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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

09 December 1995: Lekota, Patrick - Continuation of interview

POM     We were talking about the local government elections.

PL     I think the other day when we were discussing this matter I said that we had polled this time 77%. That actually is our figure for last year.

POM     In the Free State?

PL     Yes. But in fact for the local government elections we polled 64 comma something percent.

POM     What do you think accounts for the drop in the percentage of the vote?

PL     A number of issues account for that. One of the critical issues is that we made a fundamental error in the elections last year. We didn't prepare people to understand that last year's election was the first phase of the elections and that the elections would be completed this year. So when we began the election campaign this year one of the big questions that people were asking in communities was, but why should we vote, we voted you to govern the country until 1999? We tried to explain to them that was of course in the national and provincial elections but you need now to vote in the local government elections. In some areas people, elderly people in particular, actually said, look we elected you and we elected Mandela to govern over the whole country, why should we elect other people now? We don't want other people to govern we want him to govern the whole country. So it was a bit of a difficult intellectual gap to bridge.

     But I think also because our opponents were able to take advantage of that they did put out propaganda to say that people were being asked to go the polls to vote Mandela out and a lot of people were really terrified that it amounted exactly to that. But secondly, or perhaps thirdly, in the 1994 elections it was quite clear to people, Nelson's face was on the ballot box and it was for Nelson that they had to vote. In the 1995 elections the ballot paper did not carry the president's face and they now had to vote sometimes for a neighbour that they know, sometimes that, and some of the people that were candidates were very young people and people didn't feel comfortable with them, so some of the people stayed away. The fourth thing is that with 1994 elections there was no registration at all and all you needed was to have your ID and you went to go and vote. Now the question of IDs brought up a number of problems. First of all a lot of people are still uneasy about whether they might not be expelled from localities in which they live because apartheid had always exposed them to expulsion if they were found not to be legally qualified to be there.

POM     Another pass book.

PL     They had to have some identity document and they had to prove that they were really entitled to be where they were and they still had not overcome the hangover of apartheid's experience. The fact of the matter is that now the question of registration introduced an additional step in the voting process and some people did not stay in the localities, they did not work in the localities in which they stayed so they worked somewhere and this time they had to vote where they lived. Some of the people thought they had to leave their work place and travel to the place where they had to vote. So there were a myriad of elements of this kind of problem complicated also by the fact that KwaZulu/Natal there were those complexes that were there and some people felt, well, if KwaZulu/Natal is not voting in any event why should we vote, we don't lose anything, we are still the same with them, not realising that KwaZulu/Natal and the Western Cape had a peculiar problem. So those are some of the elements I would say.

POM     When you look back at the local elections and you look at the fact that before the elections the ANC was being buffeted from every angle for lack of delivery, for the gravy train, for doing nothing about the problems of unemployment, for a whole host of things, and yet they came out and did just about as well as they did in the elections in 1994. How would you interpret the results of the election and why do you think the ANC overall did just as well as it did in 1994, give or take a percentage point?

PL     I think first of all I would say that overall the outcome of the elections was a vote of confidence in what the ANC has done in the 18 months since it came to power. I have no doubt about the fact that it was a vote of confidence. It was a vindication of what we had done. Secondly, I think that in a real sense looking across the political spectrum people couldn't find any party with an alternative. The National Party has no agenda for this country, the PAC has no agenda for this country. None of these political formations have an agenda that can be regarded as an alternative, comprehensive alternative to what the African National Congress is offering. And I think that in spite of everything else the leadership of the African National Congress, particularly the president, stands shoulders above the leadership of other parties. I think that the success was based on that.

     Oh, and the most critical element of course which I cannot forget is that people understand very well that when they elected the ANC in 1994 it was for a term beginning in 1994 and ending in 1999, that to judge the ANC on the basis of the first 18 months of that period does not make sense. Lots of our opponents, especially the National Party, have put into circulation this propaganda that we have exaggerated the expectations of the people and so on but in fact African communities in spite of their setbacks and anti-apartheid and so on are very rational and logical people. They are able to appreciate the fact that there are budget processes, that the amount of money available per head to do and achieve certain objectives is limited and that if you discuss the budget proposal with them and you explain to them why we can't do this this year and can only do certain limited things this year they understand that very well. It's as good as deploying their own wages every week or every month. So I would say that those elements explain the success of the movement.

POM     Can you ever see a situation where in the foreseeable future, that's the next 20 years or so, where a significant number of Africans would vote for the National Party?

