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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

04 Dec 1996: Sexwale, Tokyo

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POM     Let me begin with the hard stuff. If you were abroad and you were visiting a foreign dignitary and the dignitary said to you, listen Mr Premier, what's going on with your party? You've had the expulsion of one member, Bantu Holomisa, you've had the removal of the Premier and his entire Cabinet from another state, you've had in another province Peter Mokaba drafted by elements to run for the leadership, then word from the top you're not to run, your work schedule is too heavy, an argument that was not made in the case of a far busier Minister like Dullah Omar when he contested the Western Cape, then the Youth League step in and now he is running, then you have Jacob Zuma making this extraordinary remark two weeks ago that anyone in the ANC who thought that the constitution was more important than the ANC was in deep trouble, then you had your yourself making a public announcement that you were not a candidate for Deputy President or President of anything next year. The question out there that I get from a lot of people, or a lot of people around me since I'm the foreign dignitary or whatever, is that the ANC doesn't seem to be behaving very democratically, that instead of transparency and openness that it talks about as being the necessities for good government, when it comes to the conduct of its own internal affairs it's done behind closed doors and if you can be gagged or be afraid of the membership of your party, if you talk to the media about what's going on it doesn't go over very well.

TS     Well you call those the hard questions. They are easy because I am a member of the ANC fortunately. If I was not I would be in the same position in which you are saying what's going on inside there? Because I'm inside the ANC one can say some of the things one does understand so let's proceed to say the following. It is my view that the ANC is going through a particular period, the period of having to adjust itself to the new conditions of governance having spent close to a century being outside government. Remember it was formed in 1912. Of those many years thirty were spent in exile, underground, in prison. The methods of struggle, the methods of internal democracy were slightly different from today. Whereas in the past things were done underground, communications were not to be written where you can avoid it and in most cases we had to avoid those things otherwise we would have compromised ourselves, the organisation and its members, whereas that was the situation, today you have got an open season where members of the ANC at local branch level, at provincial level, at national level have got the opportunity to stand up now and say their views, to publish, everybody can publish, everybody can make public statements. You have press spokespersons left, right and centre, everywhere. The same thing happens inside government. In government every level of government has got to talk to the public in so many ways. Here is an organisation that is learning to talk to the public for the first time as an unbanned organisation, openly, using all the media in its own country. This happens at the same time as we are grappling with the whole essence of governance so there is a definite shift, structural shift from exile into the country, from underground into openness, from not dealing openly with the media because most of our things were underground, to open season media communication.

     This happens at the same time, unfortunately for the ANC the drawback is that you don't have your own media. You have a situation unlike we had in the past in exile where we had our own media, underground public media that we could utilise, international platforms to defend ourselves and to market our case and we did so successfully, and of course everybody understood the justness of our struggle. That's why it was easy to market apartheid analytically in certain international forums. But in our own country now we come back and we don't have a voice to utilise for communicating. I think it's a very serious shortcoming because now the free press which is there in line with the constitution has got to continue to do its work. Now the free press is not the mouthpiece of the ANC which must tell the stories according to the way the ANC sees them. You have two types of free press, the English one and the Afrikaans press. Afrikaans press is mostly aligned to the parties that were in charge of apartheid in the past. English press is mostly liberal in approach. There was never a revolutionary press insofar as the mainstream media is concerned, it was liberal press which was behind the Democratic Party, Progressive Federal Party, at most you would have former journalists of the Rand Daily Mail forming the Weekly Mail. So it becomes now a new type of press which didn't belong to the original two but nevertheless it consisted of people who came from the English section. All of them are also trying to publish the new story of South Africa.

     The ANC in that milieu finds itself having to be interpreted by its own critics. The main body of the press that must carry your story happen to be your critics. You've got a problem. But also you have an internal structural problem of adjusting to the new conditions so you have got what looks like a crisis because you'll be reported so critically and of course the critical mistakes that happen inside your own organisation as you adjust to the new conditions also don't help you insofar as public communication is concerned. So we have left ourselves in the hands of our critics and also sometimes hostile critics in certain situations to tell the story about us. I think we've got a problem.

     But coming to our own internal democracy, one should say in trying to adjust, therefore, internally we are grappling with something new called democracy and people are now beginning to speak inside the organisation, "This is how I feel at the branch level", and somebody doesn't like that, "No, no, no, we can't allow that type of thing because here is the organisational line." I believe that we should be very, very circumspect in following that trend.

POM     Just on that, I get feedback from many people, including members of the ANC, that because the party is above everything and because the party is far more important than the individual and because there's a party list system where the party chooses you to be a candidate or chooses you to be promoted or demoted or 're-deployed', that to keep your mouth closed and to go along with what the leadership wants is a far more safe route to success than to let your views be always known, to stand up, to be an inside irritant of which people say let's re-deploy him some place to, for example, Ambassador to Japan, like giving him lessons in Japanese.

TS     Karate and Japanese cultural skills.

POM     Do you know what I mean?

TS     I see, I want to come to that question and I think you have hit in a certain situation the nail on the head partly. The party list system comes from the type of democratic structure that we agreed upon where we don't have what are these two types of structures, the constituency method and also the proportional representation system. The constituency based system is a very good model, very preferable for people to go outside there and represent a definite and specific constituency because you are not just elected by people who said, look go and be president or whatever. They want water supply, they want proper clinics, they want all sorts of basic things in their own communities and then as to what you are saying to foreign affairs may not attract them here and now, they just want these things. So a community based system is very, very close, it's a very good first line of democracy because it gets the parliamentary representative at very highest level very close down there to the grassroots. But at the negotiations when we were due to hold elections and to finalise the interim constitution we agreed that we should go for the party list system. Of course, naturally, because the party has put you on its list the party has got a say in the first place about you on that list and the party may decide, OK we don't want you on that list any more, so you will have that type of situation, meaning the ANC must adjust to how best to still adhere to democratic norms under that democratic dispensation of party lists. So the party, of course, calls the shots and in any situation if the party doesn't call the shots on its people you've got a problem. Democratic Party in America, Republican Party, they call the shots on their members.

     However, I want to say we ourselves should be particularly circumspect in how we utilise that leverage of democracy, not now to come and put 'the previous Soviet type of party system'. I resent that type of situation, I don't want to belong to a situation of that nature where you narrow down already what is narrow. The party list system narrows the power very much in the hands of the party. You have to, of course, keep people in line but I would have a problem in keeping people into line mechanically. It should be done politically. Not mechanically and you use codes of conduct, that type of thing at the drop of a hat. A code of conduct comes when we realise that there is no political solution, we cannot discuss this matter, the pros and cons, we cannot evaluate this thing, cannot monitor. Then we say we can't help it, let's adhere now, let's use the code of conduct. But you must be very, very circumspect, I have said publicly, in utilising the code of conduct to settle political differences that may exist amongst people.

