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This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

27 Mar 1996: Mzizi, Abraham

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POM     Abraham, you began by saying that you spend an awful lot of time running round trying to see that justice is done and a lot of things are going on. One, what you do mean when you say 'trying to see that justice is done', and two, what do you mean when you say 'a lot of things are going on'?

AM     Well Padraig, the point I'm trying to make here is that I'm sure you must have read in the press, you must have heard in the news that the there is a proclamation which purports to ban the traditional weapons, also called dangerous weapons. Now as you would know that the traditional weapons are actually the armament of the Zulus that they have been carrying these things for decades. If you see them carrying them you will find them chanting songs in that very mode. I should think if the government is of an opinion to destroy that it is exactly to destroy the nation. You must have heard that the Gauteng people, that is now all the Zulus in Gauteng, will be marching to Johannesburg in the Library Garden, not at Shell House as has been purported, people are not going to Shell House they are going to the Library Gardens to go and celebrate or probably gather together there in remembrance of our brothers and sisters who died on 28th March 1994. It comes at a time when it's really going to cause confrontation because people will be carrying their armaments going to the gathering and I cannot see that now the police would say those people who will be marching, going there, they had any provocative mood or some sort of attack ideas of going to harm anybody by going there and I think if the police will be interfering with that, that is now confrontation. I am trying to get hold of my people on the Reef, I tried yesterday and spoke to them that have they followed all the necessary requirements such as getting the permit, we will agree with the rules and all of that. This has already been made and the police are aware and I am sure they are now delaying issuing out that permit.

POM     The permit hasn't been issued yet?

AM     It hasn't been issued as yet. It was applied for timeously because they must comply with the seven days notice, so that they have done. They tried to secure a meeting with Jessie Duarte, she is an MPC in Gauteng, probably the meeting was aborted, she was nowhere to be found. I am sure today they will endeavour to get hold of the Provincial Commissioner, Mr Maharaj, and see if they can secure a meeting and find out what would be probably the outcome and they would like to have that permit so that they can proceed with the parade.

POM     What time is the parade scheduled for?

AM     They are not quite certain of the time but I should think it will be during the course of the day, it will be probably round about twelve or so, eleven.

POM     If the permit isn't issued will the march continue?

AM     Padraig, one cannot speak for the minds of the thousands. They will take whatever decision they deem necessary.

POM     It's my understanding, and correct me if I'm wrong, that some time last year President Mandela in parliament said that he was the person who ordered the shootings at Shell House and to shoot to kill if necessary, and that in the wake of the killings he was the one who said that the police were to be denied access to Shell House. Am I correct?

AM     You are depicting him correctly. You are saying exactly what he has said and I am happy that you are actually aware of that. It is exactly what he said and exactly what has happened.

POM     If that is so should the President not have to go before the Truth & Reconciliation Commission saying in effect that he ordered his organisation to open fire on members of the IFP, to kill if necessary, and that he obstructed justice by denying the police access to Shell House in the aftermath?

AM     If the Truth & Reconciliation Commission is the tribunal court probably that would justify that means, but if the Truth & Reconciliation commissioners are there to establish the truth I don't think it is the right place for him to go. What had happened is that in terms of the constitution, chapter three, every person has a right to life. Now he has ordered that people should be killed. Now who will have to try that? I think it's the court of law. That's why he should go and start, let him be acquitted by court or be convicted by court, it is then that he can go to the TRC and apply for amnesty. That is how I would see things, that would have been the proper thing. But up until now there is no investigation taking place. We are told that the investigations are in an advanced stage, they have obtained 250 statements from the ANC people, but we are not seeing these things seeing come to light. We don't know what is happening. I have in fact sent a questionnaire to the Minister of Safety & Security, Mr Mufamadi, requesting him to explain to the House, which he hasn't responded to me, that what type of calibre which were used in shooting and were there any empty shells picked up inside and outside the premises of Shell House? And also the warrant which was granted to General Calitz, was it executed?

POM     The warrant which was granted to?

AM     The search warrant.

POM     The search warrant.

