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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

07 Sep 1998: Matthews, Joe

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POM     Mr Matthews, just let me begin with - this is almost an historical background, it refers to the negotiating period and you are mentioned in Patti Waldmeir's book Anatomy of a Miracle where she talks about the point at which the former US Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, and Lord Carrington arrived here to do some mediation and she says: -

     "They never got to square one. The ANC and Inkatha could not even agree on the terms of reference for mediation. Thabo Mbeki had agreed on draft terms with Inkatha's Joe Matthews, a leading moderate. Their draft agreement tactfully avoided the contentious issue of the election date but when Cyril Ramaphosa saw the terms he exploded. Rather than merely leaving the issue unstated as Mbeki had done he tried to force Buthelezi to commit himself in writing to the poll. Such a frontal attack on the Inkatha leader had never worked in the past and it did not work now. No terms could be agreed upon. The international mediators left in disgust. It seemed that the last chance for peace had finally passed."

     Could you just comment on what happened at that time and the role you played and Mbeki played and why Ramaphosa 'exploded' when he saw the draft?

JM     You see the teams, we had two teams working on this, an Inkatha team -

POM     Working on?

JM     On the whole issue of international mediation. The ANC team was led by Thabo Mbeki and the IFP team was led by Dr Mdlalose. Now we had several meetings on this and eventually we produced a draft set of terms of reference for the mediation and we were fully convinced that the mediation was on and the terms of reference were sent to Kissinger as the agreed terms of reference.

POM     What were the terms of reference that you can recall?

JM     Well it's rather difficult to recall now but basically they set out the issues on which mediation was required, the constitutional issues which included the whole issue of devolution of power, the federal system, what powers should be accorded to the centre and to the provinces. In essence that really was the issue on which mediation was required.

POM     Thabo had no problem going along with the idea that mediation was needed on these issues to resolve them?

JM     Yes. That was agreed, that was why the teams were meeting. We had agreed on mediation, we had agreed on the people who should be invited. In fact Kissinger was an ANC nominee, they nominated Kissinger. So we had each nominated people and then we had agreed on the list, Kissinger, Carrington. So that was agreed as well.

POM     Who was the - Okumu, the Kenyan, whose nominee was he?

JM     He wasn't on that.

POM     He had just arrived?

PAT     He wasn't part of that.

JM     I don't think he was part of the team.

POM     She said, "The Kenyan mediator Washington Okumu arrived with the Kissinger Carrington team but had not left with them."

JM     Because he knew Kissinger and so on, I am not sure whether he was actually on the team. I think we had someone from India, we had somebody from Europe from the Chamber of Venice who deals with constitutional issues and so on, the European lawyers. But I can't remember now the list of - but it was agreed, the list was agreed. Kissinger had said he wouldn't come until there were agreed terms of reference. So he got the terms of reference, that's why he came because he got the terms of reference we had agreed upon. When they were already on their way a meeting was called at Roelf Meyer's office in Pretoria. Remember that at that stage the government had stayed out of the issue of international mediation. They were not involved, in fact didn't want to be involved.

POM     So it was merely the IFP and the ANC.

JM     Yes we were the only ones who were negotiating the mediation. Then the NP presumably when they found that Kissinger and people like that, Carrington, were coming it then appeared absurd that there should be no role for the government. It looked reasonable that it should have some role. So they stepped in to say, look, after all we are the government, we are in charge of the country, we are involved in the negotiations and then you have a sort of thing which is an agreement really between the ANC and the IFP, this is not appropriate, there should be a role for the government. So we all agreed, we said oh yes, sure, there should be a role for government and no-one is objecting to that. So a meeting was then called at Roelf Meyer's office in Pretoria. When we arrived there with Dr Ngubane and myself we found the ANC team had changed. We now had Ramaphosa, Joe Slovo - you see? The fellows who were there previously were not on the team. Mbeki wasn't there, Maduna wasn't there, so we had a completely new team and these chaps came along and with Roelf Meyer, because they said no we can't accept - Roelf Meyer was the one who started, we can't accept the terms of reference which you fellows have agreed upon.

POM     But when he said 'we can't' he was speaking for the government?

JM     Yes. We were still at that stage talking about government, ANC, IFP. So let's go over these terms of reference, start again. So we went through it paragraph by paragraph and it's at that point that Ramaphosa and Slovo introduced the notion that the election date must be incorporated into the terms of reference. Now, of course, it was very difficult to see what they meant by that. They seemed to be suggesting that if you haven't got an election date it invalidates the whole idea because their then idea was that the purpose of international mediation is to delay the holding of a democratic election.

