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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

08 Dec 1995: Gqozo, Oupa

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POM     You say the guys have broken away with the tradition?

OG     Formality, everything these days is cheap, informal and just plain people don't care. The impression they give me, the old President wearing shirts hanging out of his trousers, it just shows the permissive society in which we have plunged ourselves. And I think it says a lot beyond that. That's how I feel.

POM     So since we've seen you the last time, which is just about a year, you weren't here the last time - that's OK, we won't get into that. How are you doing, what's been happening in your life?

OG     Padraig, I have been sitting and watching the world go by, trying to read the situation, trying to see what positive role I can find myself playing in the future or what plans I can put into place for my survival and my children's survival in the future and so on, but I haven't had any indication either internally, spiritually or physically of what I can do. It's mainly because of two factors, I think the first one when I retired, the tide of hatred and of rejection was so high in the Eastern Cape and the press magnified it tenfold to the extent that everybody expected me to have long died by now either through violent death, because they were clearly advocating it, the administrators.

POM     When you say 'they' you mean the ANC?

OG     The ANC of course, my problem has been the ANC, local grassroots people. I don't know whether with an express, clear directive from the top or not, I don't know. I don't know whether when I talk about the ANC I should distinguish between the top, the middle management and the ignoramus, the ordinary people on the ground who are just told what to do. Many people I ask, why do you hate me, why do you say Gqozo is a dog, why do you say he is a killer, what did I do? He doesn't know. Many people say things in front of me and they don't even know me so that shows that they are just like robots, they have just been given a thing and I don't know whether it is their policy that if we say do this you do it, I don't know. So that is why I say I don't know whether it's the top people because when I meet the top people we are always friendly. That's playing politics again, I cannot discount that, perhaps they are just playing politics, they just feel that they've got to be cautious when they meet me but I don't think they have to. The administrators exposed me terribly to all sorts of dangers, physically and other. They said I have stolen money, I have embezzled funds, I was corrupt, I killed people and the farms are going to be taken away from me and there is a lot I am involved in about third force activities, these things and those.

     So when I heard these reports on radio and on TV every day I was saying to myself, I think if this is not against the peace and reconciliation, if this is not actually inciting people to hatred and to do damage to me and actually to defame me, after these things any fanatic of the ANC could find it justifiable for him to do anything he likes to me, to my family and to my properties. And there were people saying they are going to march here and they are going to do this, you know people were talking about he has dismissed people, all the policemen dismissed for drunkenness and for misbehaviour and for unmilitary conduct were all reinstated. That tells you another thing, go get him, you are back, and all the soldiers that made themselves guilty of all types of atrocious things within the military context or discipline like AWOL, absenting themselves without leave, drinking, disloyalty like people planning a coup d'etat against the military regime and all the other things like those, people who by omission of police in their investigations or by a technicality had to be let off the hook, who ran to the Transkei for instance to hide away from Ciskei and so on and some people who skipped bail and all these people were turned immediately, boom, put into their jobs and actually used to make statements.

     People were called everywhere, make statements implicating Brigadier Gqozo, people were offered thousands of rands actually to say Gqozo did this. A guy for instance would be given a docket of a murder somewhere in one of the parts of Ciskei and say, "We hear that you were involved in this murder", and somebody would say, "I don't even know this place", "But just say Gqozo said you must kill that man, you don't know this man but - and I will give you 15,000 bucks." And these things float back to me. What comes around goes around. These things float back to me and I get concerned and I wonder what to do and how to really make this thing exposed, but those have been the things that have been happening to me, these types of things, so I haven't really had time to - I did go to the Premier.

POM     That's Raymond Mhlaba?

