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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.
ANC/ILC Meeting - 20 June 1990
Wednesday 20th June 1990 Afternoon Session
Present: (Get full list from SM)
Steve Dlamini, Archie Gumede, Harry Gwala, Chris Hani, Joe Jele, Pallo Jordan, Ronnie Kasrils, Vusi Khanyile, Terror Lekota, Henry Makgothi, Mac Maharaj, Simon Makana, Robert Manci (Malume), Trevor Manuel, Francis Meli, Sindiso Mfenyana, Raymond Mhlaba, Wilton Mkwayi, Andrew Mlangeni, Govan Mbeki, Jackie Molefe, Popo Molefe, Ruth Mompati, Elias Motsoaledi, Joel Netshitenge, Joe Nhlanhla, Alfred Nzo, Aziz Pahad, Jackie Selebi, Reg September, Gertrude Shope, Sizakele Sigxashe, Walter Sisulu, Joe Slovo, Dan Tloome, Steve Tshwete, James Stuart, Raymond Suttner, Mohammed Valli, Jacob Zuma, Matsepe, Sinfihla, Mongalo, Stofile.
Apologies: Comrade Kathrada (all days) Nzo and Nkadimeng on special mission to Namibia.
Minutes of the morning session available from HM.
Discussion resumed : 1.30 pm.
Agree we wait for Cosatu comrades before continuing with political report.
Zuma will proceed with report on negotiations.
The report has not yet been finalized. The Groote Schuur meeting appointed a working group, with deadline to report by 21 May. The main issues for discussion was the definition of political prisoners to determine their release. Other items were repressive legislation, including the state of emergency, Class A and B of people who had left the country (including those in prison). We have not provided such a list. The agreement was that when the report was completed both parties in the working group would report ws completed both parties in the working group would report to their respective parties. This report was made by the ANC group to the ANC leadership. Report discussed in Lusaka. Prior to this we had other comrades, not necessarily those in the working group, particularly legal group, participating with us in preparation and discussions, e.g. how would we define a political offence.
ANC wider group assembled to assess the report, trying to assist the NEC. Discussions centred around the main document and observations of the ANC working group. The ANC had points to delete and add, and drew up an improved final document as the formal view of the ANC to submit to regime. Regime indicated that they had already accepted the original document and were waiting on the ANC. Agreed that we should submit our observations and final acceptance reached before end of June.
Document submitted to Kobie Coetsee, leader of the Pretoria working group. They have promised to come back to us with their comments and observations on our document by the end of this week. It is only after that that the document will be finalized.
In the process of discussion many issues canvassed and debates on what determines a political offence and a political prisoner. One question was: how much do we widen the scope to get our people out of prison, or narrow the scope which would allow wrong people to be released using the guise of political prisoner. Ultimately it was agreed that the definition should be as wide as possible so that all our people are released.
Another problem was the process of releases. We were demanding that once definition is agreed, there was no longer any reason to keep anyone in prison. But they disagreed. Clear that as long as there was no ceasefire, their fear was that MK cadres would come out and continue with the armed struggle, again be arrested, etc. Finally, it was agreed we would have to come back to look at our own positions, including on the question of a phased release of prisoners.
De Klerk's statement that we would only reply to them on 10 July: this undertaking was not made by the working group, but appears to have been made by the Deputy President.
On the prisoners themselves: it is important to brief the comrades who are in prison. All prisoners should be visited, awaiting finalization. But Robben Island prisoners quite agitated about lack of information. This resulted in a briefing of a delegation of ten being met at Pollsmoor. They submitted a detailed memorandum dealing with conditions, ways of relating to prisoners, why the releases are taking so long. They have had to fill out forms, but then long delays have resulted in confusion. Permission has also been granted to see five people on death row. As soon as report is finalized we have agreed to go to Robben Island to brief them. We are persuading the regime to allow us to go to the Island rather than a delegation be sent to Pollsmoor.
Discussion on Report.
What happens to the report now?
Agreed in Lusaka that we argue our positions and agree the final result with the NEC inside the country.
What was the definition of political prisoner and a political offence that was agreed?
Definition is long and extensive. Recognized that this is a complicated issue. Agree that the definitions be circulated. The discussions are still continuing on this issue. At Groote Schuur we put forward definition that any act which took place in opposition to the regime was political. Regime said this was too narrow, but should also cover acts in support of the regime, which would cover CCBs etc. Differences are: regime wanted us to include an agreement that political prisoners on both sides will be released; we do not want to give our stamp of authority to the death squads. Various formulae are being developed to cover these issues. We want our definition to cover our people, which covers all people who act in opposition to apartheid. If they want to release the Barend Strydom's, they must do so, but without our stamp of authority. The final draft adopted in Lusaka gives a position that removes us from the consequences if they release their people in terms of political prisoner.
Some 48 people have been released recently. What was the basis?
This had nothing to do with the definition, but is a gesture by the regime. Comrade Zuma did not deal with trials. Responsibility of monitoring the violence: what is happening? Agree we allow some discussion on implementation of the Groote Schuur minute on violence. We must have a situation where we can monitor and assess how the steps are being monitored. Our people on the ground must be aware of their responsibility and tasks. Have we chosen the people to monitor?
The Trialists: Specific applications were made to see Yengeni trialists, who have requested an explanation. We have requested lawyers to advise us of cases and awaiting trial prisoners.