POM     I find it disturbing to hear of people being hauled before disciplinary committees, that loyalty to the party, bringing the party into disrepute are cardinal sins. You referred to the Democratic Party in America, they would be glad to know they are so disciplined. They are the most undisciplined bunch of people. During a presidential primary, as you know well, they take after each other with everything they can do and when it's over they shake hands and say now it's over and we work together as a party. Whereas here that kind of criticism of one element of another element in the party or person in the party is not only frowned upon, it's if we have a dispute keep it in the family and don't make it public whereas the essence of democracy you want to give to the people is that everything is open and if there are disputes going on within the ANC and there are particular wings who believe in different things, shouldn't they know from you what's going on rather than maybe reading distorted accounts about what's going on in the press?

TS     I appreciate the points you are making very, very strongly because that's what democracy is about. However, remember we are two years in government, we are not more than 300 years like some of these parties you've quoted in America and Britain may be. It's still a fragile situation, people who have never voted, people who were silenced, people who lost their birthright. These democratic things many of us still do not know and there can be a very serious abuse of that situation. We have to break ourselves in to understanding the necessary vicissitudes, the changes that are taking place inside the ANC but we thought, and I've said this quite openly and candidly, we thought vulgarising the essence of democracy and good governance, let's not fool around with government. You see government is not ANC, it's an ANC-led structure because the electorate gave you more votes. It's not ANC, ANC is your party. That is why you don't close your party when you go to government. Government belongs to everyone, you are servicing the rest of society. So when you get to that level you have to shape up your own internal democracy in such a way that it enables you to come across as a party that cares for everybody, firstly for internal government democracy. That must not be seen to be secret or that type of thing.

     And I want to say further it is important for us, whilst we understand that it's two years and we are changing as the ANC all sorts of things which are happening right now, too fragile, you can't expose it to full-blooded democracy, which is eventually where I would like the ANC to be, full-blooded, open, candid democracy. But whilst we are striving for that, which is an objective that I would like to see achieved, nevertheless one should understand that we do have the new current problem of process of adjustment. Let us be allowed to go, I mean we are hardly five years in government, we are grappling with a new ANC change in the ANC trying to govern this side gives us a problem. I am sure over the next period of three to five years the ANC shall have adjusted to these things so that the party should not be frightened of functionaries inside government. You must understand that as a party functionary at the barricades of government I am at the rock face and should be able to inform the party of what I discover at the rock face, but not the party to theorise about what is at the rock face. The party must take the practical experience from me. We are at the rock face. So I should be able to go back to the party and say this is the experience on the rock face and we adjust our theory accordingly.

     That is why we say, in theory anywhere in the world, your theoretical analysis must be based on the material conditions. You don't try to change material conditions to suit your theory. If your theory was that witchcraft is the best way of bringing about economic development and that's what you believe in you cannot go and change society to suit your ideas of witchcraft. When you go to society at the rock face and find that, wait a minute, witchcraft won't do here, you simply have to get this nuclear power station working and you need a scientist to do that, so you adjust your theory accordingly. That's what I believe in. So after some time the ANC will learn to 'compete with its own functionaries who are at the rock face', government informs what you should do.

     Take the Free State situation that you referred to, the Premier and his government may have a view of how the Free State develops even though it's not a good example because they now could not bring government together, they are fighting together and the ANC had to intervene. First it intervened via the President, get your house together, it was an agreement in Cape Town. They came back, it didn't work and they all had to be told you don't seem to be functioning here. It was an entire government, unlike individuals who should be available, Peter Mokaba, whatever, in the Northern Transvaal. But I am saying the party will have over a period of time, and I think this five years will see us beginning to understand, because we are going to have to sit back and reflect, five years in government, what have we learnt? We have learnt that there are objective, real material conditions that determine the pace. The party has got to adjust to that. But if your policy is to change objective reality you must do it scientifically, you can't do it by idealism and high flown theories. So that if we talk about the essence of provincial governance, a provincial government is a provincial government and it's a government of all the people in that province. We must not act in such a way that will hurt even our own interests in the hearts of people who potentially could have been our own supporters.

POM     But objective reality would say, as far as I can gather having spent a good part of the last week in the Free State, that Dr Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri is perceived as somebody who is imposed, that she wasn't even on the list system, not a member of the legislature and in fact was taken from the top and kind of, they just said, "This is it boys, girls, this is your new Premier"

TS     Yes the perception is that, but you don't have to have been on the list of the ANC. The list must be filled and you can fill up the list with all sorts of people who come from outside. One appreciates that. You should understand that if we had taken Nelson Mandela to be the Premier of the Free State everybody would have accepted him. He was not on the list, he comes from outside, but I am sure everybody would have been very comfortable with him as a Premier.

POM     He mightn't!

TS     He mightn't, yes, but people might have said, oh no, no, stay, we need a good President. But I am saying that it's not everybody who comes from outside who becomes imposed. There must be an agreement, there must be an understanding, a debate on the qualities and the manner of how that person will become suitable and would ease into the structures, there must be that debate if you come from outside. You must allow the people there to get - but if you are just seen to be championing the line that says this person is here take it or leave it, I would never support that type of thing. There must be a discussion if somebody comes from outside the province. But what is outside? We merely talk about outside these borders, all of us are South Africans. In any case Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri is somebody who comes from the Free State herself. That she was working at the SABC in Johannesburg ...

POM     I don't mean that she didn't belong to the party structures or that the people at the branch level had no say whatever or were not consulted.

TS     No, in that case I will believe in consulting the people at that level. That is why we are looking at the Free State very, very carefully. It's part of our decisions at the level of the ANC National Executive Committee. When we took that decision we said the Task Team should go to the Free State and when they get there the first thing to do is to consult with the structures. That's it. But if the structures are not consulted I would never support that situation. The impression I get is that the structures are being consulted and, of course, when we get back to the next meeting of the NEC we will be getting a report about what has been done and if we find that it's not in the manner that we agreed it will be opposed by people, but for now we are informed that that is the situation and of course if the structures are not told that we are proposing Ivy to unite you from outside, because Ivy comes from the Free State, I am sure that is why her name also came up. She is somebody who comes from there and we cannot have a situation that says if you are not a Masotho person and don't come from the Free State then you are out because now we will go back to tribalism. But fortunately she is a Masotho. The name of Peter Mokaba, by the way, was suggested by some of the people in that area and Peter does not even come from that area. I am just saying, not that it was a unanimous thing or you had a majority, but I heard, this is just what I heard and I actually said that to Peter and he said he heard the same thing. We cannot impose leaders on other people.