OG     Yes. I did go to him after he was inaugurated to tell him that I hear all these sorts of things. People have been saying things in the papers, things have been said around here in rallies, tell me what's your policy towards me as a former leader of this place? He said, "We have got nothing against you, we believe that you had a job to do and you did it and we have taken over". So I said, "Look my presence here today is actually to come and confirm to you or to assure you or reassure you that I am no enemy of the government. I have been a freedom fighter in my own right. I wanted freedom from suppression by blacks against other blacks, by whites against blacks, and economic freedom for our blacks. I have been trying by all means to make sure that people utilise whatever resources we have in an orderly manner and that there be order in this country, that there be discipline, that there be work ethics, that the people should know that there is authority and people must respect it. I have been trying to inculcate the spiritual side to the whole worldly sort of approach to things and I have been very unpopular about it and I don't like communism and I don't like communists, with due respect, I know you are a communist, so you have won."

     Perhaps I was bad. I am shocked actually that I have lost because I thought that the people here would never vote a communist into the Eastern Cape, especially due to our tribal and traditional ways of living. We believe in God a lot and we believe in our ancestors and things like that, but we don't believe in communism. People want to have their own things. We don't believe in sharing in the crazy way that socialists do things. I said, but nevertheless I have lost the elections. I believe that let the better man rule, so rule. I will be happy to assist in anything that you would like me to do. People ask me what I think I can do, I said I could be an Ambassador, I could be a Military Attaché, I could go for a foreign post to get out of the country a little bit, to go and cool off, I could go for a Military Attaché post because I was once a diplomat, a Military Attaché for 3½ years. So if you would like to give me any job that's the type of thing I could do very well because I can speak and I know the situation in South Africa better than anybody, I have been in the thick of it in the Eastern Cape. He said, "Ah well". I said another thing, "I would like you to know I don't want us to talk through the media, I don't want to be seen as a rival to your government. I am out of politics, I have disbanded my party officially." I have said that there is no need that we should carry on with this because we lost. It's either we couldn't organise or mainly because we didn't have funds, we didn't have a cent in our name and no-one, some rich friends of mine from Italy told me once that to win an election you've got to have at least not less than 15 million upwards and I didn't have R1000-00 for the party so we just really worked on faith that people would reject communism and that people would reject drastic changes that were obviously not in keeping with our tradition but we misinterpreted the situation. People want change no matter what. This is what I have learnt in politics. People would like a difference no matter what. People would always say, OK, OK, OK, we are used to this one, we would like something new for a change. This is human nature I was not aware of.

POM     So what was his response? Was his response that the Eastern Cape Administration had no problems with you?

OG     Yes he said frankly speaking the ANC in itself had not even instituted the investigations, because I was investigated from day one. I know there were more than five different types of investigations. Others were investigating any fraudulent thing I could have had within the departments so departments were frozen, they were just investigating every document to check whether I have stolen money or I have misappropriated money. There was a separate investigation to check if I was involved in the deaths of people in the Eastern Cape in terms of hit squads and instructions and so on. There were weapons smuggling investigations due to certain rumours that have been spread by my enemies around here. There were people who were investigating my farms, how did I get my farms? It was just a petty personal vendetta to say, now he's out, hell he's been so tough all these years, let's scrap him, go for him boys. I can imagine they may even have discussed this at a shebeen the way these people are, they are so petty and so small minded that I don't have any respect for them. But nevertheless I did go and make a point that I hate this thing, you've been going along. He said, "No it's not us, it was the Transitional Executive Council which instructed the co-administrators to investigate you". I said, "Stop it, you are now government, it's no use passing the buck and the ball to a defunct temporary organ of authority. You are now in charge, you have been inaugurated. Stop these people because they are doing nothing but just polarising the society here because they are saying things that are obviously not right and not true." He said, "No we can't." I said, "OK".

POM     He said, "We can't"?

OG     He said he can't.

POM     He can't stop them?

PG     He cannot stop them. I said, "OK, but please any further thing now, if you have anything that you want, don't go around people doing this and making people even more uncertain what is happening with me, just come, call me, call me to your office or send people there to come and ask me what is happening." And he said he will do that.

POM     He said he would do that?

