About this site

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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

02 Dec 1996: Gqozo, Oupa

Click here for more information on the Interviewee

Click here for Overview of the year

POM     Brigadier, let me start again, I'm sorry for the interruption. I said there were three or four things that I would be interested in hearing you talk about or follow up on. One is this has been a very difficult year for you, you had your illness, the result of a lot of stress accumulated probably over many years. Secondly, you've had your recovery, we hope which is going well. We had your testimony before the Truth & Reconciliation Commission regarding the Bisho massacre, We had the disparaging remarks made a member of the commission concerning your testimony. We had the sharp rebuke from Archbishop Tutu to members of the commission to stick to looking at the facts and not to making commentary and partial commentary on what people said. And there's the possibility, I don't know how real it is, of the commission saying that you would be recalled to give testimony in camera and your response to that. And then there's your family, what's happening to the children, how they are doing, where they are and to your own life and circumstances. So maybe if we started with the events that led up to your illness and how you have been doing since your recovery, or how your recovery is proceeding.

OG     Thank you very much, let us drink first, let us have coffee first. I would hate to have it getting cold. Yes, Padraig, that has been a very big blow for me to find myself out in the cold as it is said. I expected it because I knew that I was a military ruler and I was never really a politician but I wanted to make a contribution because I realised that there was a need for my contribution in this country especially if the way I was expecting the ANC to be, it has not disappointed me, it is exactly the way it is and the way I thought it would be and the way I anticipated it would be, arrogant, more oppressive and repressive, more undemocratic and even more corrupt, even more inefficient, completely - just the opposite. In actual fact I used to say it in all my speeches, everybody will bear testimony to that. At first I didn't mind, I said all right, anything is better than being in that situation I have been in when I was the leader because I was being insulted by rude little boys of the ANC, people who knew nothing about administration and who cared less, but who naturally had an agenda to vilify me, discredit me as much as possible and win as many votes as possible. So I took it, it was political and let the best bully or let the best hooligan win the elections.

     But after that I was so frustrated and completely disillusioned by what was happening, especially when I know that the Ciskei government had invested so much money in studies, in feasibility studies, in surveys and all sorts of investigations and things, trying to map out what would be best for the economic development of this province taking into consideration that we always looked ahead and we knew that one day Ciskei would be from here to Gamtoos, from Transkei or whatever. So what I saw as a golden opportunity of running a very good country with good potential I saw it being wasted on the altar of politics and sort of just being wasted by politicians who knew nothing about politics but who were heavyweights in rudeness and in violence and in distortion and in all these things.

     So I got very frustrated. I wanted to know what is wrong with me, am I really the bad guy? So all these thoughts started coming back and I am now penniless, I am now helpless, is democracy really - what is happening? Is it really democracy that people should just at the whim of an individual or individuals be denied the basic rights to life? Are these the real human rights' upholders who are treating me like this, and all this and all that? All those frustrations were compounded by the fact that my lawyers deserted me, I couldn't get anybody getting anything for me. My severance package, my farms were seized, there were stupid commissions, completely uncalled for statements by government officials concerning me, exposing me to untold dangers and possible reactions from cranks and people who didn't understand what it's all about.

POM     Do you receive a pension as a result of your ...?

OG     No nothing at all, nothing. The way I have been living is completely unheard of anywhere. It's impossible in actual fact. I've had so many judgements, my things were taken, everything has been taken. I had to go and re-negotiate them back. I have had to sell everything I had. I've had to do a lot to keep - and in the meantime my children at school, all these things were so bad and then I realised that here I cannot re-adjust, here I am slap bang back into the community which I used to lead and with people promoting hatred as much as possible against me, and all these things were making me crazy so I went on to Zimbabwe initially to go and retrieve my kombis which I had bought and I had tried to make a joint venture with some Zimbabwe nationals there, but it seems that they also ran away with my kombis and I was not getting any money from them. When I got there the kombis were involved in crashes, they were not insured, one was involved in a police sort of snarl-up where this man was found with one of the kombis coming from Zambia, having illegal items in the kombi and he was arrested. And my whole ...

POM     How many kombis?

