This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Foundation, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.
16 Nov 1995: Mdlalose, Frank
POM. Premier, let me first start with a very general question. If you had to review your first 18 months as Premier of KwaZulu/Natal what would you chalk up as being the gains you have made in what was after all one of the poorest provinces in South Africa and what are the debits, the losses, the things you would have like to have seen done by now that haven't been done?
FM. First I think we must just bear in mind that when we started in May 1994 we had two separate strong administrations. There was the KwaZulu Government Administration and the Natal Provincial Administration. In addition we also had the House of Representatives, we had the House of Assembly, we also had the House of Delegates that were not fully functional in our province but they had to be accommodated. They were less strong than the first two that I mentioned. We had to make one provincial government out of that. Now this was not an easy task but I think to a large extent we have managed to put that together. We no longer have a separate KwaZulu government, separate Natal Provincial Administration; we have one KwaZulu/Natal Provincial Government which has taken up elements of the House of Delegates and elements of the House of Assembly and elements of the House of Representatives. I think we have achieved a lot in putting that together in the past 18 months and it is working.
. When you consider that if you take one department, I think a typical one that I have tried to focus on, when you consider the Department of Education as such you must bear in mind that we had Education & Culture under KwaZulu with 1.5 million pupils being catered for from Ulundi, we had a division of the Department of Education & Training which was for blacks for a few hundred thousand people looked after by Pretoria, we had the House of Representatives in Education with a small fraction, maybe another 100,000, and we had the House of Delegates with three, four times as much as the House of Representatives, then the House of Assembly, I don't know how many there were there but we had five separate elements of education in our province with different numbers and these have had to come under one roof. That means five heads of the departments and those five heads had to come down to be under one head. That was not a small feat and we had them scattered all over the province and they had to come under one minister instead of five separate ministers. Now I think we have to a large extent achieved that. We have a problem which is a transitional problem in that the Acting ... of that department has not yet been confirmed but we are pushing on, so we have got a positive thing in terms of all the various departments getting together.
. We have, of course, the negative feature in that what we as KwaZulu Government had powers over has now been whittled down. We had powers of agriculture which was Agriculture & Forestry, powers over a number of things which now have been cut down, power over land which has now been made to go to the central government. We had a number of laws that we had passed and they were supposed to come back to us upon our application in terms of constitution Clause 235, Subsection Eight, which application we effected timeously. Some have been assigned to us, others have been left hanging in the Department of the President of the Republic of South Africa. We are still knocking at the door even now.
POM. So there is no clear delineation of power between the central government and the provincial government at this point?
FM. Well there is Schedule Six in terms of the constitution which does set up powers that in terms of the constitution belong to the province, but in fact even in that situation there is not much clarity in a number of instances, but even within the competency of the Schedule Six powers the laws that we had passed in the KwaZulu Government and were working with and which we had administrative capacity, some of them have truly been assigned over to us but others have been retained by the central government for reasons we cannot tell.
POM. There are I think four main areas that I'd like to address and the first is this kind of impasse over the provincial constitution, a debate I've followed as best I can from a distance from here, and it was my understanding that at one point the Constitutional Committee had in fact reached consensus on a working document for a provincial constitution and in a sense that all seven parties represented in the Constitutional Committee had agreed to this working document and that it seemed well on its way to becoming the constitution of KwaZulu/Natal which would have been a first in two ways. One, it would have been the first provincial constitution, and two, that it was a miracle of sorts to bring seven parties in a Constitutional Committee given the strife that's gone on in this province over the years, to bring them all together on the question of consensus for a provincial constitution, yet it all fell apart. What happened?
FM. Well I think you have a fatalistic approach when you say 'and yet it all fell apart'. You have defined it very well that you had seven parties which were represented in the committee of twenty that were working on the constitution. This committee of twenty has been working on this constitution for not a year yet and this committee has had a number of negative issues come up and a number of positive issues come up. I think you must realise that when you have got such differences as we have in our objectives of the seven parties, there would inevitably be areas where we quarrel, we can't agree, and there would naturally be areas where we also agree. There has been a higgledy-piggledy situation where there has been progress at certain times and at other times what you call 'falling apart', or whatever you will call it, but that does not mean it's the end of the world. We have had positive features and negative features. We have had a see-saw on a number of things. Sometimes we have been up over the mountain, some other time we have been down in the valleys, which doesn't mean that's the end of it all.
POM. I suppose what I don't understand is that my understanding was that consensus had been reached among all seven parties, that there was agreement and that you could now move on to the next stage of putting the report of the committee before the entire Assembly and that this never happened; that Mr Konigkramer got replaced as chairman of the committee and that the consensus that had been achieved among the seven parties dissipated over actions taken by the IFP and that you are back now to a much more polarised situation of where you have most of the other parties versus the IFP, a situation of where you seem to have six parties in opposition to what the IFP is trying to do on the constitution. Am I misreading that?