AM     Yes. I would like to know what was the direction of disposal of that warrant. If it was executed then what was the outcome? If it was not executed what stopped him not executing that search warrant because it was important that the police should enter into a premises where they suspect that there is evidence or corpus delicti that could be used as evidence in the court of law, whereas also I am sure the police would have been interested in submitting those weapons for forensic test to see the fingerprints on the object, who used that, and it wouldn't be having a problem to say who used this weapon and when, because now the water is under the bridge. I understand at a later stage the weapons were submitted to the police by the ANC. Would you say in your mind that those weapons were the weapons used on that day? I will never, I will never even think of that. Those are the kind of questions that one asks oneself, whether the ANC is prepared to commit themselves in freeing this country or are they of an opinion of ruling this country by the totalitarian ruling.

POM     Just to finish up on Shell House, Abraham, do members of the IFP hold President Mandela personally responsible for the deaths of the people who were killed outside Shell House on 28th March 1994?

AM     I think the world will join us in saying when the man has admitted and said, "I gave command to", whoever he gave command to do that, "you must protect the building." He didn't say protect the people, he said, "Protect the building", the structure, and "Shoot to kill if necessary", and the result was people were shot and they were killed and all those people their wounds were in their backs, to say and confirm that they must have walked past Shell House before they were shot at. Now if that person admits and says, "I gave command", now who else can you put the blame to? He has admitted, he told the world that "I did", it's not that IFP wants to prefer these allegations against him, but he has admitted. We were stunned and puzzled who could have done this. We were actually saying the statement that the ANC did this now, when people say the ANC has done that, it's an ambiguous statement because ANC is an organisation it is not a person, but now that somebody came out openly and said, "I did", now what else do we want? He should explain that why did he give such a command. What threats did he have? Those are the things that hence we say I think the only place for him to go and make an appearance is the court where things will be tested.

POM     That's not just extremely unlikely, it's more than extremely unlikely that the President of the country would be charged with what amounts to the murder of a number of people.

AM     Well when he did this he wasn't the President of the country then. He was still an ordinary civilian. That does not mean that everybody is above the law. If Bill Clinton can go and testify before court what prevents him to do so? That's what we say, that's what he says, that no person is above law. Let him practice that. Let's see that no person is above the law.

POM     Do the IFP see the TRC as a set up, an attempt to get at members of the IFP, or are they open-minded about it?

AM     We have made our stand there Padraig I think, I'm repeating myself. The TRC it is not the right vehicle of finding the truth. It is such a mechanism of bringing witch-hunt, opening up cans of worms, bringing hatred where there is no hatred, inflicting wounds where there were no wounds, pealing the healing wounds when it is not necessary. However, we would love that we should part with the past knowing exactly what happened in the past but the only place which would have been the right place it's the court. If I am suspected and have done this let the charge be laid against me, let me be brought before court, I will be cleared there because evidence will be led and my evidence will be tested against those who will be giving evidence rather than to go to the TRC.

POM     Is it the official policy of the IFP that they will not make submissions either as individuals or as an organisation to the TRC?

AM     We have made our minds open, we have stated very clearly that it is not the right way but however individuals who would wish to go and give evidence, we will assist them in whatever assistance they would need. If there are people incriminated against offences we will be there to be with them and help them with whatever necessary help they would need. There are quite a lot of things we are quite open on the subject that we are not going to impose fear on people, that don't go there. People will choose and decide what they want and we will follow suit and see where we can help them. There are people who are incarcerated right now, we would like those people to get amnesty and that's why we did not vote against the bill as such, we only abstained because we were pro-amnesty, we were pro-reparation and rehabilitation. So those people we need to see that they benefit out of that in terms of the constitution, not in terms of the commission, but we would like to see those people go in there and be compensated if need be, and those who are political prisoners be released.

POM     How about the Magnus Malan trial and the trial of the generals, do you see that as a more concerted attempt on the part of the government to go after the IFP?

AM     Well that's contrary to the spirit of the TRC. If that would have been the case the ANC knows exactly that they were part and parcel of committing atrocities. If the government defended the country then against them I don't think it is for the ANC now to turn around and start prosecuting the former government. Hence I say if ANC loses power whoever takes the power is going to go back and go and open up cans of worms, it will be a sort of a vengeance after vengeance. It's a totally wrong thing for the ANC to have done. This is now clear that the TRC they so speak about, it is not there for the purpose of reconciliation because I don't see how Magnus Malan could be connected with the KwaMakutha killings. All those people who committed those atrocities or killed those people as far as I am concerned they are murderous. They went there with their own mission and go and kill people. Now that they feel that they can no longer be accepted in society they now go around and start saying I did this because of this command and that and that and that. Your conscience should tell you if a wrong thing it's wrong, it's wrong, even tomorrow, even yesterday. They would have said that I don't think that this is the kind of thing that I would like to do. Their conscience should have told them if they were Christians. So they have done these things on their own for their own gains.

