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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

23 Jul 1998: Mokaba, Peter

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POM     I would like to just run through a couple of the things from our last interview before I move on to some new things. You wrote a paper called 'On Leadership'. Is it possible that I could get a copy of that?

PM     I don't know if I have got it here but I will print out one.

POM     OK, thank you.

PM     And 'The National Question'.

POM     That's right.

PM     But didn't you read about the speech by Mandela and Thabo Mbeki to the Communist Party saying the things that I said last year?

POM     Yes, I wanted to bring that whole question up. When you talk about questions of ethnicity, you had talked about questions of ethnicity as distinct from race relations, how do you distinguish between the two?

PM     Normally people when they refer to race in SA at least, or even where black people have been on the receiving end of that system, that countries have established on the basis of racialism, is when you distinguish blacks from whites. That's where people often use the term race. Now one of the things that we did not want to ignore in our country is that within what you can call the black race there are various national groups and we prefer to call them national groups because we  believe we are involved in the historical nation building project and in that case even the white people who might be of the Caucasian origin, that is race, would be part of another national group. So SA would say we have a national group of white people and a national group, not a nation, a national group of Africans, a national group Indians, a national group of coloureds. Now within the African national group, and I should think within the white national group also, even the Indian one, you would then find various other identities. Within the Africans there would be Zulu speaking people, there will be Pedi speaking, Northern Sotho speaking people, there will be Tswana speaking, Ndebele speaking, Shangaan speaking, Venda speaking, Xhosa speaking people within what might be regarded as the black group. Let me say, there are other identities within the national groups. We have already defined that the coloureds and the Indians are normally referred to as blacks together with the Africans. Within that you would have the Africans, more the indigenous people, and within them, and as I am saying within every other national group, there are other identities which can be defined as ethnic. They cohere more around issues of language, of culture, like the Zulu, the Venda, as I've pointed out the Pedis and so on.

POM     Afrikaner, English speaking.

PM     Yes. Afrikaners, within the white block you have the Afrikaner who is an ethnic white.

POM     And you have the Portuguese.

PM     Yes, the Portuguese, the German community, the English and so on. So that is what we referred to. But as ANC I think we have come to - one of the documents that I also wrote when I was in prison, there I referred to everyone as a national group, trying to emphasise the point that out of all of this variety of communities and people who cohere around this or that particular identity a South African nation is in the process of being formed that would be non-racial, so if you've got that objective then all other elements become components of that so they are national groups, so that is the point. It is because you emphasise the goal of where you are going that you define the components in those terms. My document when I was talking about the national question, the need to address the sense of grievance, the reality and sense of grievance by the African people, the African indigenous, is based on the fact, on the policy of the ANC in the fight against oppression, against exploitation. The struggle is really about the liberation of the African people in particular who are the indigenous and the majority people in our country and the black people in general for a non-racial and democratic SA. So it directs us on how to struggle, when you apply affirmative action it is to that group that we apply affirmative action so that we can build a non-racial society, bring opportunities to them, affirm them in terms of acquisition of those opportunities, land and credit and various other elements of empowerment so that they can be equal to those who have been privileged by the system of apartheid.

     My definition is also about what I would like to do, what I think should be done, which means build a nation out of all of these people. The question is how do you want to do it? Recognise the poorest of the poor, people who have been most disadvantaged, bring them up and that is the definition, it's not just a definition in isolation, it's not a definition in itself, a scientific one. It's a definition that also says what it is that you want to do with the problem as you conceptualise it.

POM     Let me relate that to, and we had a discussion on this before, to GEAR. Now everyone I talk to, that's people within government, will defend GEAR. People outside of government will not just not defend it but everyone will say that it's not working. It's not working in terms of this year for the first time you're going to have a decline in per capita income, less than 1% growth rate, it's not meeting it in terms of the reduction in the budget deficit, it's not meeting it in terms of creating jobs, in fact 130,000 jobs were lost last year in the formal sector alone. It's not meeting it in terms of creating the conditions for private inward investment, fixed investment which has been abysmally low compared to the targets that have been set out in GEAR. It's not meeting it in terms of stabilising the currency, i.e. creating foreign investor confidence.

