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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

18 Nov 1999: De Lille, Patricia

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PDL     You should not do that because you must look at the national interest. He is basically calling for all of us in this country to become just do-gooders, to comply, everybody must just comply. Because of the national interest you must just comply, there must be no opposing voices, there must be no critical voices and I don't think that is acceptable, the reason being I most probably will be the first one that's going to violate that and then they will probably put me into jail. I don't agree with Thami at all, I think he is pushing patriotism too far, but not even patriotism because we can still be patriotic and we can still criticise, you see, but he wants all of us to be the sissies and the goodies and comply. Yes. He is saying to you guys in the media stop criticising, this is what he's saying and to him national interest really means the government. I must say I have followed Thami Mazwai quite closely but I must say too the last two, three years he's become very much bi-faced because he got the contract for Mafupe, this type of thing. This is the way I see him as a person and he mustn't try and say all the media must be subject to the national interest.  Yes, yes, so maybe it will do us good to clarify his statement and tell just exactly who must behave. Will you get back to me and tell me what he's saying? OK, yes. Thank you. Bye-bye.

POM     I put the recorder on because I assume you were talking about the statement of

PDL     Thami Mazwai.

POM     What's his background? He was the publisher of something wasn't he?

PDL     Thami Mazwai, his background, he used to be a journalist with the Sowetan, with major publications in this country, one of their old style type of journalists you could say. Then he started a magazine called The Enterprise Magazine, more focusing in on business and his whole publication is around writing about black excellence and the whole thing of showing how blacks can also do it and what roles they play in business.

POM     He's been connected with the African renaissance, part of that group?

PDL     Yes, that's it.

POM     OK, that's where I remember him from.

PDL     He's connected. He was in fact the one who has, just the recent conference again, he's also responsible for that. Then what happened, he is also attached to Mafupe. Now Mafupe got a contract from SAA to publish this in-flight magazine, he got a contract to do that. In fact they took it away from the old established white company and gave it to Mafupe and even after that Thami Mazwai has even become more, sort of appeasing towards the government. He's always tried to be the good boy, if you can put it that way. He quite often attacks other people who attack the government. For instance, he's very critical of, say, the Democratic Party or whoever. He really wants to be showing that he's the good boy.

POM     The statement is quite extraordinary.

PDL     I've lost respect for him I must say.

POM     Because the national interest really means what the government decides is the nation. Who defines the national interest? Do you have to go to the Constitutional Court on every issue or does the government just lay down a dictate and say you are in violation of the national interest? Excuse me, why? Well you made such and such a statement that's inciting people to invade SA. It's such a broad

PDL     That's how he got onto the Board of the SABC.

POM     He's on the Board? He made it on?

PDL     Made it onto the Board. That's exactly the kind of people that they want on the SABC Board, compliant, not asking too many questions. It's a public broadcaster but it's being abused by the ANC so they put their ANC people in key positions in the structure. They're doing exactly what the National Party used to do.

POM     Yes, it's kind of ironic in a certain way if it's long term implications weren't perhaps so frightening.

PDL     Yes it's true.

POM     I got from the DP the research they had done on the meetings held from 1996 in which the National Redeployment Strategy was set out.

PDL     I must say some of the early appointments could have been good appointments but it's actually run out of people who can come with that ANC card and skills, so now more and more people are coming only with they qualify only on the basis of being an ANC lackey, an ANC linked person at the expense of many more senior and well qualified academics in our country. I know of some instances where some people who are PAC orientated, have always been PAC orientated, when they applied for a job they lied and said, "We've been involved in the ANC structures all over and so on and we always supported the ANC", and they get the job. So people have also become smart to overcome some of these things.

POM     That's a good starting point. Last year we had talked a bit about the forthcoming elections and you had made some projections about how the PAC might do, said we are the only party in the country that's growing. You were looking in the realm of getting 35% of the vote, at least 10%.

PDL     I remember all of that.

POM     And things didn't quite turn out that way. Now today, I don't know of it's accurate or not, I just saw a little clip in the paper, saying that the national conference was being postponed because structures weren't in place for it to take place. What's happening?