PL     No, no. The National Party is a party of the past. As a matter of fact the leadership of the National Party is at the moment considering very seriously setting up a new party. Their last two provincial congresses have been seized with this question. They recognise that the National Party belongs to the past. I don't think so. I think that our opponents, the best that our opponents can hope for is that the ANC may split, may develop tensions inside itself that can lead to cleavages that are unbridgeable, but to say that there can be an alternative in the foreseeable future is very difficult, for me it's not realistic.

POM     So if I were a black person and I know I'm not going to vote for the NP ever, I'm not going to vote for the DP because it's a small little party that represents an elite as it were, I'm not going to vote for the PAC because they are also not only small but they have no clear agenda of where the future lies or understanding of the global economy in which they live, I'm not going to vote for the IFP because I am just anti-Buthelezi and see him as somebody who was a collaborator more than anything else, what alternative do I have if I'm dissatisfied with the ANC? What alternative do I have when it comes to voting?

PL     I think that only on the scenario as it now stands, people of course don't seek an alternative for the sake of having an alternative. They must have a reason ordinarily, human beings are rational. There must be something that is so dissatisfactory or that they find that the ANC is unable to achieve, that will compel them to seek for an alternative. At the present time the trend is that even whites are moving away from the National Party, from the white parties, from the DP. The only white minister that I have in my Cabinet as a member of the ANC, is someone who moved from the Democratic Party, came into the ANC and then of course rose in the ranks. And I have more that are coming into the ANC in the province alone. Elsewhere you can see that pattern. So I think the first thing is that before we deal with the question of an alternative we must say, is the ANC capable of expressing everybody in the country and I would say yes for the simple reason that the mechanism that we have employed is consistently that we must consult as widely as possible and that people must be entitled to say their say and that the ANC must be guided by the feelings of the people on the ground. But it would also be wrong to say the ANC is a perfect organisation and perfectly expresses everybody. So it is quite clear that there would be limitations or that even that process would not satisfy everything. But I think that in that case the democratic path is there for people to set up alternative political parties and I think the thermometer will always be there. As soon as the ANC fails to take into account the broad measure issues of the people in the majority and deal with those there must emerge an alternative. It must never be assumed, never ever be assumed that the ANC will always be in power. It will be in power for as long as it satisfies the vast majority of the people but the day that dawn arises when the leadership of the ANC will consist of men and women who have not come through the same experience that President Nelson Mandela, the leaders like Walter Sisulu and others have come through and that the current generation of leaders have been schooled in, if it were to emerge that in future they were to find a leadership like that that would not be able to suck this experience and make it continuously it's guide then of course the ANC can forget.

POM     At the moment the fact is black people have very little alternative but to vote for the ANC or to stay at home.

PL     Actually they are free, they can vote for the PAC.

POM     It doesn't count, it's not going to ...

PL     There is no party.

POM     What I'm getting at I suppose is that are you not very close to being a one-party democracy?

PL     No I think, which is why we were grateful, in some ways we were really happy that the elections last year, 1994, allowed for the other parties as well to be there. It would have made it very difficult for us to contain the other minority groups which were uncertain about the political path that the ANC was going to take had we gotten a two thirds majority. I think it was not a sad day for South Africa that the ANC did not get a two thirds majority. I think it was an advantage for this country that the ANC did not get a two thirds majority. For us as the ANC it was a very healthy thing. Certainly speaking for myself I was relieved that we didn't get 100%, I mean two thirds majority, which would have been equal to 100%. How were we going to assure the white section of the population and the other sections that the ANC was committed to democracy, to the participation of others? And then we went further of course by allowing for the government of national unity formula and therefore making sure that we invite the other parties into Cabinet even though they were just minority parties. We consolidated that limited advantage of not being an overall majority party.

POM     You mentioned that one possibility in the future was that the ANC might find that it has internal divisions that are incapable of being bridged. One of the more obvious ones that comes to mind is the ANC's relationship with COSATU where COSATU represents the interests of its membership which is not always the same as the interests of the country and one of the things said against why the economy here will have difficulty advancing is that this is a high wage economy and it can't compete with goods made in Taiwan or Malaysia or in other countries and that there would have to be considerable wage restraint in the future if productivity and wage rates are to be brought into line and this is contrary to the policies of COSATU by and large.