POM     Do you think just as a sidebar to that that there is a tendency to look at emergency democracies through the prism of mature or developed democracies and a tendency to say western democracy is the be all and end all of all and unless you conform to the norms and standards established over centuries by that system, somehow you're not being democratic, where our democracy must be natively grown so to speak, it must be indigenous to the people of a particular society?

TS     Democracy is a consultative process wherever you find it, there are differences around the world. It's how best to structure your consultation. Some of the democracies are best run with Chiefs, with Royal Houses like Britain, like The Netherlands. There is a lot of consultation taking place between the Royal House and the House of Assembly, the House of Commons. It is a democracy. So democracy to me is really a consultative, people-oriented, people-driven consultative process. But who gets consulted throughout the decision making process? It is the structures in your society. The structures are different in Thailand as they are different in South Africa. We don't have this House of Windsor in South Africa so we must find ways of putting our democracy in place. So, yes, I do agree that there is a tendency of interpreting every democratic country along the lines of Europe, and by the way there is not one European way to democracy. It's also different. In France they beheaded the King so they don't have to consult any royalists in taking decisions. We should be allowed in South Africa to grow our own democracy. We should be allowed to experience the various consultative processes and structures that are part of the South African constitutional scene, political scene, utilise that to the best of our ability but also stick to the spirit and letter of our own constitution that says you've got a parliament, it consists like this and then you have a new National Council of Provinces, you are going to have the provinces also taking part in national Cabinet, parliament decision making processes. You have got the provinces themselves and in their own parliaments those parliaments are democratic, they are not subservient to anybody giving the line to your parliament so there is not such a thing. But your executive consists of party functionaries, one party functionaries, and those functionaries are on party lists and the party has got the right to intervene.

     However, I am saying in utilising the party's right to intervene we must be very, very circumspect. There is a narrow interpretation to that intervention and there can be a broad consensus-driven way of seeing to it that the party with the party lists can be able to influence the process. That is why I say the narrow approach is that which always comes to the code of conduct, to disciplinary actions before political disaster. The latter approach, in other words, becomes too legalistic. I would like to see the broadening of the party intervention process because I am a party leader here. I intervene in government but we do it in such a way that we leave the dignity of government intact as well as that of our functionaries at the rock face. I happen to be both so that I know the type of balance I want to have. If I was not chairperson of this province of the ANC, and you have a different chairperson, and I am not in the structures of the party that drives us, I would want the party to relate to us here in government in the manner that we are doing currently. But every time I have to be looking over my shoulder to find out what the party line says, welcome Eastern Europe, and I don't want to see that.

POM     The constitution provides for there being a viable multiparty system. Do you think, and I'm talking about the national level maybe more than anything else, do you think there is an effective opposition to the government at the moment or that really South Africa is at the point, given the margin of victory it enjoys over its nearest opponent, of being a one-party dominant democratic state?

TS     I think South Africa becomes a very good example of what a good multiparty democracy should mean and I don't think we should judge the success or effectiveness of a multiparty process to the numbers the different parties got. It's quite good but if the electorate decided to give somebody 90% you can't say the electorate have vulgarised democracy. Fortunately with a body like the ANC, that is why I am happy that you are asking the type of questions you are asking, fortunately with a body like the ANC we don't have to wait for opposition parties to identify mistakes. We believe in the dialectical process, open debate within the party, open debate so that the party becomes its own shadow. The party becomes its own best critic before you are destroyed by your other critics, so that the party can allow a free flow of ideas. That's what I believe in. That is why when people get worried, no, no, with the ANC, you must allow a free flow of ideas inside the ANC within the context of your policies. Don't make any part of your policies that I can't debate, it's closed, that type of thing. It gives, therefore, if I may conclude on this point, the ANC the opportunity to be its own Check Point Charlie before you are checked by the police as represented by other parties who are supposed to police us. Therefore that is why it would be worrisome if the ANC narrows internal party democracy. The ANC internal party democracy is a critical safeguard to democracy in South Africa because if the ANC gets such a large percentage there will be a tendency to sit back and say we can do what we like because after all we've got the numbers. I will be worried with that type of situation and then any minister can jump into the next plane and do whatever they like. They will build any house anywhere, they will use taxpayers money because nobody is going to criticise. Inside the ANC there are people who sit on the Minister of Defence stronger than the opposition will ever sit, on environmental policies, on Green Peace ideas. There are people who sit on the ANC on housing more than the opposition. Internal party democracy therefore must be very viable but must be protected by the ANC. So the dialectical process discussions, the intellectual processes, writing, philosophies, they must be open within the ambit of the policies.

POM     But mustn't there be a way that the people can see that at work? In other words if you had a situation where there was a report of the debate within the ANC on what to do in the Free State and some people said no we should do this and other people said we should do that and different points of view were represented and they were reported upon and then consensus was reached that the way forward was this, so that the public become part of the debate that you conduct to democratise yourself. They know, they don't just hear the decision, they know the nature of the debate that went on and the arguments that were made.

TS     I think it's an ideal situation for us to open up a bit more but unfortunately, remember, it's only two years of governance and we are shadowed by people who in the past were blowing us up with bombs, had imprisoned us, were torturing us, were detaining us. They are still in that mould so there is no sense of appreciation if the ANC opens itself up. They will see that as a weakness and they would want at the nearest corner to hurt the ANC. So actually we will be opening ourselves more to destruction, not to criticism, with internal democracy. Not that I am arguing for it to be kept closed, I am also worried about the security of those debates, the security of our decisions where you find that maybe a minister is criticised openly by how his own comrades then they say even, and people don't appreciate, instead of applauding the ANC for that they would use that to destroy the ANC. Remember we are two years in government. We can't just give up. Can I tell you what some of the members of the opposition are saying about this new concept and terminology that has been brought into the material world of South Africa by the ANC? Accountability and transparency. Let me deal with only one, transparency. The definition of transparency for us is to be open, is for people to have access to the kind of process that you just described. They must know what we are doing, what we are saying, the various thoughts or thinking processes inside the ANC. That's our definition for democracy, for openness, people must know how we passed laws, how we issue the budgets and so on.

