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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

05 Aug 1997: Viljoen, Gerrit

Click here for more information on the Interviewee

POM     Let me begin, Dr Viljoen, with a question I have been putting to most Afrikaners I've been interviewing and it involved two quotations from FW de Klerk. One is that : -

     "The people who structured apartheid and put it on the books were not evil people. Apartheid was in its idealistic form a plan to make all the people of South Africa free. The Afrikaner fought the first anti-colonial war in modern history in Africa against Great Britain so Afrikaners have a deep understanding of the need of a people to be free."

     And also quote : -

     "We would lead the rural homelands to independence just as the colonial powers to the north had done. The goal was to bring justice to all by transforming South Africa into something like Europe, national states working together in respect of common interests."

     Do you subscribe to that view of how apartheid was conceived and how it was meant to work?

GV     Yes I think that is a view that I would subscribe to. It was very soon from practice proven to be an ideal that was not achievable and that in the process of being not achievable led to extensive and very serious injustices and inequalities.

POM     What happened? What happened that things went so wrong?

GV     The basic point is that the Afrikaners in South Africa were to remain part of whatever was going to happen, it wasn't an experiment from which they could withdraw. In other words the involvement, ultimately, of the people of South Africa, the white people and particularly the Afrikaner, was different from that of other colonial situations. There was hardly any experience available viz. the sort of situation that we had in South Africa in that whatever the future, it would be a future in which the shapers were to remain fully involved, they wouldn't be able to withdraw from it. Whilst the Afrikaner was unrealistic and over-optimistic that he could find a solution which would enable himself to retain a meaningful share of governmental power but at the same time would change the lack of justice and equality and democracy with regard to the black people.

POM     So when you listen to the revelations of the Truth Commission and hear of the atrocities that were almost routinely committed, how in your mind can you reconcile the actions that happened in that regard with what was an attempt to achieve some form of decolonisation that had some equity to it?

GV     Well the atrocities that are being revealed, that have been revealed, were not atrocities that were part of a planned or an approved governmental structure or party political structure. It wasn't a policy of the National Party, it was not a policy of the government in that period. I think one of the most disconcerting aspects is that one absolutely has to acknowledge that there was a tremendous naiveté on the part of the proponents and the supporters of apartheid with regard to what was actually happening. There was a lack of alertness in acknowledging and taking seriously injustices and reports about injustices that were taking place.

POM     I have been interviewing over the years but I have recently been interviewing again Professor de Lange and he talked about this study that the Broederbond had conducted in 1983 which was widely distributed among and discussed among members of the Broederbond which came to the conclusion that majority rule was an inevitability. Do you remember the discussions?

GV     Oh yes indeed. The discussions that took place within the Broederbond contributed materially to, and was a condition sine qua non, for the serious commencement of changing and restructuring South Africa, first with the introduction and concept of a tricameral parliament and secondly with the introduction of local self-government for blacks, which was also a drastic departure from the earlier policy of the National Party. Then there was the process of the special cabinet committee appointed by PW Botha just after the introduction of the tricameral parliament to investigate a fair and a just dispensation for the blacks as well. The blacks were not included in the tricameral parliament and it was acknowledged that they have to be included but that the pattern applied in the case of the tricameral parliament was not acceptable at that stage for dealing with the question of political liberation for the black people.

POM     But did you yourself at that point - one of the conclusions that Professor de Lange was emphasising was that this report was in fact saying that at the end of the day there was going to be black majority rule, there was going to be a government headed by a black Prime Minister or a black State President or whatever.

GV     I don't think it was put quite as straightforward as that. The contribution that was made by the Broederbond was first of all to promote an understanding and a readiness on the part of its members, that is to say mostly the Afrikaner people, to face the realities but in emphasising the facing of realities the Broederbond felt very strongly, just as the National Party I think also felt at that time, that some solution must be found which is not a simple majority rule solution but a solution in which the minority still retains a meaningful share in the political decision making. That is the issue on which the accusation that De Klerk had sold out was strongly focused.

POM     So when it came to negotiations, your first meetings with members of the ANC and senior members of the ANC would have taken place when?

GV     Whose first meetings with the ANC?

POM     Yours.

GV     Mine personally?

POM     Yes.