     Now you have a situation of where the SACP and COSATU in particular have taken issue with it from the beginning. You said last year that GEAR is not the Holy Grail. A couple of things strike me, GEAR is not the Holy Bible. I would say GEAR might be missing its goals but doesn't GEAR need everyone to work for it first? From the beginning it was opposed, labour never supported GEAR properly, the other players that never supported GEAR and those who have not supported GEAR have actually caused those who support it on the side to create investor doubts. Now Mandela and Mbeki go before COSATU and the SACP and Mandela in particular says, "No, over my dead body, GEAR is government policy, period, that's it, no debate, no discussion." Don't you think that in a country where you have a one-party dominant state, i.e. the other parties, the white parties out there really count for nothing since they are contributing nothing towards transformation, that the opposition to the ANC must come from within itself? It must conduct the debates about policy and that if people have legitimate doubts about GEAR, particularly in light of the fact that it's not achieving some of its stated objectives, that there should be a forum where in fact these doubts and these fears can be discussed and there be not only a give and take but perhaps a kind of policy that's more realistic to be developed.

PM     It is true, yes, there has to be some consultation, there have to be discussions and so on but the nature of economic policy is such that the kind of broad consultations that people are talking about are not possible because you can't go to a people's forum and ask them about the budget deficits and targets and so on, they will not be able to give us any answer with regard to those things. I was saying that discussion, debate is the essence of the ANC. I have always said myself that once you kill debate, once you kill independent thoughts of individuals within the ANC you have killed the ANC, you have killed democracy. But I am saying the nature of economic policy anywhere in the world is that it is not a matter that you can go to the streets and discuss with the masses there because first and foremost they don't have the information.

POM     Well I'm not talking about the masses, I'm talking about the elites in COSATU and the SACP and in business, in other sectors where there are major players, saying let's all get together because there seems to be a lot of disagreement about whether or not GEAR is achieving its targets.

PM     No, there is no disagreement, we know that we haven't met the targets in job creation, we haven't met the targets in a variety of ways, but we know also that we have been able to reduce the deficit. We are not in the hands of the IMF today. We have reduced inflation. The fundamentals of our economy are in place, nobody can actually challenge that. One problem that we have got, particularly the criticism from the Communist Party, is that, look, we are not building socialism here, we are not building communism, so if the assumption is that we should be building communism then it means it means on the question of economic policy we will never agree because we are saying, for instance, that the fundamental framework of mixed economy, private public sector participation is what we would want, that is the framework within which we are going to operate and the framework of free market economy. That is the framework within which we are going to be operating.

POM     But is there a fundamental dichotomy between where, let me put it in quotes, 'mainstream'  ANC economic policy is going, that is the mixed economy, public/private partnerships, privatisation and whatever, and where the SACP is going, which is socialism. I remember the late Joe Slovo saying that even though there was a mixed economy now, it was a step on the path to socialism. Is there a fundamental philosophical difference here that in the end is impossible to resolve?

PM     No, we are not opposed to them when they say they want to build socialism. They should be able to build socialism if they get support for socialism in SA in a democratic fashion. There is no problem. We are saying to them that we are in alliance with them and the alliance is based on what needs to be achieved in terms of addressing the apartheid leaders and establishing a democratic society. That is what the alliance is about. We are saying the ANC is a free market kind of an organisation favouring public/private sector partnerships in production. It does favour and it does work on the basis of government intervention, not minimal government but adequate government, appropriate government in the economy, that it has to be involved. So even the issue of privatisation is not as they want to describe it a liberal approach, it's not ideologically driven this privatisation. It's not a liberal approach, neo-liberalism as they call it. It's not dictated to us by the World Bank.

     What we are saying, we are looking at the institutions that apartheid built for itself to sustain itself and we are saying whether or not we need these institutions to be managed by government and we think that some of them in the balance of evidence would run better if they are managed differently than the way they have been managed under apartheid. That would mean bringing in the private sector to manage some of the institutions that we say that government is not able to manage them properly. What we need to ensure in that privatisation, of course, is that we need to continue to deliver the goods to bring services to the people at the cheapest possible rate. Now they are using a category that they take from the World Bank and impose it on what we have opted to do, the privatisation thing. The World Bank in terms of privatisation subscribes to a view that says government should simply retreat from engagement in productive economy. That is now our view. Our view is that government must be involved but where government gets involved it must be effective involvement. It must be in areas where it is capable and should be able to do things. It is in areas where it is necessary for government to do those things. That is our view. We don't agree with the World Bank view that government must be minimal, we are saying it must be appropriate in terms of numbers and that will be determined by the conditions in each particular country. You see, that is our approach.

     So the Communist Party does not want to look at our argument about privatisation as to what it is, that it is not ideologically driven, not neo-liberalism, not nationalisation or privatisation in the ideological sense, but on the balance of evidence you then look at the alternatives of how best you can run a particular institution and when the evidence says to you if you run it on commercial lines, if you privatise it it will run better than if it is run by government, we will take that decision.  And that's the pragmatic way in which our government is operating. No neo-liberalism about it, no dictates of the World Bank and the IMF about it.