FM. I wish you could understand that the issue of negotiation is not a straight line, it's a line that is up and down. We have had understandings and we have also had falling apart. We have had getting together which has given rise to saying now we are making progress, then other things have come up and we have appeared not to be making progress. For my part I am quite sure that we are making progress. We have positive and negative features come whether it will be a positive, whether it will be a negative situation, there is no end to it yet but we are moving inexorably towards having a constitution that will be satisfying to everybody, we hope. You refer to Mr Konigkramer and although I am not going to be involved in discussing the pinpoint issues to the ultimate iron, there have been areas where there were differences even within our party and there were also areas where there were differences between our party and other parties. There were areas where we have come over that and have had consensus in our party and we have reached consensus between our party and other parties in certain areas, but certain areas have also come apart. It's not just one thing, it's not just today it's over, clear, and tomorrow then the final answer is there. There are so many aspects that are involved in the constitution making that has been up and down.
POM. Not to harp on it though, if consensus had been reached within the committee and they had an agreed upon report, a working document that could go before the Assembly, what happened that that document never went before the Assembly and what happened to the consensus that had been created?
FM. Well you are talking of consensus and thereafter breaking down of consensus, what you are forgetting is that consensus on certain points with differences on other points. Sometimes a consensus point takes the limelight and the disagreements that we still have take the low profile. Then next time the differences come up and the consensus comes down. It's not just one item that we are having consensus on and tomorrow we have differences on. There are a number of items. But if you want to get real specifics I think you would have to go to members of the Constitutional Committee who will give you the day-to-day issues. They are meeting even now. They meet every other day. I am not with them. I get reports. But if you are wanting to know the pin-point differences over a period of time then I think I will have to refer you to the committee members, they can give you the chapter and verse.
POM. Who is a good person to contact?
FM. Mr Mike Tarr would be the right person for you to contact.
POM. But there was a particular situation of where the NP seemed to think they had an understanding, that there wouldn't be a vote because their caucus was not going to be present and in their absence the IFP, in the words of one media commentator, kind of rammed through its proposals and everybody else walked out. What was that about?
FM. What happened was that there was agreement among all parties that you are going to have parliament opening on a certain day, day one, and then ultimately two things happened. One, the National Party decided to make use of that day one in having something else elsewhere and not in our province and members of our province were to be there, but that was one thing that was happening and there was agreement among the members of, shall I say the Whips among themselves, that there would then not be any controversial issue that would come on that day one. But when that happened there was already a feeling within the IFP, concurrently, a feeling that certain things had to be covered up and that there would have to be a motion coming up and that motion had to be placed on the very first day. That was irrespective of what agreement there was on the other side, so in fact one member put up the motion falling upon a decision that the IFP hierarchy had thought we must put this point across and one member in terms of the regulations did in fact make up that motion and put it up timeously.
. Now that unfortunately did not reach the Secretary nor the Whips on time for it to be considered and to be put on their agenda for the first day. This was only noticed on the day before, that was before the actually sitting. So now you had two issues, one side there was expectation that there would be nothing controversial because there had been sort of a gentleman's agreement among the Whips that there wouldn't be anything controversial put in on the first day. On the other side, unbeknown to the hierarchy of the party, there was this motion that was brought up by one of the members, Mr Maurice McKenzie, and that motion did not reach the Secretary timeously to come up. So now we had these two forces that were arrayed one against the other and at the end of it all on the first day there was then the issue that let's go ahead.
POM. Let me turn to the situation of the non-participation of the IFP in the Constitutional Assembly. Is that being mediated in any way, are there efforts being made on the part of the ANC to get together with senior figures in the IFP to see whether there is some common ground that can be worked out that would facilitate a return to the Constitutional Assembly or is your position that unless the external mediators are brought in, that's it?
FM. Well that has been a very simple straightforward point and I don't know why people don't like to understand it. It's a very simple straightforward point. On 19th April there was an agreement and we have said, look, let's keep up to that agreement, and the ANC party has reneged on that agreement. We have said if they renege then we don't move. That's simple, in terms of the Constitutional Assembly we will have to keep out and it's not the first time that they have reneged and the world knows or ought to know, they ought to know.
POM. Would KwaZulu/Natal accept a constitution into which they have had no input?
FM. It will be very difficult to see that we could accept it, but we must see what comes out at the end.
POM. Do you think that will become a question for separate negotiations or that you would simply say - would your position at this point be that KwaZulu/Natal cannot have a national constitution imposed on it, a constitution in which it has played no part in drawing up and had no input whatsoever?
FM. What you are saying about us having no part in it is true, that is fact, we have had no part in it and we are disappointed because people have not been keeping up to their words and so we have stayed out. You see what it is that they come to? We have, of course, at the background also the idea of sufficient consensus, I don't have to repeat that, you know all about it. With these two things in mind, international mediation not being undertaken and sufficient consensus being the way that the ANC will be rough-riding over us, we have said we will keep out. If now the constitution comes out we don't know what it will be like, so we say let's not jump the gun and start saying, look when the constitution comes out we shall not be bound by it, we shall do this, that and the other, which is what many people are wanting us to be saying. We shall not say that. We will watch and see what constitution comes up. We have not been party to it but let's see what it comes out to be, then we will have a decision about what our position is going to be.