PDL     I suppose I can't answer you in one or two sentences. Let me go back to the predictions that I made and why I made them. Most of it also, my own predictions, whatever statistics were available, come from my own personal involvement and what I do and the way I meet people and the community work and things like that. What we were lacking, what I said to myself, if we had another ten Patricias or another ten Bishops Magobas, because he also worked very hard, we travelled the length and the breadth of this country, but what we finally ended up with was that there were just not that many people. Came the elections, again we have tried to cover as much as possible, as we can, we came even up with less vote than the 1994 elections. Then I said to myself, I mean I also ended up having an accident two weeks before the election, three weeks before the election I had an accident.

POM     I remember that, yes.

PDL     Then I had time to sit and look at it and really my honest opinion now is that we must as the PAC if we want to survive, we have to look at what are the needs of the majority of the people in SA and then structure a programme around those needs so that you have a plan to attend to the needs of people. Because what I also found if you look through the PAC election results where they've worked it out in percentages, you can see in the areas where I, for instance, work in the Southern Cape, the place where I had my accident and so on, they're the only areas where the averages of the PAC is not 1% or even less than 1%. In one town in the Eastern Cape the PAC got 48% of the vote, the whole town. So it showed to me that if you are there to take up the problems of the people and then to show that you care, you're actually there helping them to solve their problems, those people can't care about ideology at all. They will vote for you because you were there to help them and they will remember you for that. But we've not done enough ground work. The second bigger picture which is in the minds of the people in this country is that why must there be both the ANC and the PAC? We both come from the same liberation background. Why can't they come together? Because of the historic background of this country, that the history and the hostilities used to be between black and white, people still make a judgement on black and white. It's fine for a white party to be in opposition but it's not fine for a black party to be in opposition. You see my point? I don't want to undermine the mentality of the voters in this country but I don't think honestly that they are ready for a black opposition because of our history, because our history used to be hostilities black and white.

POM     You're almost echoing word for word, I just came from talking with Ben Ngubane and his point was that this is not a country where opposition politics work. I'm talking about opposition politics among black parties, that it's not Westminster as Tony Leon seems to think. You get up there and attack the government on every issue, that's not

PDL     It's kind of acceptable in our society because they're perceived to be a white party and because there's always been fighting between black and white it's fine but it's not that fine if it comes from the IFP or the PAC. You will either be called reactionaries or counter-revolutionaries or whatever the case may be. But I think as we develop over the years, as we continue to nurture our young democracy, ten years from now or so, people will begin to see the value of opposition politics. Right now they don't see it. And the second thing too was that even though people were unhappy with the ANC for their performance over the past five years, they were saying, "Ag, they were just there for five years, give them another chance", a lot of people said that.

POM     Where does that leave the PAC? It would seem to me that you're either at, or have slipped below, that critical level where you have any more credibility, so to speak. You can announce plans, you can say you will do this or you will do that in government but people perceive you as having no power and the likelihood of a massive swing suddenly away from the ANC people don't think that way, they don't think that a party at 1% is going to give them 51%. They prefer to vote for the party they think is going to get 51%, they prefer to vote for the party they think is going to be the winner rather than a party that has all the appearances of being a sure loser. Now the fact that you weren't able to improve on your position must lead you to ask (i) are we viable as a political party and if not - ?

PDL     Are we relevant and if so how?

POM     And (ii) if we are not then what are our options?

PDL     Because if it was not for the proportional representation system we would have been gone and even if you had a proportional representation system with a cut off point of, say, 5% or 2%, but because of the election system we are still around, at least at parliamentary level. Those are the kind of things that we have to look at. Then like you say, decide whether you will join forces with other opposition parties, whether you join forces with the governing party, or what? I don't know. We will decide that in April.

POM     Since the election has there been any kind of brainstorming, people sitting round the table saying, "What went wrong?" and where people were brutally honest.

PDL     We actually got an outside person to do that exercise for us. He interviewed leadership, top leadership, interviewed branches, interviewed provincial leadership and made an analysis and we had a workshop around that analysis and the findings of what he got. He also took it further actually, made suggestions and recommendations. Yes, we've had that.