     But secondly, who can want to run an economy today in any one country and ignore the international norms, because that is the economy you want to integrate into in the global economy and that global economy has got its own rules. The question is how you want to respond as a national entity to these international norms and standards. Not that they must be imposed on you but that you must also inform them in a creative way, in a way that will enable you to still develop your people because that is your objective, that is the reason why you actually exist. To simply say we must close ourselves off and behave like an apartheid regime or behave like the Soviet Union, a government under siege which does not want to interact, does not want to go to the global markets to find goods and services there, cuts off the people of the Soviet Union from the world, we don't want to take that path, we will never take that path. We are part of the global economy and we don't want to resist that but we want the global economy and the international order of relationships to be in our favour too. That is why we engage internationally, that is why we form the kinds of friendships that we are forming, that we are establishing.

POM     Do you think this is something that is sufficiently taken into account, that SA now, like most countries, belongs to a global economy and the global economy, as you said, has its own rules and to a certain extent that puts constraints on the kinds of actions that you can take and the kinds of policies that you can develop and implement?

PM     Yes, yes.

POM     So you are no longer 'free' to do what you want?

PM     No economy has got a free hand as such. We brought down apartheid by appealing to the same global international economy to boycott apartheid because we said it was not operating in terms of the international norms. We are not only arguing to be accepted, to go into a finished product which is the international thing. Our argument is that we should engage to change it for ourselves also, to service ourselves too. We should not isolate ourselves. Our argument is not simply for inclusion but for engagement. Those rules they are set by the IMF and the World Bank and America and so on so that is why we don't accept that. That is why we have just rejected the legislation that America wanted to pass with regard to investment in developing countries, particularly in Africa, we rejected it. We would reject any conditions that the World Bank would like to impose on us which do not accord with our social programme at home. We would not agree to those things. We want to retain our independence and sovereignty as far as that is concerned while we do not ignore the fact of our inter-dependence with the rest of the world economy.

POM     Just last week the national coalition of NGOs in SA came out with a report and  before that you had a report on poverty, both of which said poverty was increasing. Now tell me, what do you do in a situation where you are faced with a currency that's under severe attack, and I'm talking of the impact of that not being so much on the economy but on the way investors look at the economy, where you have declining per capita income rather than increasing, where economic growth has shrunk to 1% or less a year, where foreign inward investment has fallen off to a huge extent, where domestic savings are low and there is no capital available for investment in productive activities, where inequalities are increasing not diminishing, what do you do in this situation?

PM     The first thing to do is to accept that those are the actual problems that we have to be dealing with. They have to be resolved, they are undesirable and they cannot sustain our country and life in general. Now the second question would be, exactly what is the cause of all of these things within and outside our country. When we talk about the declining currency, it is not on the basis of the fundamentals of the SA economy.

POM     Sure, currency is outside of your control.

PM     Yes.  Various other currencies have gone down. So the question is what is it that you can do within your country to shore up your own currency? The fact of the matter is that you have done all that it takes in terms of ensuring that your fundamentals remain in place. So it is not our economic management as such that is responsible for what is happening to the rand. In fact a whole basket of currencies have gone down, even ones that were the strongest economies like Japan and so on, the economies that were very vibrant, their currencies have gone down. The question that we have to answer is exactly what has happened in a global market in relations between countries that has allowed this particular thing to happen and what nations can do is to look at that and say how do we then do things in such a way that we do not actually fall further victim to these kinds of forces. So you would need a national response but also an international response. So I am saying the problems are genuine.

POM     But let's leave the currency aside and just deal with the ones on increasing inequalities, declining per capita income, lack of economic growth, lack of inward investment. One of the aims of GEAR was to put those structural economic forces in place so that foreign investors would say SA is a sound place to invest in and yet just two or three days ago Standard & Poor rated SA as the second most risky place among the top ten emerging markets to invest in. What do you do when unemployment is going up and not down? What kind of difference in approach must you adopt to redress increasing inequality?

PM     You see that is related to the issue of poverty in our country, is that there must be job creation. We have to create jobs for people. Our people, most of whom are unskilled because of the  apartheid level of development of human resources and so on, and in order for jobs to be created you want those who have got investable capital to begin to invest. We need to understand why they are not investing and then deal with the actual causes of why investment is not taking place. It is one thing to identify the fact that investment is not taking place, another to say why, because we cannot opt for a knee-jerk, uninformed response.