Monitoring: Channels of communication have to be established. Kobie Coetsee arranged that this issue be discussed with Vlok. The meeting took place on how to implement this: it was understood that both sides will identify their own people at all levels. Natal was used as a specific example of how police officers identified as links took no notice of their responsibilities. Our perception is that Inkatha could not be included in any arrangements for Natal. The regime accepted that they would have separate arrangements with Inkatha. They promised to give names and dates so that by end of June both parties would have people in place in the specific areas. They have submitted a long list of officials, we have submitted part of a list of comrades in the areas. But there has not been a briefing to our own regions on this. Contact between their forces and ours on the ground has begun. They said they would welcome the participation of broad organizations, e.g. Cosatu, to facilitate process. Monitoring will help identify those who are the cause of violence.
Cosatu comrades arrived, therefore discussion on negotiations suspended for them to give a report. Their report will be submitted in writing tomorrow.
Current situation on the Labour Relations Act was outlined and the proposed mass action, including call on the ANC.
De Klerk told that we are making certain demands which must be met. They must be discussed in Cabinet and effective decisions made. He made no response during the discussion. All contact with the government suspended by Cosatu.
Why is the regime so intransigent?
Partly because right wing employer objections. But secondly they don't want to set a precedent of having succumbed to union pressure. Programme of action has been outlined, and participation of other organizations should fit in where applicable. Important for allies to be making similar calls as Cosatu. De Klerk's response will indicate his commitment to the whole question of negotiations, therefore ANC principled action important.
Has there been joint planning and strategy on this and similar actions?
It is felt this meeting should determine such procedures that ensure the alliance functions properly. We need to discuss whether issues on the ground always be linked to negotiations e.g. Natal, trade union legislation, the education crisis, etc. Can our strategy be to counterpose our conflict with the regime at all levels with negotiations, as this can expose us both at the negotiating and ground level? It is premature to consider breaking off negotiations before working group results. We must come our fully behind Cosatu's actions and call on our people to act as support. We should discuss further with them what we do. We must issue a statement in support and must be proper liaison to see what more can be done. Add that after we hear De Klerk's response a proper briefing be sent to Madiba, with the request that he contact De Klerk and suggest that he meets Cosatu.
A view expressed that it is not a satisfactory explanation to say that there was not proper opportunity to consult due to lack of time and availability of leadership. Comrade Sisulu briefly informed. Lesson is that proper liaison and communication machinery between the alliance be established urgently. Such machinery is under consideration. This forum should provide the facility for such a meeting.
The two comrades have raised the question of suspension of negotiations. To what extent has such a suggestion been discussed within the ranks of the workers? Furthermore, we should say that the negotiation process must be given a certain amount of space and time, and not be called for suspension over all issues. Agree that copy of Cosatu programme of action be distributed. When we draw up our own programme of action we must ensure support for Cosatu and what we have discussed now is taken into consideration.
Cosatu comrades thanked for their contribution. The general secretaries of the alliance left the meeting for discussion on machinery for proper co-ordination and communication within the alliance.
Suggestion that we deal with the strategic issues, which are vital, before we deal with the Education Report. Response is that education is a core part of the overall crisis. Then after the education report we will return to discuss the whole political report.
Education Report was presented by Vusi Khanyile (submission has been made in writing).
Discussion: Education in fundamental crisis. Cosas calling on ANC for assistance to help it re-establish itself. Teacher unity progressing under guidance of the NECC and Cosatu. Challenge posed to the ANC. Everyone asking ANC for guidance, but ANC has no formal mechanism or structured way for ANC response and guidance. We need a political authority to organize and assist our forces to deal with the crisis.
When students expelled principals, what demands do they expect to be met?
First, expect DET to deliver the text books and stationery. Principals expelled because they are seen as part of DET. They can only come back if they can show that they did submit requisitions for books at the beginning of the year. There have also been selective dismissals of principals. Agreed that the education crisis be discussed as part of the overall current political situation.
Resolutions Committee appointed: Hani (convenor), Azia, Jackie Selebi, Mac Maharaj, Peter Mayibuye, Raymond Suttner, Popo Molefe. Those who are unable to work on both the Resolutions Committee and the June 26 Committee, remain on the June 26th Committee and the remaining comrades deal with the resolutions.
Discussion on political report:
Ø Education, which has been addressed, and
Ø Bantustans and local councils. Many regional councilors approaching offices saying they pledge support to ANC, asking for guidance and membership. Our response is not clear and creates confusion. Standing call that all puppets must resign. But we need flexibility. If we develop healthy relationship between ANC and councilors will affect relations with civic organizations. What are we saying? Must they resign or continue in puppet structures? If we allow continued participation, why should civics not do so?
Ø Another issue is campaigns. ILC charged with task of setting up branches, recruitment, etc, but there is no programme of action. Therefore we are doing this in a vacuum, not in any organized campaigns or demands. This is lacking. In some areas activity linked to local demands and issues, but this is insufficient. It is not that there is a shortage of campaigns, we just have not given them focus, direction and content e.g. constituent assembly, interim government demand stated repeatedly. But we have not translated that into a campaign. There are no demands on the ground for a constituent assembly. Concentration on building is to the exclusion of mobilization campaigns. This results in confusion, resulting in the perception that we are locked into negotiations. This creates the image of inertia and passivity. We need to place demand for interim government firmly on the agenda.
Agree that the meeting resumes at 9am tomorrow.
Regional reports presented from Eastern Cape, Western Cape, Northern Cape and Border.
Discussion from 10.30am (I am not sure which report was being discussed when I came in.)