POM     What were the findings, what did he find?

PDL     I wasn't able to be there myself, I can get you a copy of the report. The findings basically were saying that the major problem is that we were taking a lot of things for granted and we didn't have a proper plan. Besides having the plan, not having a proper plan, did we have the relevant structure to implement that plan? Also look at leadership and also question the style of leadership, whether the type of leadership fits in with the demands of the politics of the day. Yes the Bishop came in and took over the leadership of the PAC, achieved unity in the party, tried to solve the internal problems in the party, but at another level outside of the party was he really able to match up to Thabo Mbeki, Tony Leon, Buthelezi, people like that? So there was a complete analysis. As I say, I wasn't at the workshop and I can't remember that well, but I can give you a copy of that.

POM     What would be the key differences, if you can put it that way, between you and the ANC rather than this historical enmity that has existed between you? You're not a threat to the ANC and last year we went through the way you would be attacked in parliament personally, the pamphlet they produced attacking the PAC, all of which (a) is petty, (b) is that you weren't an electoral threat to them. Why do they appear to be so wanting to (I want to get the word right I was going to say 'eliminate' you, but I might be asked five years from now what did I mean by the word 'eliminate' so I'd better be careful) in a way that they want to get rid of you as a political party?

PDL     Completely.

POM     Just so they have more power, a little bit more? Do you ever discuss why, I asked you this before, but even in the last year with other parliamentarians in the ANC relations between the tiny PAC and the all-powerful ANC and why you're not working more in co-operation together rather than the PAC having some place on the agenda that doesn't signify?

PDL     No, no, we didn't have that kind of contact. We don't have this kind of working co-operation. During the time of Mandela it was much more an open door, we had access to Mandela all the time or any time and he sometimes, on issues where he felt it was necessary, called us in for briefing and said, "Look, I'm going to make a major announcement on Wednesday. This is what I'm going to say. What is your view?" We don't have that kind of relationship now with the ruling party precisely because we have not decided who we are and what we want to do ourselves. I am sure it might come up when we discuss the way forward, what role do we see ourselves playing in the next five years.

POM     If I were to ask you right now what is the identity of the PAC, what does it stand for, what differentiates it from other political parties, why is its political support diminishing at an alarming rate rather than increasing in an era of competitive politics?

PDL     I can't give you an exact answer that. What I can say is that we are looking at it. A great deal will depend on whether we are going to make the right decisions. We've always shared the same objectives with the ANC.

POM     It just makes it all the more, in a way, silly.

PDL     We have not been able to place ourselves in the political spectrum either just left of the ANC or right of the ANC or centre nearby the ANC or what. We've not been able to carve out that niche within the whole political spectrum. That is one of my big worries that just I mean I don't want to just oppose the ANC for the sake of opposing, but secondly also, to want to just oppose the ANC and then agree with parties like the Federal Alliance, all these other reactionary small parties like the Christian Democratic Party. Do you want to be seen, because you are in opposition and you differ with the ANC, to agree with these guys? I don't think I would like to play that kind of role.

POM     But if you agreed with them on some issues, on their stand, would you still now say so or even you may hate what they have represented in the past and may still represent but you may say on this particular issue we do agree.

PDL     Yes, once it comes to issues you will take each and every thing as they come in and look at it on merit basically you can say that. What I am trying to say is that some of these parties here are not even looking at an issue and just because it comes from the ANC they will oppose it. Now we won't have that kind of opposition. We will look at the issue and if we agree with the ANC we will face it, if we don't agree we will also tell them. But I think we've come to the crossroads of this party, we will really have to now sit down and have serious internal criticism, examination, decide where we want to go to. That's why it's so important for us to postpone the conference to ensure that when we go there that we have got, because the PAC is a funny party, we've got representation and pockets of support all over the country, we want to make sure that it will be a fully representative party, people who attend the conference will come from duly elected branches, things like that.