OG     Two, I bought two brand new. So the whole thing flopped and I couldn't get anything out of those people and the whole thing being under police investigation it's a mess. But it helped me in one thing, I could mingle with ordinary people there, with no-one knowing me I could sit back and watch civil society, how people feel. I could identify with some of their problems, with some of their situations, many people are very poor there. I could go into a bus rank where there are thousands of people milling around, I could sleep under a tree, I could sleep in a dungeon, I could go anywhere, I could go and look for menial things to do. I could just be myself for some time but because of the type of life I lived there I think my health suffered, I was under stress, I was completely psychologically - there was no help.

POM     Was your wife with you?

OG     No, I didn't even tell my family where I was going. Initially they knew I was going there but when I got there my finances dried up, my car broke up. I had a case here to come and attend for the diamond dealing in Kimberly, those dates passed and I lost track of my legal representative, so I couldn't phone. It's hell expensive to phone from Zimbabwe to here, the telephone communication system is very backwards anyway in that area. I had all these things compounded in my head and I really, really, really went to the edge. Then I found my way back, I left my car there broken, everything, the gear box had packed up, the whole thing was - the Customs people were hassling me so I lost, I lost everything I have and then I came back. When I came back I decided to contact my lawyers, tell them I'm here, I don't know what's my situation concerning the Warrant of Arrest. Then they advised me. They put, we will make negotiations, we will talk to these people, we will talk to the prosecutors.

POM     Now who was prosecuting you at that point?

OG     For the diamond case in Kimberly, I don't know his name, but we also got into contact with the investigating officer who had come looking for me at my house. My wife told me what his name is and then he left his phone number, so we phoned him this Warrant Officer Kock. He's a very good professional, really, the way he treated me, the way he really gave me courage and hope to proceed and face my life because when I came back I just told myself I've got to go through all these things, let me just go through them, let me not try and - because my worry was money and I was really, really thinking that without money I can do nothing. But I decided, all right, I haven't got money but I have got my senses around with me so let me deal with these things, let me go through it no matter how bad it is, whether I go into a cell, whether I'm incarcerated I don't care a damn. I am there now, let me just deal with it. So I went there, the officer came and fetched me, and then my lawyer realised that I was too emotional, I was very, very edgy, I was completely unhealthy and she decided that, thanks to her woman's instincts because I don't think I realised how much far deep in danger I was.

POM     This is Sally?

OG     Sally Collet, yes, she's quite a great woman I think, really. She organised a psychiatrist to see me after I had given her my assurance that all right, anything that will help me restore my sanity, because I was feeling completely down and I was feeling completely lack of self-confidence, I was feeling dirty, I was feeling as if I am to blame for everything in the world because of the pressures that I have been having and the fact that I couldn't see any light, so I just thought this is the end of the world. The psychiatrist came and they realised that I was far too - it is just that I am strong, strong will, but I was dangerous to myself at the time so she recommended that I go to hospital. But I had to deal with this case so I said all right, let me deal with this thing.

POM     The Kimberly case?

OG     The Kimberly case. She wrote her recommendation and her findings that under the circumstances I'm in I've got to be given a chance, I can't be incarcerated because it will just make me - in the name of humanity and things like that, whatever they do they should never incarcerate me. That already gave me a hope. So I went there, the policeman who came ...

POM     You went to Kimberly?

OG     The policemen who came to fetch me were very helpful, very sympathetic, they were very, very human and when we got there they made sure that the following day I would go to the court for trial and the magistrate was also very, very - I must say I don't care, you've got to do your job, but do it in a human manner even if you have to be tough, be a human being. That's what these people showed me and I was very, very happy and that made me realise that I can still fight for my own direction again, I can pick up. Then I came back. I was supposed to go straight from there to this commission.

POM     Now what did the Magistrate in Kimberly say?

OG     I was sentenced to five years, three years or five years suspended for I don't know how many years, but R10,000 fine and then I have to pay it from November and December in two instalments of R5000 each and I haven't got the money yet. I was given two months in which to try and collect that money. I don't know what I am going to do right now, I haven't got it and I don't know where I'll get it because my money is still being held by the government and the fact that I want to sell one of my farms to raise some money, I am denied that access to my own private properties in a country that claims to be a democratic country.

