that a deal was made in KwaZulu/Natal with Buthelezi that essentially the ANC said, "Give him the Legislative Assembly there otherwise the result is going to be civil war?"

KX     Two days before the election Mr Oppenheimer himself got involved, of Anglo American, Harry Oppenheimer himself, and it was reported in a New York newspaper, and later on reported here from the article in New York. The reason for all of that, we believe, was to strike a deal there and that is why the ANC members in Natal were very adamant that what happened in Natal was not a true reflection and they did not want to accept the outcome of those elections in Natal. But the ANC leadership put pressure on them to accept the outcome, very definitely. Even though the white right wing is such a small fringe group they cannot possibly get the number of votes which they got. People know that there was massive rigging going on for them to get that type of vote. The IEC itself issued a press statement saying that their officials were involved in computer fraud. They rewrote the system in such a way that when you put through your figures, even if somebody typed the figures in at the IEC headquarters, the programme was written in such a way that it automatically readjusted the figures and then they said they fired the person who did that, who was behind the whole thing, but unfortunately they cannot go back and actually see what is the extent of that damage. That is why the PAC, it didn't matter where it was, every party got the same votes consistently throughout the country. It doesn't matter where. Even if it was an exclusive Afrikaner area, we all get the same percentage more or less. It doesn't matter which part of the country the votes come from, they come out the same way and that is because of the computer fraud that makes you to get the same.

POM     Can you remember when that press release was issued?

KX     By the IEC?

POM     Yes.

KX     I do not know, but I am sure you could get it from the IEC. The IEC could tell you the name of the official whom they dismissed as a result of his meddling with the computer programme.

POM     So you look forward now, your representation in parliament here is yourself and your representation at the national level is - how many altogether?

KX     Well you have the President, Mr Makwetu, you have Patricia de Lille, you have Gora Ibrahim and you have Sizane and Malcolm Dyani, so there are five representatives on the national level.

POM     What kind of role do you see them playing in this government? What kind of role do you see yourself playing in the PWV government?

KX     Well I think that for the first eight months or so there is nothing that the PAC could really do in parliament because you couldn't accuse the government of not performing because they had just come into power and people would think that you were unreasonable if you accuse them a month or two after coming into power. But now people are beginning to talk very clearly, looking at what they are doing, what they are saying. As PAC we have a very serious problem in relating to the government. On the one hand we must ensure that the black government succeeds because if they fail they will say all blacks have failed and that will include us. They will say blacks are incompetent and that will include us. So we don't want to see a black government fail, we want to see a black government succeed. On the other hand we are also competing with the ANC so we have to point out their weaknesses but without playing in the hands of those who really want to see the government failing and that is basically the role of the PAC. I think the ANC made some big blunders by quantifying their promises and no other political party quantified their promises, they just said, "We are going into houses, we are going to look into this, we are going to look into that." The ANC actually quantified, so many houses will be built, the entire programme will cost so much and all this and that and the other, as a result of which they are now in very serious problems. They just cannot deliver the goods.

POM     Some people say in part they can't deliver the goods because no powers have been devolved from the central government to the regional governments.

KX     But the central government can deliver the goods. They can do things themselves if they have the money, if the have the will and even if they are delaying giving powers to the regions. That is absolutely no argument. The fact of the matter is that they don't have the money. They don't have the money.

POM     So if you had to grade the performance of the government since its inception until today on a scale of one to ten where one would be a very unsatisfactory performance and ten very satisfactory performance, where would you put it after seven or eight months?

KX     I would give them about four out of ten, four out of ten, because one realises that the fundamental problem the government has is that they said that they are going to readjust the priorities of the budget so they are not going to restructure the economy. There is no economic restructuring, that's why they carefully use the word 'reconstruct' and not 'restructure'. Now the difference between restructuring and reconstructing is with reconstructing you don't touch the superstructure, you just re-prioritise what it achieves and how it achieves it, but it still remains in the same hands as before. White people control everything in this country; they are still in power. If you watched on television last night there was a programme from East London on Newsline and the Premier was asking the East London white Mayor to do certain things and the Mayor said, "I won't. Unless this and this and this happens I won't." Now here is a government that is in power asking a white Mayor and the white Mayor said, "I won't." Who has the power between the two? Maybe they should be taking an action on that. They should be implementing it but they are begging the racist Mayor who refuses.