OG     Yes but he has never done it.

POM     Has there been any indication since - when did you talk with him?

OG     It was immediately, if they were inaugurated in about June I think I talked to him at the same time.

POM     Have you any indication since then that you are under any further investigation?

OG     Yes. Not an impression. These people came here to dig for graves. They came with a scooper and a digger with twenty odd policemen to come and dig for graves at my farm. Can you imagine? On a rumour, that went on a rumour. Somebody, a stupid little boy who is a thief who broke into here and when he realised that I discovered that he was the one that broke into my house and stole about three suits, pairs of shoes, binoculars, all my cameras, a lot of things, then I chased him in the street and then he went and laid a charge that I pointed at him with a gun, I shot him and I wanted to kill him and by the way I have killed four people and he saw people being buried. And then these people came and they got a search warrant to come and dig. Such little things, petty things like those. They came here and emptied my house of furniture. But I am sorry, I wanted to leave these things and talk about more constructive things. What actually would you like me to speak about? I can carry on and on about these people harassing me and making a point because they didn't want to give me my severance package. I am suffering now.

POM     Did you get it?

OG     I haven't. I used all the money that I have been earning to try and have a system of campaigning before the elections and I lost all my money. They know, I made it clear to them, that, look people, I was the leader here. I didn't have money, I didn't have funds. The ANC blocked all sorts of sponsors for me and my party on the grounds that if anybody sponsored me they would burn his factory and business down, so everybody shied away from me. Places like even Taiwan and other places, Germany, everywhere where I went while I was making a study of economic systems, like EPZs and things like that, and when I was making a trip to make a study of constitutional systems and methods, people who I asked to give assistance after briefing them about the actual situation as I saw it then, people said we wouldn't like to antagonise the ANC because their people have been here before you and they also gave us their side and we don't know now which side is going to win.

     So if the ANC wins, which we think it will it has got such a lot of powerful friends and international influence, if they win we wouldn't like to be on the wrong side of that government. So we couldn't get a thing. But be it as it was, I thought that these people would be humane enough to look after the office, you know the guy that was in such an office or whatever because I am sure it is a recurring thing, when you work in that office you don't earn a millionaire's salary, you definitely will never be a millionaire unless you are pilfering funds, which I didn't.

     So I hope that these guys will give me a severance package which was very moderately calculated at 1,3 million rands, which they haven't. So effectively they have made sure that I don't have any means of livelihood, they have frozen all my farms pending a Heath Commission that is carrying on and I cannot even make - I sold a farm. As soon as they saw, the newspaper got it from the Deeds Office that a farm has just been registered and I have received R600,000, they pounced on that and it was a big furore that I bought the farm for R20,000 and I sold it for R600,000. But I said if it's the market that is allowing that type of price to go on I don't think the government has anything to do with it.

POM     Did they freeze the money that you received from the sale of the farm?

OG     They tried to but unfortunately I was so beset with debts and credits that I had paid everything already because by the time I was selling I was under pressure. I had so many debts, personal loans, debts, things, guarantees, overdrafts, banks and so on, bonds, that my lawyers had already actually given guarantees long before I could even sell the farm, could get a buyer, and immediately this money was available it was paid in to my lawyer's trust and the lawyers had to pay all the people. So I had nothing at the end.

POM     So how do you live, how do you maintain your family and keep the farms going?

OG     It's a tragedy. The farms are not going. I had to sell all my cattle, all my goats, all my sheep.

POM     You've got no cattle on this farm?

OG     No the cattle on this farm are from neighbouring villages. Even then the attitude of the government vis-à-vis me and the farms have made people take advantage. They have just carried my fences and my gates away. They say he's got no authority here, he's going, he's going. But I shouldn't over-exaggerate it. A lot of people have sympathy with me and they don't like what is happening. But there are those elements, those criminal elements who just want an excuse to steal the fence, to carry away the thing, to just move here. As you can see that house over there, they have taken over a period of about three days they took all the roof, they plundered the doors and things like that.