GV     Well I personally took part in direct discussions with the ANC only really in 1989 when PW Botha met Mandela. I was part of those meetings. But the preparatory work which had been done more by officials and bureaucrats in the government with the ANC leadership, I wasn't involved in that, directly and personally involved. I was, however, all along very much part of what was discussed.

POM     But your first meeting with the likes of Thabo Mbeki or Mac Maharaj?

GV     I wasn't involved in any preliminary discussions with the ANC. I came into the discussions when really a more or less finalised stage of accepting and starting to implement the need for discussions between the ANC and the government had been reached.

POM     So when would this have been?

GV     Well towards the end of 1988 and during the course of 1989.

POM     So you met with Mbeki in 1989 and met with other - ?

GV     Well I started off really - in the time of PW Botha I was brought in, I can't remember exactly when it was, it was I think towards the end of the first half of 1989 when PW Botha was still State President.

POM     How did the ANC members you met with strike you?

GV     A factor which promoted a readiness for negotiating and which made possible meaningful negotiations was the de-demonisation of the opponents of both sides. My experience was, and I think most people had a similar experience, that we were surprised at the quality of argument and the readiness to consider alternatives, to have a real debate. In other words not just to say these are our demands and that's the end of it but the acceptance of the need for a give and take ultimately to achieve some kind of a win/win rather than a win/lose situation. This was, in spite of very strong and very hard debating and negotiating, a positive experience resulting from the earliest meetings and from those meetings in which I was involved. So there's this sort of de-demonisation of the opponent and at the same time I think a realisation that the power structure was such or the power realities were such that neither side was likely to achieve their preferred solution to the struggle and that therefore there must be some give and take. Success was not likely to be achieved at a reasonable price by continuing the conflict.

POM     Was there a degree of socialisation involved? Did that play an important role?

GV     Yes, in the circles of the negotiators. At the same time I think both Mandela and our side experienced a very critical and suspicious reaction from, I would say, our middle leadership.

POM     Mandela experienced that?

GV     Yes he also, I think it is sketched out some detail in Patti Waldmeir's book that he was very concerned that he should not be released in circumstances where there were a lot of question marks as to what he had been talking and negotiating about with the government. Therefore the conclusion is that he was aware of a certain concern, a certain restlessness, a certain worry on the part of the ANC that its exiled leaders might not be doing exactly what they should be doing. And the same kind of thing we had on our side, especially with regard to informing the foot soldiers or the masses in the NP of the changes before they were announced on 2nd February. It caused a very serious problem in the ranks of the NP because when they were announced people were shocked. My point is that the leaders had to be careful in their negotiating: in spite of the fact that they accepted their counterparts, the opposing party, as reasonable people with whom they could make some progress in the talks, they had to be careful that they did not move beyond what their support base was ready to accept at that stage.

POM     Now when you took over as the government's chief negotiator you had a negotiating mandate that you brought to the negotiating table. In brief, what was that mandate?

GV     Well it was that we should work for a democracy which is not a simple majoritarian democracy but a democracy in which the minorities have a stronger part than just a simple head count approach. That was basically it. Secondly, that there should be a considerable degree of devolution of power from the central or national level to the regional or provincial levels. Thirdly, I would say that there should be provision for, and really very little came of this, provision for meaningful guarantee of structures in which different cultural groups could deal with their cultural matters particularly in areas such as language on the basis that is not simply subject to majority decisions of a central body.

POM     Now when you look at the outcome, the final outcome, at Kempton Park, to what degree, now as a kind of a scholar and an observer, to what degree do you think the government was successful in getting as much as it could of its agenda included as part of the final settlement?

GV     I think if one looks back, although I myself wouldn't still say so at this stage, but at the conclusion of the negotiations I felt that the negotiators got as much as they could, as one could hope for or wish for. But in further retrospect I would say that a stronger stance ought to have been taken with regard to the whole question of political power sharing especially on the executive level. I think a stronger stand should have been taken there and the formulations which Roelf Meyer came forward with to cover this concern were I think very soon proven to be a bit naïve and a bit too optimistic.

POM     Could you point to something specific?

GV     Well first of all there wasn't provision for a more or less permanent element of political power sharing in the constitution, especially on the executive level. That is the essential part. I think also more could have been done in trying to work the Inkatha people into the negotiations in such a way that there is a more meaningful devolution of power. I think the NP was not successful enough in its dealing with Inkatha and in bringing Inkatha in and using the political clout of Inkatha towards getting a better deal with regard to devolution of power from national down to regional and local levels. Then also I don't think Roelf and the negotiators took seriously enough the need for coming to a clearer early understanding, preliminary understanding as it were, of how cultural groups could have their minds set at rest with regard to cultural self-determination and especially with regard to language. I think in retrospect, again, it was wrong to think that the acceptance of eleven languages was in any way the solution. It wasn't a solution, it was a complication of the whole matter.