POM     One of the difficulties you face even in that regard is that the public perception that you are a dying party not a growing party makes it more difficult for you to raise the resources you need to reverse that perception. Without the resources you can't set up the things you're talking about and if you can't set up the things you're talking about it's like a vicious circle, one feeds on the other.

PDL     People say we are a dying party but we are here exactly because some people voted for us, so we also have got accountability and we've got an obligation to at least, for those people who voted for us, to see that we remain here to represent them. So as an organisational structure there I agree that there we definitely need to beef up our own internal structures. We need to get our branches all settled, regions settled, provinces all settled so that you have a working real structure there on the ground. You can come up with whatever plan but if you don't have the people to implement that plan it's also meaningless. A lot of debate is going on already about are we relevant and how are we relevant and if so what are we going to do? That debate is going on but we are also conscious of the fact that even if you can go and have that debate that you must lead from that national congress with structures in place so that it can implement that plan.

POM     But you can't get structures in place even to have your national congress.

PDL     This is exactly why. We want those structures, people are going around the country now, we've got a team, we've got an evaluation team and they've done two provinces already. They're travelling around the length and the breadth of the province to actually go and check up on branches, evaluate the branches, make sure that they actually exist, that you don't have a branch that was elected five years ago, they never had a branch congress, they never had elections again. We normally have 50 members in a branch. So this evaluating team is going around the country and that's why we've suspended until April. But it must be very far, we can't just go on the basis of people will pitch up there and say I come from Lotus River branch.

POM     One of the things you mentioned that may have gotten you into some trouble was that people had made a lot of assumptions that turned out not to be true about how you would do and that was based on certain assumptions on the perceptions that you were growing and polling data or whatever. Does this not mean that you must be, in terms of self-examination, a lot more critical, self-critical saying we're making mistakes in our analysis of the world we live in?

PDL     Oh yes, I agree with you.

POM     We're living in a dream world, we're not in touch with reality.

PDL     100%. You can't still have a party that looks at the founding documents of 1959, the basic documents, a constitution. You have to look at the current situation, political dispensation, look at the current needs of the country and then say: am I relevant to those needs, not to something that you think might be the needs but what is existing before you? That is what we really need.

POM     Have you participated in the talks with the other parties? If one went down just your evaluation of why each party did as well as it did or as poorly as it did, you have the ANC going into an election where every poll or survey indicated beforehand that across all racial groups, including Africans, there was widespread dissatisfaction with their performance on the key issues of crime, joblessness, education, housing, managing the economy. Now in any, and I know this is not a normal democracy, a governing party going into an election seeing that the majority of the electorate thought I was doing a pretty lousy job on all the key issues, would say, we're in real trouble. But the ANC go out and they increase their proportion of the vote. It's like they're being rewarded for failure. It's like next time they must say, "Listen by 2004 we must have screwed up even more and we'll probably get 70% of the vote."

PDL     Exactly, that's what I'm saying, is that people have looked and said, yes it's true they did not perform but the first question is who else is there? That they will ask themselves. The second one is that just five years, maybe give them another five that they might improve. I personally think that is how people felt.

POM     OK, five years now from now they will be faced with the same question, who else will be there?

PDL     Exactly.

POM     There still will be nobody else there because no matter what you begin now

PDL     The existing opposition parties all put together are not a challenge.

POM     All the white parties, they want to remain fighting.

PDL     Also what's happening in the white community, you just have the voters rotating. They're just going from the NP to the DP and I'm sure if the DP doesn't perform they'll come back to the NP. But you won't find a big switch where all those white voters will now go and vote for the ANC. That's because of our history.

POM     In the same way African voters aren't going to suddenly in large numbers start voting for the DP. In fact the NP had its analysis done of why they did so poorly.

PDL     And also other things also shown in this election were that the individual politicians, there was a lot of party jumping just before the election, every day we were reading in the newspapers this one jumped ship went to that party, this one went to that party, and because of that jumping from one party to the other the DPs and the NPs have been able to present a face of almost multi-racial parties and also reflecting that at leadership level. But when these individuals jump from one party to the other it does not necessarily translate that the communities that this person came from in his party also changed allegiance with the individual. You will find in most instances where some of the white politicians where they changed from the NP to the DP, yes there was also some shift in voters, that's why the DP's votes increased, but for the other racial groups it didn't apply. It was only individuals jumping from one party to the other, they didn't come with any support base.

