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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.
12 Nov 1996: Mkhize, Goodwill
POM You were just starting there to talk about Sipho doing his matric exam and the fact that the paper had been leaked. What kind of an impact is that having on him besides the fact that you said he'd strangle the guy who leaked the paper?
GM He's frustrated, he's angry and if he could he would form a vigilante group just to make sure that no other papers are leaked in future, not his own but in future, because he has gone through the rigours of preparing for exams, been reading for the exams only to find that he can't write the paper. He's frustrated.
POM One, not the first, but one of many frustrations that will catalogue life.
GM Yes, well I've had quite a number of them. Taking a leaf from my frustrations he sees that that's a Sunday School picnic compared to what I've gone through.
POM Do the children relate to what you had to go through or is it, "Oh they were the old days, there goes Dad again?"
GM I've never sat down really to go through all the hardships I went through, but when they read papers, read magazines, read books, and then they say, "In relation to this, Dad, at least at this time you were at varsity, what happened to you?" and you've got no cause to tell them anything other than what you went through.
POM But they don't voluntarily enquire and say what was it really like to live under apartheid and carry a pass book and have to go to a different toilet and take a different bus and do everything and be stopped and asked for your identification, be harassed?
GM No they do, they do, yes they do they ask those questions and they ask us how did we cope with those harsh laws, and you tell them that it was just a matter of survival.
POM So to switch to the present, did President Mandela endorse or not endorse Thabo?
GM It's doubtful. Mandela actually left everybody clear about him not making the same mistake he made about the appointment of the judges, of the Judge President. He actually left everything open. He didn't endorse him but he said, "It's not up to me to make a decision on these issues." And reading through what he said I felt that he was saying that it's the best man who is going to have the position and he will be democratically elected.
POM Do you think it might have given Thabo a slight stomach turn when he got a phone call to say, the headline in the paper, to say you're no longer the heir apparent?
GM I think he knew all the time. There was a time where everybody was speculating between Cyril Ramaphosa and Thabo as the heir apparent but fine enough Mandela had made it clear even at that time that he doesn't have one, but again it's just going to be the Executive Committee that is going to elect the next President. And then they wanted to know why he has made Thabo the Vice President with F W de Klerk, why not this one? He says, "No, he was the one who was available and who had that experience that I required for that position at that time."
POM Why do you think, we may have covered this in the past, that Cyril was so gently or un-gently moved aside?
GM No Cyril was not un-gently moved aside. Cyril still had those rough edges from the background he comes from, that is the Mine Workers' Union, and there were certain things that he had to polish up. Cyril is a good guy, Cyril is a taskmaster and Cyril doesn't stand corruption and he has got a problem, he is so frank he will say whatever he feels like saying without the diplomatic language that he has got to embroil whatever he is going to say. He has got that habit. He is very honest but, again, it could need some polishing up.
POM Who do you think would be the better leader for the country?
GM Both Cyril and Thabo I think will be but I can give it Cyril. I will give it to Cyril.
POM As an objective observer I made no comment. When I have come back this time I've noticed quite a change of attitude among whites. I note that they are more angry, that they are more racist, tell jokes, the word 'kaffir' has come up in conversation as it has not before in previous years among educated people who are even aware of the fact that they're using it but still use it but then laugh and say, "Well I didn't really mean what I said, but I said it." It looks like there has been a smooth political transition; for the first time the economy actually last year grew rather than went down; Mandela has gone out of his way to assuage them in every way they could be assuaged, yet their fears seem to be hardening rather than diminishing. That's one thing I'd like you to comment on, whether or not you think that's true and on your relations with whites.
The second thing is that it seems to be that they have distanced themselves almost completely from the proceedings of the Truth Commission. They have bought into the easy belief that it's a witch-hunt of some kind. They believe that horrible things were done and by some horrible people and those horrible people should be punished but it had nothing to do with them. And three, that there's no sense of remorse or overt expression of guilt, that somehow what those men did, and particularly as Pandora's Box now seems to be opening and more and more names are coming out of the box and the names are higher and higher in the echelon, that there's no sense of shame or remorse, rather it's almost one of, I won't say the opposite, it's like we're giving blacks every opportunity and they're not even taking advantage of it. Do you know what I mean? A general mix of attitudes that is new in the sense that I see it since I've come back rather than it being there six months ago or a year ago.