POM     But the date had already been decided upon.

JM     That had been decided upon in the negotiations at Kempton Park, there had been a date which had been adopted, April 27th. So they wanted that - in other words, now remember that the date accepted at the negotiation chamber occurred in our absence, in the absence of the IFP so the IFP was not yet committed to the election date. Now they came along and said, look we must have international mediation and it must be linked with an election date. We tried all kinds of formulae to get this resolved and straightened out.

POM     Did Roelf Meyer side with Ramaphosa and Slovo?

JM     Yes, yes. He of course had to because they had already committed themselves to that date. Now the people are already waiting. Remember that the guys are already on their way, they are now at the hotel waiting. We had received them, we had taken photographs. Jacob Zuma had been there representing the ANC at the reception of Kissinger and others at the Carlton and here we were at a side meeting at Roelf Meyer's office which was revising the whole thing and of course the thing failed and Kissinger was informed that in fact the parties haven't agreed to terms of reference. An absurd situation because he was sitting there with terms of reference and he simply couldn't understand what was happening. Of course the explanation was that you now had a third party which was not there before which had come into the thing, that is the SA government. That's where the whole thing failed. Now we understand, we of course were not there, that when the ANC team went back to their Executive -

POM     That's Mbeki and Maduna.

JM     Mbeki, Maduna and others, when they went back with agreed terms of reference it is then that Ramaphosa exploded and so took over from them, he and Slovo, and the team which had agreed on the terms of reference was replaced. This is how it happened. Our team remained the same but their team changed.

POM     During the attempts to re-formulate the terms of reference there was no disagreement from Ramaphosa and Slovo that there was a need for mediation on the devolution of power, they didn't disagree?

JM     You see we had agreed on that.

POM     They just wanted to link it to a date but they didn't disagree with we will have the election on -

JM     It was very easy to deal with the issues. Basically the issues, anybody could come with any issue to the mediators. Really that's what it amounted to. The ANC could come with their proposals, the IFP could come with their proposals. In fact we prepared a document of about 300 pages of proposals from the IFP and presumably they would do the same. So there was no difficulty about the issues because the issues were so wide open. You could come with anything constitutional really. But it's this whole thing about the election date and so on which appeared to be -

POM     The sticking point.

JM     Yes, but in fact it could be that the election date was merely a symbol of a deeper disagreement. You see in front of international mediators it would be impossible for the ANC to discredit federalism because federalism is an internationally very respectable concept. They could trash it internally and make it out to be something akin to apartheid which is what they were saying but before an international forum you couldn't do that, you couldn't tell Kissinger that federalism was akin to apartheid, or Carrington. They had invented federalism. The British and the Americans invented federalism so you couldn't convince them that it was akin to apartheid. I think this is what they were worried about that it would make the whole idea of a federal SA respectable and they were, both ANC and NP, really for a unitary state and they didn't want a federal state at all.

POM     What I'm asking for is surmise on your part, but there seem to have been a number of occasions during the negotiations when there were rather severe clashes between Mbeki and Ramaphosa, this being one. I am sure Thabo didn't feel so good that when he came back after having established through negotiations a term of reference for negotiations, that he was overruled so to speak by Ramaphosa and Slovo who tore the document up and said we're taking over this process, you're out of it. It can't exactly have made Thabo feel good.

JM     Maybe that's putting it crudely. I think what happened is that when it was decided to bring in the SA government and the mood of the Executive of the ANC was not in accordance with what Thabo had agreed upon, then he couldn't go along with it. In other words he was not prepared to come along now and say I've changed my mind. Then he said, fine, you guys have got a different opinion, you do it. I think it wasn't a case of him being over-ruled in that sort of sense but I think the other chaps convinced the Executive that this issue of the date, the way I look at it, they said Buthelezi just wants to delay things, this is a delaying tactic even though it was going to take, there was a time factor, the mediation was going to be over in a week or less because Kissinger by the way -

POM     Costing millions.

JM     Half a million a day. So nobody could carry on for long. They must have been convinced that it's just a delaying tactic and we must go there and force this issue of the date and so on into the negotiation though it has nothing to do with constitutional issues. A date, an election date can hardly be regarded as part and parcel of a discussion on elections.