POM     Why do you think there is this slowness of response, like of provincial governments in particular, to problems like that that they are facing?

KX     What do you mean?

POM     Well you said here's the white Mayor of a town being asked by a provincial Prime Minister of the provincial government to do something, and he's saying, "No, I won't do it until you meet this condition, that condition and the other condition." So why do you think the regional government is so slow to take action against that Mayor?

KX     Well they can't take action because number one, the Mayor is within his constitutional rights. They have made sure that as far as where their power really matters, in the military and in the economy, that there you can't just come and do what you want as a black government, and the constitution prohibits you from doing what you please. So they are within their rights and that is a problem. Now a problem on the economic level is that one of the things the ANC really looked forward to doing was to take the multi-billion rand budget of the security forces and cut that down drastically and use that for social spending and that's what they said they will do. Instead the army said, the military said that they want to increase their budget by at least another ten billion and they just said they refuse a cut in their budget. And although that was an election promise the military stuck in and refused, the Generals, and there was nothing the government could do. They had to take money then that was aimed for social spending and give that to the military.

POM     Did Joe Modise stand by the Generals or did he say, "No as Minister for Defence I want to see this budget slashed?" He's the constitutional authority.

KX     No, they just told Joe Modise straight what they think of him. You must understand the military, both from the liberation movement and from the old order, both of them don't have any regard for Mr Modise's abilities as a military person. Even the ANC people banned him from coming to address them, their own soldiers, the result of which when there was a problem pertaining to MK they said Mr Mandela must come, cut short his visit to America and come and deal with the issue and Mr Modise could only come with Mr Mandela, he couldn't come on his own. There is that type of problem that he has. But even if Mr Mandela wants to cut down on the military they won't be able to do it because the constitution says that all public servants have their jobs guaranteed. I argued strongly against that provision at Kempton Park in the negotiating process. I told them as a former trade unionist, I can tell them that there is no law in the world where you are guaranteed your job, guaranteed against dismissal. The only thing that civilised constitutions do is to guarantee you that if you are dismissed it will be fair and fair procedures must be followed in dismissing or retrenching employees. There is no law in the world that says an employee is guaranteed against dismissal, his job is guaranteed against dismissal. This is the only country where you have such laws.

POM     I think it was the Sunday Times yesterday mentioned that one element of the government's new economic policies was going to be to cut the number of civil servants by 200,000. Whereas if on the one hand civil servants are guaranteed their jobs and if on the other hand you've got to get blacks into responsible positions of power within the civil service and if alongside that you are dismissing or getting rid of 200,000 civil servants, how do you do it?

KX     The only way you could do it basically is to call top white civil servants to a meeting, ask them to agree to be fired and then work out a deal with them. That deal will cost, to remove the top civil servants, over three billion rand it's been worked out, and that is more expensive than to keep them.

POM     Do you think there are a sufficient number of blacks who have the qualifications to quickly take over the centres of power within the civil service or whether that learning process, that in a sense you need some of those senior white people to be on your side if you want to get things done?

KX     No, I think the question is based on the assumption that whites have the skills and therefore we must also have the skills to take it over, to make sure things are in place. That assumption is not correct because white civil servants, the previous government addressed the problem of the poor whites through the civil service. So poor, uneducated whites were given protected jobs within the civil service, in the railways, in the local government administrations and so on. You have magistrates in the black townships who don't even have matric, did not even pass the 12th grade, have never even gone to college, that type of thing. And really for us to replace them, most of those guys, is really no problem. We could replace them very easily. There's no difficulty with that. But I think that in the civil service it is not a question of talking about the overall number of blacks in the civil service because if you say that the civil service must reflect the population's percentages then black people have nothing to complain about at all because there are more blacks in the civil service than there are whites. There are more cleaners than there are Director Generals, there are more junior clerks than there are senior clerks in any business and the juniors are us, the black people, so we are in the majority in the civil service. We have nothing to complain of as far as numbers are concerned. The only problem that we have is the problem about the senior ranks. Those senior ranks where decisions are made, those are the ones which are controlled by the old order and by whites and those are to be integrated, not the cleaners and the tea makers and the junior clerks, we're not arguing for integration there, we're in the majority and we're comfortably the majority there.

