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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.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: Zuma, Jacob
POM Mr Zuma, perhaps I should begin by saying nothing that I record here will be published until the year 2000 when God knows what arrangements or who will be what, but could you for the record clarify for me what President Mandela actually said at the NEC regarding his successor?
JZ President Mandela didn't say anything new. He said what he has been saying all the time. He had to say that because he was misquoted at one point when he said what he was saying. The simple fact which was misreported by whoever it is that he was clarifying a report which said he had put his successor and he said, no, he didn't do so. He repeated what he has been saying to say he certainly would be leaving the presidency of the ANC next year December when we go for conference and said that the election, it is not an appointment, it's an election of a President who will take his place, is the business of the conference, no other structure in the ANC can do it as we all know it, that there were many competent leaders in the ANC who would qualify for the position, that the Deputy President, if conference elect him, he will support that because he thinks he qualifies for the job. In other words he expresses his view and his support as also a delegate in the conference, that would mean that if he would have to put his own cross he says where he will put his own cross. That's all he said. He is not putting a successor, he is merely saying here is a Deputy President already and if conference elected him as President he would support that because he thinks he is competent enough to be a President. That is what he said.
POM Is he saying that since he would have a vote in the selection of his successor that he would cast his vote for Mr Mbeki?
JZ Certainly. When he says he supports him he is telling us who he would vote for.
POM In an interview that President Mandela gave with The Sowetan to mark the halfway mark through his term in office he said, "We have had criticism from certain senior black journalists who assume that we have defeated whites on the battlefield and that whites are now lying on the floor helpless and begging for mercy and that we can impose conditions on them. They are not aware, for example, that a few weeks before the election we discovered a plan where the right wing wanted to stop the election by force." What plan did they become aware of, who was involved and how was it stopped and were their concessions made in order to stop it and if so what were the nature of those concessions and to whom were they made?
JZ No, I don't think I could talk about that plan. I am sure the President could given his position. He was in a position to have all the privileged information. I wouldn't be able to discuss the details of the plan but I certainly knew that there were plans in general terms to disrupt elections by the right wing.
POM Can you talk about it in a general way without going into specifics? Did it involve the armed forces, elements in the armed forces?
JZ From my point of view it would be in general terms. I am sure, as I say, those who had the specific knowledge could talk in terms of the specifics.
POM When you look at the country at its own halfway mark through the President's term, since June of 1994 what would you say has changed for the better in South Africa and what has changed for the worse?
JZ I think generally the country has changed for the better. June 1994 brought liberation, it liberated everybody in South Africa, it was freedom, it was a change. Those who had regarded themselves as a superior kind of grouping became the same. Those who were despised, for the first time they enjoyed equal rights with everyone. They had a right to have a say in the government of the day. Their dignity was brought back, they could feel we were citizens in our country. I think that also liberated those who had been oppressing because for the first time they could not live under fear of people who wanted to take their authority by force. The whole thing had rolled in through democratic process evolved from very unique negotiations in the country. We were ushering in the interim constitution which had very clear guidelines as to how the country was to be governed in the interim whilst the final constitution was being negotiated. That constitution at the centre of it was the spirit of reconciliation and the capacity to forgive and an articulation of what needed to be done to ensure that we entrench reconciliation and democracy in the country. Since then we have seen a government of national unity which again was a unique achievement of the people in this country, political parties, we have seen the negotiation of a constitution which is about to be completed, we have seen nine provinces emerging and being governed very much in accordance with what the world expects.
I think there has been an acknowledgement that even the interim constitution itself had innovations that other constitutions don't have in the world. I think this country has gained confidence. There has been an articulation of a more clear and progressive economic policy which has actually made the world financial institutions to accept that South Africa was within the framework of the kind of economic policies that you could expect. There has been achievement on a number of areas that the new government has come about, the beginning of addressing some of the deadlocks in the social atmosphere. I think there has been balance. The threat that the President talked about for example which came from the right wing has disappeared, the military threat. Everybody in the country feels South Africa is a country that is moving forward and indeed the governance that is in the country which is dominated by the ANC has brought the confidence within and outside South Africa. I think that has changed for the better in many respects.