Major political education necessary immediately. National office urgently charged to initiate this campaign. Must include resource or training centre, develop administrative and organizational skills.
Questions on the report
Recommendations coming in relation to education and skills. When you talk about a low level of political understanding, and recommending programme of political education, are you talking about ANC members or people in general.
Answer: We are referring to activists and then down to the ordinary masses. We have not had the means to attend to such a programme of political education, nor to establish such a resource centre. We had limited consultation in setting up the committee. In our favour was that the presenter had a feel of the region and was in touch with all areas where organizing was going on. Agreed we should not overcrowd our committee with UDF/RSC members, as there are other people capable. Serious consultations with the Indian community, which were urged to address the business community and those within the community in favour of our positions. This committee has limited duration and mandate. Elections will happen at branch level, and this committee is not necessarily a regional committee but a conduit to assist initial work. No date has yet been set for a regional conference, where a regional committee will be elected.
Northern OFS Report
Propose to not necessarily follow order of report as requested. Demarcation of the region into 35 branches, each divided into zones. Zones have been divided into the following towns Kroonstad, Parys, Welkom, Bethlehem.
Recruitment: because of limited time available to convenor and working group we have not been able to properly set up interim branches in all the zones. The approach to work was an interim branch working committee, then build branches. Branch working committee established (get details).
Membership: the number of members recruited are 1,500. This number is itself not certain because the secretary was unavailable. The signed-up members come mainly from Odendaalsrus, Welkom and Parys. Membership fees collected no branch has yet been established. We hope to go ahead with a full membership drive from now until end of July, when branches will be launched in the different areas. Agreed to give branches a month for their membership drive. We do not want a situation where there are 100 members who form a branch and then exclude other sectors of the community. Plan is to have a regional conference by end of September.
Relationship between UDF/Cosatu and MDM is good, and has been so from the onset. Regional working group consists of members from Cosatu, NUM as well as members of UDF in Welkom. Experience a problem of UDF members feeling they are being excluded from the tasks of the working group. Popo Molefe came down and the problem has been addressed.
Problems similar to other branches: funds, AWB which affects location of offices, as the NUM office we used has been bombed but now plans for an office in the central CBD is affected.
White and Indian communities: Meeting held in Virginia where an interim branch committee being launched. A DP member was present, who wanted to know if he could hold dual membership i.e. DP and ANC. As far as the Indian community is concerned, there are 20 Indian families living in the Free State. Indications are they all wanted to join up, and wanted membership cards. Recent consumer boycott in Welkom the Indian community raised concern that when black consumer boycott takes place, their businesses are also boycotted. They wanted ANC to take a stand on this. Agreed the matter should be looked at.
In Kroonstad Annetjie Krog indicated she wanted to join, but afraid of AWB victimization. ECC campaigner in Welkom dealing with the peace drive. Because of racial tension in Welkom, it was raised that he would attempt to get members from the white community.
Indian community and no membership cards until branch established: is it not the other way around. Yes, it is the other way round.
Southern OFS report
The interim executive has done well in coordinating region. Demand on convenor and regional executive to give guidance hampered by lack of resources and facilities. This report is compiled in a short space of time, as memo received on 14th June only. The report has been submitted, therefore necessary to talk to the points outlined in the agenda only.
All places mentioned have experienced specific problems particularly violence of the police resulting in injuries and deaths, with funerals every weekend.
Pathetic to say that communication, money etc is very little. The areas not visited by the leadership. All these areas are situated where the enemy is strong, particularly the right wing. Details of membership given in full in the report. Cannot give details of monies collected, although deposited. Relationship with the UDF/Cosatu good. Meetings held with them regarding the building of the ANC.
11 Branches in Bloemfontein enumerated. Not yet received indicates reports have not yet been submitted due to lack of time. Therefore membership total of report excludes these figures.
Interim Committee mentioned in some areas, but not in others. The ICs are responsible for recruitment. Therefore where no IC exists, who is responsible for recruitment into Anc, and how does reporting take place. A: Awaiting reports.
QwaQwa: where does this fall. Some people want to fall under Northern OFS. But the Southern OFS already beginning to operate there. This matter is being looked at. Interim constitution says that when a minimum of 100 people have been recruited, branches should be formed. In some areas this number has been exceeded, but why are branches not yet formed? A: A minimum of 100 are required, but this does not mean that you have to form a branch. Many areas have more than 100 members, but they want wider participation therefore have not yet formed branches. This is legitimate.
Recruitment: established recruitment centres throughout the region. 250 such centres have been established. Copy of consolidated list submitted. Around each recruitment centre we have interim recruiting officers and committees. Idea is to involve as many people in recruiting as possible. Each person who joins is made to feel part of efforts to build organization.
Membership: Annexure A details membership, but this is not total as some centres details missing. Total figure is 13,057. Central Johannesburg recruitment progressing fairly well. Strategy is to go into areas where we are strong and spread out from there. In the Indian areas the experience is that there is not a great influx despite strong TIC structures. For instance, in Lenasia/Ennerdale over 200 of the members are from the squatter camp, not from the Indian community. The figure should be assessed with this in mind. Generally, there is caution and no rush to take up ANC membership. At a meeting where over 2,000 people had to pay R5 to come to a meeting, but at question time the issue was on the ANC/SACP relationship, with great suspicion.
In Coloured areas, recruitment drive progressing, particularly Eldorado Park. But in other areas difficulties of senior personalities regarded as old ANC members, for instance Prof Mohammed, who has issued word that after discussions with Comrade Walter the ANC was going to issue a directive on the expulsion of the MWT. This has even alienated people willing to join and work for the ANC.