POM. I watched an Agenda programme with yourself and the Minister for Safety & Security, Sydney Mufamadi, on the whole question of the role that the security forces are playing in either trying to quell or increasing the violence in Natal and your point being that night patrols by the police were not acceptable. Have you been able to establish to your satisfaction that the police are actively engaged in a campaign to assassinate leading members of the IFP, that's one, and two is that the aim of the ANC is still to eliminate or decimate as far as possible the IFP?
FM. Well you are asking two different questions. The first one is incomplete in fact because you are talking of the police, but you see when we had this situation where police and the army, it was a combination of two forces working together. Now that combination of the two forces has been very inimical to our interests and people that were going around at night were mostly, one, murdering our people, I'm not saying every time but mostly, and two, just destabilising our people under the guise that they are looking for guns. Destabilisation. There is a member of the provincial parliament, Nkosi Mataba, who was raided by this group on three successive, not exactly successive nights, but on three separate nights within two days or so under the guise of saying they are searching for guns and they would come in the middle of the night and say they want to search for guns, a respected Nkosi of the police, respected Chief of Police who is a member of the provincial parliament who is known who has got a stable house. Now to terrorise a man in the middle of the night, he's obviously not calculated just searching for the guns, it's obviously destabilising, intimidating and causing all the people that are surrounding him who are his subjects to really feel resentful of this and in fact some of them would feel like taking up arms against those raids at night. So that was a destabilising factor from the combination of the police as well as the South African National Defence Force.
. But there have also been occurrences, as you know or ought to know, where people have been raided by that combination in the middle of the night and somebody taken away and the following day he is found pumped up with bullets and dead on the wayside. You know that. This is what has happened and that we feel it's to destabilise us, to intimidate us, to frighten us and to irritate us into fighting back so that we can be mowed down. If people with their poor little arms or knobkerries are fighting the well-equipped army, they will just be mowed down. That is what in fact was calculated we feel. In certain cases where people responded by being co-operative and then they would be demanded by this army, they would be carried away and be killed. And this is what has happened. So that is the South African Police, so-called SAPS, on one side with the South African National Defence Force, a combination of that which of course is under the aegis of the ANC government and the person who is at the head of that is Minister Mufamadi because in fact even when they do that, the Minister that is responsible is the Minister of Safety & Security and even when they read it the police would take the lead and the army would be the supporting group.
. The other side when you talk of the ANC as such, African National Congress organisation, killing IFP, irritating IFP, destabilising IFP, that is going on. Yesterday but yesterday at half past three, so we are talking of less than 24 hours ago, a strong IFP youth leader was murdered, was shot dead at half past three yesterday and this happened this way, you should bear with me. There has been an order by the central government to say all the guns, G3s and shotguns that were given to prominent people and the Amakosi who were being pursued for the sake of assassinations that they could defend themselves, these must be withdrawn and taken up by 31st October 1995. That was an order from the government. We have tried to negotiate and I have personally in the company of Mr Mtethwe and Nkosi Ngubane negotiated with the Minister of Safety & Security, Mr Mufamadi, on 30th or 31st October and said, look these people are threatened and they are being in fact watched by the ANC, we know that, and they are being murdered as such, so when you take that issue let the withdrawal of guns proceed according to certain lines, let the people come up to the police station and as they submit that they proceed to apply for firearms so that they could have within a short space of time licences for the firearms and purchase them for their own protection because those had been given over by the government of KwaZulu. Right, that was agreed upon and it was in fact even said that when you do take this up, because we've got to get the word around to the people because some people are resisting, but we must tell the people they must not resist, it's a government order, we are co-operating, let them go up and give those arms but don't send the police running around the countryside collecting the arms openly before everybody because immediately the police are raiding the house in broad daylight and they come up with a haul of guns then the opponents say, Ah they are deprived of guns today then we can attack them today or tomorrow or the other day.
. It's a battle that we are engaged in and some people ought to know what sort of battle. So what happened in this particular instance is that the Station Commander went all out being pressurised by ANC people one of whom is a member of the provincial parliament, an ANC member of the provincial parliament, pressurising the Station Commander, Go and collect those guns, and the guns were collected and within a matter of days, or not even days but the day the guns of this young fellow were collected, these two fellows, the MP, member of provincial parliament, as well as his friend travelled in two cars and checked up at the police station whether guns had been taken from him and of course they were assured that they had been taken, and they drove away and the two cars, one was a BMW the other one was a Scala Nissan, the friend of the MPP was in the Scala Nissan, they drove away and then what was seen was the car of the other man being stopped and he was shot dead. Yesterday, half past three. The issue is being investigated. I won't mention the names of those two people who are ANC people who were seen near that car, near the site of the murder after they had been identified at the police station as people that were checking up whether the guns had been collected after they had been insisting with the Lieutenant, Lieutenant Cloete who is the Station Commander, that he collect the guns.