There is hope, changes are taking place in every sphere. There is huge work being done in the area of health, education, transforming the important elements of things that are done in the country into a situation that is in keeping with the new dispensation. I believe that today if you met South Africans they would say to you before June 1994 they now have actually realised that change has produced a new thinking and a new confidence in the country. I would therefore say many things have changed for the better. We have made progress within 2½ years that was never made by any government in the history of this country in terms of addressing important issues, the common identity of a South Africa that we are all one kind of a nation which has been highlighted in a very serious sense by our different sporting codes. The unity of the country when our rugby team was playing the World Cup which it won, I think we almost took the world by storm and electrified the rugby world. Our soccer team that took the Continental Cup, the recognition that we are a rainbow nation, the performance by our cricket team, and I think the performance by our ministers in general terms. I accompanied the President going to England a few months ago wherein the international community both at a political level and economic level for the first time agreed that the question about the post-Mandela era was no longer a question in Britain because they had seen in action ministers who operate under Mandela, how efficient and clear they were in the job they were doing. I think a lot has come about. We are at this current moment beginning to participate in a serious sense in an attempt to address the problems in the continent of Africa. We are playing a role that everybody feels is a role that South Africa ought to play.
POM Let me give you my experience living here half the year and interviewing people on a continuous basis. This time, since I've come back in August, I've noticed a discernible change in attitude among whites that they are angrier, that they are more racist or far more prone to tell racist jokes, that they believe the country is in fact going the way of the rest of Africa, that their worst predictions are being realised, that the government is rife with corruption, even more corrupt than it was under the National Party and indeed I think a poll by IDASA indicated that a majority of the blacks sampled in the IDASA poll believe there was more corruption now than before, at least that was their perception. But I found whites more out of it than in it, more a feeling of exclusiveness than inclusiveness than existed in 1994 or even 1993.
JZ I don't think so. I think those are perceptions and also the manner in which people express themselves. I think we have made more gains even in terms of racial relations.
POM Why would people think that way?
JZ I think it's partly feeding into some propaganda. You see there was a belief, and this was a belief led by the NP, which began to go through the white minds, not everybody, I think the majority of the whites in practical life are accepting, I meet them everywhere in the plane confessing and they did not know what was happening, now they know better. The NP believed that we would be like the other African countries who will rule South Africa as they were and they pinned their hopes on that one. That's why they are still pinning their hopes. The reason the NP moved off from the government of national unity and declared itself as an opposition was it thought that it could criticise the government because the government could be moving in the same kind of old way. That's not true. I am telling you the head of the international bank was here, you have to listen to him talking about South Africa as different from other countries in Africa. Now we are talking about the man who knows economy, who knows how the policies are being shaped up, not a man who is speaking out of an attitude.
POM But this attitude seems to me from the people that I've talked to, and I talk to a wide cross-section of whites, to be taking a greater hold rather than diminishing, it's increasing whether it's regarding the Truth Commission as kind of a witch-hunt against the former government, they seem to show little remorse about what has been done in the past. They tell me they don't talk about it at cocktail conversations, these things are simply not discussed, it's far more important to talk about the axing of Francois Pienaar as captain of the Springboks, that's more important to them. I am saying there is an attitude, I get the feeling of an attitude and if it does exist why would it exist?
JZ I think we have got to get it right. It's not like that, it's not like that. Just the other issue I wanted to deal with is the issue of corruption that people talk about. You are faced, you know in 1994, as Mandela says, the right wing was ready to fight. Just take that as an example. There is no right winger today who wants to fight and you can't say you found anyone. They have moved from a position where they were not ready to accept a change to accepting the change and to me that is critical, that is important. Secondly, historically the NP government mounted such a powerful propaganda machinery that it painted us as terrorists, bad people and everything and hid a lot of debt that it was doing. What has happened, and me who walks around, who is known by many whites as an ANC, the majority of them come to me to say, "We did not know that our government was so dirty, it was killing people." They actually say there was more corruption which was not talked about during the apartheid days than what it is now. What is happening is the shock of the whites to hear, they don't want to hear that other whites were so dirty, killing people. That's the truth they are trying to grapple with. That's why they don't want to talk about it. It's too heavy stuff. That's why they must talk about the retirement of Pienaar because it's too heavy, naming people, people who were supposed to be civilised, Christians, up to the top. It's too much to talk about. And they feel, why are they revealing this? It's too ghastly to listen. That's the type of thing.