POM     How much money is the government freezing altogether?

OG      R1,3 million which was at that time in 1994 when I resigned. By now, because they have got to pay me the rent, the interest, everything, I am sure it will be close to three million now. But be it as it is now I can't go in all those things at one time. I've got to take one thing at a time, so now we are dealing with these things. We dealt with the Heath Commission investigating my properties. It found nothing and it withdrew.

POM     Which commission was that?

OG     The Heath Commission which was investigating my farms. Judge Heath Commission which was investigating my farms and all these properties. So it withdrew its charges on me. Now there is a cynical thing there, although it withdrew there are some members of the commission who keep on phoning the Deeds Office and other departments which ought to process my sale of the farm to another person, with threats, veiled threats that if we were you we wouldn't touch it because it may still be taken in another act which is still being considered and there may be a certain different tribunal which may deal with him. So to me it is a complete, complete charade of a democracy what we are having here and I can tell you now, judging by what is happening, all these arrogant autocratic and bullying sort of decisions which are imposed on people daily in this country, I think we are going to witness the worst of a communist dictatorship at its worst here and no-one will say anything because the world is shaking when it looks at Mandela and all his cronies.

POM     To go back to after you saw the psychiatrist and you dealt with the Kimberly case. Did they then recommend that you have treatment?

OG     Yes they recommended that I have treatment at a psychiatric hospital in Queenstown but this thing, the Truth Commission was due to sit immediately. I came back on Saturday and on Monday I had to go to the TRC. I was ready to go, preparing to go, we consulted with my lawyer on Monday. We were supposed to go there on Tuesday. My lawyer was very disturbed by the way I was. My attitude was completely bad and I was prepared to, I was inclined to have outbursts and blurt out and she thought that it would be unprofessional of her to allow me in that state to go in front of any - she knew how hostile those commissioners were towards me. She went and postponed that thing with good reasons, medical reasons, but still despite that they raised the ... and a lot of this and that and that and that which I think if I was a rich person with money they wouldn't have done that to me because I would have sued their pants off because I think they are just bloody cheeky and very, very out of line, way out of line.

POM     How long did you spend in hospital?

OG     Two weeks.

POM     If you don't mind me asking, what did they treat you for?

OG     It was actually for depression, yes. What they did there was very - the gist of the matter is that the doctors they are very professional. They took me back and let me look at all the positive things in my life and concentrate on them and revel in them and try and get my confidence back in terms of all the successes that I have had instead of looking at one, one problem that I am experiencing in my life which is of a financial nature. They pointed to me, after taking me back from birth what are the things that I can be thankful for and so on. And then after about a week I started to really change my perception of myself and of life and of course what is most important, which I will never forget, which those doctors told me, he said if you hate yourself, right now you hate yourself, you can't forgive yourself, you blame yourself for what your children might possibly suffer in the future, what you cannot provide for your wife and children, this, this, this, you gave your life and soul to politics and they have disappointed you, you hate yourself. You tell yourself you were stupid to do this, you shouldn't have. He said look at all the good things that you did and that you believed you were doing. Don't look at what people are saying you did. Forgive yourself before you can expect other guys to forgive you and like yourself and love yourself before you can expect somebody else to love you. You reflect what you want people to be. And as for you saying that you can't go out, you can't do this, you are compounding your problem. You are busy putting yourself in jail. Before anyone can put you in jail you already tell yourself I'm restricting myself to go there. Go, go, go, go to Checkers, go to OK, go to the horses, go and go to the beach. Let anyone who wants to say anything say it and you will deal with it. If there are people who want to kill you let them come, do whatever. Don't put yourself in your own jail.