     You have of course so many Director Generals and you have duplications. We've had 18 governments in the country, 18 governments and each government had its own departments and its own Director Generals of everything and now when you have one department with one Director General you have 17 which you can't fire, which you can't get rid of in terms of the constitution because his job is protected. So you might put him somewhere else but you can't reduce - you can reduce his rank maybe, you can give him another job of equal rank. He might not be called Director General but it must be something very important that he is doing and you can't cut down on his salary because the government made sure that while we are negotiating they decided to extend the Labour Relations Act to the civil servants. They said it's not good enough that you give us your word but the Labour Relations Act, there must be a Labour Relations Act for the civil service also so that they must be able to take the government to court and definitely the court will overrule the government. And they also made sure as part of the deal that the judges too must not be changed, so that the same white judges are on the bench. The judiciary has always been sexist, it's white, male, it's conservative and it has the law, it enforced the old establishment so you are caught in with that type of difficulty.

POM     One gets the impression, particularly from Mr Mandela's trips abroad that he is charting a very even course, showing moderation, showing tolerance, showing that the government is doing the least possible to disrupt the basic structure of the economy, that the free market system that he is committed to, that he is committed to getting international loans from the United States and from others. Do you see that as beneficial or should the country embrace, or would it be fundamental restructuring that else ten years from now you will still be making the same complaints to me that you are making now? The whites are still there, they are still entrenched, they still have their hands on the levers of power.

KX     Well somebody made a biblical example of that and said our country needs two leaders. We need a Moses who can just take them from Pharaoh's evil rule and that's all, that's great; and then you need a Joshua to take them into the Promised Land and give them the inheritance. Now Mandela has done well as a Moses to take us out of the evil oppression but he can't take us into empowerment. We need another leader to succeed Mr Mandela to do that because in order to do that, to empower the masses of the people economically, socio-economically, which is the only thing which will make the country to be stable, and the highly politicised masses that we have in the country, you would need to have some degree of confrontation with white big business and that's unavoidable. Mr Mandela is doing everything to placate white big business and also because he understands that if he does anything rash with white big business the international community, which is really the west white countries, will feel a bit jittery about that and will withhold their investments to foresee what is the outcome of whatever gels, what system gels at the end of the day after you destroy this system.

     So Mr Mandela is trying to keep the system intact so that investors can have confidence that there is no major change taking place there, we can come in, we can run our businesses there and so on and so forth. Now one of the things that Mr Mandela doesn't understand and that even some of the black business don't understand, because black business in the country is very weak, very weak. Black business went through three phases. The first phase was when we established Business Chambers. We established two Business Chambers, one is called FABCOS, the Foundation for African Business and Consumer Services, and the other one is NAFCOC, National African Federated Chamber of Commerce. And we went out as black folk and said that we have two business houses, two Business Chambers. The one thing that we did not have was businesses so we had Business Chambers without businesses. We had little corner shops but we had no significant business and of course the white media played up these two business houses we had and always paraded that internationally and said, "Black people have their own Business Chambers so they are not doing so bad." And so that the persons who were leading the Business Chambers became major names that the media played up.

     But then we went to the second phase when we established a black bank known as the African Bank and also a company, a very big company, for the first time we had a major company, it's called National Sorghum Breweries, but this company's product was not part of the mainstream economy because sorghum beer is something the black people drink so it was not really part of the main, we were not touching the mainstream of the commanding heights of the South African economy. But even so those people who were leading those two structures then really became more big and then we had for the first time companies, two companies that we could make reference to.

     And now we've gone to the third phase when we have formed two black conglomerates. The one is called NAIL, the New Africa Investment Limited, under Dr Motlana which has now really propelled Dr Motlana now into a very prominent, as the most prominent black businessman in the country and that is so because he must be more prominent than the business houses because the business houses are really just associations of tickey shops. But now for the first time there is really some big business. And then there's another conglomeration of companies called Real Africa Investments under Don Gnube(?). Don Gnube was one of the former members of the board of Anglo American Corporation and he has formed his group of companies as well. The value of the Real Africa Investment Group will be something in the region of 45 million rand. Dr Motlana has in real terms about 15 million rand at the moment but his company is listed on the Stock Exchange. They hope that it would increase to over a billion but the selling of the stock has been going very slow. So you have those two.