POM     Were these employees of the state or members of the ANC or just neighbours?

OG     I believe that it's people who are politically inspired. I don't think they really need the items they have stolen, it's just a provocation. It's just a matter of provoking. Let us see what he will do.

POM     So what has happened to your colleagues in the Military Council?

OG     My colleagues, I think they were also dealt a very terrible blow. My deputy wanted to go back to the army. He was prohibited. He was told point blank that they don't want him. All the other people who have been professionals like teachers and other people who were magistrates and things like that, they were also victimised. They were told we don't need you again. In actual fact I also got the impression, actually in not so many words but it was clear that they wanted me out of the territory as well, not only out of my houses and my farms. So all the guys that have been in my Cabinet they are suffering. It is a tragedy because I don't know whether it is setting a precedent or whether it has been happening like this in Africa all the years that every time a new government comes in it makes it a point that it persecutes the previous people. I don't know.

POM     Do you still keep in touch with your former colleagues on the Military Council?

OG     Yes we do have contact but not regularly. The only thing that kept us in contact initially was our claims for the severance package. But other people have got money, others haven't got money. I haven't got money, so I have just taken a back seat.

POM     Have they been under pressure to make charges against you, that you were involved in various activities?

OG     Yes all of them have been approached at one time or another to make statements. Others, I hear, have made statements. When I meet them they don't give me an impression that they would rather see me suffer or so. They all say, Brigadier you did a very good job, we were very happy to serve under a man of your leadership and we regret that this happened like this, but it's not your fault that we are in this mess. We knew when we got into the Military Council that the ANC was, if it won, it was going to do this to us, so don't worry about it. Because I usually ask them, guys have I -? We don't take anything.

POM     Do you think the Truth & Reconciliation Commission is going to come after you?

OG     I don't know but knowing the ANC they have been making a lot of promises to their people that they are going to get me so whatever vehicle of vengeance they can use, the Truth & Reconciliation thing is nothing but a vehicle of vengeance, an official way of persecuting opposition members, especially those that they think might have some recognition left in the minds of the people about. They will make sure they erase whatever hope people have on certain people and I think that given that context, yes I think they will do anything to drag me to that and to associate me with one or other violation of human rights. I don't know.

POM     Would you at any point have any intention of making a statement to the commission?

OG     No. There is nothing I have done. As far as I am concerned I have done nothing that warrants or justifies me to go confessing on anything. Whatever happened in the country happened in daylight, broad daylight. The Sebe shooting was done and it went to court and it went through the processes of the law and I was acquitted of murder which they so wanted me to be convicted of and also it was a political propaganda and misinformation campaign, all that was a ploy, they knew it was not like that. And the Bisho shooting was not brought about by my doings. I mean I did everything in my power to try and stop that from happening and they bulldozed and they trampled over everybody, they tried to trample their way through the army. So the Picard Commission on the Bisho thing, the Picard Commission and the Goldstone Commission's reports are known so there is nothing new that I should say on any of these things. As far as the killings that went on here are concerned I know only that the ANC has been killing people, intimidating them and coercing them to join the ANC and to drop their membership of any other alternative political party in the region. So I think they have a lot to confess.

POM     But you don't think that's going to happen? You don't see any members of the ANC being asked to testify before the commission?

OG     No not at all, I don't think so. They will definitely cover up everything that they think. All of them are in power so I don't see themselves exposing each other. I mean the whole of the ANC government could come down if they have to do it. So that's why I don't see the point of the Truth Commission really because I think if it was really a genuine Truth Commission there wouldn't be any ANC member left.

POM     How about General Malan? Were you surprised when charges were brought against him and other major elements in the military?