     The opposition, which never spoke about democracy, which was fascist in the past, if anything which was liberal in the South African context because South African liberalism is not British liberalism. Certainly the British Liberal Party never supported the Democratic Party in South Africa which was supposed to be a liberal party, because they saw it as just a slight shift of people who were worried about their conscience because the black man was being driven down, but they did not protest and leave the parliament. They stayed on until we came to destroy that parliament. What do these former fascists and pseudo-liberals, what are they saying about us? This is their definition of transparency: the nakedness of the ANC. They are not transparent, we don't know what they are doing, we don't know their internal party differences and democracy, can I say. They say let the ANC strip itself naked so that we can deal with it, expose the ANC. So use the concept of transparency to reveal the ANC's own nakedness. So we are the only ones who are pushing for transparency. You become transparent, they hit at you. Then we come back to that problem, we rely on the media at least to show this thing but it's the media that is controlled by all these parties of the past. We have no voice. So it's an uphill, it's a real uphill for the ANC to have your ideas, both party and government ideas, reflected by your worst critics.

POM     Last year you talked a little bit about Mr de Klerk in the sense that what he did in a way wasn't all that heroic. He opened the door and let Nelson Mandela out and for that he won the Nobel Prize but that essentially the policies of the National Party were the same as they were in the past. Now since then they have revealed the vision of the New National Party that's going to be non-racial, that envisages having black leadership, envisages in a way becoming an African driven party that wants to attract and is aiming to attract African votes by appealing to sections of the African community. Do you see (i) do you accept their bona fides in trying to become a different political party, (ii) do you think they have a snowball's chance in hell of ever in the foreseeable future attracting a significant proportion of the black vote or is this a form of self delusion that borders on schizophrenia, and (iii) should they be given encouragement to try to become that kind of party, and finally (iv) do you think they still are obstacles in the way of the radical transformations that must take place in the country if the deep-rooted inequalities of the past are to be dealt with?

TS     Let's take your third question as to whether they should be encouraged in that line. Yes, firmly so because our struggle was based on national democracy, national reconciliation, fundamentally the eradication of apartheid and establishment of democracy. That meant that we wanted to see all aspects of South African life non-racialised and democratised. It is not for us to say certain sections of our life should remain still racist. It is not for us to say those parties which in the past were racist should still further remain so. We did not only want to defeat them in the battlefield with guns, in the battlefield with the ballot box, but we also wanted to see to it then that if they want to remain being part of the new South African landscape then they must also transform to become non-racial. So we encourage the Nationalist Party to do this.

POM     Do you think they are trying sincerely or do you think it's window-dressing?

TS     Because of the struggle, of the popularity of our struggle and the acceptability of the ideas of non-racialism and democracy and a united South Africa, they are singing that song as well, quite and good, but I think they have got the challenge of crossing the Rubicon which they have always had a problem to cross. Rhetoric and actual practical realisation of their objective ideas are two different things. I think I hear more plans, more rhetoric than I see changes in that party. Essentially it is not African or black people driven. It is still a white baas, white master driven party. When they talk about blacks it's still great news.

POM     It's a form of tokenism in a way?

TS     Yes it's still great news, whereas by now they should have prepared themselves to bring as many blacks as is possible. Their fear is that if they bring those people they are bringing a constituency which in the past they brutalised and that constituency may change their party radically. So you can actually see they are still hankering towards the old days of baasskap. But then I come to the point that says, do we see them achieving this in the future or are they deluding themselves one day when they say they will ever get to government and so on?

POM     What I mean by that is that if you oppress people for some 300 years, apartheid for fifty years and then they think that in the space of five to seven years the masses are somehow going to forget about this, turn around and vote for the new National Party.

TS     The lessons of history prove that that can be so. The worst enemy of the ruling party is its own self. Nicaragua today in the last elections, a country where the Sandanistas were held very, very high, they got defeated. Ortega was defeated and he got out of government. As the opposition he tried his best luck this time. The Samosa related party is now back, so the country has even gone more right wing, back to Samosa. In the Philippines Imelda Marcos does come back into government. Those type of things do happen. In other words if you mess things up, if I use an American concept, don't mess up, if you do that the people, and this is the lesson of history, will shift away from you and will go elsewhere. So the question that says, can the Nationalist Party come back? I am saying, I can delude myself by saying it can never. No, I am a realist and a pragmatist, the ANC can be its own worst enemy and there is no law in history, and history has got quite a number of very rude laws, there is no law that the ANC cannot be defeated. So in other words we must be very alive to that type of historical lesson and make sure that we do things in such a way that the Nationalist Party which oppressed people for so many years, as you described, is not now seen as an alternative. How often do we hear in countries that people say we know this was bad but it was far better. So do not project yourself, and I have to say that to the ANC, in such a way that people can begin first to sing the solo of the song that says it was better under such and such a regime, do not find that inadvertently you have made people to move from that solo to a chorus. It can happen.

POM     I want to go back to something that you talked a lot about last year too. It was about the provinces and the powers of the provinces and you used one phrase which, of course, I've lost because I've lost my place. It was where you talked about the need for the provinces to have fiscal powers, that they needed the capacity to raise revenue and without that if they just received lump sums from the central government that they were little more than administrations rather than governments, that the capacity to raise revenue was an inherent part of being an effective government. And you had talked about proposals that you had put on the table to be considered by the Constitutional Assembly regarding revenue raising powers for the provinces. As far as I can read the new constitution, which I think is going to be certified today at two pm, those powers aren't there, that the powers of the provinces to raise revenue are largely absent. Does this trouble you? Does this inhibit the way in which you can run this province particularly since, as we've talked about before, resources are taken from Gauteng as being one of the richer provinces and transferred to some of the poorer provinces so in a way you subsidise the poorer provinces (i), and (ii) because under the macro-economic plan there's going to be a reduction in real expenditure so there's actually going to be less money coming down the pipeline to all the provinces so you're caught in a double squeeze? So where is the source of your capacity to raise revenues within the province if they're not provided for in the constitution and does this give you cause for worry?

TS     I qualified that last time, or at least speaking in public, by indicating that our country is one, it's indivisible. The efforts towards the improvement of the standard of life and its quality in our province are not separate, are not exclusive from the national endeavours. We also indicated that whilst we appreciate the fact that there is a need for us to maintain Gauteng as is and even to make it better we do understand that other provinces as well, parts of my country, let me talk about my country because when you talk about provinces it's like something else. My country elsewhere must be able to prosper and that would not and should not be seen to be saying, therefore, that Gauteng must keep all this money to itself.

POM     No that's not the point I want to address. You addressed that last time and you accept it. It's on the revenue raising side. Your quote was, "Without the fiscus you can't talk about any province, they become administrations instead of governments ... raising funds. If problems must get more leeway in raising funds either from taxes, tariffs, from duties there must be an opening up." Has that happened, has it happened and in the absence of it not having happened where does that leave you?