POM     So you would put down the two flawed areas, as you would see it from your own point of view, they would be on - ?

GV     From the point of view now looking back to when I was in the situation and as far as I understood what had been achieved in the negotiating process I was quite happy that that was as well as they could hope to achieve. But now looking back five years later, six years later, if I have to be honestly critical, this is a point that I would emphasise.

POM     Now you have a situation of simple majoritarian -

GV     Very simple.

POM     Very simple. So when Patti Waldmeir calls her book a study in the psychology of capitulation do you find that a distortion?

GV     That is an unfair and a one-sided representation of what happened because there were also some very important gains. In the economic field the negotiations started off really on a terrible track. What was foreseen as the economic aspect, financial aspect of a new South Africa was really frightening. But in the multiparty government which was started off within the provisional constitution, I think considerable progress was made towards a more reasonable and a more generally acceptable economic structure. At present too, though there are factors of concern, I believe that the economics of the negotiated new deal represent a positive aspect, a positive result of the negotiating process. Another very important point is that De Klerk was very concerned that the government should hand over a reasonably stable, workable set-up to whatever form of new government there was to come and I think especially the deals that were negotiated for the state employees, whether they were civil servants or military people or educators or hospital people, those deals also put at rest and in many ways I think even over-compensated the existing bureaucracy. If this hadn't happened it could lead to a very negative reaction from the existing bureaucracy and which could have completely spoilt De Klerk's intention to hand over a reasonably stable and working concern to the new government. That I think was an important achievement and it has proven, and will still prove more so, a very expensive achievement, though it's an achievement without which I don't think we would have been able to bring about the kind of a miracle.

POM     But it was the whole idea of sunset clauses and the guarantee of the position of civil servants and others in the public sector, was the idea of - it came from the ANC side.

GV     It was specifically something coming from Joe Slovo but it came after weeks and weeks of discussions on these matters. The discussions, the negotiating process didn't suddenly find itself here with a bright new idea thought out by Joe Slovo. Joe Slovo realised that unless some kind of a deal like this is achieved it is not going to be a very pleasant thing to take over government of a new South Africa.

POM     Now many people say that the best offer that the government could have accepted came at CODESA at the end CODESA 2 or CODESA 1, whichever way one wants to look at it, that the offer on board then both in terms of the percentages for changes in the constitution and agreements reached with regard to the veto power of the minorities in certain aspects of executive decision making, agreements that had been reached were superior to what was actually negotiated in the end.

GV     There is a considerable amount of truth in that.

POM     So why did government not quit, grab what they got at CODESA 1 and say this is -

GV     I think De Klerk was in a difficult situation because I reached the point of burn-out at that stage. It also proved that there were certain matters that hadn't received sufficient attention in the preparatory stages of the process. So I think the sudden shift of the full responsibility to De Klerk was very difficult to handle.

POM     That he had too much responsibility, too many things to deal with?

GV     It was the sudden increase of his responsibility, and that is a matter which almost drove me mad because I realised that there were problems in this matter. I think the amount of work, the amount of detailed thinking that had to be done by himself, by him, was a contributory cause of perhaps not the best evaluation of the offers that were on the page at that stage.

POM     Now who were his chief advisers at that point?

GV     I wouldn't like to discuss the things which happened after I left.

POM     Let me just rephrase it in this sense, Patti Waldmeir makes a point of saying that part of De Klerk's strategy in the early days was to go for a quick election, that the sooner he could get to an election the better he thought the prospects for the NP so the less drawn out the process the better for the NP. Then she refers to a meeting held with De Klerk, with her and her colleagues from the Financial Times, in his office immediately after the collapse of CODESA at which she says he was in buoyant mood believing that time was on his side, which seems a contradiction.

GV     Yes I think so too but I wasn't close enough to enable me now to give you a proper understanding and evaluation of what was taking place. I think a factor at that stage was also the insufficient attention that had been given to Buthelezi and Inkatha. Buthelezi is a difficult man to deal with but you have to deal with him. And the way in which we approached matters, our own preparation for the negotiating process, was to try and achieve a sort of a driemanskap, a three man ship, the ANC, NP and Inkatha. What is the English word for driemanskap?