     But the problem you have with those two business houses, New African Investment Limited and Real Africa Investments is that both of them do not see how they should play their game properly. How they should play their game properly to empower themselves is as follows: white business has been protected in the country and very unprofessional and the commodity prices are very high therefore they are not competitive on the world market. South African sugar is three times the size of other sugar, our cars are three times the value of others and so on and so forth. You can go through a whole list of commodities. Our medicine, pharmaceutical products, three times the price of pharmaceutical products abroad. Now what white business is doing now, they can see that with Mr Clinton, the World Bank and the IMF putting pressure on South Africa to get rid of its protective measures of its market so that they can be in international trade because they say we don't invest if you have put all those barriers there. Remove the barriers so we can come in. The problem white business has is that when these foreigners come in they will produce cheaper than what they can and they will bring in products cheaper than what the South African white business is doing. What black people must do is go into joint ventures with the foreign white companies, undercut South African white business, make sure they are the major shareholders in these foreign ventures and in that way without even taking over the white companies, within a period of about eight to ten years you would be the South African economy. But now white business is smart enough for that. What they do in turn is that they look at every major black business coming up, talk to that guy and ask him to go into a joint venture with them before the foreigner comes so to make a contradiction between the black guy and the foreigner. And that is where New Africa Investments of Dr Motlana and Real Africa Investments of Mr Don Gnube are getting into ventures with the whites now on certain things.

     Yesterday's newspaper shows you in the Sunday Times Business Section that one of the pharmaceutical companies approached Motlana's group and told him that, let's go into joint pharmaceutical production, but Motlana's group will not produce everything and nor will they be involved in all aspects of that. They will only be involved in the production of pharmaceutical products for sale to the government. Now that can mean two things, number one that these black guys must go to the government and make sure the government buy it from them but at the same time they would not be involved in all areas of pharmaceutical production, only in that limited area. And thirdly, when the foreigner comes with his pharmaceutical production these black guys are already in competition with him so he cannot really find an opening in that respect. But I am saying that the black people are just a bit stupid about the way we play the game because if we play it properly, we're not stupid we're just a bit less than wise in the way we play the game because we can still beat white business without calling on the government to nationalise, to destroy or to force them to give power to us.

POM     Moving back a bit to this whole question of the rigging of votes, what parties do you think were primarily behind that?

KX     The National Party and the ANC.

POM     The National Party and the ANC?

KX     Yes. But they had the sophistication to do that. Mr Buthelezi didn't even rig the votes. What Buthelezi did, he goes into a certain place and established a voting station there where there is not supposed to be a voting station and then he goes to the IEC and asks them for paper and they give him paper. There's only IFP people there, it's not a voting station and he goes to the press and says, "I'm declaring that this is a voting station in this village in Natal." And tomorrow he comes with a whole box of papers from there and says, "All these people voted for the IFP." And then the ANC members of course said, "How can you say that? That's not a voting station." Then the deal is made with the leadership to say, OK accept those papers as part of a voting station. You can come with 10,000 papers within three hours from that voting station, which was really no voting station.

POM     So do you think ...?

KX     Now that in any country in the world would not be tolerated.

POM     Why was it tolerated here?

KX     It was tolerated here because of racist reasons. The western countries and their representatives who were here monitoring this thing basically took a racist position. They said that in our country it would not be acceptable but this is Africa. In terms of African standards, in terms of how many people in Africa have no democracy, this is a start. And we are saying that you can't use for the same democracy a different standard for your western country and for myself, which means that you are using a racial criteria and that racist criteria is good enough for us. But that is only one side of the coin. The other side of course is that they felt that the alternative, and this is what they put pressure on us, the alternative to accepting the outcome of the elections is worse than accepting it. So to them it was a case of the lesser of two evils. And bearing in mind how you struggled to get Buthelezi involved on almost the day of the elections, if you postponed the elections again you are not sure that you're going to get the guy involved, and some other people involved again.