GM That is true. Starting with your first statement that they are using 'kaffir' they are doing that, they have been doing that all the time but, again, they were a bit careful about doing it because they expected blacks to be violent and they thought if they say it one or two or three can start a riot, only to find that the blacks in the process had seen absolutely no cause for them to go and revenge or look at every white that they meet in the street as an enemy. They found that these are our co-partners and they found it the very, very difficult way.
You can go two or three steps back. When these guys from uMkhonto weSizwe came back they thought they are going to overthrow the F W de Klerk government by force. When negotiations were declared and these guys were told to lay down their arms, they were violently opposed to that statement from Mandela until Chris Hani had to go and see them and talk to them and give them the realities of life, that these are the practicalities now: then it was that, now it is this and this is the role. And they reluctantly got rid of their arms because they thought it was just a strategy by De Klerk to let them drop their arms and then shoot them. Then they came back. On coming back whites were actually not convinced that they could lose in the elections one way or the other because some of them had canvassed some blacks, promised this, that and the other, to think they are still going to be their fort against the marauding army of the ANC and the PAC and what have you, only to find that whatever they have promised or whatever they calculated to be never materialised and then reality has now set in.
In that reality setting in it has actually revealed one or two other facets of whites that we are living with. One was that they are still what they were even before. As you could hear, the director of SAPPI who went around the country, went overseas with all those things, saying that there is crime in South Africa and the ANC government is failing to combat crime, as they said before.
POM This is the director of?
GM SAPPI, South African Pulp and Paper Industry, he is the one who has been -
POM Writing the messages.
GM Yes writing messages and doing all that, yes. You could find that on your second point of the attitudes towards the TRC they find that of all the evils that were done during the apartheid era blacks also contributed to the whole thing but not much has been said by them. Fortunately it happened this week that Archbishop Tutu took up arms when there was some resistance within the ANC to go and testify. These people saying that you can't go and testify, Moses who liberated the Children of Israel in Egypt, when in reality how did you do it, if you did it? If there is anything wrong that you did, please like everybody else go to the commission, go for amnesty and let the world know the part you did and thereafter let's reconcile.
POM Do you think that's working? The feeling I get at this point anyway is of more polarisation than reconciliation.
GM There isn't much polarisation but there is reluctance for people to go. They say you can't go to heaven, you're not dying. There is a problem where people don't want to die to go to heaven but they still want to go to heaven.
POM Do you expect between now and the 14th December for some fairly senior people in the National Party to apply for amnesty or do you see some kind of quid pro quo where some fairly high people in the National Party will apply for amnesty and the ANC will say, OK we'll have some of our senior people apply for amnesty too, so there is a kind of a balance?
GM Actually my projections are that there are higher ranking people who are going to go for amnesty and then go to the TRC. Yes, definitely that is going to happen.
POM On both sides?
GM On both sides, yes. I expected some reluctance with guys like P W Botha but I could see in his utterances, though not well quoted in the press, are such that if something has got to be done either to clear my name or to say I did it under these circumstances and I did it for the country, he is going to do it. Yes he is going to do it because a lot has been said about him and his side of the story hasn't been revealed and he would like to reveal his side of the story, telling the world that, no fine, I did it but it was at the time when there was that onslaught and that was the only way you could stem the tide.
POM So 2½ years in, what's your assessment of how things are going?
GM For the past 2½ years things are going the way I expected them to go. The party has been on, people have been drinking, freedom has actually been realised. Dreams have not yet been realised because those dreams were more than what time, economy and attitudes would allow. There are certain people at a certain time, I told you some time ago, who expected that when they get their freedom they will just get into a white man's house and just own it, even fifty rand and then they own it because they will be repossessing what was stolen by whites from them. But now the reality is actually dawning in most quarters that if I actually get into that house and take it I've got to pay rates and this guy whom I've marched out of the house will go somewhere and arm himself to come and march me out too. So I've got to look for an opportunity wherein I could actually buy my own house and that sense is now percolating into quite a number of radicals' heads and I feel that's a positive thing.
POM What about in KwaZulu/Natal? Things have quieted down, the political violence has fallen off a lot, Buthelezi seems to be mellowing, he's still sticking in the government of national unity. How do you see the situation here?