PL     Well the secret of the success of the ANC is constant and continuous consultation. There is no problem as far as we are concerned that can't be dealt with by the political elite, if I may so say. We consistently insist on discussion both inside the ANC and between the ANC and other formations and the success of our movement in keeping it together has always been that, consulting with the unions, consulting with the civic structures and constantly making available to everybody within the alliance and beyond information on which decisions have been made. And that transparent process, that free flow of information has helped us enable leaders in other sectors to appreciate the policy positions that we take and therefore to become allies in advocating and explaining those policies to the broader body of our society.

     Take for instance the third force activities now. Our movement has gone out of its way to brief the leadership of the white community, the Indian community, the Coloured community, church leaders, business leaders, educationists, including PW Botha which is the old guard leadership of the Afrikaners, to go and say to them this is what the situation is. When you do that you disarm people who can easily become victims of disinformation and they can see that. They may not agree with you but once they understand, they know the truth, because human beings in the main are honest, they may not support your position but at least they will say the reason why they took this decision is that reason and then they will reflect on that and you need that, you need a leadership that has essentially and intrinsically a leadership that without being foolhardy nevertheless has faith in human beings. You must have faith in human beings, that you can say to people and generally the motives of the majority of human beings is not originally evil. People may make mistakes and do that, there are a few amongst us, in society there is always a minority which might have negative and dishonest intentions but in general that's not the position.

POM     Now how do you relate that to the Truth Commission? A lot of people that we've spoken to are very apprehensive about the Truth Commission because (a) they do not believe the Truth Commission will be even-handed and (b) they fear that it will become a tool of division rather than a tool of reconciliation.

PL     First of all let me say this to you that I think we must appreciate why many people should be uneasy. When we asked for the negotiation process earlier on people were very uneasy about us. When we said that we would have a government of national unity people thought that we were just playing tricks and people always started that way and it must always start that way because the first thing is that people take time to understand, first of all to understand the process you are suggesting, secondly because having understood that process they are entitled to question your bona fides and therefore it takes time for them to develop confidence in the process. It is a process itself when it begins to take place, that begins to teach them to have confidence in it. So I think that it should be naturally so.

     Thirdly, there is of course the fact that the National Party, which is the principal, National Party, Inkatha and some of the other lesser parties which are threatened by that process mobilising their support to say that this process must be rejected. Some of the people that you are meeting were expressing concern about that or apprehension, are not necessarily apprehensive of the process, it is because they have got vested interests themselves and they feel actually threatened by it. But we believe that the majority of the people of this country when they begin to realise that the process is not intended to witch-hunt and to smash innocent men and women but that it targets genuine criminal activities.

     I'll give you an example. Most of the white South Africans supported the National Party government, the majority of them did, and one can't fault them for this, but did they know that Colonel Eugene de Kock was killing opponents and even innocent people who were not even opponents, and then taking their corpses and blowing them up, detonating them until nothing of them remained but dust? They didn't know that. And people are appalled, they will not want to defend something like that. But if we were to go as the ANC and arrest an ordinary policeman and put him in jail and say now he must be tried because he was a policeman under the government of the National Party, naturally they will be appalled and their sense of grievance will be provoked by this kind of thing. And this process is not about that. We are not arresting the generals for instance because they were generals in the army, but we are pointing out that there are decisions which they took that in keeping with the law under apartheid were actually outside of the law at that time.

POM     When some of these people say, they talk about it being unfair and this is what they say; they go back to when the ANC was unbanned and exiles were coming back and when the exiles were coming back the government said you have to fill out indemnity forms and you were told to list all the activities you were involved in and you would be indemnified against those and if you omitted an activity you were involved in and that surfaced later you could be prosecuted for it. And a lot of the exiles said we're not going to list all the activities we were involved in and submit them to this government and admit we were involved in this and that and the other. And there were negotiations and as a result of the negotiations there was kind of a blanket temporary indemnity given where people were allowed back into the country without having to list specific 'offences' in which they were engaged. And they are saying what's good for the goose should be good for the gander.

PL     I see the point. Let me correct that. We asked for a general amnesty for a limited number of people and it was not amnesty that they must not be arrested for anything, any atrocity they might have committed. We have not asked for anything like that. The ANC has not any amnesty against atrocities. We only asked for general amnesty that these people should be allowed to come into the country from the point of view they could have been arrested for being members of the ANC. They were known members of the ANC. They had left the country without passports many of them and so on and so on. That is all that that covered. There is nowhere where we have said if a member of the ANC had killed somebody, not carrying out the instructions of the command structure of the ANC, that that member is automatically innocent. No, because we have in the history of the ANC we had guerrillas that were sent into the country, many of them stuck and remained within the confines of the orders that they were given including in particular not taking the lives of innocent people. There are some who did put bombs in certain places hoping for instance to blow up a police station but in the process maybe killed somebody who was an ordinary citizen and who was a prisoner or awaiting trial in a police station. And in those cases we have said that it could not have been foreseen or rather that this is a particular situation and it was those cases in which we said people must write and say, I put the bomb in this place, my intention was not to kill people, I was given an order to blow up the police station in order to make it difficult for the police to arrest our people and so on, but in the process that bomb killed some other people and so on, and got amnesty, they asked for that. So that is that.