POM     But these were members, the members who were actually accused of carrying the killings are members of the IFP, members who were trained.

AM     It is believe that it is members of IFP but it is not the policy of IFP. We were under threat, our members were killed left and right. I will open up to you a list which I am not going to read to you but this is the kind of list where our people were killed. I can go as far as way back in 1985 up until 1995 and it is not all. As you would see we go as far as that up until 1995 and it goes on and on, people are still dying even today.

POM     How many people altogether?

AM     300 odd, nearly to 400 now who were killed, innocent people simply because they were members of IFP. Wasn't that genocide, because those people were all Zulus? That is the kind of thing that our leader probably had, people who were going to him, and said, "What are we to do?" Now you wouldn't have said if he had in mind of saying, "Kill whoever kills you", he would have said that, but he went to the government of the day and said, "Here my people are being killed, what can you offer to me?" All they could probably do, it was not for them to give him the fish, it was for them to teach him how to catch the fish and they trained the people for him to protect him and the leaders, not to go and kill innocent people. If the people probably they decided if so-called IFP, they decided to go and kill people, it wasn't the command of Buthelezi, it wasn't the policy of IFP. They were doing this probably on their own for their own gains not that it was for the purpose of IFP.

AM     Padraig, the government hasn't actually delivered any goods. Needless to say that we have been now in parliament more than two years but however I may say to you that a lot of things have been done theoretically. I would come out openly and say that I am not dealing with all other departments. I am involved in the Justice Committee. If one takes the full year which is 1995 we have dealt in the Justice Committee with about 56 debates in bills of which 15 of the Bills have been passed and they have become law.

POM     What I am asking is, what impact has the IFP had? Do you have a situation where the ANC majority is so big and despite the fact that you have a government of national unity, it's a government of national unity in name more than in reality and at the end of the day the ANC does what it likes? So what I'm asking is, what impact has the IFP had in either directing the way legislation is passed or in proposing legislation that is passed or in stopping legislation that it considers to be ill-advised?

AM     We always make a point if there is anything that we cannot stomach we stand up and note and make them to note our protest and make them to know that we are against it. We don't always stop there but we make submissions, it is up to them whether they consider our submissions or not, but the time will prove us right at one stage or the other whereas in certain quarters ANC do admit a lot of things we did not know of. For instance like the provinces, it is the idea that came about with the IFP. I read yesterday in the newspaper that, I think it's the DP, who actually complain that the provinces have had very little sitting hours, some of them have sat about 36, the most is 36 or 38 hours in sittings in the House and they felt that you either give them powers to legislate or cut their salaries. Now probably they are now thinking like that the provinces must be given autonomy and function as independently as we would have envisaged them to function. Those are some of the things that we feel if there's anything bad coming in the face of the public the lip service is always the government of national unity, but if there is any handout that has been made the ANC is doing it. By nature of it yes, we are there, probably just to move in the stream but we are not swallowed in the stream, that I can assure you. We are not being taken along with the stream. Where we resist, we resist.

POM     But given your boycott of the Constituent Assembly it looks as though the ANC will more or less get the constitution it wants. It has the threat of the referendum that if it doesn't get what it wants it will simply go to the country as is provided for under the interim constitution and the approval of 60% of the people is all that is necessary to pass a majority, agreed upon constitution.

AM     That is possible. ANC has indoctrinated people with a lot of ideas that are not even, surmountable ideas that are not even provable and they actually play on the ignorance of the people. They will go out there and secure that, but as I say time will prove us. We are not worried about that but time will prove us because you can fool people but you cannot fool yourself. People will soon realise that what we have been saying is correct and they will probably join us because one thing is certain, I am happy that we have a kind of a leader who doesn't move with the wind. If he feels it's right he sticks to the right ad infinitum and in most cases people do come back and say, "You were right", and they will find him on the right track. We stood out in protest and that's what we did. They find it difficult now to go ahead, hence they want to come back to us and say, "Please can you come in now". That's the kind of thing that we will be saying, stick to your guns, time will prove you right.