POM     Was there a twofold agenda there that by tying the frames of reference of the negotiations into an election date it also meant that even before the negotiations began that the IFP had implicitly committed itself to participating in the elections?

JM     That's really what it was.

POM     So it was a way of pulling you in through the back door.

JM     Which means that even if the - they would go in there, wreck the mediation effort, but you have agreed to the date. But there was a moment in that negotiation which was very, very, actually very interesting and that was when one of Roelf Meyer's chaps produced a document which everybody agreed to for exactly five minutes. Everyone agreed and then we went for tea or coffee or something and when we got back the differences started again. Just for a few minutes.

POM     So bad timing on the tea break.

JM     Yes. That break and then by the time we got back people had changed their minds. It was a formulation which included the election date but in such a way that it was something like if all conditions for a free and fair election have been established. So the election date was tied to a condition.

POM     Who were the first to voice their objections to that formula?

JM     The ANC people obviously. They were not going to have something that was conditional. The date had to be actually agreed upon because they thought that was still a delaying tactic if you say you're opening the door to examine whether the conditions exist, that kind of thing. You know they had an idea which I hope was disproved by the elections. You must remember that at that time, after years of demonising of Buthelezi and the IFP, there was a belief that he had no support. Now it started off with people saying, well maybe he has got 3% support. That's how it started. There was a survey which said he had 3% support. They had previously agreed in the negotiations that there would be no threshold for parties to enter cabinet and so on. Then it was said no, make it 2%, you must have at least 2%. Then it was changed after the survey to 5%, the whole idea being Buthelezi will be out, he's only got 3%, the survey says that so if he gets 3% then in terms of the constitution he will not be able to have a representative in the cabinet.

     I think a lot of this, I know that at a meeting here at the Mount Nelson with American representatives from Congress and so on, and I was raising all the various issues on federalism and so on, devolution of power, this and that, the wrong approach on the constitution namely to have it decided by a majority vote instead of by consensus. You see the ANC approach seemed to be that you should only adopt a final constitution in the Constituent Assembly by majority vote and we were saying normally a constitution is adopted in a country by consensus, to make sure that no-one, not even a minority is against the basic document of the country. That was our approach. They took that as well as indicating these chaps have got no support, they are afraid of an election, and Slovo actually said it here at the Mount Nelson. He said basically you guys are afraid of an election. And I said to him, well Zulus are afraid of nothing, not even elections. That I think was at the back of the minds of a lot of the ANC people, that every step, every proposal advanced by the IFP was never examined on its merits. It was always this chap is trying to delay elections, he's trying to do this, he's trying to do that. Now people are beginning to realise when we have provinces and so on and you are now getting the ANC people demanding more powers, demanding this, demanding that because it's now no longer an election issue, it's no longer an IFP issue, it's now Premiers demanding to be effective.

POM     Effective powers.

JM     They want powers to make policy and so on. They are now speaking as representatives of their provinces and we are getting a better debate than we got before the elections which was a very highly charged moment, the election period.

POM     Do you think NCOP strengthens the hands of the Premiers in that regard, that their commonality of interests in wanting more devolution of power, of wanting authority at the policing level, at the magisterial level, that they all agree on certain powers they need in order to run their own provinces more effectively, that a common front is developing?

JM     I don't think so. There are two things happening. One is that the formal powers are actually less than we had under the interim constitution, the formal powers are less. But if you are skilful you could accumulate formidable powers under the present constitution in the province but it requires people to read that constitution very carefully and to be very constructive and they could run their provinces if they really looked at the description of exclusive and concurrent powers. If you are effective in your province you could virtually run the place but it requires that you be not confrontational to the centre but co-operative, which of course the ANC has been saying, that this is a system of co-operative government. I think very often we lose the opportunity in the provinces of exercising real power by being confrontational whereas the centre would gladly like to get rid of the administration of the power even though they may have the legal power. They would like to get rid of it so that it's administered by the province and you would find over time that the provinces were actually running the show.

POM     Do you think that the ANC's decision to appoint Premiers in provinces in which it has a majority will make Premiers in those provinces more compliant to the centre since they have been appointed by the centre and can just as easily be unappointed and that if they push a confrontational agenda the centre will simply reappoint another Premier so they will appoint Premiers who are in sympathy with the policy designs of the centre rather than sometimes pushing against them?