TS     Yes. You said by and large those powers were not there. Yes it's true. That has not happened to the extent that we wished it should happen. The provinces do have certain powers to raise certain taxes. We can add a surcharge on fuel, we can raise taxes in relation to motor cars and so on, gambling we can raise funds out of that and so on, but it's not adequate. The national debate around this question, we are driven by many stakeholders and of course we couldn't take the situation further than what we are thinking. We have to be very, very careful with what we are saying because we didn't want to come across as saying we want to use - we are saying on the one hand that we belong to the whole, the country is indivisible, we must utilise the budget and develop to the best interests of the country. On the other hand we open the door of taxation to bring back that money back to Gauteng. We didn't want to be seen to be doing that. Whilst we appreciate the fact that we are able to get some of these powers insofar as revenue collection is concerned, we are saying it is still not enough. Where does that leave us? Constitutional processes are long term processes. Constitutional law doesn't end with the certification of the constitution today at two o'clock. Constitutional law is a progressive thing, it develops, it addresses the situation at a particular time and where people have not come to realise the essence of information which comes from the rock face and they take particular decisions, one hopes that perhaps if we didn't have foresight, hindsight will tell us how we should proceed.

     So I think we can lay in wait knowing that the rock face will bring, I mean this information world, it will bring back information as it's beginning to do, for the rest of us to know that to run the country successfully is the best way of doing it. I don't think we are chained to a situation of saying, forever, ad infinitum, it would be these lump sums from central and so on. Somewhere there will be a change. What we were doing was to begin the debate. The debate is on, it was on during this constitution making process, it was on as late as a month ago when we had for the first time a meeting of the national Cabinet attended by the Premiers and their own ministers of the Treasury from the different provinces to work out the new 1997/98 budget. We were there and we were saying this is how it's got to be worked out gentlemen. So we are now part of the working out of that budget. If as provinces we were seen in the past as people who have only to wait for this manna to come from heaven, it is no longer so. We now sit with the national Cabinet in deciding how the budget should be decided. That critical tool has been included to enable us therefore to debate how those moneys should come. Therefore, although we have not collected revenue ourselves down there, the collected revenue has got us to debate not in the streets like it was, I didn't have a word or a platform to speak from, but today via the national Cabinet Treasury meetings we attend the same meetings now. So the national Cabinet doesn't decide the budget any longer, it's the input from the provinces, it's not just a written one, we actually attend those meetings and talk together.

POM     Do you think the National Council of Provinces, do you think this gives more power to the provinces to have their cases stated and more of an impact on government or does it bring the provinces more under the control of the central government?

TS     More than it was before.

POM     More than which?

TS     More than it was under the previous constitution, yes.

POM     Sorry, yes to which part?

TS     More than the previous constitution, the constitution which was worked out, more than the current constitution which is going away at two o'clock today.

POM     It gives more power to?

TS     More powers to intervene, to be part of the national debate insofar as provincial responsibilities and provincial government is concerned. I say this with the full understanding that whereas in the past we couldn't even debate national matters regarding provinces, provinces are now effectively the second chamber of government. The second chamber of parliament is provinces, that is why it is called the National, it's a Council of Provinces. There now we can collectively say as a body to national government this is where we stand, and national government will begin to be sensitive because these are all provinces talking and for provinces to be able to pass legislation there, they can only be but not divided. We have to be as a collective. So it is to the advantage of provinces to always have a consensus amongst themselves. That is why the constitution allows us to debate ourselves, to lobby, to interface. It's got all these mechanisms in order for us to reach consensus because it's only on the basis of consensus that we can deal effectively as a second House, as a second chamber. It gives us therefore the opportunity to debate the budget. It gives us the opportunity as well to reflect those debates back to our own legislature because we are linked by our own representatives and with the new mechanism of sitting down with the national Cabinet it makes it far more easier for us now to be able to influence the budgetary process. That is why we started the 1997/98 budget. So I want to say although effectively we couldn't get those laws passed, or those clauses passed within the new constitution, of revenue collection, we are able to get ourselves into the structures to argue for what happens when that revenue has been collected. There we are now stronger. With the National Council of Provinces and of course with the new set up of the national Cabinet and the provinces coming together to debate the budget.

POM     This is a funny kind of question, in a way the more successful you are in running the province you stand to become less successful. And I will tell you what I mean by that. Gauteng accounts for 40% or almost 40% of the GDP of the country, it has one of the lowest unemployment rates of the provinces, it's the industrial hub, it's first world. People from all over the rest of South Africa come here looking for opportunity. You build houses, word gets out you're building houses and more people start coming here because they hear houses are being built in Gauteng, they are not being built in Mpumalanga or the Northern Province or wherever. Is there a point at which because of this, it being a magnet and that as you solve problems you create problems, that your capacity to solve problems is always less than the rate at which those problems proliferate because you are successful in solving problems?

TS     It is true, even before we succeed in solving problems the perception which is based on reality that this is a wealthy province becomes an albatross on us, people flock to this province. I do hear sometimes some provinces say, oh we don't have this problem. Of course you don't have it because it has gone to Gauteng. It has come here. So we shouldn't boast about those type of things. I think we should have a national approach to problems and stop being provincial, thrown away in corners at a distance. What I want to say is that we are in a position to solve many of the country's problems because of the economic muscle which is here and of course it is true that because of that we attract a lot of people and that is why we have said we must have a strategic way of looking, a national strategic plan for Gauteng. Gauteng can't just be left to, you look, you'll see how you get out of that situation. Every time we have the homeless here they are somebody's unemployed somewhere, or they are the poor from somewhere. Every time we have people seeking jobs here, they don't even come from Gauteng. Many of the people who are in prisons here haven't committed crimes in Gauteng, don't even come from here, they come from other provinces. It's that type of thing. We are sitting with a high crime bill and high levels of crime but the people who get arrested come from all sorts of places, they are not even people from Gauteng. People from Gauteng invariably, a lot of them have got jobs, have got houses, they are here. But many of the people in the squatter camps have come to squat because they come from elsewhere. Nevertheless we can't push those people out. They belong here, they are South Africans, we must find a way of strategising about developing other parts of the country so as to attract those people back because I don't think they want to stay here.

POM     You have the bulk of illegal immigrants coming here too. So the problem, to put it very specifically, is, my theory about it is let's say you build 100 houses, word gets out, Tokyo has just built 100 houses, and as a result of your building 100 houses the result is 120 squatters who arrive looking for houses, so that the problem is compounded not diminished.