POM     But the reality would be that in parliament itself or in government for that matter, the IFP have very little influence on policy making and on policy decisions?

AM     Padraig it all depends. If one would probably think of inclusiveness the ANC would soon realise that the protection of the minority parties it must be taken into priority and I believe that, hence I said I am now speaking only in terms of my committee which is the Justice Committee, we have a chairman there who is the ANC chairperson, but I tell you even if you could use the majority in influencing the decision he will always desist and deny his own party and say, "Look I don't think this is the kind of approach we should make because sooner or later this piece of legislation we are making is going to fly back into our face one day and I would rather adjourn, let's go and discuss this and pursue and find out one another." And in most cases all the laws that we have passed, it was very few of those legislations where we probably differed fundamentally with them. Yes we did differ fundamentally with them but most of them they have taken us on board. In some other quarters I understood it wasn't the case, in the entire set-up it is not the case because you will find that they will always go their way. One thing certain is that they cannot go on because if the National Party soon realises that these people are only using us as their donkeys then things will start shaping in another direction too.

POM     On a typical day you're busy here all day, you're at meetings in the evening, you get home late, you get up early, you're separated from your wife and your family in terms of geographical separation. At the end of the day when you look back on the day, on a typical day, what can you say you have achieved?

AM     It is difficult to look back and say what you have achieved. What I mostly admire is that much as I am being separated from my family, staying very far away from my constituencies, not getting in contact with the people day to day, I do now and again have that opportunity of going back to the constituencies and brief them with what is happening and I normally get also the briefing of what people would desire things to be done and in that way I find that a lot of things have been achieved in that in Gauteng whereas we were being ravaged with violence, as you would know, we do have that fragile peace that is still existing. Those are the results of my being probably away. Even if I'm not there I still see things going in the same direction as I have wished. Those are some of the things that I can say that we have achieved and people are actually respecting us or accepting us as people governing the country and the people that they should listen to. Those are some of the things I probably can think of when I say that I have not wasted time by coming here. I have not wasted time by being away from my family, it's just that I feel lonely at times because a family man will always like to see his children at the end of the day.

POM     Now Dr Buthelezi said that the IFP will accept whatever constitution is passed, or that it will recognise it whatever constitution is passed by the Constituent Assembly as long as it's passed by two thirds of the total Assembly members. Will the IFP regard it as being a legitimate constitution?

AM     We did have the interim constitution which we were not there at Kempton Park and that constitution actually binds everybody. We are not that kind of people who always try to overthrow the government. Whatever piece of document we would be having that governs the country we would see it the way it suits us. That's all one could probably say. If it suits you accept it, if it doesn't suit you it doesn't suit you, challenge it. Hence we have the Constitutional Court so we are not worried about that at this stage. Whether it's passed or not we are using the very same document that which we were not there. It's better off, we could probably point fingers and say that this is a kind of a thing that has been forced down into our throat which is not palatable.

POM     What accounts for what could only be called the rather miserable showing of the IFP and the local government elections that were held outside of KwaZulu/Natal and the Cape Metropole last November? The results didn't suggest that the IFP is a national party, it suggested that it's a very small party at least when it comes to local government representation.

AM     Yes, that would probably be the interpretation that a person would probably arrive at but there are numerous factors that actually caused that we should not do very well. As you would know that there were no-go zone areas in various parts of the country, excluding KwaZulu/Natal. Those things contributed quite a substantial amount of fear to people because people knew, they were told that if we find out that there is anyone here in this area who voted IFP that person must be killed or that person must go out of the area. Now that fear hasn't been removed and we could not go and canvass in those areas because we could not put candidates there who would be killed. There were such a lot of incidents of DP who believed that there was peace and they tried to send their people into the township and those people were harassed or they were probably kicked out. The NP experienced the same. But we who have been in the fire, we did not even make that attempt and as a result we find that we could not do very well and people who were actually manning the polling stations and running the polling stations they were ANC people. There are a lot of things, I may make an example of which you might have heard about in Thokoza where people were taken from another ward and passed into that ward. Those are the kind of things that made us probably, it seems as if we have lost the elections and we could not go about and talk of these things because it would have stirred the emotions of the people and then we would be back in the 1990s. So we will probably leave these things for the time being and things would change. You will probably come back and shake hands with me in 1999 when you will be seeing me in the government leading the country.