     So that really made things open and I think within that two weeks I was already saying, the first week I was already saying I'm ready to go to that Truth Commission that I am no beast. You need to stay a month but I stayed two weeks and then I came back. Healthwise I think the damage that was done by that period of stress and all these tensions and all these things, from the time I was still small at school I had these tensions and I had never realised because I was in a very remote area, but I realise now looking back that I had my first bouts of stress when I was about 14, 15, 16 years and when I wrote matric the doctor said I must not look at books. It was exam time and he said you will never be able to, you have just got to go and rest and forget about reading, but I went and I got blanked out in the exam and I failed my matric and then I had to supplement it and write again. But all those things were not treated, the causes were very deep-rooted in the way I was brought up with no mother and with problems around my immediate family, my father, my step-brother, all these things come back, and the way I was poor, the way I was actually an outcast amongst other people, my classmates. I was respected for what I am but when it comes to going on trips, going to places, I was never there. When people were going to buy sweets or whatever during lunch breaks I could never buy anything so I had to be given or people had to run away from me because I always had nothing. So all those things undermined my confidence but in a way it made me a very confident person, but too confident perhaps with a little bit of a vengeance. So all these things really I tried, I started, they took me through all that, they made me realise all those things. So I should say what came out of my having had all these problems perhaps could have solved me a lot of my problems. I may have nothing but I feel very rich spiritually and I've come to read a lot of books about spirituality and all these things I have always wanted to believe I believed in but I couldn't just put my finger on it.

POM     Do you go to church?

OG     Yes I have a very strong church connection and I have a very strong connection with my pastors who come and counsel me regularly, who come here with church choirs and preach.

POM     This church is?

OG     International Assemblies of God. And of course where my children are going to school, Abundant Life Christian Centre here, they also regard me very jealously as their member although of course I am not officially related to them, but by school and I am involved in many activities. We are going really well on that line. It has made me feel that all these things I can transcend above them so I don't have a problem now. It's only now that I have got to take one thing at a time, get my financial position back, work my farm. I am doing as much as I can now. I have got my tractor, I am ploughing, I am doing this, I am doing that and it's just that it's been raining so much all my fields are wet, my tractor cannot move in, but I have started some vegetable places. I am really going and I think that that in general is going to help.

POM     It's also therapeutic working a farm, working with your hands.

OG     Yes. As you can see I am just wearing my fatigues. It is just that I have got this 'flu and I'm down but usually you would find me in the fields doing something there and making sure that I am always active, forget everything, not sit around and all that, and read. I am reading a hell of a lot. As you can see I have got too many books, I have never been able to read but now I am reading. I have been buying books. I have been an impulsive book buyer. Wherever I go I just buy six books, ten books and so on, then I never had a chance to read. Many I read half or I just take out the chapters. But then I read them because I wanted to use the material as research for my speeches and for this and that. Many people think I'm a boffin in all these things, I am a master of this, of that that I have spoken about but they wouldn't believe when I say I just read that thing that night or that morning and I went and spoke about it. To me it has always been to serve and to conscientise people to inform them but I have gone over the fact that I was always feeling that I had never looked after my own future and I was hating myself. But now I've got over that. It's got to go, it has happened. What I did I did and so on.

POM     Do you feel stronger, that you're regaining your vitality and your self-confidence?

OG     Yes I've regained those. It's just that really, as the bible says, as a man you need to have money, you need to have equipment to look after your family. You are not a man if you cannot provide for anything, be it as a father, as a husband, as anything. You cannot really be a man if you don't have money so that part I am looking for self-fulfilment in within due course. I think with the type of spiritual attitude I have it will come also.

POM     So are you looking forward to the future with optimism, that you can deal with whatever problem arises and begin living?

OG     Yes. I think this is a blessing in actual fact because I believe that. I was in Austria and in Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, all these places I travelled. You know looking at those people and asking them, "Why are you so successful? Why are you so enthusiastic about life? Why are you so productive? Why are doing this?" In Taiwan, in every other place they told me that the ravages of war have taught us a lot of things. The whole thing was razed down to the ground, we suffered, people died, we had nothing but we built these old things with our own hands and that's why we are so resolute these days and so on. So to me I think that out of the ruins and all this devastation I will come up tops, definitely a better man actually.

POM     Your appearance before the Truth Commission regarding Bisho. First, do you feel any personal guilt about what happened that day or do you think it was something that happened that shouldn't have happened but nonetheless happened? Or do you feel that in a way the people who participated in that march brought the catastrophe upon themselves because they didn't keep to agreements that had previously been made regarding how they would approach the march and what they would do?