     If as they are saying, for instance that Joe Modise must appear before the Truth Commission and other things, he will go and he has already said, "I will go and appear there", they would have to show that Joe Modise had given anybody instructions outside of the general known and established policy of uMkhonto weSizwe to go for instance and kill so-and-so. That kind of thing. Once a thing like that is proven then of course it's a different matter. We have to say the policy of the ANC was not this. So Joe Modise did this of his own accord, it was not in keeping with policy and a different matter. There is no-one, not even in the ANC, who is above the law. There are guidelines that were there. So that is the first point that I would like to correct.

     The second thing is that as early as when they were demanding this kind of process from us, we also said, "Well what about your side?" and it was as a result of that that they set up the Goldstone Commission which we accept, accepted and accept, is binding on us as well. We cannot prosecute Malan or anybody for anything that was declared to the Goldstone Commission. We are bound by the Goldstone Commission as much as what it bound F W de Klerk. But if they didn't confess the things they did, like the murders of these thirteen people, to the Goldstone Commission which was under their full control, we cannot really be expected that we should now say it is a good thing that they did. And we are going further in any event. At this stage we have not said that apart from the fact that we declared to them, they set up the Goldstone Commission which was theirs to declare to themselves but which nevertheless because we had access to that information is binding on us. We accepted that process. We are setting up the Truth & Reconciliation Commission as well so that even they too, those who are still having some things that they did not admit, can still go back to the Truth Commission and say, this is what I did and that and that and that and I am asking for amnesty. It is still, that instrument is still available to them. It is the second time, they are having the second bite at it as well.

POM     One thing which comes to mind, Patrick, is the two commissions that investigated the alleged atrocity at the Quatro camps in Angola, both of which found that indeed there had been torture of, mistreatment of individuals and the violation of the civil rights of individuals, and in neither case has the ANC taken any disciplinary action against some of the individuals who were named in those reports.

PL     Those cases are not closed. We know better. We did say actually at that time, I was Chief of Intelligence at that time when those issues came up and I was here in the country. I released at that time, under my leadership, under my guidance of that department, and with Joe Nhlanhla who was the head and I was his deputy, he is the Deputy Minister of Intelligence at the moment, he was head of security, I was deputy head of security and Chief of Intelligence, I worked with him on that, we released those people. The issues of those complaints that were raised against the ANC are not closed, they have not been decided and people can still go to the Truth Commission and say so-and-so did this, so-and-so did that and so on. It is going to be for the Truth Commission and let the matter go to the courts and let the courts go and decide it. It will place us in a position in which we can table evidence and then the court will take that and balance that and it will say to the public whether the ANC was guilty or not. We are not hiding anything about that. We released those people deliberately. There was hope that we would have killed them but we brought them back into the country and released them and if there are people who say so-and-so killed somebody in the camp and whatnot, the Truth & Reconciliation Commission is available for that. We have to account as well.

POM     Do you think that the whites understand that sufficiently yet?

PL     That's the point I was making, that the doubts which are there is that at this stage first of all people hear words and it takes time for them to understand the process itself. Secondly, having heard and understood the process it takes time for them to develop confidence in it. But we are saying that as the process unfolds people will not only understand but they will develop confidence in the process and they will go and state their cases.

POM     Let me just take you back to this discussion document that was published by the ANC, One Year of the Government of National Unity. There are a couple of things in it that intrigue me. How are we doing for time?

PL     We have limited time.

POM     This is on state machinery and I'll read just the paragraph then have you comment on it. It says, "The areas of the army, police, intelligence and civil service in general are ones where the sunset clauses were most meaningful. On the beachhead there has been some headway. However, signs of rearguard resistance are starting to show. In any case if the NP and IFP in particular were to claim any clout beyond their numbers in elected body it should be expected that they will seek to mobilise these institutions behind them. Given all these factors to what extent can we claim the loyalty of these forces. You strike difficulties in obtaining required information from intelligence structures, mindset problems as in the SANDF, all these raise some doubts." So this kind of says we can't really trust the police and we can't really trust the SANDF yet, and yet a couple of months later the president comes out and says the SANDF and the SAPS are doing a terrific job during the transition, which seems completely contrary to what this is saying. So what's the dichotomy between the two?