POM     Now, you're not serious about that?

AM     I'm serious about that.

POM     You're seriously saying that the IFP could be in government in the next election?

AM     I'm telling you we are serious in such a way that hence I say, thanks for this recess that we are getting into. I have been given the Free State to do the Free State. The Free State is now starting to shape up right now. So we will be countrywide, we will be there. It's just that probably the outside world has tended to recognise ANC, now anybody, any elite person thinks that if I am seen in the company of IFP or any other organisation then I am not recognised, I must be with the majority which it is always purported to be. But sooner or later if the outside world could cease having influence on ANC along and take everybody on board, or say now that you are a country on its own political parties which they haven't termed to be a political party right now, if they become a political party then you would see something else. As far as I am concerned they are not a political party, this alliance of parties that they have, South African Communist Party, it's still there, COSATU is still there, name them all they are still there. But I think the influence comes from the outside world.

POM     If you asked any political commentator what will happen in 1999 they will say it's a foregone conclusion that the ANC are going to be returned to power.

AM     Let's see when the time comes, let's see whether that will be the truth.

POM     What would you point to as any indicator, as a movement of support away from the ANC?

AM     If we can quell down the violence and if we can track down the weapons which are the lethal weapons, the AK47s that are being used by ANC supporters and SACP supporters. If those things can be removed and install peace in the minds of the people, people who will think independently, people will soon realise who they want in power. And the no-go zone areas should be opened. People will then be free then they will know what they want. But at the moment if the ANC could continue installing those fears, killing people in public, necklacing them, calling them witchdoctors and burning them alive, all those things will always carry an amount of fear that people will always think that they cannot be seen associated with other organisations because people, they cannot even talk to you as an IFP. Your own, own black brother if he lives in the ANC camp cannot talk to you because that person will be killed. Now those are the type of things that we are having. If they can be removed then we would probably live a different life.

POM     What if Khumalo is convicted, the Deputy Secretary General, in the Malan trial? What impact will that have on the IFP leadership and on the IFP membership, particularly in KwaZulu/Natal?

AM     This is propaganda. The court is an independent institution. Up until now, even in the Malan case now, I haven't come across any direct evidence that implicates Khumalo nor Malan nor my leader, Buthelezi. Not a single piece of evidence. I read the evidence of Opperman, I have read the evidence of other witnesses that would probably be purported to be the witnesses that can implicate IFP. Not a single piece of evidence, direct evidence which will say except that Khumalo slaughtered a goat for those people when they came back from KwaMakutha. Now that is our tradition with the Zulu. If you visit me I must slaughter you a goat or a sheep and if you are an esteemed person I must slaughter a cow. That's a traditional thing. On a weekend, an ordinary weekend, we must make food for the people. For instance, if they visited Khumalo as a leader he wouldn't have gone to the butchery and go and buy meet. To show respect to them that they visited him, irrespective whether they brought news or anything, but to make food for those people he would have done that. Now I don't know how would they take that custom and make it as a custom of token to the people who have killed. I doubt if he was told that, "We have killed people", as far as I am concerned. So there is no direct evidence yet, so far, that implicates Khumalo except that they say he was the contact person. Of course, probably he was the contact person in the training, not the dirty tricks training that they probably sorted out then thereafter. That was not Khumalo's mission. He was there to see that the boys are trained, that's it. But I don't see it as this stage that he will be convicted. It will be very unfortunate if he would be convicted because there is no evidence, direct evidence, unless the evidence is cooked or he is convicted by hook or by crook. But a very sober minded person or presiding officer will weigh the evidence. As far as I am concerned there is no evidence, it's a waste of taxpayers money to have that case because there would be no conviction I would tell you right now.

POM     No conviction of the generals or of any of the principals?

AM     No.

POM     The IFP, do you see it as a party that represents the traditional values of the country in terms of the position of the Chiefs, traditional customs, traditional law? Do you see yourself more in that role of the guardian of those values?