GM KwaZulu/Natal, and I think Mandela said at a certain stage that F W de Klerk could have quelled the violence if Adriaan Vlok was not fanning the flames. You find that the ITU, and there is a strong structure wherein people now know that if I do kill so-and-so and do that at the end of the day I will be caught. Previously you could kill anybody. I can get into the hostels, collect ten or fourteen guys and say those two guys were speaking ill of Buthelezi, go and kill them and they will go and kill them and with no qualms, but now they can ask you two, three, four, five questions before they actually take up arms against anybody who has been pointed to be killed, let alone even the authoritative word of whoever is in the Inkatha structure to say that so-and-so has got to be eliminated. They are not going to do it because a lot of those guys have been caught when in reality before nobody was caught. Guys used to be arrested in Port Shepstone and released in Vryheid, or be arrested in Maritzburg, Sweet Waters, be arrested in iZingolweni and be taken to Ulundi by the police. So killing was a thing that a guy could do and he knew he was not going to be arrested or pay for his crime. But now there is the realisation wherein people now know that law and order is creeping in. It's not coming in those gustos that we all expect but it is creeping in, yes.
POM What about Buthelezi himself? Do you think relations between the IFP and the ANC are normalising in a way?
GM Yes, the relations are normalising definitely, yes, because he has found that he is backing the wrong horse and, again, whatever he is doing it's at the expense of the country and his people again who were actually following him in whatever he is saying are questioning certain things and he is one guy who hates being asked funny questions or telling somebody and that somebody questions his authority and that actually kills him. In quite a number of conferences you could find that though there are no transcripts of the deliberations, people who were there will start telling you that there were certain questions which we asked which we never thought anybody can ask and get away with, the questions that were asked at that conference in Ulundi which we never thought there was anybody who had guts to ask those questions at a conference of that nature.
POM Is there an IFP after Buthelezi or is he the figure that holds it together?
GM No there is no IFP after Buthelezi. He is the only figure that glues all the fragments of the IFP together. After Buthelezi there won't be any IFP.
POM Now you've lived and observed him for all of your adult life, who is he?
GM Buthelezi? He was a close friend of mine, I told you before. We were very close in the sixties right up to 1972 and he is a highly intelligent, persuasive speaker, a good orator and a guy who had an objective but somewhere along the line somebody told him that he is more than what he is and he could attain something more than what he thinks he is capable of. Then he started having higher horizons or thinking that he can actually be the leader of all blacks in South Africa and feeling that nobody was of his stature in any political circle. And that actually got into his head and he really believed it. After believing it then he was used by the Nationalists and when the Nationalist Party started using him he saw that he has got the might, he has got the following, he has got the way to manipulate people and he thought he was going to get away with it. Crying that Mandela has got to be released from prison, he was just making some hollow sound. He didn't mean it and he was disappointed. In reality the people who are very close to him actually heard him saying that he never believed De Klerk could do this thing.
POM He never believed?
GM That De Klerk was going to release Mandela. De Klerk is a traitor. That tells you something because he thought the next Vice President or President of South Africa will be him.
POM When you knew him were there any kind of signs of, personality signs of this kind?
GM Yes, yes, he had a problem, he had a big ego. Yes, he had a big ego and he felt he is bigger than anything that is around. He could pretend the genuflections, the signs of humility but if you sit down with him you could feel that that guy has got a big ego to solve. Yes he had a big ego.
POM Do you believe that he personally knew or approved or authorised individuals to be killed or that he can plead too, "I was in a war with the ANC and they were killing us and we were killing them and many of us were killed", he always brings up his list, as he did to the Truth Commission, I've got a copy of all 800 pages, bedtime reading.
GM No, definitely he ordered the killings. Yes. He believed in that. If you actually go back to the 201 Caprivi people who were actually recruited to go and the bodyguards to the dignitaries, they were not bodyguards to the dignitaries. Those guys were actually trained for the purposes of countering uMkhonto weSizwe that they expected to come in, whom they knew they will never conquer and they were now trying some ways and means of training a good army, infrastructure of an army that they are now going to use to build a bigger army to fight against, which augured well, it went along the grain of the thoughts of people like P W Botha, F W de Klerk, Adriaan Vlok and Magnus Malan, but unfortunately democracy took over and everything had to go to a ballot and we didn't have any battlefield for them to test their strength against uMkhonto weSizwe.
POM Do you see him applying for amnesty?
GM He is too proud to do that. He is too proud to do that. I don't think he will.
POM So what happens to him them as investigations continue?
GM I think he will wait for a situation wherein he has got to apply for amnesty or face the worst. That's when he can do it. If he sees it's inevitable that the worst will come if he doesn't.