PL     The fact of the matter is that overall the position is this way, that overall the machinery of state overall has been supporting government. Overall that's the position. But it is true that there are elements in the security forces whose loyalty is not and who do not support the government of national unity and who try, have tried and continue to try to undermine that work, such as indeed these police who are involved in the crime themselves. Instead of arresting crime they are involved in car hijackings, in car thefts, they are involved in the murder of people. We have just arrested a policeman in my province who slaughtered a white woman on the farm and you can see it's generating white farmers' anger and they feel that the government is killing them, or is allowing for their murders, only to find that a member of the police force is the person that's doing this. So there are elements in there who are doing this. In the administration in the province we have had instances when some members, some elements in the administration have come back into the offices at night, opened the offices, smashed them, destroyed files. We have had those instances.

POM     That's in Bisho or in the Free State?

PL     Well I'm giving an example as in a provincial set up. As a matter of fact there was a write-up some months ago about how that information was being stolen from the Free State office by senior civil servants. So we know that there are elements. And what this thing is talking about is, we have to look at those problems, how do we address them. And that doesn't mean, that does not say that all members of the forces are against this.

POM     OK the second part of this was that it is the strategy of the National Party. It says, "The leadership of the National Party continues to entertain the notion that it will be returned as the majority party or a much bigger minority party in the next general election. To achieve this it desperately seeks to cling to its supporters on the basis of racial mobilisation and it strives to demobilise and divide the support base of the ANC and the ANC leadership. In conjunction with the surreptitious destabilisation strategy it then seeks to portray the ANC as incapable of governing. It tries to use whatever capacity it has to stall the transformation process and the deracialisation of South African society. To achieve this the NP uses the networks built within and outside the country during years of apartheid rule for the counter-insurgency total strategy." Do you believe that?

PL     No. It's not a question of believing it. The fact of the matter is that the National Party believes firmly that at some point it will become a majority party and they have been working on this although in the recent period, as I mentioned earlier on, they have begun to realise that they don't have that capacity and that in fact they need to change the party name, set up a new party and so on. And secondly, it is true that they are mobilising support from outside the country, finances, financial support they are trying to mobilise and they are working to see that with those resources they can build the party on a fresh basis and then undermine the movement.

POM     There's a difference between undermining the moving. I mean the ANC, at least according to The Mail this week, received a substantial amount of money from the government of Taiwan. That's getting outside resources to help. Most political parties try to get outside resources.

PL     Not for purposes of undermining the process.

POM     Why do you think they would try to undermine you?

PL     The National Party?

POM     The National Party does not want the democratic objectives for which the ANC has been fighting over the years and which the ANC is striving now to establish. It's not in the league of the National Party, it is not. The process of seeking to uplift Africans to bring them into the mainstream of the economy of the country and things like that, for the National Party those are not its objectives. It's objectives are contrary to that and that is what we are talking about there. What we are talking about there is the National Party thought that the negotiation process would introduce some cosmetic adjustment of the situation here, otherwise allow for continued white domination. When you now deal with the question of saying now, look, we have to make sure that we bring blacks into the mainstream of the economy, we have the process of affirmative action so that blacks rise, we have to rationalise expenditure on education and so on, who is fighting against those reforms which we are making? Just to say that we must spend the same amount of money on African children as on white. It's the National Party that is up in arms against that.

     In my province they are insistent that I should give subsidisation to children who are going to the Model C schools and who are the children in the Model C schools. The majority of those children are white. And, secondly, they only move from a suburb to a school or something like that. In the meantime in that province I have 2000 schools on the farms where African children run 10 kms to school in the morning and 10 kms back and varying distances below that as well. They are not talking about shifting subsidisation to the neediest children in the community. No, they are insisting on maintaining a privileged position for white children. That is what that thing is seeking to address and we do think that the National Party is very reluctant on these changes, they don't want them to take place because it's affecting and upsetting the comfort which they created for whites and of course they are going to lose that support.

POM     When you say they are trying to undermine the ANC, what do you mean by trying to undermine it?

PL     Well all that that means really is that they are trying to weaken the growth of its hold and influence in society. Because you see unless the National Party seeks to do that increasing numbers of whites are seeing the ANC in a positive light and that they are not happy about.