POM     A troika?

GV     Troika.

PAT     Well it's not an English word.

POM     Enough attention wasn't paid by the NP? Where did the ANC stand on this?

GV     The NP was very closely locked in negotiations and argument and debate and negotiating conflict with the ANC, but Inkatha was not part of negotiations leading up to the Memorandum of Understanding. That was a bad deficiency in the approach of the NP.

POM     This was in the September of 1992, after Boipatong when the ANC and the NP got together and signed their Record of Understanding.

GV     Yes. There apparently wasn't sufficient attention given to Inkatha at that stage. Although I don't know the details, there might have been efforts which were unreasonably frustrated, but looking back at this stage with the benefit of hindsight, I would say that insufficient attention was given to the importance of Inkatha as one of the most important role players, as an important asset in the negotiating process in favour of the NP, because Inkatha would and could have better supported the insistence on a reasonable devolution of power.

POM     Now let's get more of your observations on some of the things that you weren't involved in but you've either read about or discussed with other people in some way. Again, Waldmeir emphatically says that by September of 1992 that the NP was desperate for a deal and that they would do just about anything to get back to the negotiating table, that the ANC was absolutely enthralled with the Record of Understanding. She quotes Joe Slovo as saying, "They caved in on everything." She approached Roelf and said, "What's in it for the NP?" and his response was, "We get back to the negotiating table." But what would have happened between CODESA, the collapse of CODESA, and September that would have made the NP more desperate for the resumption of negotiations than the ANC?

GV     That was the part where I, although still formally an adviser of De Klerk as Minister of State Affairs, I really was -

POM     But did you get any feeling? I was here during, both of us were here during that time and that was the period of mass action and whatever and the mass action appeared to be a very mixed bag. It wasn't something that had any of the potential to bring the state to a standstill or whatever. What I don't understand is her emphasis on this kind of desperate need of the NP to get back to negotiating.

GV     Obviously the negotiations were extremely important and the credibility of what was going on in the eyes of the international community was also very important and much depended upon resuming negotiations and thereby also affecting the intensity of violence. One of the things that struck me with regard to Patti Waldmeir's book is that she says virtually nothing about the structures against violence, very little about the Goldstone Commission, but it was then that the whole structure to combat violence was put up.

POM     The National Peace Accord?

GV     National Peace Accord, and the negotiations leading up to the National Peace Accord, are, I think, virtually not recognised by her. And that is an important aspect in which the government at the time achieved quite a lot especially in the urban set-up, not so much in the rural set-up. But this idea that the NP was desperate, I would put a question mark there.

POM     Let me give you what I drew out or pulled together from her portrayal of a change in De Klerk from 1990 through 1994 and I just wrote down in my notes that her analysis seems to suggest that De Klerk changed from a wily operator who in the early days ran rings around the ANC, always had the political initiative, they were always trying to catch up and indeed that he was in this position up to the collapse of CODESA, that after CODESA the things began to change. She says that he craved the endorsement of the international community.

GV     That was a strong factor, yes.

POM     That was a strong factor?

GV     That was a factor. I don't think it is the whole story but it's a strong factor, I mentioned it just now myself. I think the importance of ensuring the credibility of the whole exercise in the eyes of the international community was a strong factor.

POM     But would there be any suggestion that he wanted to be seen as a peace maker and that in the final consideration of arriving at a deal to be seen as a peace maker became perhaps more important to him than holding out for some of the things you talked about with regard to - ?

GV     I wonder whether that would be a correct assessment.  He was perhaps over-confident in the matter of the degree to which we could make progress in further negotiations specifically with Mandela. I don't think De Klerk perhaps sufficiently recognised the way in which Mandela revealed his strong emotions in that address when he replied at CODESA, the two occasions when this happened, when he replied to concerns expressed by De Klerk that the ANC is not carrying out what it had undertaken with regard to violence, security and the armed struggle. I think the cards which Mandela showed he had in his hand were not sufficiently recognised. In other words the failure of the ANC, or the strong resistance on the part of the ANC to move in a sufficiently meaningful way towards political power sharing and also the unwillingness of the ANC to really carry out the Pretoria Minute of August 1990 and then the DF Malan Airport discussions. A working group was set up and that working group made no progress. This whole matter, the concerns about this matter were conveyed to the ANC. I think there were serious breaches of communication on their side because they didn't properly inform Mandela and then Mandela came with that very strong attack, a personal attack, and afterwards there was a similar thing and I don't think that was interpreted and explained with sufficient concern on the part of the government at the time.