JM     I don't think so. It's a constitutional dilemma. You have conferences of the provinces every year. You have Premiers who are elected once every five years. Now can you imagine the chaos that you are creating. Here's a chap, he stood as Premier for the party and he's elected. The electorate elects the Premier and members of the legislature. Then you have a party conference which elects a new chairman who is different from the Premier of the province. You see the dilemma? If you say that the chairman of the conference is automatically the Premier you are creating confusion as between those who are elected by the electorate and those who are elected by the party conference. This is the problem that the ANC has, I think they have adopted a clumsy solution to the problem. They should have looked at the British example of what happens with the Labour Party. In the old days of course in the Conservative Party you didn't elect a leader, a leader emerged. But the Labour Party had leaders and they were faced with the same thing, what do you do? Do you allow the conference to determine who the leader should be or the members of parliament?

POM     Parliamentary caucus.

JM     They have now got a sort of mixture, it's a kind of mixture. They've got electoral colleges, the MPs, the labour unions and others interested in the party to make it broader than it used to be when it was just the MPs who elected the leader of the party. But it got rid of this dilemma because if the electorate has elected MPs and they elect a leader you can't have a conference which has less authority than the electorate to change that. This is where the ANC found itself in a bit of a dilemma and all the parties are faced with that dilemma. Our system is not a constituency based one, it's based on election of parties, on a party list. Then people are elected to the legislature and the legislature elects the Premier. I think what the ANC is trying to say is that the person who is nominated by the ANC leadership, who becomes Premier and is elected by the legislature as Premier, will remain there regardless of what happens in the provincial conferences. That's really what they are trying to say. It hasn't been put well. The press hasn't really reported it correctly because they are thinking of something else, they are thinking of conflicts between the national leadership and the province whereas that's not the issue. The issue is what do you do with people who are put in their positions by the electorate and what influence should the provincial party conference have over that? Can they overthrow a man who has got the support of the electorate? Is it correct constitutionally? This is not a party system, it's a parliamentary democratic system. It's the electorate which must have the final word, not the party.

POM     So do you see this being tested before the Constitutional Court?

JM     I don't think so. You see the Constitutional Court will merely say, well the legislature elects a Premier. That's the only thing they know legally. A Premier is elected by the legislature. The ANC may nominate but it's the legislature which elects a Premier in terms of the constitution.

POM     So is it possible that the ANC can nominate somebody - well the word 'appoint' has been used where the right word is really they can nominate somebody to be Premier but that nomination has to go before the legislature and the legislature has to vote on it and the legislature has to accept it. But if you had a case where the NEC nominated somebody for Premier and it went before the legislature and even though it was an ANC controlled legislature if they voted down the NEC's preferred nominee then that person would not become Premier?

JM     He would in terms of the constitution.

POM     Even though he wasn't elected by the legislature?

JM     I thought you said that if he was elected by the legislature.

POM     No. If he was nominated.

JM     You say nominated but not elected?

POM     Say there's an election and Patricia is at that point the provincial chair, the elected provincial chair, and I am the NEC and I say no, I want Joe Matthews to be appointed Premier, so I have to nominate you and your name has to be placed before the legislature and the legislature has to vote on my nomination. If they vote me in then the constitution has been followed. But what if, even if it were an ANC controlled legislature, they reject it?

JM     They can.

POM     In that case that person would not become - they would have to either re-submit the name of somebody else or twist some arms.

JM     Yes, in the caucus of the ANC. But that applies to all the structures. All the structures in parliament if the parliament rejects the nominee of the ANC for President it's hard luck, he can't become President. So the issue of the institutions versus a party and the relationship between party and institutions is a difficult one and our people haven't really gone into all the possible problems and difficulties. As you know the issue arose in Lesotho. In Lesotho the Prime Minister created a new group called the Lesotho Congress Party. He had been elected on a Basutoland Congress Party ticket, he and his whole members of parliament were from the BCP. Then he had problems with a group within the BCP who said he is old, he is ill, he is incompetent and they wanted to kick out the Prime Minister. So what the Prime Minister did is he formed his own group, the Lesotho Congress Party, which had a majority in parliament. So he continued as Prime Minister. These chaps wanted to rush to court and say to the court, but those people were not elected as members of the Lesotho Congress Party, they were elected as members of the Basutoland Congress Party. Now they had the difficulty that a very famous Professor Laski created after the war. Professor Harold Laski, the great, the founder of LSE and so on, he wrote an article in which he suggested that the decisions of the National Executive of the Labour Party, of which he was then chairman, would supersede any decisions taken by the parliamentary party. Of course Clement Attlee had to administer a rebuke to the great political scientist by pointing out that in Britain parliament isn't supreme and it is the actions of parliament that you have to look at, what happens inside parliament and not what happens in the party because the electorate intervenes between party and parliament and that is the crucial issue, is who have the electorate elected. Therefore the things that happen in a legislature or in parliament, that is where you have to have a majority. Therefore in Lesotho that's what had to be pointed out to the opposition, that look, if you want to punish Mokhehle and the others because they formed a new group you can do it through the electorate in the next general election. There is no other way. The court won't interfere.