AM     Much has been said about this. Unfortunately you are not from UK where they have the monarchy. It is unfortunate that most of our members are coming from that background. In no way would we say because you are an Nkosi you cannot join the party, because you are an Induna you cannot join the party. Now the Amakosis joined the party as individuals not as collective traditional leaders and the people themselves are there, they practise their own tradition within the party which we did not say, "Look you can no longer practise this, this is unconstitutional." There was no constitution when the traditions were there. Now we cannot come and lay down rules now. We are not actually being seen there as traditionalists or a party of traditionalists. It is just unfortunate that most of our people come from that background and it shouldn't be seen in that light that we are a party which purports to be traditionalist and I think if that can be taken in that context I don't think one will have a problem.

POM     Have the lives of the hostel dwellers, say in Thokoza, improved a lot over the last two years in terms of their living conditions?

AM     They are still battling right now. They came at one stage and started whitewashing the walls but now lately I've heard that moneys have been set aside, they have sorted out tenders, they should have started building. I don't know what delays them now. They should actually have started renovating the hostels by the very local people, the local constructors. There are tenders and some of the tenders have been accepted. It is a question of when they can start. I think the improvement will be there in future though it hasn't seen light up until now.

POM     The IFP is associated so closely with Dr Buthelezi and with KwaZulu/Natal, yet you come from Gauteng and you spend your time between Cape Town and Pretoria, do you feel removed from what is the traditional base of the party? When you pick up the newspaper and read that there were 61 people killed in political violence this weekend in KwaZulu/Natal, I think 66 the previous weekend, is it all a little removed from you, is it like a different country?

AM     To respond to that Padraig, I am not actually amazed or I don't get alarmed to read news of that nature. Coming from the very same predicaments in 1990 where I have seen people dying in scores, now there you talk of 61, we were talking of hundreds in Gauteng. I know exactly what causes that. It was said there was a third force which we were surprised, what is a third force? But we had soon discovered what was a third force, that the very same ANC with uMkhonto weSizwe and probably other elements joined them, they were coming in their camouflage suits of police, defence force, and kill people and sell the identity of the police. And it's exactly what is going on in KwaZulu/Natal that people when they want to make propaganda they can go about and kill the grassroots at random knowing that they can probably leave an identity of IFP or they can go there and say, "We are IFP we don't want ANC here", that they can do just to make propaganda. If that would be the case, Padraig, you will agree with me, if we did not want any other organisations we would have done so.

     After the inception of Inkatha cultural liberal movement there were many parties that were formed in KwaZulu, Inala and many others, but we did not remove them by killing them. We said that they will die of natural causes. Now why all of a sudden now shall we now kill the ANC? Of course we will have to defend ourselves if there is any danger that comes to us. It's not that people who are killed today it's by IFP as has been purported. ANC will make propaganda to prove its case that IFP cannot govern the province, or to make that province ungovernable. Why is it no longer happening in Gauteng? Because they are in power. Because we have spoken to our people that don't go to the boundaries that are declared as boundaries, don't cross them, don't go into the location, people are not yet free. Don't go into the graveyards, go and bury your own people. Don't go to schools where our children could be schooled. We don't school our children in Thokoza.

POM     You don't school them in?

AM     In Zonkezizwe. We don't send our children to school in the higher primary schools, in the high schools in Thokoza and Katlehong. All IFP children have been - some of them are in KwaZulu/Natal and most of the people living in Thokoza who don't have the background in KwaZulu/Natal have sent their children to Zonkezizwe which is a free settlement also in the East Rand and some of them have sent them to Mpumalanga and many other places where they could send their children, but we don't enjoy the fruits of Thokoza and Katlehong right now. But we had to bear that, and said fine, for the sake of peace. If you can afford then to send your children there, right, and if there is nobody coming to you and molesting you, fine. We will probably try and negotiate these things and see whether that will happen. One day or other we will find one another, but ANC would not do that. Do you think if it was ANC or if it was IFP in power in Gauteng we would be having peace? Forget it, we wouldn't. Why are there always problems in the only two provinces that they are not governing, Western Cape and KwaZulu/Natal? You should be asking your questions.