POM     Why isn't investment taking place?

PM     I don't have the answers to that, all of the answers, but I would say that what I know is that, yes, investment is not taking place. If it is taking place it is just in the stock market over there, it is not in the productive economy. We need to establish that very clearly as to why. That is one question. Secondly, I think that we need to say to ourselves, and before we even talk about foreign investment what we need is the investment of our own business people who are here who are not investing, who are actually looking out of the country to go to other markets to invest over there. One of the reasons certainly is that these same people never supported this government to come into power. They have always been suspicious of us and they have always been suspicious of what kind of regime we're going to bring in terms of whether or not it will be something that favours their own enterprises and so. That is one of the things, that was one of the reasons for the investor lack of confidence, lack of trust into the system, some inflated by, I would say, racial approaches or the racial opinions and some I would say that were actually enhanced or generated by those, for instance, who don't like our relationship with the Communist Party and would say that maybe we are still playing for time, we are not actually going to build a free market economy, we might be wanting to go in the direction of the SACP. You might have some of the doubts that people have.

     As I am saying, I do not discount racism, whether national or international, in terms of why people are not investing in this country and why are they not informed by the realities of the country rather than just the perceptions. The perceptions are simply opinions because most of the time when people say SA is crime-ridden, the same people go and invest in most unstable governments internationally for instance. And which country hasn't got crime? Now when crime is put up as an obstacle the question is how different is crime in SA from crime that is happening in places where they are taking their moneys to?

POM     Like Brazil.

PM     Like Brazil. These people are investing also in countries where I am saying there is not even political stability and inequalities are higher, not because of any apartheid but because of the way people have been managing their economy in those countries. I am saying that those are things that we need to come to terms with, that this is what is happening and not always try to find what will GEAR do with such an opinion? GEAR was an attempt to try and say, look, we are able to manage the economy in a manner that is sustainable, in a manner that should guarantee your returns if you invest here. That is what GEAR is doing. We are certainly against an opinion that says -

POM     That's what it should be doing, you've established that you can manage the fundamentals of the economy but the investment to result from it is not coming in.

PM     It's not coming in, that is our problem, but that is the problem with every economic theory. That is not a precise science. We're dealing with taste, we're dealing with perceptions, we're dealing with things that are really not very tangible. So we need to establish exactly what are the actual reasons and what is it that needs to be done to bring investment into SA. Now we are told that we need to speed up privatisation. We are told by the opposition parties, the other side, speed up privatisation, make the labour markets more flexible. What do they say? Take down the exchange controls very quickly.  That's what they are saying to us. On the other side labour says, if you take the exchange controls down competition comes and we lose our jobs. If you do privatise as the opposition is saying that you should privatise, again we are going to lose jobs, those of us who are working, and that services might become more expensive, so they regard that as part of subsidisation of services to the poor although the poor never received any electricity under ESCOM when it was managed by the government before. All the time the poor never received anything from that same ESCOM which is managed by government.

     I am saying you have these two, the right and the far left, this one saying you should, others say you cannot privatise and we are saying it will be on the basis of evidence, balance of evidence, what action we take and within a framework. Personally I am not agreed that the problems that we are faced with are actually problems of GEAR. GEAR itself has not been implemented properly. GEAR itself, not all the elements of GEAR are in place. From 1996 till now there are various other things that GEAR said needs to happen for this job creation to take place which have not been implemented. So I am saying investigate the actual contribution of GEAR to the problem and the solution and not an imaginary thing. Don't just imagine things. As I am saying I am not a blind supporter of GEAR but I know that it is a sound economic strategy. If we have got objectives of continuing to retain the sovereignty over our economic policy, that we don't want to simply turn around, go out and spend money which we don't have and therefore borrow and borrow.

     What is the problem of Africa today? Debt. What makes you lose your sovereignty is debt. That's the direction that we don't want to take. There are other issues of management within the country that need to be addressed before you even consider going out and borrowing more money or even spending what you don't have. The fact of the matter is that our tax collection is slow. The private sector is not paying taxes, they are engaged in methods of trying to find ways of evading taxes and so on. Our communities are not paying for services. Those kinds of things that we need to be doing that relate to really ourselves and management are nothing to do with the global economy. The things that we as individuals must do, we as households must do, we as business entities must do, we are not doing them. When you don't pay for services, for electricity, for your refuse removal, for maintenance of your residential areas as a community, where does the government get the money to come and deliver those services?