In the Black townships the problem relates to the civics. The only mass-based organizations are the trade unions. In the townships we have activist forums, structures able to meet under repression. Now we have a situation that in this drive we must convene general meetings, where people must elect or appoint with approval those who would serve as recruitment officers, responsible for processing applications and handling monies. But key figures in the civics argue against this. They want the whole process to be handed over to them so that they can control this. They even say that before a person can become a member of the ANC, they have to have a membership card of a civic. Discussions are taking place on this.
Monies collected: R12,642.
Relations with UDF/MDM: In setting up the interim regional structure, we have consulted with UDF/Cosatu and there are no reservations about procedures. Also held discussions with Cosatu regional officers with regard to recruitment and working relations are healthy. We have made available to them consolidated list of recruitment centres. Now that such centres have been established, recruitment drive should pick up. But activists on the ground fear that once ordinary people who have no track record become involved, positions of activists will be threatened. We must assure them that there will be rewards in terms of positions. Civics summon our recruiting committees and want them to account to them. When we ask if they have joined the ANC, the answer is no. They remain outside the ANC, but attempt to control. They have even called on us to withdraw some officers who have been duly appointed at general meetings.
Problems: Important for comrades to note problem areas to assist in finding solutions.
There seems to be something wrong: membership figures given 13,000, but fees only R12,000. This means that people have paid less than R1.00. How do we account for the discrepancy? A: Financial figures prepared prior to membership figures; also information of recruitment centres payment comes through later.
What about recruitment of white community?
Figure for central Johannesburg and central Pretoria are among the highest. This indicates that there are a good number of whites, including Afrikaners, joining.
Loans: To date we have not received a single cent from the movement. Loans have been raised to set up the office, which has been done. Head Office should be able to reimburse. PWV is the key area in the country, with the densest population. It covers East and Far East Rand. Can this region cope with this whole territorial demarcation. It is an incredible task for one committee. A: No reason to complain. The manner in which the regional committee established took account of the geographic distribution of the region. Also asked to activate the Western Transvaal mining towns. This is under way in Rustenberg/Stilfontein etc. Once committees established this work would be handed over to them. Walter Sisulu clarified that there had never been any decision regarding the MWT as stated by Professor Mohammed (above).
Natal Midlands Report
Preliminary report: Organising under a state of war. In some areas it becomes impossible to carry on work. Another question is the membership fee. We would like the NEC to address this question: how much must those who are not in employment, pensioners and students pay. Our officers are flooded with these people who want to join but are in difficulties with regard to payment.
Personnel: Apart from Sipho G., all staff are volunteers.
Recruitment drive: Before beginning a meeting was convened of all sectors in the province. Purpose was to explain what operating legally entails. Meetings were then organized to explain policy and organization of the ANC. Following this meetings were organized to set up the organization. An Interim Committee exists, comprised of comrades from various sectors. Agreement entered into with Cosatu that the organizer of Fawu, Sipho Gcabashe, be seconded to work for ANC. Report details composition of Interim Committee.
Membership: Every weekend membership drives are held, including meetings. Branches have not yet been formed, but Interim Committees have been. Report details membership. Detail of Pietermaritzburg, which has 130 members. Composition is African, Indian, Coloured and White. Most of the members are white. No branch established yet. In Newholmes, membership consists of Indian comrades. Newcastle, mixed, consists of Indians and Africans, Raisethorpe, Allandale, Northdale and Mountain Rise are also Indian areas. Eastwood and Glenwood are Coloured areas. Before making a start in Indian areas, consultations were held with NIC. Small meetings were held, but we had to go slowly. The Indian Congress is an old ally of the ANC and we did not want any rapid dislocation of this organization. We wanted the Indian comrades to understand that they were part and parcel of the Congress movement, and that now we are concerned with one non-racial body. The process is coming on, but progress is very slow. Much work needs to be done. This is the composition of our membership.
Imbali, previously an Inkatha stronghold, tops membership list. Rally prior to the killing of the key warlord. People looking to the ANC to give guidance. People convinced that the ANC the only organization which can save the nation. Given the war situation, people feel more branches should be formed. Ashdown, Esigodeni and Mpumalanga all have interim committees, and elections will be held next month.
Fees: R25,896 collected from the membership.
Relations with the UDF/Cosatu and MDM: Precisely because of these healthy relations Cosatu had no hesitation in releasing Gcabashe. Special committee, including Namda, has been set up to deal with the war situation. Able to bring onto this committee academics and religious leaders.
Questions: Report states that there is no UDF in the Natal Midlands. Can the UDF explain? What is meant is that UDF in Pmb is not functioning. The UDF has been under restrictions for a long time; the killings around Pmb extensive, being attended to by the UDF. President of UDF in the region complained that he had not received report of Cape Town workshop which looked at the working relations between ANC and UDF. Report was that since the UDF was unbanned it had not held any meetings, despite requests. Breakdown in communications between members and leadership, but UDF exists. Report also given that a meeting at Ulundi took a decision that anyone seen wearing a UDF/Cosatu or ANC T-shirt should be dealt with. This indicates the scale of the problem facing organizers on the ground.