POM     Just a couple more, do you expect the party to do well in the local elections? Is this a test for the party particularly in KwaZulu/Natal that you have to do well?

AM     We will do well but as I said earlier on to you, the elements that are there, who is in the government, who will be providing the material. There are lot of things that can happen, like a lot of things that happened in the general elections, which is something, an over-spilled milk, it's not going to help you by saying, repeating them, but a lot of things have happened. It's like the golfer who is playing golf and a golfer who is playing score. A golfer who plays golf is the one who will hit the ball a number of times till he gets into the hole. The person who plays score he doesn't care how many times he hits the ball, he has written the score already. He plays just for formality. If he wants to get a four there he has written a four, if he wants to get a five there he has written a five. You will play to get a five or six or seven but he is not going to get that, and that person all he wants is to win. Now that's exactly what the ANC had done.

POM     Are the police in KwaZulu-Natal regarded by the IFP as being really agents of the ANC?

AM     Well your question is not clear when you say KwaZulu-Natal, whether you are referring to the police who were formerly in KwaZulu-Natal or the police who have been sent to KwaZulu-Natal?

POM     The police who are being sent.

AM     No, those are the uMkhonto weSizwe, they are taking part, those are the killing machinery. We have reported quite a number of incidents that the police are actually the people now killing our people. The SANDF members are the people killing our people and nothing has been done, no investigation. It is now lately that it comes out that in the Shobashabane there are about ten police involved, and I am sure what they will do, they would go for the former KwaZulu Police, not the latter police.

POM     Now the people who were killed in Shobashabane on Christmas Day, they were IFP supporters?

AM     We don't know as yet. It is said so. People are very quickly saying it is the IFP supporters.

POM     IFP, that's the people who were killed were IFP supporters?

AM     No, no, they say the people who were killed were ANC. We don't know that. All I can tell you is that it is the people, the clans of different districts probably. That goes on there and you cannot claim those clans as the supporters of either political party because I don't think people went and identified themselves. It is just a belief that the people are ANC and that and that.

POM     You have this continuing rift between Dr Buthelezi and King Zwelithini yet the King is the symbol of the Zulu nation. If you had to choose between the party and your King which would you choose?

AM     I would choose the kingdom, not the individual. Zwelithini is an individual. The kingdom it's there, it will be there. He can join the ANC yesterday as far as I'm concerned, but the kingdom will be there. I will choose the kingdom, not following him, and the kingdom is our kingdom, not him. So I don't have to choose between my party and my kingdom. My kingdom is there, I believe in my kingdom, I am a Zulu and I will probably die being a Zulu and I will die for that kingdom, but not for an individual.

POM     The other day Mandela made an extraordinary statement, on Human Rights Day, when he said there were forces within the state that were out to destroy. He said, "We have political power but we don't have control." I think one paper had him talking about a coup d'etat or a possible coup d'etat and his office denied it and in fact other than The Citizen no paper carried the retraction. Do you think there is any possibility at any time of a coup d'etat or do you think all the police and the military are securely under the control of the state, i.e. of parliament and government?

AM     Well I endorse the statement of the State President in this sense that he is very much right. The very uMkhonto weSizwe who are now there in the police force, who are there in the security force, they have got their own agenda which is not for the nation. Whatever agenda it is but they have got their own agenda. He is very much right that they are not pulling towards one proximity. There is a problem that I can also see there, uMkhonto weSizwe are not the army, they are not the police to be. They have got their own agenda. So he has said right but a coup d'etat that could probably take place, it is something that one cannot actually predict that would happen. It could happen in the sense that the very, very uMkhonto weSizwe, there are those of them who are not in the force which they believe that we were told that when we come back irrespective of whether we are capable or not we will be the army. They could have influence inside, their brothers could have influence that, look if we can topple this government then our brothers will come in, then we can rule the country. That could be possible. Those are the only possibilities because there is a lot of disgruntling from those who are out.

POM     And last, in KwaZulu-Natal the legislature went through two years of wrangling and intrigue in trying to adopt or create a provincial constitution. There were a number of divisions even within your own party. Arthur Konigkramer who was chairman of the Constitutional Committee was ousted and replaced by somebody considered to be more hard-line. You had the impact of the Felgates and the Ambrosinis and yet out of it all a constitution has emerged that most commentators say that in the end the IFP virtually caved in to everything the ANC wanted in order to get the constitution passed before the national constitution was passed. Do you agree with that? It's not a federal constitution, it doesn't provide for strong state powers, it's not the kind of constitution that the IFP have talked about for so many years.