POM     Just a couple of other things. The TRC has issued letters, the media say about 200 letters, to a number of individuals including a number of very prominent individuals, some inside government, some former government officials, saying unless they come forward and apply for amnesty now that they have been named ...  Do you think that if prosecutions of individuals accused of gross human rights violations were to follow, who have not applied for amnesty, were to follow the publication of the TRC report that it would wreak havoc in the country?

JM     Well the threat is an empty threat. I am telling you now as a criminal lawyer, it's an empty threat because what happens in court is very different from the circus you had in the TRC. In court you have to prove everything beyond reasonable doubt and you have to have witnesses who are cross-examined and so on. What you had there were a series of hearings and in our country you can have as many hearings and you can have 100 people coming along and saying this is what happened, but once they walk into that court and the chap is put in the witness box it's another story. I think it's an empty threat, as was proved by the Malan case, that once you get into court different rules apply, hearsay evidence is not allowed, you can't say - well I think this happened, or, I believe President Botha knew. All that stuff in court is not allowed. I think it's an empty threat and of course it will be taken as such. That's why the people didn't apply for amnesty. They knew that if you prosecuted them you couldn't get a conviction.

POM     So if you were a lawyer advising somebody who had received a letter of this sort you would say ignore it?

JM     Yes, ignore it.

POM     Will the IFP be in the next government? Is there now a situation of where the ANC need the IFP more than the IFP need the ANC, that the ANC will face a difficult election and the economy will probably be in recession?

JM     I don't think so. I think the ANC will get a majority.

POM     Well they will get the majority but will the IFP, do you think, continue to be part of that government as they are now?

JM     I think if they get sizeable support they will probably be willing to enter into a coalition government with the ANC.

POM     If the IFP get a sizeable support?

JM     Yes, because remember it's not just a test of what the ANC can do but will the IFP get sufficient support.

POM     But wouldn't it be a matter of the ANC asking them to become part of that coalition?

JM     But if they have no support the ANC might not need us. It depends on what support they get. People are talking about the ANC getting 57% support and so on. Well if I had 57% support I will carry on with the government. What's the difficulty? Normal democratic politics.

POM     But there's all this talk of Chief Buthelezi being accorded a Deputy Presidency or a position in the next government that would be commensurate with his status as a national, international figure. There has been talk of merger between -

JM     Nobody in the ANC or the IFP has seen this. It's only in the press. We have had no such discussions or anything with the ANC at all. It's a press speculation and there's nothing wrong with it. The press, I think, is entitled to speculate as to how the realignments will take place. Will the DP become the official opposition? That's a speculation where the NP is supposed to just disappear and we have the DP as the official opposition. There are all kinds of speculations but I think that the IFP has always believed in continental type coalition governments. We don't like the Westminster style of government on one side, opposition on the other side and we think people are misunderstanding proportional representation because proportional representation basically compels coalition governments whereas 'first past the post' usually produces a more clear cut solution and you have a clear cut thing, majority on this side and opposition on the other side, the two party system. But we think for our country, even in the negotiations we put forward the idea of proportional representation which we thought would lead to a continental style of politics but in fact it looks like the South African people are not used to a continental style. They still speak in terms of government and opposition because they have had that in the white parliament, that was the basic structure and most of us have been educated on the British system so even within parliament you can see the thinking is dominated by the Westminster style and not by the continental coalition style where you have lots of parties and then they have negotiations for a coalition and so on for weeks and weeks until they get a government cobbled together. That's what we thought would happen but it doesn't look like it's going in that direction.