POM But he's got to make up his mind before 14th December because the worst is going to come.
GM And when he does that again he will be as circumspect as anybody can, like the Generals who actually went to the commission, confessed, but at the end of the day you don't know what they said, you don't know what they confessed.
POM So they are all weighing the odds, what are my chances of there not being enough money, there not being enough desire, people saying close the book, we've got to get over this, we've got to move on to the future, vis-à-vis can they really prove it or shall I just take my chances that way or go for amnesty?
GM He is actually doubting, I am sure as it is he is doing a deep analysis of what must I do and what will be the consequences thereof if I don't go what is going to happen? I will be subpoenaed. If I am subpoenaed what will I do? I am sure he is sitting down with Ambrosini where they are trying to think about how is he going to get out of this one before 14th December.
POM Would you call Ambrosini the person who has the most influence on him? Who does he listen to if he listens to anybody?
GM Ambrosini is the only person he listens to. It was Felgate before and Powell but now it's Ambrosini and nobody else.
POM What did Ambrosini do that was so brilliant that he should listen to him alone?
GM Ambrosini dare not undermine him. As I told you before in Bosnia he is the guy who actually got it all worked up in Bosnia. He was an adviser in Bosnia.
POM Ambrosini was?
GM Yes, before he came to South Africa he was from Bosnia. He was a political adviser there and that guy is very intelligent, very shrewd and he has worked himself up into the heart of Buthelezi in this way that if you will remember at the time of CODESA he was one of those background people who were actually plotting, planning and doing all the strategies that made CODESA fail. He is the one who determines whether they have got to be in or out of the government or of the delegation that is being sent in for the government of national unity negotiations, and he is the guy who actually plans the strategy, lays it down to Buthelezi and Buthelezi gallops the whole thing. He actually believes in him. He has got faith in him, he doesn't question Ambrosini. He questions everybody else except Ambrosini.
POM It's odd that in the end the person he would trust, the people he's tended to trust most have been white people.
GM Which is funny. He has had little or no touch with blacks even within his party. Felgate, Powell were the most powerful guys in the Inkatha Central Committee. You could find that if he says the Central Committee has said this, those words were said by Felgate and Powell and not by other blacks. He will actually have a caucus with those, come in and then address those people and say, "We all agreed", when in reality it's just the three of them and now I think he is not that much closer to these two but more to Ambrosini.
POM Do you see his influence on political life in the country as on the wane, that come 1999 you are going to have an ANC government without any representation from the IFP unless the next President were to make a very political decision to re-appoint him to some national position? It might be one way of, as Lyndon Johnson used to say, to have somebody in the tent pissing out than outside the tent pissing in. Or is he just getting on too? He's getting old.
GM Yes 1999 is going to see little or less Inkatha influence in the central government and I don't think any future President will be like Mandela and carry him in because I think he's a package these young guys wouldn't like to carry. Mandela could carry it but the young guys wouldn't carry that package. Furthermore, even if he decides to stay out and be out and even if he is not co-opted into the central government he has got no teeth now, he can't damage anything. If he could damage anything he could damage the toys that he has got in his cot and that's all.
POM So do you see in 1999 this province going ANC?
GM It is already, it is already if you look at the local government elections and the local structures. Yes it will, it will. During the local government elections you found that there were people who could have voted the ANC in numbers more than the majority that they got but they were intimidated, not intimidated by somebody saying anything to them but some people don't know the voting system, how it works, and they actually believed that if they go there to the ballot box and put a X against the ANC somebody within Inkatha will get to know about them and that will be the end of them. That was the type of intimidation. Some went in and made a X for Inkatha, others refrained, didn't even go to the polling stations.
POM This is in the rural areas?
GM In the rural areas, yes. They actually believed that these guys are capable of knowing who voted for whom and others again, intelligently extrapolated that, no, if the ANC gets the majority in this area there will be a witch-hunt and some people will be pointing at us, not knowing that the whole thing is so secret that even the next person who came after you will hardly know whom you voted for.
POM So where does your brother stand in all of this, with the local government structures and the role of traditional Chiefs?
GM He actually believes that there will always be a role of the College of Chiefs and he feels that the roots of the people have got to be respected and the Chief has got the role in any nation and he feels that to build people up who are traditionalists, who actually believe that law and order has got to be maintained one way or the other, we can have all the other political structures but we have got to have the traditional structures to keep our civil society in check.