I think we should get it right because the truth in fact is coming out implicating from bottom to top. That is what is gripping the whites. They can't live with it, they can't handle it. In other words we are the most transparent government. The fact that people today talk about corruption and there is no corruption introduced by this government, we have taken the machinery of the apartheid which we are trying to clean and make it a machinery which is not abusing money. Anything that is talked about today we investigate. There is nothing that is not being investigated. What they are talking about it's not what you will hear the NP government did, they are talking about things that ministers are doing in an attempt to deal with issues.
Let me just quote one example. The Minister of Health in an attempt to fight AIDS, which is finishing the population, takes out 14 million rands to organise a play to preach to the people. You can't say that's corruption, but it's being branded as a corruption. Now it's not. It's being made to look like corruption using the old machinery. The minister is trying to deal with AIDS as an issue and the money is there, you can see it. That department used to be almost a hideout of many, many wrong things. Now because those issues are discussed, they are taken to the Public Protector, they are taken to everybody, they then wanted to use it as if this government is corrupt. It's actually not. I still want to see evidence that is going to say here is a minister who has eaten so many millions, he has banked it to his own bank account or he or she has actually taken it away and nobody knows where it is. There is nothing that you can look at done by this government currently. So all what is being sung about as corruption is actually imagination, trying to bring propaganda to say there is corruption there. There is nothing.
POM Is this partly the fault of the media which is still mainly white controlled?
JZ I was coming to that specific point that what you have here is the media machinery that worked for the previous regime that is still working for it, that actually has a particular approach towards the ANC, which is basically white controlled, whose intention of those who control it should actually be to criticise the ANC all the time. That is what we are looking at. It's not a reality. It's what people say, what people try to interpret or imagine. For example, before we went for local government elections the propaganda was that the ANC has lost support but when we went to elections we actually won more than we did during the big elections. So what I'm saying is the NP, for example, when they pulled out they thought there was going to be an earthquake, but nothing happened. They thought the world, the whites would lose confidence, it did not happen. Instead the world is acknowledging South Africa as moving according to what is expected. I am saying if the head of the international finance comes here and actually says South Africa is on the correct path, what else do you want, because he's talking about real facts. So that's a reality.
POM Are there still, do you think, elements of an organised or disorganised third force out there, whether they are in powerful positions in the media or whether they are in the police? A lot of people have suggested to me that part of the reason for the rise in crime is that still there are serious elements in positions of power within the police force who make sure nothing is done to solve crime or who engage in crime themselves. It's as though they want to show, again, that by making sure that the policing isn't good they want to show crime increases and that happens under black rule.
JZ Definitely. I think you are dealing with a very sophisticated community. The NP government ran sophisticated informer machinery, ran third force. Those have never been dismantled and they are using them in order to undermine the activities of the government. If you take the police, they are a glaring example. There is a big percentage of the police force who have been arrested who are part of the crime. In the taxi war they are there, they own taxis, they are part of it. In political violence they are there. There have been cases revealing chilling kind of evidence of how police and soldiers have actually participated. There is an illusion that in fact by so doing you could undermine the government of the ANC and perhaps down the line people could begin to vote against it. There is that illusion and therefore they are continuing to do such things as well as part of the press or media that actually continues to do so. We have, for example, as a government not done what other governments previously have done, we have not monopolised the media to report what government does. We have allowed them to be critical and they are critical of the government and we think that's healthy.
POM It's actually one of the few political parties, I think any place in the world, that doesn't have a single newspaper supporting it.