POM     Do you think the breach between the King and Buthelezi is pretty fundamental?

KX     Oh no, no, not at all. The King is irrelevant. The King has nothing to do with his problems. The King is totally irrelevant. This King is weak, he's very, very weak.

POM     But recently he's been taking stands that seem to be independent of Buthelezi.

KX     In the 1970s where was King Goodwill Zwelithini? In the 1980s where was the King? Nowhere. Why was the King not involved? It was when Mr Buthelezi formed the IFP that he saw fit to use the King for his own purposes, that he brought the King's name into politics. But the King is not in politics. In the sixties where was the King? In the seventies and in the eighties? For thirty years the King never even squeaked. So it was Buthelezi who brought the King in, who made the King political. But even then the King did not want to be, the King does not have the expertise and he is not astute enough to become politically involved. That is why when the King made a mistake Mr Buthelezi would call him to the KwaZulu Cabinet and rebuke him and make him apologise to Buthelezi and to the Cabinet. And he did that as late as two years ago. So you can see the King really had nothing to do.

     Then what happened is that the ANC decided on a strategy to try and drive a wedge between Buthelezi and the King and Jacob Zuma played a major role in that respect and they were able to do that. And Buthelezi even for the past two years, if you look at his statements, from time to time he would say, "The ANC is trying to drive a wedge, the ANC is trying to drive a wedge", because he gets these reports of what they are trying to do. But the ANC couldn't really succeed and that was their biggest weakness to succeed there. They tried to get some few Chiefs on their side but the majority of the Chiefs were with Buthelezi.

     Now what has happened, the ANC was able now to make their breakthrough and they got between that and get some more Chiefs on their side, but still a minority of Chiefs, but even manage to get access to the King. The real issue from what I've just said to you, you can see what it is, crystallised down, collapsed into a simple essence; you will see that it is a turf struggle between the ANC and the IFP and the King is only a means by the two parties towards the end of getting the turf war. So you can't say at heart the problem is one of a struggle between Buthelezi and the King. At heart the struggle is one between the ANC and the IFP and the King is the instrument that these two parties use and the King is going to give in to the one who puts more pressure on him. At the moment the King feels that the ANC is the government so it can have a little bit more power than Buthelezi, so he survives better under them. But the King is weak. He is weak of character, he is weak organisationally, he is not astute and therefore the King cannot come out in his own right and say that, "I will not align myself to anybody. I will stand on my own. I will be powerful. I will put up my structures. My structures will be answerable to me." No, the King is saying, "I have allied myself, if Buthelezi doesn't want to listen to me I will ally myself to the ANC. If they don't listen to me I'll ally myself to Buthelezi." That shows you that he lacks that type of independence and that is what it's all about.

POM     After your showing in the elections in April there must have been a fairly thorough review and evaluation of your whole organisation.

KX     That's right.

POM     You hear talk, again mostly in the media, that a good part of the leadership may be replaced at the next congress. What kind of changes do you see emerging in the PAC that will make it more palatable to people in the 1995 local elections?

KX     Number one, it has to change some of its slogans, which it has already done, like 'One settler one bullet' and those slogans. They have already abandoned those slogans officially. It has to be seen to be working in the government structures and taking part in the democratisation process, which we are seen to be doing. In the PWV we have a very high profile of our government involvement in spite of the fact that we are only one. Our profile in government in the PWV is higher than that of the National Party, the Democratic Party, the Freedom Front and the IFP put together, our profile in this province. On national level our profile is quite high as well and that is good because people say, is the PAC going to fight or is the PAC going to play ball, respect the constitution or not? And people can see the PAC respects the constitution, it is fully involved. That goes down well. There will be from time to time certain court cases arising from the previous things which will still bring some bad publicity, like the Amy Biehl thing and so on, but those are the carryovers. It doesn't arise from the post election period. And people understand that. That is why the newspaper editorials do not attack the PAC on the Amy Biehl outcome and things like that. There is no attack on the PAC in the newspapers. They are treated as a carryover.