TS     That problem is so great that the people now in the townships and in those squatter camps, they are very careful, they chase others away because they know that when you come here there is a list, that's why you've got lists of people who are waiting for houses. If those people come, the extra 20 people, 120 people, they will be down at the bottom of the list, so it will not be their houses. The people now have become very, very wise themselves on the ground to those types of migratory problems that affect their jobs, their standard of living, services that are provided and so on, yes.

POM     I'm coming close to the end, I could go on all day. Could we do it every six months?

TS     Yes I think we should. The situation changes very fast. One day in six months won't be a problem, one hour.

POM     Two hours a year? Six hours between now and the year 2000?

TS     Just tell me before you come that you are coming.

POM     I do, but then they say call back. They always say, the problem that happens is I send notice and then they say ...

TS     Oh no, no, don't worry further, I'll fix it up for myself.

POM     They say, when you get here give us a call.

TS     You are converting the converted. I'm converted to your view, I will fix it up myself.

POM     OK. You talked about a couple of things last year that were problems you inherited. One was on the re-deployment of police and at that time we talked about how the old pattern of re-deployment, of where 80% of the police were still in white areas and only 20% in townships was still prevailing. With regard to security in particular, what powers does your Minister for Safety and Security have? Are the police responsible to the Provincial Commissioner or are they responsible to the Minister for Safety & Security?

TS     Quite simply the police are responsible to the Commissioner. The national minister appoints the National Commissioner. The National Commissioner appoints all Provincial Commissioners. The Safety & Security Minister of the province is a representative of the civilian over-sight over those police. So the police have got to do their job but we are an oversight. We may not have the powers to tell them to do all sorts of things but we provide oversight.

POM     So if you were to say I want within the next six months 50% of the policemen who were out in Sandton and Rosebank and the northern suburbs, I want them in the townships?

TS     We can tell the Commissioner to do it.

POM     But he doesn't have to do it?

TS     Then he has lost political support in his own province. Remember we are the ones who also have got to agree to the appointment of that Commissioner by the national minister. The Premier has got the power. The national minister appoints the person that we suggest, so it's a joint appointment of the Commissioner. In that situation such a Commissioner has already lost the whole political support of his own government.

POM     Has that improved, have you been able to move more police out in the last year?

TS     Yes, all these things have happened. We have been able to move police from areas where they were just idling to where they can be active. We have been able to shift resources such as police vans, equipment with guns, radios, two-way communications, we have been able to move those resources from areas that were abundant, northern suburbs, to the townships. But we have been able also to introduce a system where we can get police out of their offices, on the beat, on to the roads. We have achieved in doing that, and so on, and so goes on the list. However, the point I'm making is that if the Provincial Commissioner does not listen, we don't give orders, we tell him what to do, he obeys. They obey all the time because no Provincial Commissioner would want to come here and then become hostile to everybody. They cooperate. We have the power because we are the province. He runs an office, we run a whole chunk of the country.

POM     I would like to make an observation and hear your reaction to it, and that is that this time when I came back in September I noticed a change in the sense that, and I noticed that whites had become more resentful, that there were a lot more racist jokes among white elites, that there was this universal feeling that the country was going rapidly downhill, there was no sense of guilt regarding the revelations of the past at all, it was as though it had nothing to do with us, if there were crooked cops and rogue elements well how are we to know, and they feel that they are being pushed into a corner where they are supposed to apologise but they don't feel any guilt so they don't see why they should apologise. At the same time I feel that among blacks they are growing a little bit more resentful of whites, saying we're not asking an awful lot of you, we're just asking you to own up to the bloody past and that there's a collective responsibility for it and you go round saying let's forget about the past and just get on with the future and we kind of resent that.

TS     It would be wrong to blame white people in the manner sometimes as described. It would be unfortunate if you start that way. The truth of the matter is that whites were victims like us, we are all different types of victims. We were the victims that were bleeding. They were the victims of the most terrible thing that you could ever do to people, deception, political deception. They were told that Africans are moving and horrific stories of our past history, of clashes between black and white were being invoked at every corner to try to get the whites to think that all they have to do as a white tribe on this southernmost tip part of the continent, all they had to do was to survive. So whites were locked into a laager mentality and lots of literature of the ANC was saying that. We captured it very well in 30 years, that the whites in South Africa had been locked into a laager mentality, an enclave, a fort mentality, and they ended up in fights that they didn't understand. That was the situation. The mere fact that the blacks and whites were kept away from areas such as District Six, Sophiatown was an effective way of making sure that this strategy succeeds and the divide and rule strategy, which is an old strategy implemented by some Roman rulers.

POM     The Brits are the best in the world.

TS     Of course the Brits learnt from the Romans. So I fetch this thing at its origins. That strategy worked successfully. We of the ANC know that. We can't change today and want to believe that all whites knew what was happening. It could have been rumours. They didn't even know why, how their sons died at the borders, until today, they are coming to me to ask now please if only you can find the file and reveal it. This is what people are saying. They didn't even know how, they were told they died in a vehicle accident whereas it was a land mine. They were told his airplane crashed whereas we brought it down with an anti-air missile. It was that type of situation. The whites themselves were fooled. They were victims of the most greatest deception ever to come from apartheid government. We were victims of the same, and guns. But of course we could not be deceived about our own operation. We realised that here we are being oppressed and we fought back. But blacks also were deceived about one another. Zulus were being told things about Xhosa and Sotho, we also were victims of deception. You must understand that apartheid was not just shooting people. Even inside the police the apartheid system had to hide. Vlakplaas. It was hidden not just from the public, not that every policeman was privileged to know what happens at Vlakplaas. They didn't tell them. What the Gestapo was doing was not even known to the Wehrmacht, the Wehrmacht didn't know in Germany, they heard these stories, but then they started being resentful of the Gestapo because they were hearing that the Gestapo is doing these strange things at Auschwitz and so on. Vlakplaas, which was a killer base for the killer squads of South Africa, was hidden. The CCB was not an open body, it was hidden even from the South African Defence Force. So good Generals of the South African Defence Force didn't know about the existence of the CCB. Where they knew it was a name and a myth, but the reality they didn't know. They didn't know how Mxenge was killed, they didn't know how people were going out to try to poison ANC leaders, to attack us in various places and so on but they knew that their government, although evil in a way, was trying to protect them.