. These are things that are happening on the ground and we see them and know them. Now not only that but I am talking of just recent things, out at Mandeni, where at 23 hours on the 14th, that was the day before yesterday, and at night just before midnight, four IFP homesteads were burnt down at night. Now we don't know who did that but we know the general talk around there, there is no doubt about it, it is the ANC people that have done that. So that's what we're having. I'm talking of just the last 24 hours.
POM. Now you're talking about being in a battle or a battle situation.
FM. Yes you could put it that way.
POM. Is it the aim of the ANC to destroy the IFP as a political force in this province?
FM. Well that's how we feel about it. All the action seems calculated towards that end. There is a saying that you cannot sufficiently explore the recesses of a criminal mind but you can infer from his actions what the desired consequences are of his actions.
POM. Looking at this in an electoral way, if one looks at the recent local government elections, which were not held of course in KwaZulu/Natal or in the metropolitan Cape, the performance of the IFP to put it mildly was pretty awful, point six percent of the vote which hardly qualifies its claims to be a national party. A couple of questions, one is, what do you think accounted for its such poor showing in the rest of the country outside of KwaZulu/Natal and the Western Cape? Two, would it not confirm what many observers say is that the IFP is really a regional party not a national party, that is has no wide national base, that its base exists within KwaZulu/Natal and there it plays an important role but as a national party it really doesn't have very much significance?
FM. Well there is no doubt about it that in the provinces that have undertaken elections the IFP has fared very badly, that must be considered. The statement or the inference that you are making that it is a regional party, well that is not correct.
POM. I'm saying a lot of people have said that. I don't have a view on the matter, I'm just an observer of the scene and ask questions.
FM. OK. There could be that conclusion made from those facts but when one realises that we did not field many candidates, we have had very few candidates that we fielded. In fact our organisation with regard to the elections, these local government elections, throughout the whole country has been very much at a slow pace and has been very much on the backward side. We have been in fact slack in putting up candidates in the Transvaal or Free State or the Cape. We did put up some but very few. So even if in fact all our candidates had won there would have been the picture of very poor show because we had very few candidates.
. Now the issue of IFP being regional, this is the accusation that we have had from time immemorial, always it will come up and I suppose it will always come up all the way through and not because IFP is just regional. It is true that it is strongest in KwaZulu/Natal but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist elsewhere. It is strongest in this province and there are reasons for it to be strongest here. It was started here by a person who was a leader here, a person who was well known here in this region and even though that was the case it did not get itself confined here, it has been all over Transvaal and even in the Cape. So it's not a regional party the way, for example, you have got a regional party, the Dikonquetla Party which is a QwaQwa party, or a Free State party, you hardly see it anywhere, there is not a member that I know of in KwaZulu/Natal for example, or in the Cape, who is a member of the Dikonquetla, that's a regional party. There is also Chimoko(?) which is in Gazankulu which is confined to the Shangaans in Gazankulu. Those are regional parties. We are not a regional party in that sense and we may be weak in certain areas, and we are weak in certain areas, but we do have membership (a) in every province, (b) in every race whether it be white, Indian, Coloured, Zulus and Xhosas and Sothos and all, we have got representatives from all those people, different places, different racial groups, so it would not be correct to say it is just a regional party.
POM. Why did the party not put up candidates in the rest of the country? If it wanted to show that it was in fact a major player in national politics one would think that it would go out of its way to show its strength at the local elections.
FM. We were not faced with wanting to show that we are a national party, that was not the question, that was not what was uppermost in our minds. It might have been in the minds of other people, we need to be national. We have already shown our strength last year in our elections, we have already shown that in fact it was party number three throughout the whole country. Why didn't you ask about that? Why don't you look at that?
POM. That was 18 months ago, this is now.
FM. Yes, we have shown that, so I mean we did not have to start again showing that we are a national party and not a regional party. We haven't sunk back to that. You would agree that from the show that we had last year it is not a regional party?
POM. I would say that from your showing in the 1994 elections that you are a national party. I would say that from your showing in the local elections that it would appear that irrespective of the number of candidates the party put up they had next to no support.
FM. You have said just now, when you first posed the question, you did not show national presence and that you did not put that up. We were not faced, and I am repeating myself in other words, we were not faced with an idea of trying to convince you or anybody else that we are a national party, we had already done that last year. We did not have to keep convincing you or others about that. But for certain reasons we did not put up candidates in other parts of the country apart from - and I won't go into the reasons about that, but I am telling you that in KwaZulu/Natal we are going all out to have our candidates in because that's the only place where we have got candidates, but we are going to put up candidates at every spot and even though our people are being killed, even though there are certain areas that are supposed to be no-go areas for us, we shall have candidates.
POM. Looking at those elections, are you satisfied at this point that they will in fact take place next March?