POM     In South Korea when their economy collapsed you had these scenes on television of people queuing up and handing in their family jewellery and whatever possessions they had to the banks to try to help the country get back on its feet.  We talked about this a little bit last time but not a lot, three years ago President Nelson Mandela called for a new patriotism yet there is no new patriotism, there is no sense of the whole community out there, and by that I include the black community, saying we're all in this together, unless we pay for services, unless we are prepared to sacrifice in this generation our children will have nothing in the next generation. There is no message going out that says we must hang together because if we don't hang together we're going to hang apart. Where is the message? Where is the vision? Where is the thing that can drive the man in the street to say, yes I will give up a little in order to help a little?

PM     Those are the things that I'm saying. Instead of blaming the market, GEAR and so on, these are things that we need to be doing.

POM     What's the obstacle to that happening?

PM     It is one thing that just yesterday I went to cabinet and I asked cabinet to agree that I should launch a campaign on the waste management and maintenance of public facilities campaign which will also include a tree planting, fruit trees and shade trees, and the maintenance would include pulling up just our fences and straightening them up and ensuring that we look good, that you give people new confidence in the system. So the cabinet has passed that but I am saying, and I have said this in a rally in Atteridgeville the other day, over this weekend, that one of the problems among the Africans is that this patriotism and also among the total population of SA, you don't have a patriotic sense, you don't have this thing that we belong together as we are saying. You don't have people saying how can we help our government so that it is able to help us. You have people simply looking up and saying, no they are not doing one, two, three, and not even that information is given in such a way that it should reach government. They are not interacting with government. Government is looking for partnership, no government in the world can on its own deliver the kinds of goods and services that people want without partnerships, without galvanising other resources that exist in that particular society, which is what my document on leadership is saying.

POM     Why were you able to galvanise the masses behind you in the fight against apartheid but you can't galvanise the masses behind you in the fight for economic growth, sustainable development, better schools, better quality of life for all?

PM     You know I normally say the wrong message was sent out that our generation should not be the one that believes that if there are going to be benefits we are the generation to benefit. We are that generation that is actually meant to sacrifice even more, more than we have sacrificed in beating apartheid. That is why you find people saying - if you say belt tightening, whose belt do you want to tighten? Because they still look at themselves and say 'divided nation', but why don't they reach - maybe they should belt tighten and not us. I am saying it is this lack of patriotic approach to issues, nation building, issues of economic development of social development which is where our unions in their screams and the SACP in their screams are failing, because what they are doing is to reduce the level of trust of the people in the government. What are they doing? Simply opposing without proposing any solutions. They are not saying this is the kind of economic thing, economic strategy that should be adopted. They have never ever presented such an economic strategy before us. All that they are saying, they are talking like a layman out there who says yes, but you want to create jobs but we have reduced jobs. That is true, that is what everybody sees. The issue that should actually concern a decision maker is why are we not meeting these targets. When we have the data of why, the information as to why and it is the correct information, then we should be able to know what it is that we need to do to address this particular situation.

     Now you don't have from COSATU, from the SACP and from the opposition generally that kind of an approach. You don't have a proposal. Where there is a proposal it's just something like 'privatise', 'don't privatise', no reasoning behind it why do you think we should do that and in what way do you think this particular action you say we must take is going to actually assist in nation building, in developing our economy? They don't give us those kinds of approaches. Everybody and anybody can stand up and oppose anything, but if that opposition does not contain in itself a proposal, it's really and truly meaningless and that is why the President said, "I will simply close my ears and not listen to what you are saying." That's what he said at their conference, that if you are going to behave in that fashion we are simply going to close our ears. And true, because those people of the SACP in particular are actually members of the ANC, none of them is outside the ANC. They are all members of the ANC. Why they are not able to use the structures of the ANC to debate this economic policy and propose? It beats us, it beats us. They are all, none of them, they are just a section of the ANC that hives itself off and takes a red cap and a red T-shirt and call themselves communists, but they are all ANC. That is the question that I am raising in the leadership, how does this alliance help us? How does it help SA? If it just means that we can be one and then suddenly we must then say we are Presbyterians, we must meet over there and when we are Presbyterians we have got a different mind than when we are in the organisation with others as members of the ANC on the same issues? No.

POM     It sounds almost a little bit like the NP when it was a member of the government of national unity, it would wear the cap or be part of a decision that the government would take and then go outside and criticise the decision that they had been part of making.

PM     Yes, unacceptable to anyone. You can't build any nation on that basis. You can't  build anything, not even your household on that basis. People need to trust in the decisions that have been taken by themselves and they should be the ones to implement those decisions. If you take a decision and turn against that decision why should anybody else who was not party to that decision actually trust and want to implement your decisions.