JZ Exactly. We are one of the few. All political parties have got their newspaper as a mouthpiece, we are not doing it. I have often said the media here is failing to use us as a lesson to other political parties. We are the only transparent party in this country. That is why there is more talk about our party because it's business is generally known. In other parties you don't know what is happening because they are not transparent and they are not being criticised. In fact the media is abusing our being transparent instead of saying yes there are positives and negatives. Now the question of the police is actually a thorny one because that's where the problem is, that's where a lot of schemes were made which we have to deal with and it cannot take 2½ years to undo the kind of the schemes that were done for decades in the police force, nor to change their perception and their manner of operation. It's going to take a long time. The revelations that are coming will tell you what type of people we are dealing with, people who could undermine their own laws and subvert them and they still continue. It's going to take a long time. What in general few whites, not many, not ordinary whites, those who were steered, they begin to feel that we are not making the mistakes they hoped we would make so that they could criticise. That is why they try to find any excuse, they want to imagine that we are like any other African country. We are absolutely not. We are a different country and I am saying they are not the better judges here, the better judges would be people looking objectively into this country and those who are looking objectively, all countries in the world, Europe and elsewhere, they recognise the progress we are making, the correct positions we are taking. Only the South Africans, not many, few, the ones you are referring to as racist who would actually harbour and keep those kind of ideas which are backward, which are not going to help them.
POM Would you say, and this is a two part question, that in the last 2½ years whites in general have gotten better off, worse off or that their standard of living has remained about the same, and the same thing with regard to the black community? In general would you say the standard of living for blacks has gone up, stayed the same or gotten worse?
JZ I don't think that's an easy one simply because the gap between these two was too big. To narrow the gap is going to take a lot of time and a lot of resources. I think what we have tried to do has been to create the situation where we maintain the standards but we try to uplift the standards of those who were disadvantaged. It's a huge task to undertake. I think it's going to take a long time. It's going to take a long time for people to notice that in fact things have changed. My own feeling is the fact that we have created an atmosphere of all of us feeling we belong to this country, we are citizens of this country, we have got to do everything to better our lives, is in itself an improvement from the time where you had conflictual kinds of interests within the community. Today people, at the lower levels, who were not exposed to medical treatment they are not exposed. They have got to be done. So they don't suffer now. In other words we have uplifted certain things to a certain level. We are changing education so that we have got one education so that the quality of education whilst we maintain it but we are saying everybody should be at the same par. Now I think there is a visible action to try to bring about parity. Of course, as I am saying, you are dealing with the damage of many years, it cannot be an overnight affair, it's going to take a long time but I think there are visible signs that we are moving towards that area. I think you can't say the standards of living have gone down in South Africa, they haven't.
POM I said the standards of livings of whites, if they were saying our standards of living were going down would they be really lying to themselves?
JZ Not at all, that's just imagination, just imagination. It's nothing of that sort. It's their imagination. What has happened in this country is that as we got freedom we have seen quite a remarkable inflow of foreigners coming into here, they have got their dynamics, etc., but we have seen an attempt to uplift the standard and of course psychologically those whites would say the standards have gone down. They haven't, they have not gone down. That would seriously be a racist remark.
POM Let me ask you three questions, one on KwaZulu/Natal. Here the remarkable achievement has been the reduction or almost total elimination of political violence. You played a central role in that, in the negotiations over the years and in trying to mediate and re-mediate. How did it finally happen?
JZ Well you would know that the negotiations between the IFP and the ANC in terms of dealing with violence here started a while back. I personally got involved since 1990 as I returned back into the country. It has been very difficult up to the time of elections. We never stopped. But I think it took a turn just this year, much as in other times, we achieved a lot of it but it went backwards and forwards but some time this year it took a turn when both the IFP and the ANC decided to take a different approach to the problem. In other words where we decided to meet not to pile accusations and score points but to say because we all talk about peace, we want peace, what is it that makes us not achieve peace? We looked at the history of the two organisations, which are basically from the same stem, and said where did we go wrong? I think through that process where we made our presentations we discovered in fact that there was very little that we were fighting about and I think there was a recognition that in fact the government has been responsible in perpetuating this. We then believe that violence was not helpful for our government in the province, whether for the IFP or the ANC and then committed ourselves to work for peace. I think that was the critical point because as we have always argued, that if the IFP and the ANC in the province had not committed themselves to peace, no matter who brought peace initiatives, it would not work. As soon as that happened it was easy to get the religious forces, for example, coming into play, the initiatives by the King coming into play.