     So a whole nation of white people was made to believe that their own survival was at stake and they were so frightened and certain things were done by the way to even frighten them more and they are coming out at the TRC. You can't blame whites for that. The bombing of Khotso House. We were told it was the ANC and that was the information pushed, they say we bombed Khotso House, instructed by the Minister of the Police and they say these things were done to show whites how bad the ANC was. You can actually see methods which were taken. I am talking of the bombing of this Witwatersrand Command was their job and so were many other things. Whites had to be killed in certain places for them to realise that, look, and then the police come and they are seen to be the saviours of whites and they used to do this in those constituencies particularly which were liberal, in the liberal constituencies, kill the people, threaten them and then the police come in to be their saviours. It's an old dirty trick.

     Therefore, coming to some of the few points that you indicated, whites while understanding, and one doesn't want to lump all of them, understanding there will be cynicism, some of the people never even voted. Look at the percentages of whites who were voting. Was it 100%? No, some people were not even voting. They didn't care about politics. So let's not say whites were doing this. Take the election lists since 1948 and find out what has been the progress, it has been declining, it has been declining. It was more whites in 1948 and it has been coming down because they were cynical since. Now they enter here a lot of them who never voted still kept out and said why should I vote, and they don't feel responsible for apartheid. But maybe if you are trying to get them to say why didn't you stand up against this government, I think it's wrong, that's not the objective of the Truth & Reconciliation Commission. The objective is also not to blame any particular section of the people. But then we are saying you must know what used to happen. This is what happened. I think from a sense that says we should have had more white people reacting in the manner that says they should have stood up, a number of them, to say, "I never voted, you know I suspected that this government was like this and how bad." Or somebody says, "I voted for these people but I didn't know about Vlakplaas." I think, OK, if we wanted that well and good but is it really realistic. Which whites are we talking about? Are you saying every white person should stand up in the streets? If they have said it in their churches, the church leaders are taking the lead, yes. Certain business people have stood up to say those type of things, yet. But I don't think we want a situation, I certainly don't want the people sitting down, kneeling, mea culpa.

POM     Do you not find it slightly disturbing, I think it was a very recent IDASA poll that showed that 64% of the white community either believed that the Truth Commission was a witch-hunt or they were totally indifferent as to what was going on there. And when I've talked to ordinary whites, families and whatever, I ask them around the kitchen table in the evening when you're having your meal and television is on and these revelations are coming out, do you talk about that, or at cocktails parties, or do you talk about the axing of Francois Pienaar as Captain of the Springboks? And invariably, no, we talk about Pienaar. They shut it out, they don't want to know. Is there an element of that there?

TS     Yes it's the guilt to remember. You want to know how the guilt manifests itself. Other people like Beyers Naudé will be outspoken about their guilt and stand up in public and say this was bad. The Editor of the Sunday Independent wrote an article, John Battersby, and said that we were conned, we were really conned and he said as a white person I want to come out very clean and say that we were just tricked. But we really think it is realistic for people to all stand up and say we were taken for a ride here. I think the mere attitude by some of the people to say close this thing is also a reflection of what you don't want to hear, it's embarrassment, you don't want to see this thing. I don't think a murderer wants to return to the crime scene. It's bad. You don't want to see that body any more and you feel please let's get on with our lives, it's part of the guilt. I think we should see that instead of being disappointed. It's a manifestation of the guilt that people are saying, "God, why do they wake these things up?" And of course, so whites are looking forward to rugby, those type of things and they want to forget these things. We are not trying to take these dead bodies, take them out there and say look, look, look. I don't think we are trying to do that type of thing. The TRC frankly, and I'm happy that's how they came out like that, frankly it has disturbed white people. It's not indifference, I don't think so, that's not what I'm picking up. It is not indifference. White people are not saying the following, "Serve them right, we should have killed them, there should have been more killings, Soweto was nothing". No, no, no, that's now what whites are saying. They are scared to be shown these things and they want to blame whoever is bringing the corpses and they are very indifferent. There ought to be shouting in public about these things and those who are brave enough stand up to say this was bad but many want to shuffle away. I think we understand that emotion.

POM     One last question, and thanks for more than a full hour, is that in the 2½ years of your own administration, (i) what would you regard as the thing you're most proud of being able to achieve, (ii) what are you most disappointed in in not being able to have achieved, and (iii) what have you learned coming in from being freedom fighter to government with plans to change things and change things radically, how has reality tempered the way you see things yourself?

TS     Reality has tempered us at the rock face, it has tempered our tempo, our understanding of what we are dealing with inside government. As freedom fighters decisions were taken very quickly, you had to communicate it to many people who were underground and so on, printing pamphlets, making sure that we addressed masses of people in Trafalgar Square, sending delegates to the United Nations and other international forums like the OAU, Commonwealth, Non-Aligned Movement, to put our case across. It was fast, there was no government, no responsibility except words, words, words and guns and that type of thing. So the struggle or methods of decision making in the struggle were very, very fast even through the struggle took a very long time because we were confronted with an enemy that was very stubborn. When you get into government you realise that the tempo of government is determined by so many systems, processes, mechanisms, laws, rules, regulations, debates, committees, sub-committees, portfolio meetings, to pass a law. The debates take such a long time in our parliament. Sometimes I meet a document on my table and I ask what is this? They say it's such and such a law. I say but we debated this law so many moons ago. They say, yes but it had to go through so many processes thereafter, now it's on your table for signing into law. It's taken a long time. I've seen that. So it's not like holding a debate this afternoon and it's law tomorrow. The law making process is a long one. The budgetary process is also a much longer one because you must be very careful with that budget and make sure that you apportion the relevant amounts, you can't just say so much to Safety & Security and trim it up. There is a lot of research, there must be a lot of information that comes from commissioners, from police stations about where the need is at its greatest. We must do a lot of work.

     So governing tempers you and it slows you down and you realise that you can't just shout a slogan and things happen. But in the past you could shout a slogan and people would move. Those type of things. So government has tempered because its wheels turn slower than the wheels of revolution because they are very fast, revolutions are associated also with speed otherwise it's not revolution. It must be rapid but also quantitative change but must be rapid. What is it that I think over the last few years we achieved very well, and I must be very, very candid. This province is highly politically stable, I want to repeat that, highly politically stable, highly. Highly so because this was the epicentre of national instability. This is where every organisation, remember, was represented. This is where every organisation, political organisation, was headquartered. This is where you have your Boipatongs, your Soweto killings, your Sharpevilles. Name it, it happened in Gauteng if it's big. I don't say pain was not felt by other people but I'm saying most of the international names are associated with this province. The train violence and the killings last time when we met, we had these things, killings, you die for wearing the wrong T-shirt, it doesn't happen any more. You died because you were walking on the wrong side of the street, it doesn't happen any more. You died because you are shouting a slogan of another political party, it doesn't happen any more. We all now link horns, or lock horns in parliament. The maturity of the political parties is very, very great. The right wing movement that was, every one of their bombs found it's epicentre here in Gauteng so we took in all the bombs of the right wing shortly before the elections, they were all here. They took some of our friends. We don't have that any more. The right wing is now very disorganised, it doesn't have leadership and where it does it is not militarised any longer. We have been able to deal with that. But this stability has provided us with an opportunity for creating a good investor climate for Gauteng.