AM     I think you will agree with me that when we talk of the inclusiveness what we mean by that and when we talk of tolerance what we mean by that. Probably yes, the powers of the province that we would have liked to see it being invested we did not get that as such but the legislation, or that piece of legislation which they produced it is a kind of a framework where one would be pleased and say that there is a framework where I can lay my basis on, I can build from this one and go forward. So to say that we caved in in the ANC model I think it's a far-fetched thing, and also to say that there were many divisions or conflicts even among ourselves, it is quite natural when you are engaged on something else if it's a good thing there would be always differences of opinion and tempers might even run high but I did not take that as seriously as all of that. It was a domestic thing. Konigkramer is still a member of the IFP. I don't think they have hard feelings together with Ambrosini, Felgate, they are still there, still meet in the National Council, they meet as brothers. I don't see anything, we don't even have to talk about it, I don't think it warrants that because we do have a piece of legislation that was produced and we are quite happy, we will work on it.

POM     You are happy, the party is happy with it?

AM     Not quite happy with all the outcome but we are happy we are having a framework document where we could say now, from here we move forward.

POM     But the outstanding differences, there seems to be some misunderstanding, correct me if I'm incorrect. My understanding is that the IFP members believe that the provisions in the constitution that weren't finally settled on, that were scheduled for further debate or resolution, are to be resolved within the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature, whereas the ANC think those outstanding issues should be resolved within the Constituent Assembly. Is that correct?

AM     Some other things are still under discussion which one would not like to engage in that because I would not know what would be the outcome or what would be the influence thereafter, so one would probably be very sceptical in responding to that. What the people are saying, people are entitled to say whatever they want to say but finally when you negotiate the terms of negotiation is give and take. So you've got to lose something in order to get something, so I don't think one would probably go beyond that. Yes there are commissions that are going to be set up but it looks as if now the ANC would consider now the international mediation, from the look of things.

POM     That's for the national constitution?

AM     Whichever way it may come first because they can see that there is a need that we need to now have this. I don't say they say that but I am sure they will realise that to rely on an opinion of local people is not going to help them much. They will have to get other opinions of people who would be looking at it from afar.

POM     And last Abraham, when I met you first you talked in Thokoza of it being symbolic of the larger struggle between the Zulu people and the Xhosa-speaking people which you characterised the ANC as being really a Xhosa-speaking organisation and that they were out to create a one-party state and to dominate the Zulu people. Do you still believe that?

AM     Things were at that time in that state and one cannot say if they are now died in the distance and say it has now changed. You still find that the leaders are still Xhosa-speaking people who are in the ANC who actually lead in those areas. Now much as we have managed to come to terms with the Phola Park people, who are mainly Xhosa-speaking people, and in that way violence has subsided. So it's exactly what we have been saying, it's true. Because we have managed to talk to these people who are Xhosa-speaking people there is peace in Thokoza.

POM     But on a larger scale do you see the ANC still out to create a one-party state?

AM     Yes, yes, they advocate - it is a start, very much so, they would like to see that happening. They would like to see that happening, it's just that they get resistance and they cannot probably force this through.

POM     So you would believe that for all their talk about democracy, this democracy, that they really don't believe in multi-party pluralistic democracy at all?

AM     Yes, no, definitely.

POM     Yes, no? No?

AM     Well a South African will start with a yes. I don't believe it in a nutshell. Only the lip service. We have done a lot of things that we need to go into the nitty-gritty of it in order that we will get there and say, yes this is it. At the moment probably this five-year term will just go by without anybody knowing what is happening.

POM     But then after that?

AM     After that, yes, the truth will be made. After the constitution the truth will be made. Everybody will be seen with true colours.

POM     And you stand by your prediction that in 1999 I will be visiting you in government?

AM     You will be having the President of the country Mangosuthu Buthelezi, if God would have spared him he will be the President.

POM     Now you say that confidently.

AM     I am telling you.

POM     OK. It's a bold note to end on.

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.