POM     So when you start gearing up now for your next election, for the election in 1999, if you're going into the election next year, as you're gearing up for the election, what should your message to the electorate be? What should you be saying to the electorate?

PM     What we will be saying is that we have gone through the period in which transformation has been the main objective. That objective continues. Various other things have been delivered but not enough still and we still require action by all of us to consolidate what we have delivered and to build together.

POM     What I am interested in is, you pointed out very cogently that when you have a divided society, particularly racially where one part has got all the wealth and the other part has none, when you say 'tighten your belts' those have-nots says we've no belts to tighten, but they are the people ultimately that you need to pull with you, to create nationhood.

PM     We should be able to say to our poor and the rich that we belong to one nation, we belong to one country, we are one people, and then when things that emerge and cause instability, that instability will affect all of us, that it is therefore important for us to act as a nation at all times. It is therefore important for all of us to know that whether or not, with whatever meagre resources we have got, we need to act in a way that actually promotes the national goal and ensuring that we help our government to deliver to ourselves because it is an instrument that we have created that we want to use as a people to develop democracy, to implement democracy for ourselves. The government has got no special interests away from the interests of the people. They themselves can make government what they want government to be and that is why I am saying they can only do that if they find one another and each other among themselves. As long as they are divided government's role will be one of balancing. Yes indeed government has got a leadership role, of ensuring that it can lead, that these particular groups can then cohere around certain national values. It is the task of government. It is the task of political organisations to identify what should be the fundamentals of being South Africans, what should be the fundamentals of a good economy, what is the SA theory of development, as a nation how do we want to develop, what should be the relationship between various structures of society in that development strategy? Those are the fundamentals that we need. Those are things that we can only work together on if we recognise the fact that these problems that we inherited from the past, the increasing inequality can be a current thing but it increases what has been happening. The question is whether we have the real information and therefore the real determination to deal with that problem as a problem together, government, the private sector and communities in partnership.

POM     To go back, and this is to the Deputy President's speech on 4th March, his 'Two Nations' speech where he talked about the collapse of moral values. I would like you to comment on that, and then he talked about a 'Moral Summit'. Why do you think moral values have collapsed? That's one. Two, he talked about the divisions between the haves - the whites are as privileged as they were four years ago, they have really lost nothing very much in the last four years. Three, that progress towards reconciliation has really been absent, there has not been reconciliation in the true sense of the term and that the two nations are as divided as they ever were. They are all powerful statements with immense implications so maybe you'd just comment on each of them. Why, first of all, has there been a collapse in moral values? I would assume he's not just talking about moral values in the white community but he's talking about moral values in the country as a whole, and what must be done. Again, what is the purpose of a moral summit to deal with that?

PM     If you once again read that document that I wrote last year on the issues of the national question one of the points I made there is that one of the tragic consequences of apartheid and the struggle against apartheid has been the destruction of family life and therefore community, particularly in the African communities. Now whereas the family is the basic unit within which morals are built and that family exists and should exist within a community, if there are no families there will be no community and the basis therefore for development of morals to sustain our society and our civilisation will not be there. So that is a legacy that we have inherited from apartheid. Apartheid of course has never been a moral institution, it never educated anybody about the morality of doing things, the morals of human beings. It didn't educate them in that regard, it actually educated them to be immoral. That's what apartheid did. We can also look at the kinds of - if you talk about crime for instance, a lot of it is based on this lack of morals. When you look at corruption where a public servant is supposed to service the communities, the public, and then they do things for themselves at the expense of the taxpayer, you have no morals, you have no person of integrity there. You have a person who is materialistic, who wants to enrich himself and nothing else. That is in the nature of the way in which our society was managed before.

     During the struggle I would say that as the parents were trying to sustain what they had in the form of whatever kind of family that you can say was there, actually they were seen at that time as the conservative elements by the young people. What then happened was the young people then took over the running of the struggle, the parents were never involved, and therefore beginning to determine what should happen. It's a problem that we have also inherited today where you have real expertise you have people who should actually be running our local government structures outside and in their households and the local structures are run by the youth. It's a problem, it's a big problem. We have to have a way of ensuring that parents, people who own property, people who are parents who know that they've got children that they must raise in a particular environment, should themselves go and be part of the construction of that environment in the local government structures, in the provincial structures. We need them to participate. We need the participation of the intelligentsia, the intellectuals who are not part of the implementation or even development of strategies in government. They are outside, the teachers, the nurses, they remain in their small areas of work, they never interact with government at their level to ensure that the government does things informed by their own experience in a way that will actually, finally have the right impact on the people. They are not engaged, that is why I was saying to the Deputy President that you cannot have an African renaissance without a true and proper engagement of this intelligentsia wherever it is, it's a free flow of ideas, that is what we need. They should be able to be the ones who actually pose questions of morality, of development and ensure that we actually develop in a particular way. There is this culture of debate that should be sustained by them, that should be directed by them, that should be informed by them through their work.