POM     I want to go back to something, it came up last year when we were talking but I want to put it in an historical context, that when the violence began here in 1990 after the Pretoria Minute, I was in the country and went around and asked all the parties who was responsible for the violence, who did they think was responsible for the violence since no-one knew in August 1990 exactly what was going on, and the PAC at that point and AZAPO, whoever I talked to from the Black Consciousness Movement, people associated with the BCM, all said the public thought the ANC were. Their grounds for saying that were that whenever there's been opposition to the ANC, the ANC seeks to wipe it out. They see the PAC, they tried it before in Port Elizabeth earlier on, so now they see it's growing again and they want to get rid of this, and they see AZAPO maybe and they think we're growing so they want to get rid of us and BCM are saying the ANC are saying we don't want any opposition, there's just the ANC. Then people put it in the context of, and the only place they ever met opposition opposing their way was with the IFP which had an organised structure which resisted the imposition of ANC rule, saying this is the way things are going to be run here. They said, "No, we weren't consulted about it", and who fought back and that resulted in the war in KwaZulu-Natal.

     I want to ask you two questions about that. One, has there been that tendency historically for the ANC to be intolerant of other black opposition to itself, seeing itself as the truly anointed liberation, there not being room for other parties or movements representing other ideas to get in, to compete with it, rather than compete with they would rather get rid of them?

PDL     The ANC has always been the one common denominator in all the violence in black areas, so-called black on black violence, there's always some link to the ANC. To me, and I've seen some of it just here in Cape Town, to me it always seemed that although it was not good for the image of the ANC, public image of the ANC that they be involved in all this violence, there must have also been a consideration, yes, that we are gaining. So if they had to weigh up what this is doing against their image, they could soon see that it was in fact working for them. So they have been involved. With the PAC, yes there were hostilities not only in PE but also in the Gauteng area, a place called Swanieville. I can remember in 1991 or 1992 one of our people was necklaced in Kagiso by the ANC. Yes, there has been that almost arrogance that we are the party and I have always said that, yes, there can be differences but the differences between the PAC and the ANC were never that antagonistic so that people must fight and kill each other, but in any case it did happen in some of the places. It's still happening today, it's never stopped.

POM     I was talking to Ngubane about this, that the tendency, and again this would be ANC-pushed, that the war in KZN was not really or primarily between the ANC and the IFP, a Zulu civil war so to speak, but that it was between the ANC and the IFP aligned with the security forces. There's a gross distortion of what actually went on which was that the IFP were fighting the ANC for territory, for turf, for power, and that the security forces said, "Jesus! This is a golden opportunity, let's stoke the flames, interfere here and there, and the more blacks that are killing each other, the more they seem to be wreaking mayhem and murder, the more they will appear to the outside world to be just like other Africans or whatever and therefore it's in our interest to make sure that the violence continues", but that they weren't the instigators of it. The deep divisions in KZN exist between the IFP supporters and the ANC supporters. Even in the last elections they had to deploy 22,000 troops to just monitor. Do you get the question I'm asking?

PDL     No.

POM     I'm sorry, after all that!

PDL     No, I understand the context, but just the question.

POM     The question would be, is it a gross misreading of the situation to say the war in KZN was a war between the ANC and the IFP in alignment with the state security forces, i.e. that they were like a coalition fighting the ANC, or would it be far more accurate to say that it was a war between the ANC and the IFP and that the state security forces took advantage of that to stoke the flames of conflict between the two groups of supporters wherever possible but that the security forces did not in themselves create that conflict, they didn't go out and kill 15,000 people in a period of even 4000 between 1990 and 1994? They might have pushed events in helping make that happen but it was actually supporters of the IFP and the ANC who killed each other?