Southern Natal Region
Recruitment : Drive going on, interim recruiting committees set up in approximately 20 areas, including Durban Central (white), Lamontville, Clermont, Reservoir Hills, Umlazi, Tongaat, Port Shepstone, Sydenham, Verulam, Ntuzuma, Chatsworth, Stanger and others. Here not only Interim Committees set up, but enrolled people. Names and addresses of members have been taken in, approximately 11,000 in total. In process of enrolling these people, but excluding collection of subscription fees. This is to enable us to deal with people twice, firstly acquainting people with the ANC and bringing in new people. Setting up first formal branches this weekend, specifically Lamontville. In a similar way contact has been made with rural areas.
Problems: Huge response from very young people, less of a presence by older people. Unless we can carry the elderly community, we may not be able to link up with them later. This is why we have delayed setting up formal branches. Response to the movement in white areas particularly impressive. Two meetings held in Berea. First meeting 70/80 people, but second meeting was about 900, largely white. Flowing from this we have had invitations to house meetings, including from the Afrikaans section of the community. Translating constitutional guidelines into Afrikaans, preparing to work in the Afrikaans communities, particularly in the ranks of the National Party. Feel there is a whole body of people ready to move over to the movement. Preparing to host a public meeting intended primarily for Afrikaans people.
In the Indian and Coloured communities, Natal has been highly factionalised not only around the cabal issue, but also around izingwevu(?). In the Coloured community the United Community of Concern is split around its role and future, what will happen to its money and assets. Can hardly work as a result of this deep division of the tension between the NIC and members who left the NIC previously are alive. We are attempting to bridge them. All, irrespective of their camps, want to be part of the ANC. This enables us to pull them together on house-to-house work.
Personnel: Three members of the committee work full-time. Looking at office.
PAC/Azapo: No real PAC presence, but individual Azapo members exist, rather than formations on the ground.
UDF/Cosatu co-operation: convening committee has to meet and formalize co-operation between UDF and itself. This meeting was due to have taken place this week. All of these formations are keen to co-operate with the convening committee, subject to consultations.
Problems: Violence exists in many areas, where Inkatha is attacking our people. There communities have to defend themselves. Southern Natal experiencing heaviest fighting along the South Coast moving like wildfire. In relation to Buthelezi's call on the chiefs to eliminate UDF/ANC as they bring the ANC and then chiefs will lose their jobs etc Mtalume (two chiefs specifically mentioned) killing very fierce. Therefore we have called on people willing to set up ANC formations to wait until the fighting dies down. Pressure on us from hostels. Workers are keen to see that there are branches in the rural areas. We are ready to set up branches in the hostels, but Inkatha preventing this. State of Emergency affecting this, as magistrate controls whether meetings are held or not. Most serious problem is one of violence between our comrades themselves. What has happened in KwaNdengezi, Marionhill, Inanda, KwaMashu, we have the situation where units of comrades are fighting each other. In KwaNdengezi more than 60 young comrades have been lost in this type of killing. Weapons are flowing into the area, but not sure where from. Experience shows security force hand in the conflict. The quarrels emerge as a legacy of the fight against Inkatha. This places even those who are organizing in danger. Even where we can identify the source of the problem, we cannot necessarily deal with the situation as weapons are resorted to. Examples given of how self-defence roups use weapons and conflict results. Weapons are flowing in, however. Either Battalion 32 or police enter the scene, and the conflict intensified. Machine gun fire was used in Marionhill, and by highly trained operators. This means we cannot, in may areas, call a public meeting to talk about the ANC, but only about how to achieve peace.
No indication of participation of UDF in building the ANC in the region. A: Formations of UDF have been part of the process of building the ANC.
In written report reference to Gasa and recruitment. Difficult problem for the region. He is known to be a member of the ANC, and known to visit Lusaka. When matter raised with him, told he was instructed to do this by Lusaka. Heard from Archie Gumede that Steve Tshwete giving confusing reports to ILC. Committee has determined that we are going to go public that the ANC is not connected with the scheme of Gasa, but this meeting has to give the final decision. Lusaka has said that there are 21 children insisting they want to come back. We have to go to their parents and explain, and if they agree to have their children return. This report was already made in March, and Lusaka requested to address the matter. At this meeting it was explained that Gasa and others were given the task of bringing the displaced young comrades to Lusaka where they would be sent to school or the army. This process of sending people out is continuing. It was also stated that the money question was not the agreement, and that the region must tell him to stop abusing money. But PMC is obliged to take action to stop the traffic of people if abuse is taking place. Decision was that Gasa was told that what he was doing was incorrect. Problem arises when people say they have mandate and instruction from Lusaka, they will not listen to the leadership on the ground. There is something wrong with the Lusaka instruction. Gasa given task to perform. How does Lusaka expect Gasa to carry out the instruction without monies. Reply is that proper arrangements on this score were made. Response is that it is still the duty of Lusaka to put a stop to this process. The last ILC meeting asked SG to take up the matter and tell Gasa to stop the operation. This raises a related matter, because these problems should have been resolved and proper channels used. Last year before we were unbanned Gwala had discussions and was told about Gasa, TG saying that displaced students should be brought out for schooling. So they started process of getting students, done it the right way, but had to deal through the internal structure. This reflects organizational confusion. This has been continuing up until May this year, when Gasa was still continuing with recruitment.
If comrades resolving the issue, must consider money that has been taken. Parents and comrades are concerned. Activists complaining that best of youth and activists are being taken away (abroad) leaving them vulnerable to attack during the war situation. Worries us that Lusaka chooses its own people to do these things outside of structures on the ground who should be fully informed of tasks.