FM. Well we would have loved them to take place on 1st November, we would have loved to have them on 1st November. Even now we are saying, well, at least then the 27th March, but there are forces that are really standing in our way against that. You know what we have to put very bluntly Mr O'Malley, what we have in the tactics in the ANC is to prevent elections coming up and then shouting to the whole world, You see IFP government does not want to have elections, and some of you take it in hook, line and sinker. We had even just yesterday a Cabinet meeting, we had a situation where we are again back to square one in terms of the demarcation of regions and you know that there is this PCLG, Provincial Committee for Local Government, which is the one that has to decide on many things finally where we have got six members and it is three/three, so there is never an agreement because three are ANC, the other three are in fact - this was formed by the Transitional Electoral Council before we were on the way towards getting into elections, that was at the beginning of last year. So the strength of it all was just ANC and so we only got one member in that committee that was IFP and the other two members belonged to the other party so we have been able to influence the other two members to see reason, that's my point of view, to see reason. So they have got three against three. The ANC are a solid three that will not see reason. And the arguments that we have heard even yesterday is about the demarcation of borders. If that continues then it means there are no elections, but now on the issues that we faced yesterday we have now had to say that, apart from the earlier ones that are going before the Supreme Court, Electoral Court, even others that we have had problems with everything must go now to the Electoral Court and the Electoral Court must make a final decision and we are going to work on the basis of the Electoral Court decision in terms of demarcation of borders. So I would say that whatever happens we should have elections on 27thMarch but there are forces from the ANC side which are trying to nullify that then they can always blame IFP and say, IFP led government you are failing.
POM. If the province wasn't ready for one reason or another for elections on 1stNovember, why did it think it might be ready to hold snap elections, snap provincial elections? There was some talk about that at one time.
FM. You mean the provincial elections?
FM. Well those are in a different category.
POM. But wouldn't you have to have registration lists now if you had a snap election?
FM. Registration is one thing but demarcation is something else. You know that we have been having proportional representation in terms of the provincial as well as the national elections last year and if they follow that line you don't have to demarcate borders.
POM. But you would have to have a voters' registration list that was verified?
POM. But many of those things wouldn't - in terms of the short run many of those things would not be in place?
FM. We have never given a date for provincial elections.
POM. I know, but a snap election doesn't mean next year.
FM. There was never a date, in fact it was never called snap elections, never. We never said snap elections. You can't quote me as having said snap elections or any IFP man saying that. What we said was that if we can't get approval, sufficient approval with regard to constitution making then we must go on to have elections. That's what we said. We didn't say we were going to have them the following day or that they will be snap elections. We said we must then go into elections for the province and that we still feel is the right thing to follow up and that doesn't mean to say that if tomorrow there is no consensus in the committee then the following day we are going to have elections. There would have to be a number, in fact right away, now, we have an Electoral Bill and there again we have got some problems. We have an Electoral Bill that we have formulated for the sake of conducting elections in the province. Why we are doing that is that the Transitional Local Council together with the Electoral Commission that were operative for the sake of the elections of April 1994 that is no longer in existence, that is no longer operative so there has to be a new something, either resurrect that or get a substitute for it.
. Now the Minister of Home Affairs, who happens to be Dr Buthelezi, the President of IFP, put across to parliament, to Cabinet in the central government a way of - well put up a clause, a possible bill for adoption which would provide for just this in any province, that would be a general thing. Then of course the ANC led Cabinet refused to adopt that. So what we are doing now is from the province to make up our own Electoral Bill affecting the province, not affecting the other provinces, so that if it's passed here then elections can be conducted according to that here. Now whether that bill of course will not be accepted or not accepted by the ANC is neither here nor there. The ANC is not inclined towards accepting that bill. They will say we don't have the competence as a province to have a bill like that and that will then go to the Constitutional Court and the Constitutional Court may decide one way or the other and you know who the members of the court are, and I won't talk anything further than that, so we will wait for that judgement. And if it comes possible that we can have that Electoral Bill and we have it then we could have elections as and when we feel we should have them.
POM. Are you convinced that the IFP would get more than 662/3% (two thirds) of the vote in such an election?
FM. Well I wouldn't know, I wouldn't know what percentage we could get. You know elections will depend on so many factors. When you go in for elections you certainly hope to win and you want to win comfortably, but we cannot go to the extent of saying it must be over two thirds. I would wish for over two thirds but I have no doubt that we will get far more than 50%, but I am not saying that it will be more than two thirds. It would be a bonus of course if we get more than two thirds. But with the other parties coming in I think it is possible to support to that extent.
POM. Over the weekend Dr Buthelezi made a couple of statements and I think you've answered one, but the other one confuses me. And that is, he said, The might of the security forces is now being harnessed to destroy the IFP. That's a view shared across the board by the IFP membership.
FM. That the might of the security forces has not destroyed the IFP?
POM. No, sorry, the might of the security forces is now being harnessed to destroy the IFP.
FM. Oh, to destroy the IFP. Well I think so, that's how I feel.
POM. And secondly he said, An IFP defeat in local elections in KwaZulu/Natal would open the doors to increased violence.
FM. Well he has said so and I think ...
POM. Like in what sense? Can you just give me the logic of what's in his mind when he says that?
FM. Well I don't know his mind.
POM. I know, but how do you interpret it?