POM     When the Deputy President talks about an African renaissance, what do you understand that to be? What do you understand the necessary ingredients of that to be?

PM     It is important that we define it again in terms of what we aim to achieve. What we would like to achieve is the development of Africa. From the stage of under-development and poverty we want Africa to be a continent, not a dark continent, but a continent where life is sustainable, where there is sustainable living. Now if that is our goal then it is critical to look at the issues of how are the Africans of this continent managing their human and material resources and in fact what are those material resources that they have got and what are the human resources that they have got? We have to have an inventory of that. The question then is, if you've got those human and material resources what are the inputs that you need to make in terms of developing your human resources so that your material resources can be better managed to produce the kind of impacts that you need. So you need to be able therefore to co-ordinate the intellectual thoughts, the ideas of Africans wherever they are. You need to build the appropriate institutions, you need to mobilise energies of all of our people towards this one goal, this one vision. When I talk about institutions I also mean structures of good governance that should ensure that Africa is managing its human and material resources in a way that ensures development, peace and prosperity which are the things that we need in Africa which we don't have. So African renaissance would require institutions to assist you to do that, would require resources to assist you to do that, would require the goodwill and total mobilisation of the African person on the ground, and because the problems of Africa are not only for the Africans, they are global problems, the African renaissance will also need a buy-in by the international community.

POM     Just to go back to the other two things that the Deputy President said, "The two nations are as divided as they ever were." Do you agree with that?

PM     True. Indeed you see the whites have made more money today than they ever made under apartheid. They still receive the best out of the society than the  blacks.

POM     But they complain all the time.

PM     Yes they complain all the time, that is why I'm saying it is pure racism. They really don't want to see the others catching up with them and they don't want to assist the others to catch up with them, to be equal to them, and that is why they are complaining. But the fact of the matter is that they have gained a lot, they have moved, they have actually used even blacks - in my document I writing also about the rising phenomenon of rent-a-black schemes where white people just put up a company of their own and put in a black person and say - approach your government to get a tender, and that tender is theirs, and the slow transfer of skills. That is what has actually afflicted black economic empowerment in our country. All of them, they owe the white merchant banks. You have to buy from one particular commercial store which is now owned by the whites, you have to go to the merchant banks which are not restructured and which are remaining white, and they will give you money and then buy your shares and you will remain actually a capitalist without capital, a capitalist with debt, a lot of debt. That is all you're trading in.  A capitalist without capital. That's what happens because all you are doing is to provide yourself as a pipeline for them to further invest in an institution that they would have invested in for sure and the returns go back to them. You will get what falls in between. There has never been black economic empowerment, but that is what afflicts the kind of black economic empowerment that we've got today. The merchant banks remain white, the banks remain white. They're the ones who determine whether you will be empowered or not. That's why I have said in my document, again, that we are not going anywhere without an establishment of a bank that is able to look at us as people and give us such rates and assistance that will ensure that we are able to engage and be freed, totally freed, to work and to produce in this country. If we don't have such an institution we are doomed. If you go to Sanlam it's an Afrikaner institution, Volkskas is an Afrikaner institution, all of them have combined recently into one thing, you see, financial institution. You have to go with a begging bowl and they have to tie you down to themselves through the debt that you are going to incur in order to go into business. So you more remain a manager rather than an actual owner because if you default they will take back the shares and the company is still with them.

POM     Just one or two last things, and as always thanks - I could spend all day with you and we'd still be talking. One is Richmond and the situation there. Nelson Mandela has always said you negotiate with your enemies not with your friends. The UDM is appearing as a viable political party in the sense that in terms of opinion surveys it has at least as much support as the PAC and the DP combined perhaps and yet when the UDM says we've a problem here in Richmond and we ought to get together and discuss it and try to find a common way out that saves lives, the ANC responds, "Never, all you want is a meeting with us to enhance your own political stature." Well even if they did enhance their political stature, given that the constitution guarantees the establishment of a viable multi-party state you have to have other parties other than the ANC, you have to enhance their political stature a little bit before you have more viable opposition parties. Why is it so difficult in this particular situation, where the ANC could spend years trying to talk to the IFP, to take such a strong line, such an almost intransigent line with the UDM with regard to Richmond?