Northern Natal Report
Process has been slow. Only obtained cards and membership forms last week. No recruitment at all. Only a regional committee of ten people has been formed. Of the ten five are Cosatu, five from other structures teacher, churches, university staff, UDF. Still waiting for two areas which have the potential of generating organization. Therefore there is nothing to report on membership fees.
Discussion with Cosatu/UDF, NECC, youth and students consulted and informed. Belief that this will be the most difficult region to organize in the whole of South Africa. In the heart of Inkatha. There are four small townships that are able to be organized. Security for the area and the office is crucial. Our security department must address this urgently. Ingwavuma is very sensitive and is a security zone. 8 of the committee members have had houses burned, and two remain homeless. Over the last weekend there are reports that Inkatha marches accused specific comrades of vilifying Buthelezi abroad direct threat. One of the comrades is on a murder charge arising out of an attack by Inkatha on his house, in which he stabbed an Inkatha person to death. This indicates some of the problems facing the committee.
Eastern Transvaal Report
Written report still to be tabled. Recruitment slow. Problems include transport, infrastructure slow. Most time spent trying to reach areas rather than working. Violence, particularly in Bushbuckridge (3 zones) by Sofasonke and Inkatha in alliance attacking our comrades. This has slowed recruitment drive in the area. Inkatha also gives problems in Ermelo, where people have been killed in hostels. Uwusa has an office there. In Driefontein, Inkatha is also active. Comrades have been killed and another in detention who is the only witness to the killing. His safety is of concern. In Nelspruit problems with Neusa. Last year they did not have a structure, but they have been complaining about "appointments". Comrade Phoswa visiting the region and situation improved. Forthcoming meeting planned with Neusa. Another problem is PAC, which has a small presence (five in an area). We cannot ignore them because they capitalize on issues like negotiations, Inyandza alliance etc. In Belfast they held a tea party, and their presence was noticed. Visited Mabuza to discuss release of a comrade to help ANC. Asked that this be done by HQ.
Membership: Last figure was 2,420 as at 15 June. Report will be submitted. Busy organizing for three rallies. Problem of a safe office. Treasurer will have to submit financial report.
Branches: organizer setting up branches in Highveld from 19 June. From 26 June organizer will set up branches in Lowveld area.
UDF/Cosatu relations: Meeting held in May will all MDM structures, where ILC formation and regional committee explained. Having meetings with locals and various structures. Involved civics, Sayco, Women, Nuesa, Namda and trade union organizers in distributing membership cards. Inyandza also trying to recruit, copying our forms. Asked to stop this. Each person comes to the ANC as an individual and be active at branch level. Areas have not yet been visited, e.g. Piet Retief. Gazankulu MPs have applied for membership, which have been granted. Hope to meet with them and explain ANC policy. But need guidance on how to deal with these people. In KaNgwane: Are demonstrations and campaigns by the civics and other organizations to be supported or not? They have problems with the government e.g. teachers demanding salaries, school books for children. Because of alliance between Inyandza and ANC tension results and confusion reigns. Lusaka needs to look at lines of communication.
Any indication as to when the region hopes to hold a regional conference/agm? Planned for August 18th this year. Barberton has formed joint (non-racial) structures. But in Nelsville, coloured people joining very slowly. White recruitment very difficult, largely conservative and AWB constituency. Those who want to join also fear ostracism and victimization.
Northern Transvaal Report
Report will be made available.
Recruitment drive: Started mid-May. Vast region so zonal committees established in KwaNdebele, Sekhukhune, Nebho, Tzaneen and other areas (listed in report). 13 branches in all. In consultation with the zonal structures of UDF and Cosatu committees have been set up to deal with recruitment.
Problems: Transport a major problem because of vastness of the region. Comrades have to use their own cars. Lack of availability of propaganda material to back up membership drive causes major problems. Lack of resources, including skills, affects the setting up of an office. Region is largely rural. In the whole region we do not have offices or other structures which can be turned to for assistance. Membership fees are proving a problem. It is a large sum for a rural person to raise in one go. Proper guidelines should be set up for unemployed, low waged etc as soon as possible. Other difficulties relate to having stationery and receipt books, so that people can go around with membership forms and receipt books etc.
Not in a position to say how much each zone has been able to collect. We had about R7,000 in the bank, not including money collected. Membership figures are not available, but will become so. There are some branches which already exceed 500 members, e.g. Sibasa. Details will follow.
Is it possible to give a rough membership figure. In areas like far north, where they plan to launch 13 branches, it exceeds 3,000. In Seshego membership exceeds 300. In other places some zones will be launching 25 branches.
We did not include the departmental reports due to time factor. Thought we could conclude sufficient discussion so that ILC could be excused. Remaining items on agenda:
Organizational Report from HQ
Programme of Action
Functioning of Alliance
Return of Exiles
Briefing by SACP
Agree that women and youth give reports so that the discussion encompasses all aspects of organization.
Tabulate extracts of the Women's Workshop and the WNEC Extended Meeting. To be submitted in writing afterwards.
Clarification on dual membership requested. Constitution of the ANC Women's League what is this? Dual membership: The ANC Women's League cannot phase out all the organizations that exist, therefore we urge dual membership, e.g. members of Fedtraw and the ANC Women's League. On the question of the constitution, ANC Women's League did no have a constitution. We need one. Where we fall under ANC is in terms of the code of conduct.
Clarification requested on Women's League cards. Women will identify membership with a special stamp on the membership card. Clarification on Women's Charter: Has the present Women's Charter been abandoned? Explained that it is Fedsaw's Charter, not that of the Women's League.