OG     Yes with regard to the first part of the question I don't feel responsible for any of what happened there. In actual fact I actually feel that if - you know things in life are always such that you cannot always say what you want to say, the way you want to say it, you have got to be sensitive to situations especially where people have died. It doesn't matter now any more whether I was right or wrong. The fact remains that as a human being and as a man that was entrusted with leading this country a thing of that nature happened and I have to be balanced about it. I cannot just simplistically say look that thing must not have been called the Bishop massacre, it must have been called the Johannesburg fiasco or whatever, because Cyril Ramaphosa, Tokyo Sexwale, Ronnie Kasrils, all these guys came from Jo'burg and other areas to come and lead these marchers here, to come and incite people here and do all these things.

     But having said that I feel that I sympathise with those people who lost their loved ones and who lost their lives simply because I know that they were forced to do that, they were forced to march. Those people had no fight or quarrel with me but for political reasons the ANC wanted to see if the short cut of overthrowing the South African government would not be through overthrowing the satellites of the South African government as they say them. I was not an apartheid guy and I did not have discrimination. I did not start any of these things. I did not even implement discriminatory laws in this country, in this place. The fact that I was not recognised internationally or whatever is because of the international hypocrisy and international stupid laws which I don't care for really because they found it in themselves to work with South Africa which created the problems and never cared to recognise the problem children as a fact of life, that they were there and they were suffering.

     So what actually happened here is a bully tactic which was imposed by the ANC to try and short-circuit the negotiations which they found they were losing because they didn't know anything what they were doing. They were having serious advisors and a lot of people who were afraid, the media was making them up as big, big, big things because of fear also. The media was bulldozed into writing very good articles about the ANC and it's leadership in the so-called negotiations situation. But if the ANC did not have this feeling of we want to destroy the homelands which have their own armies and then of course all the self-governing states were already their lackeys, they were riding roughshod over everybody except only three or four states, myself, Buthelezi, Mangope and to a little extent Mompedi of Qwa-Qwa. Although he was very timid, very, very much afraid he still kept his own ground saying I don't like this, I don't like that, but these guys didn't want that. They just wanted to let everyone just bend over and be buggered from behind actually, like a prostitute.

     So we said no you cannot do that, if it is democracy it has got to be democracy. Every voice must be heard and we believe that if it's a multi-party approach that you guys and we guys are talking about in South Africa in a federal system then we've got to all be heard, everyone has got his say and his vision and his version of what he wants for his own country. We are all here and we have been here, we are better off than you, you ran off here to England, to Tanzania, you were living off the fat of those people's taxpayers. We were struggling here so we are more struggled than you, don't tell us nonsense. I used to tell them, don't come here and tell me that I'm in a homeland. I didn't choose to be born here and you know full well that the best I could do was to do something better with the worse situation that I'm in and as a leader I took it upon myself to try throughout to improve the lives of the people here, but they resented that, they wanted just to bully.

     So to me that whole thing is to be blamed on the ANC, its leadership and of course the people, I cannot blame them, the people were used like useful idiots. They were just used, the were bussed in. Buses were hijacked. The hijacking started there. People were forced, people were taken door to door and were told if you don't go to that march tomorrow we are going to burn your houses. So I don't blame the people. Even now my heart bleeds for those people because they are even forced now to believe that it was my fault but they know it is not my fault but they have to come there and cry and make and pretend they are crying because they have been paid to cry there. Things like that make me sick about this country.

POM     Now you asked the forgiveness of the families?