PM     The issue is fairly clear. Both the guy who is heading the UDM in Richmond and Holomisa have been in the ANC. They were members of the ANC and that violence was there, they never resolved it. What is this that they were not able to say when they were in the ANC that they will say today that will resolve that violence? We don't think they've got anything and they don't -

POM     But the violence wasn't there when they were in the ANC.

PM     No, no, when they were in the ANC we had violence, they never offered a single opinion on how to resolve violence. In fact it is suspected this Siphiso is actually part and architect of this violence. So we are saying no, why, even if it is a multi-party thing, it is not the duty of the ANC to build its opposition and we are not going to do that. So we are simply not going to meet with them because there is nothing in the violence that is occurring there that says that if we meet with them there will be peace. They are not able to demonstrate that such a meeting will actually bring about peace and we don't know why they want to meet. I am saying they are renegades from the ANC. Inkatha itself hived off from the ANC also and that is why negotiations are very difficult with them because they are discussing with their former comrades.

POM     That applies both to the IFP and to the UDM?

PM     I have issued a statement that we would want the IFP to come back home. It is not helpful that the Africans must continue to die even during liberation. Holomisa walked out, out of disciplinary issues, and to go and create that violence there and think that that is what makes a political party, we do not want to meet with him. In the first place he worked for the former government that was part of apartheid and we recruited him from there, brought him into the ANC, he has gone back to them. He has gone back to Roelf Meyer who actually was part of the architect of the worst system of murders ever established by any government in the world, here at home. Holomisa was their soldier, he is now leading that particular crusade. We wanted to make him human by bringing him into the ANC. He has refused. There is nothing that we can discuss with Holomisa, he has got no ideas, we know him. A person who is able to go and work for one system and then when he is actually redeemed, reverts and goes back to the same system, he is no person to deal with, you can't trust him. What we need there is actually policing and soldiers who should really apply iron law to deal with these dissidents, ensure that we crush them to smithereens. That is what we should do. The whole thing about talking to them is not going to help, they have to be crushed. They have to be crushed completely. That's what we need to do.

POM     My last, last one. You mentioned, it just intrigued me, that the IFP had said they want to come home. Are there moves afoot to bring about some kind of reconciliation or alliance or perhaps even merger between the ANC and the IFP? Buthelezi has been insistent that this is not going to happen but is he playing politics too?

PM     We are certainly not playing politics.

POM     But is he?

PM     He says that. The people are dying there, we can't play with the lives of people. There is blood. We are talking about real bodies of people that are buried every weekend, every day in that particular situation. There is no point, the ANC is big, it cannot merge with the IFP. The IFP can actually come into the ANC. There is no way you can merge.

POM     I know, but do you think it will or do you think the forces within the IFP who would like to see it come into the ANC are on the ascendant?

PM     I think there are many people in the IFP, when I released my statement Mzimela supported, he was the chairman of the IFP then, the vice chairman, and now he has been expelled. He responded very positively and I know that they all know that we are not doing things right there. We are able to sit in parliament together, enough together and eat at the same table while our own members, our own communities they are killing each other, they cannot sit around the same table. It doesn't make sense for any political leader to continue to think that he is governing, he is leading, when he is not able to deliver a basic thing such as peace.

POM     Is there a real possibility that unless you reach some resolution of this problem that in the elections next year you could see an outbreak of violence again between the two communities, IFP supporters and ANC?

PM     I don't think there will be such a thing, there will be no such violence. The violence will come from the UDM because I think what they are doing, Roelf Meyer is simply reactivating his own CCBs and the covert structures that they set up. That's what they're doing. The violence will come from them and it's always come from them. The IFP and the ANC - I don't think there will be any violence that we should expect between themselves, if it does it will be because of this third force element. We should be able to deal with it in a manner that we are dealing with it today. But I think it is going to be important for the ANC to win an absolute majority in that area, to actually get the IFP to see that if there is a need that there is dividend in coming into the ANC. So we need to ensure that we actually win the rural areas, because we have got the urban areas. We need to win the rural areas convincingly and that is why we want peace. We want peace because under peaceful conditions the ANC or the party with the best policies will actually survive and the party with the worst policies won't survive.

POM     OK. Thank you ever so much. I might come back and try to see you again before I leave.

PM     That's OK.

POM     As I always say, I could spend all day with you.

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. Return to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory site.