POM     We've heard a lot about this whole question of decommissioning on the part of the ANC, that after the suspension of the armed struggle there was a question of now what does one do with the armoury that's out there.

GV     Those matters ought, with sufficient goodwill on both sides, to have been solved in the light of what was discussed at the Pretoria Minute and at the DF Malan Accord and the fact that meaningful progress wasn't made in that regard I think, looking at it in retrospect, showed that perhaps there should have been a greater carefulness on the part of the government on that point.

POM     What was the resolution of that question, of decommissioning?

GV     There were a number of points in those Accords with regard to training, with regard to recruiting, with regard to existing arms caches and crossing the border and so on and those matters made really no progress, nothing was achieved. The ANC was continuing, I think, without any doubt to infiltrate the South African system and they were especially using the Transkei border.

POM     So the issue of decommissioning was never really resolved.

GV     As I said with regard to the question of political power sharing, I think a stronger stand should have been taken on these two issues even to the point, although it's easy to speak in retrospect now, but even to the point of letting the whole process be suspended for a couple of months. But then there was the instability and tension growing up amongst the elements of the security forces and amongst the civil servants. That was also a very big concern. If the matter had been allowed to drag on for much longer it could have adversely affected the attitude of the security forces and of the civil servants.

POM     Some people suggest, one, that Mandela established a kind of a psychological ascendancy over De Klerk and, two, that Ramaphosa established a psychological ascendancy over Roelf and, three, that throughout the whole process the ANC just were tougher negotiators, physically tougher, more stamina, and that a lot of hard bargaining is about stamina particularly when you go into late night sessions and early morning sessions.

GV     They were very tough and very clever and very well prepared negotiators. There's no doubt about that.

POM     Again in retrospect looking back, would you say the government was out-negotiated?

GV     No, I mentioned a number of areas where I think the government was really quite successful, but there are areas on which, looking back with the advantage of hindsight, I would put a question mark, I think I mentioned it before.

POM     So when you look to the future?

GV     When the negotiations were completed I went on record and I was quoted in the press as saying that obviously the negotiating process was a give and take process, you couldn't get everything you wanted and some very important things were not achieved by the NP but on the whole I thought it was as good, under the given circumstances and under the realities of the situation, as could have been hoped for.

POM     Was one of the realities of the situation that from the time negotiations began that time was on the side of the ANC?

GV     I think the ANC used one tactic to their great advantage and we didn't watch that carefully enough, and that was putting target dates. The NP allowed itself in my time and after my time, in other words I accept responsibility for that, to be not careful enough to avoid being put with our backs against the wall by means of time restraints and target dates.

POM     And in those instances did the ANC prove to be particularly tough when you came up against that deadline?

GV     They used deadlines and target dates, they used that with great intensity and great success.

POM     So when you look to the future, you now have simple majoritarianism, you've a Bill of Rights, checks and balances, an independent Constitutional Court, are you satisfied that the checks and balances are in place that will allow for the evolution of a fully fledged multiparty democracy?

GV     I think so, yes, as far as humanly possible - with the exception of sufficient structures enabling cultural groups to achieve cultural self-determination, cultural self-government. I think that still has to be worked out and the question of language is included in that design. I am very concerned about what is going to happen with regard to cultural self-determination and the question of language, especially the Afrikaans language.

POM     What about the NP?

GV     I think the goal that was set by De Klerk a year or sixteen months ago that in order to really have successful multiparty government, or at least to have successful democracy with multiparty functioning, it is necessary to weld together existing opposition structures into a more meaningful united structure. Unfortunately the man who had to negotiate this greater unity amongst opposition groups got fed up with the NP and said that the NP must first disband and then we can negotiate. I am referring to Roelf Meyer. But if we want to have democracy in South Africa the opposition groups will have to achieve a better measure of working together and if in that process a really meaningful new political structure, political party can take the place of the existing one I would be quite happy with that. I'm not married to an indefinite continuation of the NP as a structure as it is.

POM     Some people say that the opposition to the ANC will emerge from within the ANC itself.