Clarification on establishment of branches of women. The women want the right to organize. We cannot form women's league where there is no branch. Branches have been set in the townships, in some of which women are executive members. What will their position be? Women are both in the ANC and the Women's League, so there is no contradiction.
On the question of organizers, is it possible to get women seconded to facilitate organizing. Request organizers to join areas. Women are going to plan who is going where, they will notify the relevant structures and join the women activists in the areas, meeting and discussing to build and organize. They will only be able to stay in one place a few days and then move on. Question of the amount of time spent in each place should be considered due to the vastness of the regions. Agree we cannot debate the report here, details can be discussed with the women and the relevant regions.
Clarity on autonomy required: Such matters as administrative independence of the women: do they set up their own offices away from the office of the region, or is it the office's responsibility. Also, a legally autonomous organization raising its own funds and running its own accounts: what is the responsibility of the ANC and its budget. Women will have a national office separate from the main office. But welcome space within a regional office if space allows. On the question of funds the ANC WL has the right to raise funds internationally. If the ANC wants the ANC WL to give the ANC money, this can be done. But the WL has to grow and develop, and run our projects independently. The WL and the YL are extremely important sectors of the ANC.
Report of the Youth League
No work done except preparing for launch. What is in place is the ANC Youth Section. After decision setting up the ILC and giving YL and WL mandate to work out details of how the leagues are to be set up, the YL established a task force and held extensive discussions, including what structures are necessary to implement the establishment of the YL. Constitution was drawn up (interim), independent from the ANC constitution. YL must also have organizational autonomy. Policy will be in keeping with ANC, but organizationally must have autonomy. Constitutional question was how YL would relate to ANC, what structures set up to ensure that the ANC is with the YL whatever is being done. On the basis of the interim constitution it was agreed that there should be consultations with the ILC and the task force setting up the YL. Constitution distributed to NEC and ILC and comments requested. Launching manifesto drawn up, intended to be read on June 16. Relationship between ANC YL and other organizations. Memorandums received from Sayco, Nusas and Sansco. Programme worked out to do this, task force includes the three bodies above those known to be ANC members. These comrades with a contingent of ANC task force would work out practicalities.
Youth Conference to be held on 6.4.91. Constitution must be endorsed by conference, therefore own conference after ANC conference. Also, given the situation on the ground, it was felt that it is important to know what kind of organization people are joining and its policies. Therefore branches should start on 16 June, but comrades from Lusaka could not enter the country, but launch takes place at conference on 6.4.90. Code of conduct introduced as most people will not be members of ANC, entry age 14, in order to ensure that the youth that join the Youth League grow in traditions of the ANC. These preparations are in hand and as soon as comrades can enter from Lusaka they will join with the forces on the ground and begin work.
Note : Remove item on alliance from the agenda in the light of the agreement that the three general secretaries meet to prepare outline for discussion. Therefore remove 10 above. The above resolutions should take into account the Programme of Action where applicable.
Agree that the organizational report be tabled tomorrow morning, and that we discuss the reports of the day now.
Question on Youth League
Sayco wants full responsibility for the launch of the Youth League. Have announced a date 10 September and the ANC Youth League should look into this. ANY youth section has had discussions with some of Sayco's leadership and outlined its plans. If Sayco has its own memorandum, Youth Section not aware of this. Clearly it can only be members of the ANC who can set up the Youth League. For this purpose we have arranged that when the comrades arrive there will be discussions with each of the student and youth sections, as we are opposed to the position that wants a merger of Sayco and ANC, thus forming the Youth League. This would be too narrow, and involvement must be much broader. Recommend that Sayco and ANC Youth Section must urgently discuss this matter. Important to note that the youth movement in this country has been run by Sayco and Sansco. There cannot be a body coming from outside with superior wisdom. This formation of the Youth League must be approached as a joint project which must be endorsed by the mother body. We cannot emerge from this meeting giving total authority to the ANC Youth Section to launch on the basis of the draft constitution. We must accept reality of SA. The primary youth organisation that has mobilized tens of thousands of youth is Sayco. They must be fully involved. Already there are many complaints about exclusion. Youth, with the Youth Section, must meet and plan a joint programme which involves all sectors or else we will get disaffected youth. They must be and feel part of building the ANC. They have been in the forefront of struggle. Also suggestion to change date of 6th April for launch because it is date of launch of PAC. Youth Section has no intention of launching without Sayco, Sansco and others. A full month is allocated to discuss with all these bodies. But April 6 was chosen as the day when Mahlangu was executed, which relates to MK, youth studying etc. But the date depends on pace of developments. Agree that Youth Section must go from here and hold discussions with the bodies mentioned, so that the programme for the launch is a joint programme with full involvement with the youth on the ground. Perhaps what should be looked at is establishment of a interim leadership core, as has been established by the women. The youth should call such a workshop in the country from which such a leadership core is drawn.
Sayco Memorandum differs somewhat from the approach of the Youth Section. Covers role of youth, tasks of youth, (summarized by Makgothi). Sayco must be totally replaced by the ANC YL, without parallelism. Must be an auxiliary of ANC, not independent. YS has received memoranda from all these bodies. Agree that the entire executives of all the organizations must meet and together jointly recommend the way to launch the ip Youth League.
Agree that there be a resolution formally tabled on the above.
Lead in to discussion on reports.