     What is it that I think we could have done much better? The levels of crime are still quite high, unacceptably high, but the good thing about that topic, crime, the good thing about it is that we have a much, much clearer understanding of what it is that we are dealing with. If we just come into government and said against crime. What? What is crime? Where is crime? How do you approach crime? Now we had to realise that firstly you must have a government with a political will. First of all your government must be seen by everybody to have political will and providing the lead that we are leading in the fight against crime. Secondly, the political will on the part of the people. We had to get them having the political will, the popular will on the part of the people to follow that government. Not where you find that people say, oh you are fighting crime, that's your own business, we have got our own homes. But we were able to get that sense of provincial as well as national revulsion against criminality. And then also that sadly your law enforcement agencies, we had to change them. We had to change people who were never accepted by the people for them to begin to be accepted to be embraced, and for people to now begin to confide in them because to be accepted by the people is one thing, for them to confide in you. We have changed that. Close to 150 Community Policing Forums have been established in this province and we are very, very happy with the progress that has been made. Fourthly, it is the justice system. The justice system had to be ready to deal with criminality and we have been interfacing with that justice system and making sure that the relevant laws against bail, early releases and so on are passed, and stiff sentences. Fifthly, it is the penal system. Jails were not holding these criminals. There were unexplained releases, early paroles, those type of things, and we had to stand up and say we can't be arresting people here and we find that in no time they are out. And lastly was the question of the message against criminality, is it coming out the message that says crime does not pay? And we found that even right now criminals still believe it pays but I hope they will only say so until the end of this year. The whole national crime prevention study is beginning to bite into them that says it's dangerous now, it's beginning to be dangerous to be a criminal in South Africa. So in the fight against crime we couldn't just go out and charge like bulls in the china shop and say we are fighting crime. We had to know which of these six areas we are strengthening, where is the weakness, and we found several weaknesses, police, criminal justice system, penal system.

POM     Finally, just on that, some people have suggested to me, quite strongly, that there are still elements of a third force within the police who want the police to be ineffective, want crime to pay, in a way it's showing that South Africa is, it's trying to undermine from within by showing that South Africans can't deal with their crime problem, that it's a dangerous place to come, that foreign investment will be loathe to come to a place that has such high crime statistics. Do you still think that there are some embedded pockets of a third force that are still operating?

TS     I wouldn't put it past the previous third force people to have and to try to develop that type of strategy, but it's an uphill for them. I wouldn't put it past certain corrupt policemen, and we've arrested not less than 400 in this province alone, whereas in the past the apartheid government was not arresting police. In fact those people who in charge were lawless. We have arrested 400 corrupt policemen, corruption also including these type of things because they won't say I'm corrupt because I serve certain forces, I serve the forces that would like to give a perception and portray South Africa as an unsafe place to go to. They won't say that. But we arrest them for the deeds that they do. I wouldn't put it past those type of elements that there are such people. But that's not my worry. The worry is that how are we approaching the situation to make it even much more difficult, against such people. If there are such people they are fighting a rearguard battle. It's an enclave and very soon they will be defeated like they were defeated politically, openly in the heat of battle as we are rushing towards holding an election. So that's my view.

POM     Last, last question, I kept it to the very end. Why did you feel it necessary to make a public pronouncement that you wouldn't be a candidate for either President or Deputy President in 1998?

TS     Our country is real. The ANC in government is only two years old. Internal party democracy must be encouraged but if it goes to the level where perceptions could be that we are reaching cut-throat competition, we are reaching blood-letting, I wanted to be known not as one of such leaders. I also realised that there is a certain spirit inside the ANC that we are beginning to lose. Everybody would like to be a Mandela. At branch level you want to be a chairman, you want to be everything, you want to occupy my position here, be a premier, be a chairman, that type of thing. You want to be the top, top, top leader. There is nothing wrong with that, to aspire for the highest. In any case we came into this world in order to put our talents across to achieve the highest and the best in life. Nobody says I'm here for the worst in life. Everybody, and the street sweeper outside there I am sure he would like to be like Nelson Mandela. If he doesn't feel like that then Mandela is not doing his work. He must make all street sweepers be like him and that would be a good Mandela. I am sure Mandela is giving us that type of thing. But I thought that we are still not yet ready to have that type of robust internal democracy. That's my view, that's all, and I felt I've got a lot of work to do here in Gauteng.

     However, the only reason I had the press conference was because two years ago there were these views after the death of Chris as to who will be the competitor. People are always looking for the competitor. Who is the competitor? And somehow they try to find out if relations are not so good between so-and-so and so-and-so, then he must be the competitor, that type of thing, and they create that spirit also of competition and they try to say well this one dresses like this and this one dresses better, this one is a charismatic leader, this one is not. They create those perceptions around yourselves. I think you must get hold of that. They may say about Thabo, oh the man does not even have a good family, Tokyo's family is good. He doesn't have children, Tokyo has got children. They were saying those type of things. He is not charismatic this one. Tokyo, well, Tokyo is a loud-mouthed person, Thabo is much more well couched. They create these perceptions and if you don't step in to arrest that type of thing you've got a problem. But I didn't mind, this was part of lampooning caricature by the media, which is good, I like that because I am also a cartoonist, I like drawing, so I enjoy cartoons. But it was beginning to get to the level of hysteria, especially with the departure of Cyril from the political scene. Now people wanted to find out if Cyril is not there, who else? And the barrage came in my direction. I had never proclaimed anywhere that I would like to be President of the country. Nowhere. I had to be honest to me now. Additionally, I had never proclaimed anywhere to want to be the Deputy President of the country. Nowhere. And I had to be honest to me to say, no, no, no, I have not said I want to be these things, please keep me out of this jingoism, this competition that has been created, albeit also with the assistance of people inadvertently from my own organisation talking to people and saying we think this one will compete against this one, because maybe they understand the ambience or the body language between this one and that one and therefore Tokyo and Thabo are destined to be fighting one another, or Tokyo will want to be the Deputy President so as to keep Thabo on his toes. That was coming across. This province is the heartland of this country, it is the engine room. Let me work in the engine room. The computer room upstairs I am sure we can have other people work up there. Let me work in the engine room. So I don't care, for ever, for as long as, when I say for ever, for the amount of terms I may have.

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.