FM. I think you had better talk to him about that if you want to get the exact thing instead of trying to get different interpretations of what he is saying among all the parties.
POM. Ah - that's a political response!
FM. So-and-so said this, so-and-so said this. We did not draft that statement together with him. He drafted it himself, so you ask him for an interpretation.
POM. Well that does not then reflect the official view of the IFP?
FM. Well you gave the first one which was the official view of the IFP and I said, yes. That was the first statement you asked me about the security forces, about them being harnessed against us. But this one that you are quoting now, I have not seen the real paper that he was reading. He himself has said, as you must know, he has said that he has been misquoted on this. He said one thing and then people wrote something else, they omitted certain words. So now you don't want me to get into that minefield now and say, no actually he said - I have not seen the paper. If you produce to me a copy of his speech then I could talk more intelligently. But you can talk to him if you wish to know the facts.
POM. Well I get my one interview a year, not two. I've done my one interview already so I'll have to wait till next year. But at Shaka Day, the other point I was going to bring out is, is the IFP becoming identified more and more with Zulu nationalism?
FM. Why would you think it's getting identified more and more with Zulu nationalism? Why would you say that? Why would any reasonable man think IFP is getting identified more and more with Zulu nationalism?
POM. It's because, I suppose, maybe I'm missing something, but he makes a statement - on Shaka Day Dr Buthelezi said at Stanger, where I was, which was a very moving occasion I should add and a very enjoyable one and it was very good to get out into the countryside and see how people live and how cultures work, not to be stuck in cities all the time, but he said, The very essence of Zuluness is now under siege and I am calling on the Zulu people to hear me when I say that we are entering the final phase of a more than two century struggle by the Zulus to establish their kingdom as a kingdom that will live on in perpetuity. And again, Portentous developments have taken place in the last 16 months and have put the destiny of the Zulu nation in the hands of the people of this region who by themselves are now paving the way for the new struggle for our liberation. Liberation for whom?
FM. The Zulus. That was an occasion where we were talking as Zulus.
POM. Zulus form the backbone of the IFP.
FM. Oh, IFP is there by itself and we have got Zulus and Xhosas and Sothos and Indians and English people and Jewish people in the IFP. I have just said that over and over again.
POM. I know but the overwhelming number of its members would be Zulu.
FM. Well the Zulus in any case throughout the whole of South Africa, the biggest number of any single group is Zulus. But now when he talks as a Zulu he does not necessarily have to be giving the idea that if Zulus are oppressed then it's the IFP that's being worried. Why should it make that quick jump? If he says the Zulus, why must you in your mind say, ah that's IFP? Zulus as such are not all IFPs. When we talk of Zulus we are talking of Zulus I don't know whether he's IFP or ANC or none or NP. I don't know. Zulus are Zulus, but I do not talk about the Zulus when I say we are Zulus, he's a Zulu, and I can tell you about his background and I can talk about his culture. He can talk about my culture too and that would have nothing to do with whether he is IFP or not.
POM. Well in what way is the Zulu culture under siege? In what way are they looking for their liberation and who is oppressing them that they have to talk about liberation?
FM. You know the history of the Zulus to start with? You know that the English tried their best, and there was no IFP then, the English tried their best and in 1879 they were breaking our back even though we defeated them in January of that year they defeated us here at Ulundi in July of that year and they thought they had broken our back. They never broke our back but their whole aim was then to break the back of the Zulus. And you know about the Rebellion in 1906? That again was calculated to break our back. They never broke our back as Zulus. So even now we think, when we talk of our King and the position of the monarch here and that we want to have a constitutional monarch and people try to have their own thing about us, we are talking as Zulus that people are trying to break our back as Zulus today. We believe in having a constitutional monarch. Other people talk other things about our King. So I can talk as a Zulu and that doesn't mean to say that I'm talking IFP language, I am talking as a Zulu, and that does not always necessarily have to transfer to IFP because IFP is much broader than just Zulus.
POM. Well then is it the ANC that is trying to subjugate the Zulus or is it the ANC as the surrogate for the calls of people who are trying to subjugate the Zulu people? Who is doing the subjugating?
FM. Well you can extract one from the other or integrate one with the other but I am just talking as a Zulu now. We feel the heat.
POM. You feel it from the ANC?
FM. We feel the heat from the government of the Republic of South Africa.
POM. But of which the IFP is part.
FM. Yes, a minority part in it. I told you just now that Dr Buthelezi sent in a bill there and it was rejected by the majority.
POM. The electoral bill?
FM. Straightforward, there was nothing hanky-panky or confusing in that. When you say the central government is doing this to the Zulus you can't now turn round and say, oh but IFP is also part of it, is it doing so to its own self? No, it's the other people in the majority in the central government. Well that's what they are doing.
POM. What happened to the whole idea of consensus about decision making?
FM. Are you asking me? You asking me now what happened to that idea of consensus? What happened to the idea of consensus in 1993 when we pull out? You know that we pull out because the consensus was in fact being prostituted. That was two years ago, more than two years ago. It was actually in June, end of June when we pulled out, 1993, we pulled out of negotiations because, precisely because of the prostitution of consensus. So when you ask mewhat happened to consensus I will say ask the ANC.