PDL     I think even the statement you say that the war is between the ANC and the IFP, even that statement is not correct. The war is between sections of the ANC or sectors of the ANC and sectors of the IFP, because it was only the black component of the ANC that was killing the black component of the IFP. You didn't find a situation where the white component of the ANC was killing the white component of the IFP. So there was a racial tag to this conflict and I know for purposes of record and speaking about the war you say IFP/ANC but in fact it was not the complete structures on both sides involved in a war. You would find that the IFP's white branches in Durban and the ANC's white branches in Durban, they were not fighting. So your second theory of the involvement of the security forces I think also because IFP was also perceived to be almost like a homeland party although Buthelezi never took up his position there or ever declared KZN as a homeland, but it was more or less run on the same basis and the involvement of the security forces like the ANC had access to ask for help from the international community, also during the armed struggle and whatever, I think the IFP made use of that link with the existing government to also ask them for help to fight off the ANC. In some places they asked for help from them because it was in any case the responsibility of the government to provide protection for its cities, but they did ask for protection. I think once that was established the systems or the arms of the state were perceived to be taking sides, the police taking sides, the army taking sides and so on, and that in fact aggravated the problem between the IFP and the ANC, but the IFP was now seen as part of the enemy or working with the enemy.

POM     It aggravated the problem but it didn't create the problem?

PDL     No it didn't create the problem. The problem was created, I know Chief Buthelezi is much more eloquent on this one when he explained how he was called to Oliver Tambo and how he refused to become part of whatever. So there was some problem there in the earlier years. But the other statement you make about the security forces exploiting this fight, yes I think that is also true, that definitely advantage was taken and instead of supporting the IFP they also had forces who were instigating the ANC on that side to fight against the IFP. Finally, I think just too many lives were lost during that period and mistakes were made on both sides, ANC and IFP.

POM     Ngubane said they have a team of people, three from each side, three ANC and three IFP who are serving as a Reconciliation Committee trying to reconcile their versions of the past to get a more even-handed look at what really went on and stop the throwing of, "You were an apartheid puppet and we were freedom fighters."

     Let me ask you this question given your knowledge of what was going on at that time, when Mandela was released from jail in February 1990 one of the first things he did was to call Chief Buthelezi to thank him for the support that he had given him over the years, that he wouldn't accept independence, that he wouldn't negotiate with the government until they released Mandela, unbanned the organisations, provided for the return of exiles, released political prisoners. Mandela is an astute man and must have known you would have thought he would have thought this is my number one priority, I must end this war, I must get the ANC and the IFP just to stop killing each other. The King agreed (to meet with him) and the ANC NEC in Lusaka shot it down and then his visit to Pietermaritzburg to address a joint rally with Buthelezi was shot down by Harry Gwala, so he didn't go there at all and he and Buthelezi didn't meet until March of the following year, a year later. Now his not coming would have been, or was, as both Buthelezi and the King have said to me, deeply insulting particularly to the King because it's not normal, I guess, in Zulu tradition for people to visit graves, number one, and two to lay wreaths at graves. The Zulu King never attends a funeral. I didn't know that till last week. So they were making an exception for Mandela but Mandela being of royal lineage himself, even in his autobiography he states that he was still an adviser to the King of the Tembu even when he was in jail, so he would have been aware of royal protocol, what an insult to the King of the Zulus would have meant, that it would aggravate tensions; yet he did what the ANC told him to do. He didn't say, "Listen I'm going to do this, this killing has got to stop, we've got to go in as a united front against the government, we can't afford to have this kind of violence going on among ourselves."

     One, do you think that had he gone, had he simply said, "I'm going", that had he gone and met with Buthelezi and had the two of them gone around the province together from place to place saying that the war is over, there's a new world coming up and it's for the freedom of all blacks and it's against the government, do you think that that would have made a difference?

PDL     I agree with you.

POM     You think it would have?

PDL     It would have made a difference. I think we missed a great opportunity to bring about peace in 1990. I think poor Mandela was torn between the hard liners in his party and the warlords of his own party in KZN because I think afterwards Mandela's own utterances were that he wanted to do that.