POM Many people have said to me, like Patekile Holomisa, that in rural areas unless a way is found to bring the Chiefs in that local government simply won't work, it just won't work.
GM It's not a true statement. In quite a number of areas you found that people were persecuted by some Chiefs. These Chiefs used to extort money from those people, used to take away their land rights, used to take away their treaty rights and this and that and tramp on the people - in some areas, not all of them, and people definitely were totally against those Chiefs because they knew the guy had an absolute word. If he has said this it is that and nobody is going to question that. And if Patekile Holomisa thinks that the traditional leaders are still wielding that power that he feels they are wielding he is missing the point, but again we dare not say that we can wish the Chiefs away because they always have and they will always have an influence over a certain sector of our people, more especially in the rural areas, more especially the illiterate.
POM So would your brother be encouraging the ANC to take more notice of the fact that the Chiefs are going to play an important role particularly in rural South African life for a long time to come, and to try to sweep them off the table, so to speak, is a bad move and not only a bad move but undermines an important part of South African culture?
GM He feels that the Chiefs have got to be given their rights, their role and they should be part of whatever government structure the country is going to have.
POM So if there is a local government structure does he believe that then the Chief should be part of it?
GM Should be part of it, the Chief should be part of it.
POM Now the ANC don't believe that.
GM The ANC does believe that. The youth really doesn't believe that.
POM Under the present structure do the Chiefs have voting power in a local council?
GM Those are the structures that are still going to be made and those are the structures that have got to be built into the constitution. As it is the Chiefs have actually antagonised the people. They have actually stood as counter-revolutionary people. They have actually stood against the constitution, against everything else because, again, they were the only supreme powers that we had and if you say now dilute your powers guys and come into the structure and have the voting rights, this, that and the other, they won't accept it. Those who will, will do it reluctantly. That's their problem.
POM So when sometimes the issue is posed here in KwaZulu/Natal, because it's been more intense and more violent, as sometimes the conflict between the ANC and the IFP as being a conflict between modernism, urban western whatever you want to call it, not even western at this point, global, TV values versus traditional values, do you think there's merit in that or that's a misreading of the situation?
GM If you look at it the violent opposition to the whole thing is only in KwaZulu. There are also Chiefs in the Free State and in the Transvaal and they are not violently opposed to the structures that are in place nor are they asserting themselves saying that they have got to have a College of Chiefs or things like that, or that they need not be paid by the central government. A simple thing like paying, you get a salary from the central government, they don't mind all that. Patekile Holomisa, right, he has got his own problems too. He has got a problem of ego. He needs some consultation, he needs to be heard, he needs to be a centre or a pivotal point in whatever it is that is happening. He mustn't hear things that are happening about the country that he was not part and parcel of its fabrication.
POM Which Holomisa are you talking about?
GM That's Patekile Holomisa, the Chief.
POM How about the other one?
GM That's a good guy but he had a problem. The problem with Bantu, also a friend of mine, I told you the other time that he was at school with my sisters-in-law and he visits me quite often. His problem is, yes, he tells the truth at the wrong time. He believes in what he believes in and if it's either this way or that and there's nothing in the middle. Whatever he did which was wrong was that he didn't consult his Cabinet friends before he went live on it. There is nothing wrong with whatever he said. The government is transparent and all these things had to be said, aired and then get along with life thereafter. But his bigger problem was that he kept all those files that he had which were the files he used to keep during the NP government and keep on pulling out those scandals from the bag just to tell the other guys that I know more about you than you think I do. That's where he had a problem. You can't do that to your own colleagues. You go to your colleagues and say, "Guys since I'm going there I'm going to say this about so-and-so and I'm not going to miss this otherwise people would think I'm not telling the truth because I'm selective in telling them what I'm telling them. And I'm going to say something about Stella Sigcau because I said a lot of things about Stella when I was head of the Transkei and now people will start thinking that I have been bribed, that's why I'm no longer saying what I used to say when I am talking about this topic and Stella was involved in the process."
POM There are two views, one is that he will soon fade from the political scene, the other is that he has a lot of popular support and I've seen that. I interviewed him two weeks ago in Johannesburg and I met him for lunch in the Devonshire Hotel, Braamfontein, and we crossed two streets to go to the office I was working out of and he must have been stopped by 15 people who wanted to shake his hand. We got into the office that I work out of and all the young Africans there almost fell on their knees. I went into a room and I interviewed him for an hour and a half or whatever and when we came out one of them in the meantime had run out and bought a camera and they wanted a whole series of photographs taken with him. He's a celebrity. What part do you say is real support that he's articulating, something that deep down a lot of people feel, not that he's going to set up another party? At least he said to me he would never set up another party, never.