     The PAC will have to professionalise itself now. The biggest problem is to work on the minds of our members to understand the situation that we're in, that this is a new era with new slogans and everything. And the way the PAC members have been involved in local government negotiations and in the structures is very, very encouraging. It shows you already that they have made the transition within themselves. The concern of the membership as far as the leaders are concerned is that, this is how they put it to us, they say that when a party does very poorly in an election it must change its leadership. They say that if you change your top leaders, they use as an example the British Labour Party, its last performance. They say that the leader that they had, was it Neil Kinnock? Yes. He didn't do anything wrong but he took the right step at every corner, did what he was supposed to do, appeared where he was supposed to appear, did everything right, but all the people on the ground did not work properly. But it is the leader's duty to take the responsibility for the overall performance of the party and that is why Kinnock had to resign. Kinnock did not resign because he had done something wrong personally. He was acting in the interests - and they say that in modern day politics when a leader goes the party does not change but the impression to people outside there that the party has undergone change now, there's a different party, comes with the fact that you have new leadership and therefore it sets the stage for people who did not vote for you to say, hey, let me take a closer look at the new leaders; there might be something in there. And that gives you an opening in itself. That's how modern day western politics work they say.

     And it's from that perspective that there are some talks that say let us change some of the leaders. The leaders did nothing wrong. In fact the members at workshops that we held to look at what went wrong they congratulated the leaders for the stand that they took, to take part in the elections and so on, and they admitted, they said that we as members through our radicalism, our ultra-radicalism, we kept you back a lot, things like that, made it difficult for you to move. They expressed that. But at least you stood firm and so on and so on and they appreciate that. So they don't say the leaders didn't lead and so on, they know that the leaders went against so many people in the party in taking the correct decisions. They are greatly appreciative of that but they say that this is a tactic in modern day politics that you have to change your leadership.

POM     Do you hear on the ground now that the government's what would be called honeymoon period is over, that people are saying that they have seven or eight months to learn how to govern and now they must start delivering and that they don't see the delivery there, or that they do?

KX     You will have a lot of demonstrations; well we had a demonstration in the city at the parliament last week, Thursday, here, by people who were not happy about certain decisions of the government and you're going to have more of that. You will definitely have more of that type of thing going on. But I think the real test for the ANC will be the local government elections. The strength of the ANC is that there are few political parties in the west, in the big countries, like Canada, the US, Britain, Germany and so on, who can compete with the ANC as far as propaganda machinery is concerned. It is very good. The ANC works 24 hours a day on its propaganda and its image and everything. They don't leave anything to chance. The problem that you have with other parties is that they have weak propaganda machineries so even if the ANC makes some blunders here and there they can't really take proper advantage of that and the ANC every night when you watch the television, even before the election when the ANC was not in power, with the National Party in power and controlling the electronic media, the ANC beat them hands down. When you watch the television it's ANC from start to finish, so they really are very good at that. That is a good thing that they are going to depend on.

     But in the local government election the ANC cannot use the Mandela factor because people are going to vote for local issues. So the parties outside the ANC have nothing to fear about the Mandela factor because there will be no poster with Mandela's face on, nothing, it's irrelevant. But the biggest strength the ANC has against its opponents, which is a major strength, almost as big as the Mandela factor, is it has the civic factor. The ANC have the Civic Associations which lead the people on community issues, the majority of them. And the ANC is going to depend on that factor to win the local government elections and that factor to them is as strong as the Mandela factor. The problem that faces all other parties outside the ANC is how to counter the civic factor.

POM     You mentioned the Business Section of the Times yesterday and there was an article on the front page which speculated that Cyril Ramaphosa might take a position as the director of the unbundling of black interests on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. Is there a real battle for leadership going on within the ANC, representing diverse factions?

KX     That article did not refer to the Stock Exchange but to the JCI, Johannesburg Consolidated Investments, which is a gold mining company. But in JCI even if you unbundle a company legally it does not mean that you lose your shares. If you want to unbundled, those shares still belong to the same people, they just have to form many more companies. The fact that there will be some black empowerment is at the behest of those companies themselves who say, OK we will unbundle but we will also give some small interest to black people. That does not mean that it's going to be very major but there will be some black company that could arise from there. Of course it will not be as big as a white company and of course the white companies are forming this company and there are, of course, all three groups of black business trying to vie for that. The Real Africa Investments, the New Africa Investments of Dr Motlana and of course the FABCOS, NAFCOC conglomerates, they are also vying to get that from the JCI. Now you have a fourth group coming in which is COSATU. COSATU said they also want to come in there because NACTU is beating COSATU on investment portfolios. NACTU is far ahead of COSATU. NACTU is part of New Africa Investments, it owns 15% of the shares there and people have been asking COSATU a lot of questions, "Why are you behind NACTU?" So Cyril might come in via the COSATU factor there, negotiating some settlement with these people and that is how Cyril might come in.