Another thing was the relations between His Majesty the King and the President of the IFP had gone very bad. It was important also to tackle that because again it was not benefiting anyone and I think both parties, leaders in these parties, were ready to work genuinely to ensure that that is also brought to bear. And I think everybody has realised that we mean business and of course we succeeded really to break the back of the political violence in the province when we went to local elections, I think it surprised people because by the time we went they were peaceful. And since then political violence has been under firm control in the province and I have no cause to believe that it could come back. I think if anything, with time, it will actually diminish and actually get finished totally. The records by the police indicate that political violence in some months it has been zero. So I think it has been at the end of the day the approach that both the IFP and the ANC took at a particular time to tackle this issue.
POM On the local elections there was almost this split where the ANC took all the urban areas with large majorities, and some cases like Pietermaritzburg stunning majorities, and the IFP won the rural areas and some people put their analysis in terms of the IFP being a party that has its support in traditional society, in rural society, and the ANC being a party that has its support in the urban developing sector of the country. One, would you agree with that analysis? Two, if you do, does it mean that the IFP have problems, that they are really becoming a regional party with a diminishing base of support because as the rural base diminished their base of support will diminish too? And three, to be a force nationally do you think they have to do some serious restructuring?
JZ The IFP was never in a serious sense really a national party, it has always been a regional party. I know that it had some support in the Gauteng province but beyond that really you couldn't count on it. Also the feeling that the support is divided into two between the rural and the urban, superficially yes, but in reality it is not. The ANC in this province has more support. What people don't realise is that there has been a level of intimidation in the rural areas that has been so high that ANC supporters had to remain silent or forcefully support the IFP because of the level of intimidation. You are talking about a structure, traditional structure that the history of the KwaZulu government, the IFP and the manner in which it operated you could not distinguish those and you are therefore talking about the kind of traditional leaders who had to identify with the IFP whether they like it or not. So we are talking about intimidated kind of people, therefore the assessment and evaluation of them has never been correct because we are talking about people who would go one way when they did not want to because of the level of intimidation. The intimidation is just intimidation alone, it actually means death. So we have contested that, that even at the voting system now, some people are voting in a particular way because of intimidation. You will recall that when we went for elections we still had no-go areas the majority of which were in the countryside, in the rural areas. But you will also recall that the results showed that we are beginning to make inroads where there were areas wherein violence was no longer that high and as soon as we got to those areas the support changed. So I would argue that it's a superficial one, it's not a scientific thing that the rural areas belong to the IFP. I think we have the support of the majority here but what has limited our support has been the nature of violence and the nature of how the political competition takes place in the rural areas that has inhibited ANC support to come up in the open.
POM Is that changing with the diminution, the post-election diminution in political violence or are there still a substantial number of what you would call no-go areas out in the rural areas where if you were an ANC supporter you would keep your mouth shut?
JZ To some degree, not very pronounced, but I think it is slightly changing and I think if the peace process comes in it will certainly change, but I can't say it has changed radically. There are areas where we have not necessarily had meetings now even if there is relative peace so I wouldn't say it has changed radically. I think the tolerance has dominated and we have not, both organisations have not undertaken certain actions really to move robustly to areas that are under the influence of the other. I think there has been a mutual respect, also to try to give peace a chance so that when such time comes it will actually be known that there is absolutely no problem.
POM Two last questions. One is on what is reported in the media about tensions within the ANC alliance, particularly regarding the macro economic plan with the SACP being unhappy with many aspects of it and COSATU being unhappy with other aspects of it and its emphasis on privatisation, on the reduction of the deficit, on the involvement of the private sector. Some people talk about that at some point there must be a political realignment, that the glue that held the alliance together was apartheid and that once apartheid is sufficiently buried that the alliance will split into natural different political formations. Do you think that's wishful thinking on the part of people? Do you see the alliance as an entity that is going to hold together over the next 15, 20 years, not through this election but through the one following that at least?