POM. I know my time is almost up, but it's once a year and I come a long way. The arrest of General Magnus Malan and the other officers and the arrest of some leading members of the IFP, in particular the former Deputy Secretary, what do you think is going to be the national impact of this, number one? Two, do you think that between it and the Truth & Reconciliation Commission that the two are aimed to work together to 'get the IFP' again?
FM. The issue of Magnus Malan and the other Generals and so on, I don't know how far guilty they are if guilty at all. The issue of M Z Khumalo as an IFP person who has also been accused, he is in the court, I don't know what the result of that is going to be. I can't even refer to the issue of certain people that have been quoted like Mr Mtetwa or Prince Gideon who have been quoted by convicted people when they have never even been charged and they have never come to court. These are all the things that are happening all around. What the impact is going to be in the final analysis I don't know. But what I do know is that our name is being dragged in and people are trying to hammer us even before there are court decisions. Certain people would like to find us already long guilty, already guilty. Some people would love to find us already guilty. Some of the press members would love to see us guilty. In fact some of them have already sentenced us to death or whatever because they have long found us guilty even though we have never stood trial. So the impact of that on the country will depend on the impact of propaganda such as the country has run around. Then what was the second question?
POM. The second question was on the Truth & Reconciliation Commission.
FM. Yes, Truth & Reconciliation Commission. I don't know that there's going to be truth in that commission, I don't know, but certainly there will be no reconciliation and every fool ought to know that, I am sure. The issue of truth, you might get some truth coming up and it might even be partial truth. In certain cases it might be full truth. But as long as there is an enquiry of truth on certain people only and not on others there certainly can be no reconciliation. If we were to go into real full truth we must know what has happened to the shallow graves in Zambia and in Uganda about which all of you know but you don't want to scrape that up.
POM. When you say 'all of us'?
FM. I mean the world, the world knows.
POM. Is this the ANC?
FM. Yes, well ANC killed many of its members there and killed many of those that it said were not its members and were against them. They were killed. Many of them that were killed over there. There has been a whole chapter written about that and there was even the Motsuenyane Commission which again just scraped the surface. Go and talk to Patrick Hlongwane, he will tell you more about that. He is Chairman of the Returnees from Exile Committee.
POM. Where would I get hold of him?
FM. I don't know where you can get hold of him now. That's one gentleman who has said, Well I've been over there, I've been hounded and hunted by these ANC, if they catch me and they kill me, hard luck, but I shall have told the world the truth. But there are some who have said, Look don't quote me but this is what we faced out there and I don't want to be killed now because they will locate me and they will kill me if I say the truth. And talking about the shallow graves and the way many people were killed after so-called trials, jungle court trials, and then found guilty, shot dead and buried out there. These things have happened. There was even a Motsuenyane Commission, but Motsuenyane was their own man, is their own man, he's their own MP, actually Senator in the House over there. He conducted an Enquiry but even within that Enquiry it became clear that there were many people that were being killed out there by some of the people who are in very high positions in the ANC now. Why does not the Truth Commission put them in on the dock?
POM. Would they not have to? Or you think the Truth Commission would be loaded in terms of the ANC and that what it would look at will be actions of the previous government and the IFP and virtually whitewash any activities or criminal activities carried out by members of the ANC?
FM. You are correct.
POM. Finally, are things worse in the province now in the political sense, in terms of the deepening political crisis, in terms of how you talk about security forces harassing and killing IFP leaders, in terms of your exclusion, so to speak, from the constitution making process because of the failure of the National Party and the ANC to live up to its obligations regarding mediation? Do you see it getting worse in that way leading to a deepening crisis?
FM. You see we have had whites oppressing us in the past. We have borne the brunt of that. We have now gone over democratic elections. We are no longer in the situation in which we were before then. But it is a new ball game now. It's a question of party over other party. It's no longer a question of white over black and if you happen to be in the right party, good for you. If you are in the 'wrong' party it's not all that good for you. Now whether that is commensurate or comparable with the white to black domination, it cannot be exactly that but because the colour doesn't come in, but there is a party line and some of the members of the party may be black, others white, both sides we have got black and white on both ends, both in the ANC as well as the IFP, so it takes another cue.
. The second issue, the issue of killings. You know that we have been killed since 1985 and that was still with the old government and you know that we have buried about 400 IFP leaders and those were killed right from the time of the PW Botha era. We were killed by whoever and in fact to be more exact we were killed by the UDF people who are the surrogate of ANC, as you know very well. We have had necklacing. That was not conducted by the government of the day, it was conducted by our opponents of the day who still exist now and necklaces still do occur and kangaroo courts still do occur out there, even today. Black killing black. I told you just earlier about how some of our followers are being killed over the past 24/48 hours. I am not talking of even earlier than that. So the killings are going on as they used to go on before.