OG     I was not surprised, I expected it to happen. I still expect it to happen to a lot of people like De Klerk and others. It's just a way of making sure that they neutralise any future possible opponent to their power. They are power mongers, they have smelt the blood now they will go for it. This is what I usually told the people, that as soon as you allow these guys to take over you are finished. They are going to come to you one by one and they are going to finish you off because I don't see any difference between what General Malan did, it was a state of war. If General Malan was also making sure that he neutralises his enemy it was a matter of tactic, it's warfare. They did a lot of atrocities even amongst themselves. Look at the Quatro camps and all the other atrocities they perpetrated against dissenting members of uMkhonto weSizwe and other members of the ANC abroad and in Africa and elsewhere. But look at all the other tricks that they did, getting in here sneaking with hand grenades and bombs and things like those. Those are actually atrocities in war. If that is to be taken back into life now all of the people should be arrested. So I think you understand when I say it's just a matter of just neutralising former opponents and future possible opponents.

POM     When you read the indictment against General Malan and the other senior officers in the security services are you surprised that these kind of activities went on?

OG     Yes I was surprised because I didn't think that they could actually plan murder like that because even in war murder is murder. You know there is a film which I liked very much, which says even in war murder is murder. That can be investigated, that should be investigated to make a deterrent to future leaders not to misuse their powers. You know while we are sleeping as citizens we expect the government to protect us and to charge us openly and take us to court if we are wrong but not to plan secretly to go and kill at night and so on. Then it makes a mockery of government in that sense. But if we were talking of here are the guys, we know that we have information and state machinery services of intelligence indicate that these guys are coming to harm citizens in the pursuit of their political goals then the government can put in strategies to combat that and there is no way of combating a terrorist revolutionary other than perhaps to chase him and shoot him if he's dangerous, something like that. But what I am saying is there were worse things done by the ANC which are documented but I don't think anybody has got the willpower to bring it and to zero in on it as the ANC did. The ANC are very good strategists, I respect them for that. Even we moderates, even if I was a military ruler I became a complete democrat because I put into place a justiciable Bill of Rights which was never in any place as elsewhere in South Africa at that time. My Bill of Rights is the best, is the forerunner in this country and I abided by it, it controlled me. Actually I was ruled by it. It made the Supreme Court the top body of authority in the country.

POM     Just to clarify a couple of things. You have nothing to fear from any investigation from the Truth Commission?

OG     No nothing at all.

POM     Do you expect to be called before them to make a statement?

OG     I don't think so. I can't imagine what they would call me for.

POM     Do you think anybody is going to make allegations against you before that commission?

OG     Yes but they have always made allegations and before even themselves tried to do anything about it they just see that it's just malicious, unsubstantiated gossip, things like that. So I don't know, they have made themselves fools before by trying to follow rumours like the one I have killed four people and they were buried here. It made them look so stupid and so silly. I think if they are serious about their reputation they will shy away from that because they know by now. Why I am saying so is that I know from the time I retired I was under serious investigation which was aimed at not only putting away information for a rainy day but it was aimed at putting me behind locked doors immediately.

POM     So when President Mandela says there's going to be an investigation into all the activities in the former independent states do you welcome that?

OG     I welcome it but I know that in actual fact they are meaning to say Transkei and other homelands where serious mal-administration and fraud went on.

POM     But they are not going to find that here in Ciskei?

OG     They have already investigated. I know they have already investigated everything, as I told you, immediately after I retired. All departments were sealed off to investigate this Gqozo monster. What can we get, what can we get? And in the process they stole a lot. No way they can prove anything that I have done because I have done nothing. I was here to seek corruption of Sebe and I did it, hence I trampled on very serious powerful toes. That's why I was hated like that. So I don't see how in any way they can come back and say I was guilty of this. I was a loner, I didn't have a club of friends where we discussed how we can cheat the computer or whatever. I just kept alone. Even the military, if you remember, all the top officers went against me immediately because they were told this guy is too stiff, come and get him off. And then these youngsters who wanted really now to go to town and get their fingers into the pie wanted to get me out but I worked them out. So I didn't have that type of comrade who could sit with me and plan things. I was never idle. I believe it when they say the devil has work for idle hands and idle minds. I was never idle. So I am definite, if they call me at all it will be a pleasure for me because then I can show the world if they are going to publish it because I have learnt one thing again, if they call you and you expose the truth and the truth happens to be in a way back-lashing on them they never publish it. Then all of a sudden The Daily Despatch is dead and the TV is dead, but as soon as they have got a little bit of an allegation that will make them look big and you small they put it there, but as soon as you are called upon to answer to those allegations nothing happens. The way they operate it is so evil, I don't know if God wants it to happen like that.