POM     Just one or two last things. In the 18 months that you have been premier of the Free State is there any gap between what you thought you would be able to achieve in those 18 months and what you have actually achieved?

PL     Well look, I don't think there's anybody who can ever be satisfied with how they have done. I always feel I would have liked to do better in anything, in any case even when I was organising for the movement I always felt I wish I could have organised more people today than what I organised. I think we have done very well since we came to government but I still feel that we could have done a bit better. We could have done a bit better but of course we didn't have as much experience, I didn't have experience, it was the first time I became a premier. I am learning to be a premier at the moment. Still I am learning, 18 months. You know if you asked me about prison and survival in jail I have got immense experience after 13½ years in South African prisons. I have immense, I believe varied experience of what jail, detention and so on. But now being premier is different and my colleagues in the government are in a similar position. All of us are learning. We haven't been in government before. If we had come in with a bit of experience, even 18 months experience of what we now have, we would have done much better, I know we would have been further than where we are at the present time. So I think we have made in the circumstances, I think we have made commendable progress and really we ought to be grateful that we have moved the way we have moved. If I think about the singular most outstanding element to stabilise South African society from what it was before the elections, to stabilise it to levels to which it is at the moment, at which conflict is now confined to a very large extent to maybe three parts of the country. It's a major achievement, it's something to be grateful for.

POM     If anybody had told you ten years ago that today you would be the premier of the Free State and travelling abroad with the trade delegations and hobnobbing with the mighty and the famous of the world, what would you have said?

PL     Well first of all, quite frankly I wouldn't have said more than just to say, look I don't believe that the moon is a cent. I would have said this. It would have been as good as trying to suggest that the moon is a cent. It was too far out of - it was just out of sight. We didn't even think about a constitution with nine provinces, with premiers. We didn't think about that. It was not even a question of priority for us. For us at that time the priority really was to free our people and there was something like this, you didn't think well maybe if we can win then I can become that. You thought about how to survive from this day to tomorrow, you thought about how to push the movement, strengthen it so that it can actually - the simple fact that all of us may vote and that was motivation enough. So being in these positions now is a bonus.

POM     Last question is on what is called the gravy train. Is the gravy train an invention of the white media or is the ANC in some respects, because of almost the totality of its power, becoming fat and flabby and there are edges of corruption?

PL     This whole idea of the gravy train needs a close examination. The first question really that ought to be asked is who is on the gravy train? Before we came to government the salaries of members of parliament and all of that were astounding and the privileges and all of that were just shocking. That's the first point. The second thing is that there was this Melamed Commission that was set up to review those things and so on, comparing everybody and placing salaries where they are at the present time. So we came to government. Of course our positions as individuals have changed. I am no longer a prisoner so every month I get a salary. That's an improvement on my circumstances. The president sat for 27 years without a salary. That's an improvement in his circumstances because he is earning something at least now. Still doing the same thing he was doing but he is earning at least. The National Party, Inkatha Freedom Party and other parties that served in apartheid, all of those people not only if they are in the same position as ourselves, they earned that salary that we are earning plus pensions for having served in the old order. They earn more than us, the whole lot of them are earning more than us. Deputy President de Klerk is earning more than the president of the country because he got his deputy president's salary plus he gets his pensions. Chief Minister Buthelezi is earning more than the State President. He is getting his salary as that and then of course he is getting also the pensions and so on. And all of them, Pik Botha and all these people, they are earning far more. The seven ANC premiers earn only what they earn, that's that. The two premiers from the other parties they earn the salaries that we earn plus the pensions for having served in the old order.

     And I ask you, who is on the gravy train really? Who is on the gravy train? I would have thought that if these men and women who sat in the old order, if really they are loyal to the new order, that they would say, look because we recognise that we have been so wrong we denounce the benefits of apartheid, we want to be on a par to work fully for this new order with our colleagues now that we are where we are. There is no pension for Nelson Mandela after 27 years in jail, and look how old he is. There is no pension for him. Who is on the gravy train I ask you? The enemies and the opponents of our movement are putting forward those things, they are putting those things forward and of course it's misleading a lot of people, a lot of whites, many of our people believe because they are looking at the simple things like that, now they can see me maybe getting into an aeroplane and they see me now not in prison garb as a prisoner but they see me in a suit and so it looks like I am in the gravy train, but I ask you really, who is on the gravy train?

POM     OK. Thank you. See you in 6 months.

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.