JZ I think it's over-simplification of the situation when people say the alliance is going to die, it is now getting into trouble. Firstly I think people fail to understand that in politics ideas cannot always be the same and in politics at times there is vigorous debate. It would depend how the debate is carried on. If the debate is carried on internally people are not seeing it, they might think all is well. I think what is happened is the style of openness of the alliance, of the transparency on the views. They don't keep quiet because one partner is doing something, they express their views and people are not used to this and they see it as the fight. It's not. I think we are discussing issues, there are no fundamental differences, and again it would be a fallacy for people to think that within the alliance there would be no difference on any other issue. Even within the ANC, even within any other organisation people do hold different views on specific things. I think it is a question of how people handle them. You see if you talk about the alliance here it's not like the alliance you have seen in other areas where there is one organisation there and another organisation there. The majority of members of different parties in the alliance are actually members of the ANC in the majority. That is a plus to our situation. You are not talking about people if they were belonging to the South African Communist Party, they belong to it and it alone, you are talking to people who are also card carrying members of the ANC. The greater majority in COSATU you are talking about members of the ANC. So you are not talking about organisations that are so mutually exclusive. Now this is what people miss and therefore they look at it as if you are looking at three different entities and yet in fact these are the same people but of course the issue that emerges of governance, the issues of trade unionism, the issues of the Communist Party will always remain. The other thing that people are not able to pick up is that at every given time the politics of transformation are always complicated. You are faced with one issue upon the other in a new situation, in a changing situation, you have got to take a particular stance and approach. Now all of that has to bring a lively debate. Now when then people begin to say we don't agree with this one they then misread it and even over-read it to a point where they think the alliance is going. Because of the nature I have just explained this alliance is going to stay longer than any other alliance you have seen before.
POM Almost the last question until you throw me out the door. The constitution provides for a multiparty system yet here at the moment you very clearly have a situation of where you have one party that's way dominant, where many people would say there's no effective opposition to it, it's its own opposition, many people have said to me, for the very reasons you've just talked about. Do you think that in the next election it would be better for the country for the other parties to do better than they have done in the past or do you think it better for the country that the ANC do even better because what the country needs in the foreseeable future is a strong government that can bring about the fundamental transformational changes that are necessary?
JZ I don't think there will be much changes in the coming two or three elections really because it is not what we wish. People wish we should have strong opposition. Now oppositions don't emerge simply because we want them. It's a question of the political reality, it's a question of policies. What policies are these parties putting across in order to govern the country? The critical point at this point in time is that no opposition to the ANC is able to provide or produce any alternative better policy to run the country. That's the fact, that's the reality. It's going to take a long time for any party to develop such matured policies as the ANC have and as long as that happens the ANC will be dominant. Now I want to see which party really can do that. I don't think the Nationalist Party is in a position and capable to produce any policy that could be better than those of the ANC. I don't think the IFP is capable of doing so. I don't talk of the DP or the PAC or the ACDP. So the reality that people must be looking at is, is there any better policy that is being produced which is going to show if that policy is able to say what the ANC is doing is actually not correct, we can do it better. That's what will appeal. Now I don't think there is any party that is able to do so and that is what is going to determine whether the opposition you have is going to be your traditional opposition as you have it, which is just going to be a voice to criticise more than anything for a long time to come. They can't change the scale because I think the ANC government is the better government, it has better policies. I have never picked up a single paper now that comes from any of the parties I've mentioned which says they could produce a better government in this country with better policies. I haven't picked up anyone. All you can hear is them criticising the policies of the ANC, nothing beyond that. Even then not the entire policy, certain things, even then some of them actually say the ANC is not implementing its own policy because they agree with it. They say it made promises, they agree with the promises, the only thing is they are not fulfilling it. That's what it is. You will agree with me there is no-one who is producing anything better.
POM Two very last quick ones, one is on Bantu Holomisa. Again, the President said that in retrospect he thought the matter could have been handled better. I have talked to, in fact, a large number of people and I have interviewed the General after his expulsion and after he filed papers, and there is a surprising degree of support for him that surprised me because I walked with him up and down a street in Johannesburg and I was on an aeroplane with him once when he just came from the Eastern Cape. He badly wants back in, he just wants to get back into the ANC. Given that you've negotiated, the ANC have negotiated with the enemy, with the apartheid regime, is it not possible to find a way to bring this man back into the fold when all he does at rallies around the country is to praise the ANC and the President or do you think there are other agendas afoot?