POM     So when you look at Ciskei since you retired and the new government took over, do you think things have gotten worse here? Do you think the country is pulling together? Do think things are falling apart? What direction do you think the country is moving in and in particular what direction is the Eastern Cape moving in?

OG     Honestly speaking I think the whole thing is a mess, it's just that it's selectively reported. The progress of the country and the new democracy is very much exaggerated. Everybody is still pampering Mandela and I think it's what the world has been missing in South Africa that matters. I see a lot of visitors coming here, and it's so nice in South Africa, it's so beautiful. You know they never thought it was so beautiful but the fact of the matter is it was not made beautiful by the new government, it was made beautiful by the old order. Never mind, I welcome a lot of changes have happened, I welcome it, the attitudes have changed. But now what I don't welcome is that nothing has changed in so far as white/black domination. The blacks are still exactly where they used to be five years ago in terms of white arrogance. It's still exactly the same if not more now. Actually I have a feeling, looking from the back, that whites are more in control now than before. And as far as they are making this so-called stupid affirmative action, putting it into operation, it's a shame.

     It's a matter of you just bring a black man here even if he's a nonentity even if he knows nothing about it. To me it is more destructive to us than anything, but they argue that, no, let us make our mistakes now, within three years time we will have gone over the learning curve and we will be in charge of the whole country. But in reality it is not like that. They are putting this man there as a token but this man is really now big because he is an arrogant ANC member in power, he's got his Mercedes Benz, he's got everything, he's got all the perks but when you look at the standard and quality of the whole situation, like the mayors that are there, imagine the mayor that is staying at a shack himself, he has never owned a thing. I mean if it is affirmative action it must be done with certain standards and certain things. So I am not happy.

     In actual fact I think it's just a matter of everybody is happy because everybody is eating money but in actual fact the whole progress and economic direction of the country has not been made any better. When everybody is still excited he's spending millions and millions of money in RDP projects in things like that, but are they eating that money? That money is being embezzled by the millions and no-one is reporting about it. The civil services have completely gone to a standstill, no-one works in the offices any more. No-one does a stitch of work. But in the newspapers they are putting forth this armchair administrator syndrome. They have so beautiful plans and documents and seminars, they go overseas twenty times a year, they go this way, they go to a seminar today, tomorrow, the other day, they are busy making computer recommendations and they are making beautiful things. They are hiring the best but they are doing nothing, they are doing absolute bugger all. This is what is happening. The civil service has come to a complete standstill. They have confused issues here.

     When they came for instance in the Eastern Cape they put in strategic managers on top of the Director Generals, they put in other people as well, they put in a Director General at the top now, the whole Director General. They put in all sorts of little things which are paid more than - and after about five, six, eight months, one year, they say ah, there is a big surplus of civil servants but they put twice as many when they got in but now they also say, OK now we want to reduce the size of the thing. Now they reduce all those they don't like, there is no more any fairness in as far as the Public Service Commission is concerned. No-one is actually taken on merit, it's all political appointees but they used to be the ones that used to say you must always advertise the jobs, you must always give - you must always this, this, this, but they are doing the worst things. I have never seen anything like that. You find appointments where people straight from school, from the desk, boom, he is in the Commission of the Public Service. What does he know about Public Service Administration? But he's there. Nice young little lady. Good, it's good. So it's corruption to the last order. They have even as far as car and vehicle misuse it's beyond, it's rocketing. In as far as theft of cheques and things like that it's rocketing. In as far as not doing work, driving around, making meetings, it's rocketing. Not to mention in the private sector where there are strikes and things at the drop of a hat. To me it's definitely showing that we were right when we said let's stop these guys, but unfortunately we were sold out by the National Party and the ANC together.