POM     Would you see him resigning his position as ...?

KX     He will have to resign his position in parliament.

POM     So essentially he would be giving up his political career?

KX     He would be giving up his political career yes.

POM     Do you think that's in the cards?

KX     I think it is conceivable, it is conceivable. He is currently the Chairman of the Constituent Assembly but the question arises after the Constituent Assembly, after 18 months what will happen to Mr Ramaphosa? And that is going to be a serious problem that he will have to ask himself. What role is he going to play in politics? Besides that there are those people who want to make sure that he does not challenge Mbeki later on and those people have now decided that they must even get rid of him as Secretary General.

POM     That they must get rid of him?

KX     Get rid of him as Secretary General. And they then started informing the press and the press put the articles out that there is a strong lobby to get rid of him, not because he's done anything wrong but to remove the possibility of any challenge to Mbeki. Mr Mandela cannot go on for very long, his health wouldn't allow him to do that. But those are the internal politics of the ANC the way we see it.

POM     Is this a kind of a fight between what might be called the insiders and the outsiders?

KX     No, no. It's a fight that arises from the nature of the structure of the ANC. The ANC is not a political party. The ANC converted itself from a liberation movement to a multi-conflicting interest federal structure and from that context then there is no such thing as party loyalty because you have the communists, the liberals, the African nationalists, different interests under the same thing. So there is no party loyalty. Personal ambitions play a very big role in the running of the ANC. I think it is within that context that you must see that type of conflict taking place.

POM     Do you think that the local government elections will in fact take place in October 1995, that all the relevant structures will be in place?

KX     No, no, they will have to postpone it. And that is the biggest mistake that the ANC is going to make because the ANC is going to take control, play a very key role in most of the local governments and when they fail to deliver the goods the ANC will take the flak, mainly take the flak for that. The ANC should be pushing for local government elections to take place as quickly as possible with temporary cards, voter cards and things, and get that done with as early as possible before they fail, before they are associated with failure.

POM     There is no massive voter registration drive taking place?

KX     No there's nothing. That will take about a year to complete.

POM     You sit in the PWV parliament; do you feel frustrated because of the lack of powers that have been devolved to that parliament by the central government?

KX     No, not at all, not at all; I don't feel frustrated. I believe that the central government must be as strong as possible, mobilise things on a national basis and distribute opportunity on a national basis based on need and don't just allow ourselves to compete. We have voluntarily given up the right to form, for example, a state lottery, because we know that once we form a state lottery for the province the other provinces don't have the capacity to run a successful lottery; only we have, so we would be killing all the other initiatives. All the money that will come in for social spending will just be revenue accrued to us and so we said that in the interests of national organisation we give up our right. Let the national parliament form a national state lottery. That is the type of thing that you voluntarily do and the people who are unitarists are in the majority in this legislation.

POM     OK. Thank you again ever so much. You gave me the other day your home telephone number which I lost. It's just easier to get through to you.

KX     All right.

PAT     What is the name of your assistant?

KX     His name is Mbombo. Unfortunately he told me the Legislature has just gone to buy the coffee and tea and things. They ran out. I think the only frustrating thing we have is that we don't have a budget, but for example, I'm the Chairman of the Seat of Government Committee, we budget for the new parliament and it has to go through the state finances to approve. They are delaying to approve these things. We don't care, we spend it.

POM     This is a new innovative period.

KX     We have bought all the things for the new parliament. We bought it, there's no money.

POM     On credit?

KX     No, no, we will just send the documents to the state finances. We tell them that we told you that we have budgeted for these things and we have already incurred the costs and we are going ahead now. Here are things, pay.

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.