GM He will always be ANC, yes.
POM But that to throw him on the dustbin or to say he's finished is to make a mistake.
GM He is going to fade that's a fact. Again, he has got a following but that following is going to erode. The following comes in this fashion where people feel that he was unfairly treated, there was no proper enquiry into the whole thing, there was no discussion about his problems, about what he was accused about and him putting his views across and they said even when the enquiry took place it took place when his expulsion was a fact and then those people actually strongly believe that the ANC was strong-handed in handling his case.
POM Do you think it was? Could it have been handled better?
GM Yes it could have been handled better, definitely, and fortunately I am happy that Mandela said so last week. The whole thing, the Stella Sigcau case, the Holomisa case, the Zuma case, and the Free State case of Terror Lekota could have been handled better.
POM Yes I was going to ask you about that in a minute. But just to finish off with Bantu, if there was a will, is there not a way of getting him back into the ANC and say, "OK you're in and you're a member and that's it Bantu, now go into private life and run for what you want." But do you have a constitutional right to belong to a political party of your choice?
GM Yes. No, no, Bantu thinks after a year or two or three he will be back within the fold of the ANC. That's no problem. And I could see him taking over from Joe Modise as Minister of Defence.
POM Anything over Joe would be an improvement.
GM Yes definitely so. Initially I thought he was going to be given that portfolio and I think Holomisa can walk back into the ANC and be the Minister of Defence.
POM But you do think he has a constitutional right to belong to a party?
GM To belong, yes he has got a constitutional right to belong to the party, any party, and even the ANC they can't throw him out. They can punish him, suspend him or do anything they want but they can't throw him out.
POM You're one of the few people who have put the issue that clearly because I keep bringing up the point that since political parties receive public funding for one thing you've a constitutional right to belong to anything that's publicly funded.
GM That is true.
POM Goodwill, on Patrick Lekota, here is a man I've admired for years and it saddened me to see the way in which this whole situation was handled. Again, is the ANC marginalising what might have been one of its best and its brightest in some way, through short-sightedness, or is there something wrong with a structure where I am elected Premier of a state by my caucus, I appoint my Cabinet, because that's the right of a Premier, and then the National Executive of my organisation can remove me as Premier so that in a sense I have no power, the power doesn't belong to me, the power belongs to the party? In this sense that means the power belongs to the National Executive Committee. Is that not slightly non-democratic?
GM I can see the angle at which you are looking at it. Patrick, I know him and I have known him for quite a number of years. You remember some time back when I told you that he was staying with my father-in-law, lodging with my father-in-law in Clermont whilst in Durban? He is married to a girl from Vryheid who we were with at varsity who takes me as her elder brother, so our relationship with Patrick is quite good. I have looked at the whole thing of Patrick and I looked at the ANC in toto. The ANC in the Free State started and popular people joined the movement, became prominent and quite a number of them were more populist within the structure where the guys knew and they had nothing else to offer except being popular with the communities, and some of them with us, which is a fact. And when they were elected by popular demand, people exercising their democratic right, they got into the provincial parliament and Patrick knew them and when they got in Patrick started telling these guys to toe the line and said, "Guys we are in government, the future of our province and of the name of our organisation is at stake and people are expecting a lot out of us. No corruption, you walk a straight line." And there are some people who had different agendas when they got into this and they had different backgrounds and different value systems, who couldn't change. He tried this, he tried - some of those guys did change, are already on Patrick's side, and again he has got a popular following in the Free State. When he tried to tell these guys what to do and what not to do, telling them to walk the straight and narrow, he became unpopular because he was actually stamping corruption in that province. Hence, he had this problem with Matosa, with Makashula and then those problems again, the ANC came in and did some first aid here and there saying, "Guys please, just cool it, you have got to learn to live with one another and you are doing this not for yourselves but for the people of the Free State and also for the organisation." Right, Patrick has made some utterances about the organisation which were not very good but, again, Patrick is a powerful guy, a good organiser.