POM     What about Mandela? How do you regard him after his almost two years in office? He's internationally regarded as this icon, almost a god.

OG     Unfortunately to me it's the hypocrisy of the west again or whatever because they have got embassies here, they have got trade missions here, they have got consulates here, they have got all sorts of spies, I can say, here. People who have no restrictions into going around the communities, talking to the communities, speaking to the people, but they only choose to see what they want to see in the interests of their countries. What I realise here, what I see here is just that these people are just saying it is a stupid African country let's go and bloody get as much as we can and ignore whatever we see because immediately you say these things are not good here you will be kicked out by Mandela and all the other countries. So everybody is saying, yes Mandela, viva Mandela, but it's nothing like that. It's actually the biggest lie. South Africa is the biggest lie that has happened to the world.

POM     So you don't think he's an effective leader, that he's pulling the country together?

OG     Not at all, not at all. He is a good person because I think he is gifted in quick thinking, in natural abilities and intelligence, OK. What he says makes sense. But the fact that things are not - I mean I don't see him working in a way that will stop all types of pre-independence prejudices and attitudes. He is actually perpetrating it further in a different form, only they are now in power but they are doing exactly the same that the Nats have been doing. The only other difference is that they are doing it amongst blacks as well. I don't think the Nats persecuted whites as much as they are doing themselves now in the name of all these - In actual fact I would say that if it was not for my prejudice against worldly approaches to things, I would say OK, but if you look at it

POM     You would say, sorry, if it weren't for your prejudice against that, what would you say?

OG     I feel that they have no moral high ground. For instance, to say that Nigeria was wrong in hanging Ken Sarawira because they are doing exactly the same here. They have done even worse things.

POM     Like, for example?

OG     For example? How many people are being killed every day through persecutions, persecutions secretly? That's in KwaZulu/Natal, and all these other things are just an indication of planned executions at high places. As far as I know the ANC, they want to dominate any place and if they have a little bit of resistance they cry, ah these people don't want peace. They should only say peace when it is yielding and surrendering to the ANC. If you don't do that, God help you. And that is how they interpret peace and humanity. They talk of ubuntu, humanity, humanism, it is actually humanism that they are practising, it is not Christianity. You find people like important priests and rabbis and people in this country saying things that are completely atrocious but it's just because it is in keeping with world standards that they are doing these things, not in keeping with actually Bible or Christian values. I am not hard-fast about Christianity, Moslem and things like that because I don't know the depth of all these different religions but I am a Christian and I didn't know any other religion so what I am saying is, when you look at things these days you are only right if you think in a manner that pleases the world and any other pure, honest actions are seen as threatening peace in a way.

POM     Do you go to church?

OG     Yes, I'm a very good, devoted Christian and church goer.

POM     Which church?

OG     My church is the Assemblies of God but since they burnt my church and threatened everybody, they burnt their houses, all my ministers houses and even the elders' houses were burnt down in Zwelitsha, so since that time I don't go to it, I go to the church where my children go to school in Abundant Life Christian Centre here in town. That's where I go. Well it's the same charismatic church so it's all right. I don't have a problem.

POM     Does your wife now work?

OG     No, no, my wife doesn't work. I don't see where she can work with these attitudes around us. We definitely don't have any work prospects in the Eastern Cape. I don't know. The only thing we can do is to wait until this commission is over and take up some bonds and develop the farms.

POM     That's the Truth Commission?

OG     No, the commission, the Heath Commission on investigating my properties. My properties are being investigated.