POM. Just two final quick questions. If people go before the Truth & Reconciliation Commission and admit to having committed crimes and receive indemnity or amnesty, do you think in a way they are signing their own death warrants, that they can't go back to where they lived, that the revenge factor will enter into it?
FM. This is what I mean by half truths to start with and bias in terms of not subjecting others to come in for even those half truths. But worse still I think there is no reconciliation at the end of it all. If you found that Frank Mdlalose killed your brother, your sister and so on, if he comes out with that so-called truth, well the court might say thank you very much, walk out but there may be the hangman across the street. So where is reconciliation on that? Is that pretty obvious? You look at me as if you are wondering whether ...
POM. No, for example I believe that if Clive Derby-Lewis got amnesty that he should catch the first plane out of the country.
FM. Sure. Yes. Otherwise he will be dead within hours.
POM. I wouldn't hang around.
FM. He will be dead within hours, so where is reconciliation?
POM. Finally, when the elections are held next year, when the local elections are held, do you think that this will increase the polarisation between ANC and IFP given that people will be now contesting smaller pieces of territory, that the territorial issue of what stronghold controls what area becomes even more of a factor?
FM. But polarisation is going on even now. The increase in our people being murdered is going on today. Intimidation is going on today. I think by the time we reach 27thMarch there will have been many that will have been killed.
POM. How can you have elections in those circumstances?
FM. We will have to have elections nevertheless. There is no other way. Can we do without elections? Right now some of us are under threats and right now I have been warned. I am going to a meeting on Saturday, day after tomorrow, but I have already been warned that I will be facing the gun there, they will shoot you. So on Capital Radio this morning when I was asked about that, But don't you realise that you might be killed in the atmosphere that exists there?. I say, Well look they can only kill me once, they can't kill me ten times. If they have killed me they have killed me. This might be the last interview with you.
POM. Don't say such things.
FM. No, why shouldn't I say them because it can happen?
POM. Where is the meeting?
FM. Mandini, and down the south coast, Port Shepstone. We are going to areas where there is a lot of tension and where there's been lots of fighting between the IFP and the ANC. The four houses that were burnt, IFP houses that were burnt day before yesterday, 23 hours on the 14th, are IFP houses in the area where I will be addressing people. I am calling for peace and I will address them, I will say, Look, everybody comes in, ANC, IFP, NP, ACDP, all, and I say Please don't bring your flags, although I know some will bring their flags. But I am wanting to talk to people as such. I am going to be talking peace in commemoration of the establishment of United Nations 50 years ago. It's UN 50 that I will talk about and we have arranged a tour, I am going there with some IFP people and some ANC people hopefully and with some of the other parties which will be there, will be talking over there. I will be the main speaker, so easy to target. I don't see that the fool who wants to kill me will find it difficult to do so. If they want to do so they will do so. That will be at Mandini and that will also be over in Port Shepstone. Probably the safest place will be the City Hall in Durban if I am still on my two feet when I get back to Durban that afternoon, so that might be the safest place. But I am saying that the tension is on now, it's going on and some of us have been promised death. This morning Capital Radio was saying, Are you still going on with this? Look I am going on. I can't sit down. The right thing is to talk peace.
POM. There was a time I remember when the violence was very bad here when you and Jacob Zuma got together and more or less walked the strife ridden areas and tried to show that both of you, even though from different political persuasions, could work together. But there seems to be no comparable effort like that afoot now?
FM. In fact even this very tour that I am talking about it is supposed to be along those lines, but Zuma won't be here, he's out of the country, so it will be someone else from the ANC if he does come. Whether they come or they don't come I will be there.
POM. Well I wish you well. I look forward to our next interview. Without your cantankerous replies to questions what would I do?
FM. Cantankerous replies to questions? Have they been so cantankerous? I thought they had just been open, straightforward, honest, frank, as I am.
POM. Definitely frank.
FM. I think so. I don't see that it should be any other way. I don't want to be hating and bobbing and weaving and diving and double talk.
POM. I don't want that either. It's not history, it's just double talk in the end.
FM. At the end of it all it's double talk.
POM. I don't want to end up after ten years of my life having to look upon thousands of pages of double talk and say, I've got nothing here!
FM. Well if one is still alive one would like to see what you will have made out of it. If I am no longer there at least I do have a family. Some of them might survive.
POM. Well one way or the other I will give a bound copy of all the interviews everyone has done who has stuck with the process over the years, to each person so that it's part of their family legacy and a part of the way that you can look back or your grandchildren can look back and see the way that you thought at particular moments in time over a ten year period.
FM. I think it's something really wonderful. I think it is good, even though of course it takes so long a time and things naturally change from year to year. The emphasis this year, now, could not be the same as what the emphasis was like last year, worse still three years ago. So you are doing what most people don't do. Rather you are doing something that is quite novel so far as I am concerned.
POM. It's my whole life now. I began it in my fifties and I'll end, I'll be getting ready to ...
FM. Have you reached fifty years? You don't look it.
POM. Thank you.
FM. You look like you are in your late forties.
POM. It's getting very late.