POM     Lastly, well two last questions, one, what do you think accounts for what would look like a catastrophic decline in support for the NP from the 20% it had in 1994 to the recent Markinor poll which showed it at 9%, a rather precipitous decline? What do you think accounts for that? And, two, the last question is do you think the ANC's public pronouncement that it would actively seek to try to get more than two thirds of the vote in the next election despite the fact that Nelson Mandela said after the last election, "Thank God we didn't get more than two thirds", is a mistake?

JM     On the first one I think we have got to bear in mind that the NP was basically throughout its life the party that represented the Afrikaners and the Afrikaners very broadly, there are a lot of them who think that they were betrayed by the NP. The NP had made promises that there wouldn't be a loss of power, there would be a sharing of power between whites and blacks in the country and so on. That was the promise, one of the fourteen promises that were made by De Klerk in the referendum. When the elections produced a result in which the ANC had a big majority and then compounded by the withdrawal of the NP from cabinet this has meant the Afrikaners for the first time have no power and they blame the NP for the loss of that power. They see in the strong criticism of the government and the opposition by the DP as at least someone standing up to the ANC, hence the DP is attracting all kinds of people who don't really believe in liberalism or democracy at all but they just hated what they felt was a betrayal by the NP. I don't think they are right, I think that the NP was serving them well by compromising and leading to the present dispensation but they are feeling it very strongly in all sorts of spheres of life, this feeling that they no longer are in control. They feel quite wrongly that they are losing jobs and they are quite wrong in fact because in SA there is a shortage of skills and the whites have the skills. It's going to take a very long time before you can replace whites with blacks en masse. But of course there are individual cases which give rise to this impression. We always give the example of the Attorney General's office in the Witwatersrand. They complained about two Africans who were brought into the A-G's office and who superseded whites who had applied for the job. There was a big hullabaloo about how blacks were replacing whites when there were 70 vacancies in the department. You see?

     Now the whites, you find this all over the country that you say to them, look, for the economy to grow you have the skills and you will be needed, there is no way you can be replaced. That would be true in America, they are confusing it with the USA where there is an excess of skills and the blacks are a minority so then you have to push the blacks. Affirmative action means you have quotas, you push the blacks into the job replacing, sometimes, qualified whites to do so. Not in SA. Here there is a shortage of skills, a huge shortage of skills. You pick up any Sunday newspaper and see the vacancies and you realise that we will even have to import whites to run the economy and it will take - I mean all our efforts at giving skills and so on to the blacks are going to take us some time. But that's not what's going on in the conversations at the bars. You just hear, we have it in the police, oh there is no future for a white man in the police force, and you realise that these guys - we have thousands of vacancies and a man says there is no future for a white man. And they are resigning because there's no future so they resign and go into the private sector but they are resigning needlessly because then there are no blacks to take their place and it's becoming quite a bit of a messy situation when people resign on the basis that there's no future for them and all the time you can't fill the vacancies. But that's the one part.

     The other point you raise about the two thirds majority, of course you appreciate that it's not enough to have a two thirds majority to change the constitution. You need six provinces in addition. So when the ANC says we want a two thirds majority it could be a campaign cry, but unless they can guarantee that they will have six provinces which is required to support a constitutional change -

POM     Two thirds in?

JM     Two thirds in the National Assembly.

POM     And a majority in the - ?

JM     And six provinces.

POM     And a majority in the six provinces? 50%?

JM     No it's six provinces in the NCOP. You would have to have six provinces supporting because parliament is National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces. So before you can change the constitution, most provisions, it's two thirds plus six provinces. There are some which are more difficult, Bill of Rights and so on, it's 70%.

PAT     Don't you need two thirds of the vote in the provincial legislatures to accept this resolution?

JM     No. It doesn't say so. It doesn't even talk about what happens in the provincial - it will depend on the instructions that people give to their members in the NCOP I suppose. I think the two thirds slogan is just to encourage ANC people to have some target but the sinister connotations are not justified.

POM     But the opposition will try to use sinister - ?

JM     Of course, they are going to say why change the constitution.

POM     They won't say you need six provinces too, they will say it gives them the power to change -

JM     And so on. So it may turn out to be a wrong slogan.

POM     They're not going to get two thirds?

JM     People will say, why do they want to change the constitution? They told us it was the best in the world, why change it?

POM     I'd love to stay but I have another appointment coming up at eleven. It's always a pleasure to talk to you.  Thank you.

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