Going back in history Patrick was sent down from the Free State to try and get Natal in order where membership and cohesion within the structures of the ANC were not there and he put them all in place. He actually got the hostel dwellers, as I told you the last time that you can find that the hostel dwellers in Daveyton, the hostel dwellers in S J Smith hostel next to Lamontville are pro-ANC because of Patrick. And you could move down to the South Coast, there are a lot of strong ANC structures which were built by Patrick which he did in the Free State too. What I think is going to happen, somebody within the NEC knows how strong and how clean Patrick is so he said, "Guys let's agree to one thing, stand aside and let's go and make an enquiry", and the results of the enquiry are going to exonerate Patrick and he will be eligible for re-election. They are not going to tell him that he is not going to be fit to be elected again and they will take him in, in the process getting rid of these elements. I think it's a purging system that they are doing. That's what I read into the whole thing. I may be wrong. They are purging the Free State of these guys because these guys carried on in their old ways and the community knows about them. Besides being popular during the hysteria of the elections now there is reality of these guys now not being activists but office bearers and doing whatever they are doing which the people know about and definitely I think the ANC is doing this for the purposes of purging the Free State of those people, without them coming back and being so effective as to be destructive to whatever structures that are built after the cleansing of the corrupt elements within the official structures.
POM So you would see that he still has a very bright future there?
GM Oh definitely yes, if it's a democratic thing he has got a bright future. Yes, definitely. If they say after their Congress, "Right you can stand for election", the people are going to vote him in.
POM Is Popo running into problems of a similar nature in the North West?
GM Well Popo has always had those problems because actually people in the North West, like Terror, those people actually say Popo doesn't belong, he was just imported into the area, he's an outsider. Like Terror, they think Terror is an outsider just because he was in Natal. Terror is a Free State guy and, again, you don't have to have a home-grown person to have all the leadership qualities that you need to build a structure.
POM Do you think Popo will survive?
GM Oh yes, that one, that is a shrewd diplomat and very honest, very, very honest. The way he got Malebane-Metsing who he had problems with for quite a long time, he got rid of him again by saying, "We are a government and corruption is out and we don't want it. It's either this or that, there is no grey about it. It's either black or white. It's either you are in or out. If you want corruption go out, not inside here." And he got rid of him and people thought that guy led a coup d'état that failed during the Mangope era and he is the most powerful guy who was actually foiled by the SADF, it was only the SADF that stopped him from being the President of Bophuthatswana. No, he can't do anything to Popo.
POM Mandela said when he was speaking yesterday, and it's very funny that no-one has picked it up, he was talking about the criticism that was being made of him or has been made of him for paying too much attention to whites and he said people don't really understand how close we got to the edge, that weeks before the election there was a plan afoot among whites to force a stop to the elections and that had to be taken care of. What was that?
GM Big business and some powerful whites were actually plotting. As you can see big business is not supporting the RDP and Masakhane and most of them are cynical about the economy and the way the economic policies are developed, just because of that. That is an aftermath of that.
And Mandela, again, has got to assuage the white populace, to know that there is a future for them. You know there is a problem that we have inherited here in South Africa that is whatever democracy that comes in it's going to be for blacks and for blacks only and it will end up by corruption and slide to poverty and that's what Mandela is fighting against. He would like to use each and every force, each and every element that he has got in the country to build the economy and to build the country, which he believes he spent 28 years for. He actually went to a point where he forgave the warder from jail because he is that type of a guy and if you saw the Sunday Times, the class of 1946 and those guys, he said what those guys were saying, they were actually telling you about the Mandela you see now, non-assertive but he just wanted fairness. Even at the time when those guys wanted to pick up arms against the Professor who was saying that there won't be any black Advocate in his life, Mandela said, "Leave him, he has got the right to say that", and philosophically he comes back and he says, "I think that Professor did a positive thing because that made me study in prison to pass my LLB." He is not bitter about him and he is the type of a guy who would like, though you have done him wrong, who would like you to be his friend and he mustn't be bitter about you because there is something constructive he can get out of you if he is sweet about you even though you did horrible things to him.
I think again the laying down of arms by the ANC was his brainchild because he doesn't believe in violence. A lot has been said about him and violence, uMkhonto weSizwe he started it, he was the Youth League leader, he was this, that and the other, but again he was just using it as the last resort when all else had failed and I think he was also overcome by events and also by the circumstances that were prevailing at the time, that you see that we have got absolutely no other option to negotiate except to do this, reduce their power and then we talk. He accepted it on those grounds, but that guy is totally against violence.
POM I think I might leave it there. It's been a long day. Thanks for coming over.