POM     Now you are also up on charges of diamond smuggling is it?

OG     Oh they've exaggerated that thing. I happened to be at a place with friends and they went to take their money from somebody and this guy said, "I will give you diamonds", and it was a trap. This guy said, "No, I will give you diamonds, look take these diamonds and then you sell them and you can get your money." And it was a trap. It was a police trap. These guys just wanted to neutralise the guy who they owed money, but just because I was there it made even more headlines and so on.

POM     But you've got to face that trial next year?

OG     I've got to face that trial. It's postponed to April next year.

POM     But you expect that to - ?

OG     They are just dragging it as far as politically it makes sense to them. I must just be in the news about that until - they have been postponing it for two years now.

POM     Two years?

OG     For two years just to keep it in the news, to keep my name dirty a little bit. They know there isn't a case.

POM     How do you fill your day? What do you do with yourself?

OG     Well it's nothing much really. Without money at a farm you can do nothing. What I do is just to - we are ploughing, we have got a tractor, we plough the fields of the neighbour out here.

POM     Do you do the ploughing yourself?

OG     No, no, I have got a driver. But then we look after the tractor. I actually manage the whole thing concerning that. It's a business. We're trying to earn a living. They hire my tractor and they plough. Now I have got to make sure there is diesel, there is this, there is that. I take my children to school. In the afternoon I take them back. That's all I do. I read my books, I read all the things I have ever wanted to read. I anticipate what the government is going to do next and so on. And I am trying by all means to look for anything that I can do to make money. So it's all I'm occupying myself. It's actually interesting. Somebody told me that if you become a millionaire the whole fun stops, but whilst you are trying to make your first million it's a hell of a lot of fun and this is what I am trying to see, trying to think what can I do here, what can I do there, and I put things together and I hope that one day I will be able to get some little money to implement all my plans.

POM     Do you want to stay in the Ciskei?

OG     Yes I will stay here. There is no other place I would go.

POM     This is your home.

OG     Yes, this is my home.

POM     So this is where I find you six months from now?

OG     Yes. I will be here. Yes I would like to stay here. I would like when you come here I would like this farm to be completely a different place, some little heaven. I like a farm and I like a well-run farm. I travel a lot, I see a lot of people who are successful on their farms and I know exactly what I will do to this farm if I had funds.

POM     You still travel a lot?

OG     Yes, yes, actually I have travelled to African countries, three countries. I have gone to Zimbabwe, many times to Mozambique and to Zambia. I like travelling. I meet a lot of people. There are a lot of possibilities. There are a lot of opportunities and I am happy I am not working for a fixed job. I think I wouldn't fit any more, I am too much independent and I would like to keep that independence.

POM     What do you miss most about being Chairman of the Military Council, Head of State?

OG     To tell you the truth I am happy it is all over. I miss nothing. I don't want it any more. I will never get into that position again, never. If I become powerful I would rather influence policy from behind, from within, from home, if I become a strong businessman. Yes if I become a strong businessman for instance I believe that business and politics got together, if I become a strong businessman I could sponsor a good candidate for presidency or for whatever position that is going to advance my interests in business and so on. This is the way I think I will do things. I could even go and sponsor a good cause, for instance, or social activities like counselling AIDS patients or building a thing, or building a thing for small children and so on, for sports and things or for church. These are the types of things I would think should I be blessed by God in the future, these are the things - I wouldn't like to make a very serious leadership commitment I would just like behind the scenes to do things but things that would definitely make me happy. I wanted to be happy by making policies, and making sure that criminals are worried in my country, fear of rulership, and that good people must relax and be free and enthusiastic hard workers must get what they want, free market type of open approach. I wanted people to be happy, people to be successful, people to be rich, but here I am. It's actually ironic.

POM     Well we'll leave it there for another six months or so. When we come back we hope everything will be in bloom.

OG     It will be.

POM     Thank you as always.

OG     Thank you very much.

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.