OG     It was genuine, yes. Actually as I said when we started, I said it's not always that you say what you want the way you want. I could have said, "Look here I know that you are under pressure, you have been told, you have been bussed in here even now in this hall, you have been told to hate me as much as you can, to threaten and to hate me, but in the same vein I want you to look into your hearts, you know exactly what is happening, you know exactly what happened and you know exactly how it happened." But for someone to forgive and get the whole sore, festering sore, out of your hearts ignore it was the ANC, take it it was me, forgive me, let you go on with your lives and let me go on with my life. I have already forgiven myself. I have asked for forgiveness with my Maker and I can definitely tell you that in my heart there is nothing. I have forgiven you, I have forgiven you because I know that you gave me a tough time for nothing. The things you said in that march, you were insulting me, you were singing, every sentence of your songs was not sarcasm or whatever, it was just insults, plain, rude insults. In front of your children, with your children you were insulting me, calling me a dog, calling me a shit, calling me this, calling me everything, saying things that you yourselves would never have allowed anybody to say about your children. But I couldn't say that, I couldn't say that. I know, I knew how loaded that meeting was and I knew how politically explosive that thing was and I knew exactly what they wanted to achieve, so I didn't dare do that so I just said, "Look here guys these are the facts." The commissioners were not satisfied with the facts, they wanted sensation and gossip and perhaps that I should say that I was used by the National Party, which is rubbish. I told them I could never be used by anyone, including them. They were more powerful than the National Party but they couldn't use me. I mean how could I ever have been used by the National Party? I hated the bastards because they couldn't do anything to help the Ciskei when I told them meeting after meeting, delegation after delegation that "People, this is what you promised our forebears, that you will do this if they took independence. Do it now, this is what we want." They undermined me, they actually made the rift wider because they were paying the ANC people, they were paying them. The ANC people were hungry, they were getting money from the whites in Pretoria to disrupt me here. They were terrible.

POM     So just to finish up on Bisho, you don't feel any personal responsibility and you don't feel any guilt with regard to it and you had really nothing to do with the actions as they happened?

OG     Not at all. I actually tried, it's a pity that people have been programmed to take it the way everybody is doing. They even made a video which I believe, I have never seen it, I believe it's very defamatory but perhaps that's probably why they don't want me to have any financial stability at all because such things I would look into with a very serious mind of extracting an apology from them. But all of these things for the sake of reconciliation and really peace and whatever, I am prepared to - I gave them facts, I told them more than twenty reasons why I should not be made accountable for that. I tried to stop it, I tried to talk to them, I tried to take that matter to court for an interdict, I tried this, I tried this. My lawyers phoned their offices, they wrote faxes. We did this, we did this, we did that, but they were always very, very - they have always been very, very prepared to get that thing. In actual fact we didn't even want to analyse it the way it really happened. Those people, it's an old communist trick, when you get to the forces of the government which you want to discredit, shoot them. That will now elicit the most unexpected reaction because those guys will shoot back and then die there, lay all over, but what I still don't know how they did it, how did the leaders get out of the way of the shooting because all of them didn't but they managed to get the people to rush the troops, a shot was fired and a soldier died which they say a soldier was killed by his own peers. It's complete rubbish.

     Even if we fight now, we fight amongst ourselves, if the common cause for us to fight comes up we all live that and we protect each other, defend each other and we fight. If that soldier was shot by one of the soldiers that story would have got out immediately because not all of those people could have hated that soldier and soldiers are not sophisticated liars. One would have said so-and-so shot him. Why? Why did you shoot your own person? And the soldiers when they go to battle no-one stands behind the other to shoot him without seeing. They all are here in one single extended line. No, it's complete rubbish that that person was shot by the soldier. They shot the troops to elicit a response of a shooting to have a massacre and to have me discredited and still they are so predictable.

     The same day they sent the same guy who is the chairman of the Eastern Cape Truth Commission, to go to De Klerk to demand that I be removed and my soldiers be taken, but even then I told them go to hell. They couldn't get that right either so that's why they are so frustrated and that's why they hate me so much because everything they did, the evil plans and plots they did didn't succeed. It's a pity, it's a pity.

POM     Do you see your appearance before the TRC as being a witch trial, that the idea was just simply to denigrate and discredit you and with little regard to what the real truth of the matter is?