POM     He said, "If I went there they would throttle me."

PDL     Yes, exactly. The question is: who stopped him? That opportunity was missed in 1990 because that would have also said that now stop killing each other, because the fight continued after 1990 and we lost even more people.

POM     That's more people between 1990 and 1994 in KZN than in any period in apartheid history.

PDL     That's right.

POM     You have to make another call?

PDL     Yes. I have to rush.

POM     OK. Just give me another couple of minutes. In a sense the NEC in Lusaka and the ANC here who said, "No, Mr Mandela, you're not going to meet with Chief Buthelezi or the Zulu King", they in a sense were responsible for at least perpetuating the situation in which the violence would continue?

PDL     Yes.

POM     So they have to take responsibility for the fact and just not say it's all due to the secret agents of the state and the third force who was out there doing all kind of things.

PDL     I think the question is, who stopped Madiba? That question must be answered because I think Madiba himself wanted to seize the opportunity.

POM     Yes he did, he says so. Who do you think would have?

PDL     And then I also think there is one initiative that was by the church. At that time the Bishop (Stanley Magoba) was still in the church. He was part of the peace initiative in KZN and he was responsible for the first meeting to look at the situation, peace talks in the province, between Buthelezi and Mandela, he organised it as the Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church at the time. So I think you must just talk to him also about that.

POM     Buthelezi is a Methodist isn't he?

PDL     No. Mandela is a Methodist.

POM     I thought he was an atheist. Gee! Do you see the swing of support to the DP as something that's temporary?

PDL     It's temporary yes and it's just a rotation of voters, white voters.

POM     And it will switch back. Is the UDM going to make any impact, did it do OK given the fact that it had no government financing of any description, was starting from scratch?

PDL     Yes, they did pretty well and there again it shows it's hard work.

POM     Would you consider some kind of a coalition with them?

PDL     Well part of our agenda, the PAC's agenda, is to develop principles around co-operation.

POM     To develop principles around?

PDL     Around co-operation with other parties. You see it's part of this whole overall and re-look at the PAC where we're also going to discuss that, so that when we go into co-operation on alliance or whatever with any political party we must at least have some guidelines on the basis of what we are going to do. Obviously we don't want to go in a coalition, an alliance with a party just to oppose the ANC. You will have to look much more deeply to see what common ground there is around economic issues, economic policies, the whole socio-economic development issues and things like that. You need to find some common ground on policy rather than just get together to oppose the ANC. Even that we must still develop as the PAC. There is one discussion document around prepared by one of our members from, I think, the Northern Province where people are now beginning to debate these issues and look at it.

POM     Can I get a copy of that too?

PDL     Yes.

POM     That's the PAC report on the election, you know it won't see the light of day. I just want you to know this, it won't go into the newspapers.

PDL     And this one on co-operation. I have to run, but if there's anything else you can get me on my cell.

POM     I'll have Judy ring your secretary and just follow up on those reports.

PDL     If there's anything else you want to talk to me about you can just give me a call.

POM     Did you see that Roelf went to Northern Ireland? I thought Patricia Keefer told you, did she? I arranged for him to go, working with the Unionists and McGuinness and Adams and they said would the two boys come over. Cyril said no he was too busy, but he said, "Anyway", and this disappointed me, really disappointed me, he said, "I couldn't go with Roelf anyway. The ANC wouldn't let me." He said, "In fact the ANC wouldn't let me."

PDL     Who? Who from the ANC?

POM     He said the NEC in the ANC wouldn't approve it, that Ramaphosa would go with Meyer.

PDL     Oh what nonsense!

POM     I thought, that's what this whole process is about, reconciliation. You were far more advanced in 1997 than you are now. But Roelf went and Mitchell was at the point of giving up, throwing in the towel, going home. In fact when Roelf met with him for breakfast the first day he had his bags packed, he was on his way to London back to the States, and Roelf said to him, "You're going nowhere." And he arranged a dinner between Trimble, Adams and Mitchell, it lasted five hours on the Friday night. Saturday Mitchell said he would give it another week.

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.