JZ Holomisa has to behave. He has not behaved so far and he has been misled by thinking that as Holomisa he has the support. Holomisa got the support because he was in the ANC. Once he is not in the ANC he is not going to have that support because no people who are supporting him will support anybody else outside the ANC. What you are seeing as still the support of him is because those people still think that he can come back to the ANC. The ANC has a history, it has had leaders, experienced, who have been expelled from the ANC who couldn't go away and split the ANC. I think Holomisa has to learn how to handle himself in relation to the ANC. I think he misbehaved and the ANC acted against him. There is no amount of rallies he is going to be making that will help him. He will have to do the right thing. He is not doing the right thing right now and I don't think we are discussing this issue. To us the book is closed, we are moving forward. He's not an important fellow, he is not going to be an important issue for us. Whatever he does that is his own thing. We are going on with our business as usual. We could not tolerate his behaviour particularly when he started criticising the ANC wrongly. We couldn't stand for that and we would never stand for any member to do so. People who stay in the ANC are people who behave and there are many of us, here we are. We don't do what Holomisa is doing so to us it's not an issue. The issue is we move forward. Whatever he says, if for example he was doing anything, if he was doing what he is doing in a different way it would be something else, not in the manner in which he is doing.
POM Is there any way for him back in, in terms of behaving himself?
JZ No, I think that depends on him, not on us.
POM And finally Patrick Lekota whom I have known for years and admired for years, and maybe I don't understand the structures on the way things work. My understanding was that a provincial legislature, that the legislature chose the Premier and the Premier chose his Cabinet and yet here you have a situation of where the National Executive of a political party steps in and in effect tells the Premier and everybody in his Cabinet to resign or suggests it, and they in fact replace them so the provincial Cabinet and the Premier is subject to the authority of the National Executive of the party. Is that the way - you know what I'm saying?
JZ I understand you very well. I don't know why you should be surprised. There is no Premier who is a Premier out of nowhere. They are all coming from the political party. They are answerable and accountable to the party, including the President and everybody else. The President of this country is the President of the ANC. No one person can be above the ANC. He can't be. ANC provided in the proportional representation at the moment, provided leaders who stood not for themselves but for the ANC. One election on the votes of the ANC. You then have the constitutional process wherein once a Premier is elected by the ANC majority in the legislature, not just the legislature in general terms, by the ANC majority, without the ANC majority it would not have an ANC Premier, once then he is elected we have given him a confidence that he can form an executive. He does so. He has no right to do whatever he wants. It has to be because even the government policy of the national or Free State is ANC policy, so you can't do anything. Then you have a problem where the Premier fights with other leaders, there is in-fighting for 2½ years. He is not capable as a leader to solve the problem and lead, he is part of the problem, he leads a faction against another faction. You can't say he is a provincial leader, he is a faction leader within the ANC. The ANC intervenes to try to talk to them to make them talk. For 2½ years they can't just solve the problem. Now no ANC is going to leave that situation to continue because finally that kind of in-fighting undermines the ANC at the end, not an individual. It therefore undermines the government of the ANC. They stand in public, swear at each other, do all sorts of things. Now no ANC could stand for that. Then the National Executive Committee of the ANC that put all of them on the list for them to go there has to intervene. And the ANC intervenes by them making the Provincial Executive to resign and the executive government to resign so that you remove the fighting leaders because they are not leading, they are fighting, so that you introduce stability, so that you have got that province functioning properly. We are correctly within our rights. If we left that, that ANC would have been destroyed in that province. We would have no ANC, just factions. Now no ANC could stand for that. That's why we moved in and we are very much within our rights, very correct.
POM And will he be able to stand for the interim?
JZ Not for interim otherwise we would not have said he should resign. He can't, not for the interim.
POM OK. I could ask you questions for another hour but I know.
JZ That is not going to be possible.
[POM NOTE: I should compare his remarks with the IDASA opinion poll issued in September 1996 called "Opinion Poll Vol. 2, Issue 1, September 1996" which paints a rather different picture of what whites feel about the performance of government. White approval of parliament's performance, for example, stands at 24%. It's just the entire poll that contradicts many of the very strong assertions Mr Zuma makes.]