OG     That's right, it is. What was actually happening there was to abuse their power to bully me, to drag me, to give an impression to their little constituency here, because people here don't even believe in them any more. To tell you the truth they are so fed up with them now they come to me streaming to say, please, please, please don't ever leave politics, please, please, please do something. I say to them, go to hell, you wanted that and you disowned me, you discredited me, you were prepared to be used, stay there with them. They know, now they know what they were trying to do as a desperate last attempt to prove that they are bigger than me now, they can go back and kick me in the teeth. And the idea was to show the people that we dragged him kicking and screaming to a tribunal which was a kangaroo court and we hauled him over the coals and they were hoping that I would have an outburst and I didn't. That having happened now they had to sensationalise the whole thing by political statements, instead of questions they made political statements which needed no answer. In reality all those commissioners there all they did was to make degrading and humiliating political statements for the benefit of the gallery and sensational tones which they did. But me, my lawyers, we kept it in our stride. We said, yes, yes, yes.

POM     If they do, as at least some of them said they would do, is have you recalled to give testimony in camera, will you oppose that?

OG     I think that I will leave to my legal adviser because tomorrow Sally is going to see Desmond Tutu in Jo'burg complaining about this whole thing, but I think she will have a better chance there in a one to one thing to talk to Tutu exactly about the whole attitude, the whole thing, the whole charade. It's using government money by staging things like this whether it is for their personal egos. So let's see what happens after that but my feeling is that they have always said they are for transparency. I think if they have any questions at all to ask me they must ask them in public and I will answer them in public. There toe for toe, word for word, we must be there. I don't want them to start asking me stupid things in the closet because I don't know, I may perhaps forget my manners and just strangle someone.

POM     Have you at this point in time any intention at all of applying for amnesty?

OG     I don't have to, I don't have anything, me, I don't have any small little evil thing I did during my reign. I made the best human rights laws and everything I ever made was to ensure that people's lives were better. They took all that away as soon as they took over. They took everything away. Everybody is crying. They took their allowances away. They took everything away. They took everything, they are trying to take even the properties that people were allowed to buy. So they are the people who actually should ask for amnesty but naturally they know that there's not enough financial capacity for people here who have been wronged by them. Here a lot of people have been wronged by the ANC, very serious abuses of their power as a sort of an internationally acclaimed liberation movement. They trampled on anybody's rights, including government's. Imagine if the ANC could bully a government like me at that time, how could it bully an ordinary person in the street who didn't agree with them? And there were many, there were thousands. The fact that it got 98% here is not because it was a better party, it is because it was a most feared party. They were told that if you simply don't put us here you are going all to die because we are never going to stop killing you and they had to toe the line. So the ANC it just knows that no-one of us has the capacity financially to actually round up all those people they did all those things to, put them there and show that they are not intimidated further and make sure that a proper legal team takes their statements and a proper process is done to ensure that each and every one is photographed, his wounds, the ones that are paralysed, the ones that have died.

     In actual fact what is happening with the Truth Commission it is a charade, it's a one-sided thing. They would say people were shot by police but they would not say that who called the police and what were the people doing. For instance in Duncan Village people we know burned people, burned whites crossing there, ordinary poor people who were just crossing to take their girl, their domestic servant, home. Their car was trapped in a group of youth who burnt it and burned them inside the car and buggered them. But the police were called and the army was called because the whole thing was burning now, they burnt everybody's house but no-one ever asked, "You say you were beaten by the Police? What were you doing?" No-one ever asks. It's not as if policemen were mad at that time. They would just leave East London, rush over to a black township and start hitting people. Many people died for nothing at the hands of these murderers, people chanting political slogans.

POM     Now when you hear suggestions, at least there were some in the newspapers and that's the basis of my information and very often, as I've learnt the hard way, the newspapers are ...

OG     They are liars all of them.

POM     There was a report that they had suggested that the South African government had planted some of its security officials here who fed you false information.