GV     That is I think, as I heard on several occasions, the sincere conviction of Roelf Meyer, that we needn't worry too much about the opposition because the opposition will sort itself out as a split within the ANC is inevitable. I don't think that is so inevitable. I think the ANC has got good discipline and it has too much to lose to just allow itself to become fragmented. There are tensions around labour matters, there are tensions about the unions and economic policy but I don't think that is very quickly going to lead to a split in the ANC ranks.

POM     Do you think that at the moment there is what one would call 'effective' opposition to the government?

GV     No I think the opposition could be much better than it is. Part of the problem is that those belonging to the old political system haven't had any exercise, haven't had any experience of opposition politics and especially of coalition type of opposition politics.

POM     One of the things that Roelf is quoted on in Waldmeir's book is on saying that in a way the NP was at a disadvantage going into negotiations, that people like Cyril Ramaphosa and others had been seasoned in hard bargaining with the mine owners and were toughened, as it were, whereas the NP had had its own way for forty years and weren't up on the arts and didn't have the skills of negotiation that the ANC had. Do you think that there's merit to that?

GV     Oh yes there is considerable merit in that assessment but it's not the full truth. It emphasises an important aspect but it is not, shall I say, the full truth. I think there were also very good negotiators on the NP side but especially Ramaphosa all along tremendously impressed me, not up to the point of giving in to him, but rather to the point of being more careful about him, watch him more carefully.

POM     This is a question which requires an opinion for an answer so I'll put it in the context that what you say would be an opinion. The context is that Roelf was one of the early converts in the NP to majority rule, majority rule would out in the end and that fighting it indefinitely was a waste of time. If he believed that, and I will go back and ask him, did that not weaken his hand as a negotiator, that he was negotiating some aspects of a mandate which he didn't really agree with so he would be more prone to concede?

GV     Well ultimately he was not alone in taking the decisions, he was the leader around the negotiating table but there were other members of cabinet also there and Roelf didn't have his way all along, there were politics and differences of opinion there, intense debates within the government and the NP. It wasn't just -

POM     A one-person show.

GV     No.

POM     So if you had to look back as a scholar, a classicist, look back on that whole period of 1990 to 1994, particularly the period that you were most intensely involved in yourself, and with the benefit of hindsight, what should the government have done differently than what it did?

GV     That's a bit of a difficult question. I don't think I should answer that question.

POM     Oh you can.

GV     I think I'd rather leave that unanswered.

POM     Well I'll put it off the record.

GV     Let us leave that question there. It's very sensitive, it's still very sensitive in the present set-up.

POM     This is, again, perhaps a question that you can address or can't. At the time of CODESA 2 public opinion polls show the NP running at about 25% or 26% in the polls and showed the ANC running at about 45% and there seemed a strong belief within the NP or within the cabinet that the NP could put together a coalition that could in fact defeat the ANC. So when this question of the percentages arose and the ANC came up with the proposal to have a 60% majority for all amendments to the constitution and with a 75% amendment to a Bill of Rights and then Ramaphosa added the rider that if the constitution was not written within six months then it would go to a referendum and a simple 51% would carry the day. Well, according to the internal analysis and data available to the NP it could stand a very good chance of getting that 51%. Why did it not go for the deal?

GV     I think the NP was a bit too optimistic about the percentage votes that it was likely to receive. On the other hand there was also that element which was very concerned that what had been negotiated, especially those constitutional principles that were taken up in the transitional constitution, had to be better protected than just through ordinary structures or ordinary procedures. Something special was needed for that.

POM     As to the future?

GV     I am guardedly positive about the future. I mentioned the few points which I think are very serious defects in the ultimate results and I hope that they can be improved. I hope that the economic line that is being followed at present will be maintained, at least that it won't go seriously up a different path and I hope that the question of culture and languages will be sufficiently dealt with. But for the rest I think - well another thing which I think is very important and is again part of the economic set up, is that the empowerment of blacks should work. If the empowerment and the very cheap ways in which blacks are given economic clout and economic influence and economic wealth doesn't result in successful businessmen and business leadership then we are going to be in a very serious situation. So success with regard to black empowerment in the economic field and also the success, and this is already a disaster area, with regard to affirmative action is essential. If in those two areas the result is a failure then we are going to be in a very difficult situation.

POM     OK. Thank you ever so much.

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.