OG     It's complete nonsense, it's complete nonsense. No-one could have. Me? I'm not easily convinced and no-one could, with me knowing, mislead me into doing any decision. I actually took my decisions. I could listen to people's advice and reports and things like that and then I could take decisions on that but then I would leave it with other agencies of the security to deal with such problems. But to say that I had whites here in my government more than they have whites in this government now is complete rubbish. They have more than just whites in their governments. Look at Mandela's bodyguards. They are all whites who can do a job, who can be trusted to do a job. Look at all that, did you see the people who tried to rob a bank recently one or two days, somewhere, where the people said - did you see a black policeman there? No-one. Wherever the things are really happening you never see a black. Look at all the commissioners. Do you see a black commissioner? Every one at the top is white because they are efficient and they were trained. Thanks to the apartheid they were trained better and they knew how to lead emerging security forces and my forces here could not just take a corporal and in the interests of having a black at the top have a corporal mentality as a chief of the army. I needed to have a man that has gone through all the mill and has done all the courses and can have vision to take my instruction as a government and say I want the force to have capabilities, to be prepared for anything. Preparedness of the force and force development is the core and it should be left to experts. You can't leave it to other blacks just because you want your army to be black. So it's nonsense. What they are saying is complete rubbish. They have more whites now in all the big positions than any other country has ever had. They have so many consultants doing their job, even a clerical job these days is done by consultants in these governments of theirs and all those consultants are white.

POM     What about the former members of your government? What's happened to them?

OG     You can be surprised. The corruption and the nepotism that is happening in these governments now is terrible. Those people who were trained, who were the government, have used the taxpayers' money to train them from clerk to perhaps Director General, have just been laid aside, not dismissed because they know they can't dismiss them. They just put them aside, put their own people who have no experience, who have never been trained, in many cases who were just friends and relatives and girlfriends and boyfriends, put them in those positions, duplicating the salaries because the others are still there but because the constitution bars them from just wholesale dismissal of these people they can't ...

POM     Does this apply to members of the military government?

OG     No they couldn't, they couldn't do that.

POM     What's happened to them?

OG     What they have done is of course frustrate them seriously by transferring them all over to the bundus just for nothing.

POM     Did they join the SANDF?

OG     Yes, I was involved in negotiations. That's why I resigned from the Freedom Alliance and joined the negotiations at the TEC so that my soldiers and my police and my civil servants could have delegations going and getting involved in these things about their future otherwise I did something there which they could not get out of so they are buggered. But they have done some serious, serious things this administration here and which is completely uneconomical and completely destructive to the economy and very corrupt if you may ask.

POM     Just finally ...

OG     If there was to be another government right now all these people with what they have been doing they would all be in jail for corruption. I am telling you an honest fact and the way they are going about if there would ever be another government they would be in for it because they have done - you know within the four years that I have been in government I have never misappropriated funds, but these people have already spent twenty times for nothing more than the four years I have been in government. In actual fact the money drain in this country is more than what even the National Party with all its bureaucracy and things have ever done. It's terrible.

POM     How about the children? They're at school you say.

OG     My children are at school.

POM     At school here?

OG     In Kingwilliamstown. I am struggling with them.

POM     Is it a private school?

OG     It's a Christian school.

POM     A Christian school. Do they get taunted or anything like that?

OG     No, not at all. There, thank God, it's Christians, people who go there are Christians and people who go there have to, even if they are not Christians, they are amongst Christians there, they have to pretend they are Christians. So as a Christian you pray for somebody in trouble. You don't taunt him. I am sure if they would do that they wouldn't be Christians so they wouldn't qualify to go into that school.

POM     Have you any dealings with the Premier, Mhlaba?

OG     They themselves have decided not to have dealings with me but as you know I did go to him and offered my loyalty and all these things. Well I've left it at that and they are going on, they are going about doing everything they can to harm me but I am just taking it in my stride.

POM     You survive.

OG     I'm surviving.

POM     I'll leave it at that for today. Lovely to see you. Thanks. I was worried about you, we were both worried about you when we heard you were in hospital.

OG     Thanks. Yes, people there came and prayed for me at the hospital and a lot of nursing staff came there to my ward and prayed for me. I couldn't believe it. I was actually so afraid of anybody, I said anyone could kill me. Even the nurses, I was saying to these doctors that I don't want to go and stay there, they will inject me with poison. But when I got there what a change, what a change. People know what is happening and they are not fooled by the ANC and now the ANC is going to really, really, really get into trouble because the way they got into power was completely, completely unethical and I don't think God will bless such a foundation. It will crumble.

POM     OK. Thank you.

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.