Membership approximately 60,000; funds raised R98,000. Approach to organization has been dealt with differently by each ILC. First thing to acknowledge is that this figure is far below expectations of the people, let alone the leadership. Therefore we need to try to understand the context in which building the ANC is taking place, and what assistance is needed to help region.
Ø In Natal building taking place in the context of violence, even in Inkatha strongholds, and that violence has the support of the state.
Ø Upsurge of masses in Bantustans and collapse of that system. Fertile ground for the ANC to reach into the Bantustan administrations and detach them from the regime.
Ø Right wing violence, e.g. the OFS.
Ø Massive crisis of education, very deep-seated, and that DET has no interest in resolving the problem, rather wants to leave a future SA with enormous problem.
Ø Wave of industrial disputes. State taking a position against employer/trade union agreement.
Ø High repression in Bophuthatswana.
Ø Taking place in context of talks, unbanning and negotiations.
Result is that from all these reports the building of the ANC, recruitment and setting up branches and relationship to people's struggle is uncertain. In Natal it cannot avoid violence. But in other reports does not bring out way in which organization relates to struggle. Results are various, depending on the degree to which we have received support from the people involved in the past decade of resistance through the MDM. The MDM has been at the forefront. They are the forces that characterize our country as having an extraordinarily politicized mass. Therefore we have to solicit and draw in resources and support of these forces. Contradiction exists as these forces have problems. Does ANC distance itself from these problems, or do we say that as ANC we have the political task of drawing them closer, enhance their unity, drawing them into our ranks and thereby establishing our leadership. There is a varied attitude. While the ANC in setting up the ILC took the procedure of appointing the convenors, the process by which the convenors then set up ILC is not clear. Did they consult the MDM and engage them in the process so that in selecting the interim core you already involved them. Or, in setting up the core, did we create uncertainty by the manner in which we set them up, and then had to reassure then to say that those bodies are interim and will be replaced by elected regional conferences. Contradiction exists in disorientation of the MDM and masses as a result of our actions.
IRC/Transkei report shows that every effort, whether wrong decision or action, by workers, youth and students is perceived as a problem or attempt to sabotage something the ANC is trying to do. This is very serious. Needs to be assessed in the light of negotiations and the coups in the Bantustans. The fact that the leadership now is closer to us has the inherent danger that we can be detached from the mass of the people. We must have perspective on this. From the reports it is clear that we are correct in saying that the popularity of the ANC is unchallenged. There are dangers, but if we were to create the mechanism through which we can harness this rich ground by an alive headquarters organizational structure, distilled as lessons and sent back as guidelines, we would enhance the building of the ANC. Another context is that the alliance of the ANC/Party/Sactu is in the process of being replaced by the alliance of ANC/Party/Cosatu, and the emerging Party from illegality. We must rigorously examine our experience so that we can build the ANC into the force we need and want.
Jay to take the floor as he has to depart.
Emphasis is that more utilization be made of Cosatu structures. Over 20,000 shop stewards in Cosatu. Structures are available to be used to build the ANC. Given the fact that around us the original apartheid structures are beginning to collapse ad being replaced by some more sympathetic to us, our starting point must still be the people. In particular pressure being put by councilors/Bantustans etc our point of reference remains the structures on the ground. This should be the guide in our daily work, so that we do not lose the confidence of the people who put us where we are today. Urgent for us to consolidate the alliance so that we can build this alliance at regional, local and national level and give us the strong organization that will take us to power.
There are today problems that comrades have to address in the course of building the ANC. One point raised is finding appropriate people to go and discuss and present policies. This highlights the fact that while we capture the enthusiasm of the people, we are not adequately informing the people as to why they should join the ANC. Staffing of ANC regional offices needs to be assessed by the ILC to find out how they can be assisted.
Terror has asked that they be allowed to discuss the report as an integral group as they have common problems. Suggest instead that we go on with general discussion so that we don't disrupt the flow. Agreed.
Information and publicity: reality is that if we were conducting propaganda work it would help building, propaganda work should be part of the overall task. There have been proposals made e.g. co-ordination with regions, media officer in each region, etc, but need to be formalized and agreed. DIP will have to conduct a tour of regions. Concrete proposal being made is that each region should have regional officers.
We are in a situation where the people have responded to the calls of the leadership in struggle against apartheid. This did not come about by accident. In all areas we had very active people, and these very people have been excluded from the process of creating interim structures. For instance in Natal there is not a single branch, yet it has a history of mass action. We must find ways of engaging the masses properly in struggle. Have we placed the responsibility on the leadership, when it should be that of the people who are the motor force of the movement.
It is important to draw attention to the fact that the 30 years of banning of the ANC has done a lot of damage. There is an incredible level of ignorance about the movement. Meetings have to deal with elementary history and basic policy. We must look at the level of political content in the branch formation. It makes it possible for those who enroll to carry the message further. But without this content the new members cannot carry the message outwards. The new situation without the town councilors etc make it difficult for people to know what the next step is. The branch formation must take the form of campaigns. Lack of control in committee makes it impossible to organize where there is no authority of any kind. We need to assess the question of dual power. Experience has shown that there has been terrible damage caused by monies which came from foreign funders. Instead of our structures engaging communities, people have grown used to getting funding, and therefore not in touch with the people. The structures we have are not mass based structures.
Membership dues: Eastern Cape mentioned people who wanted to join who thought they could do this free of charge, and that communities are extremely impoverished. Dues should not be applied so rigorously that people wanting to join are kept out because they cannot afford it. African people's living standards have deteriorated very badly, and this must be taken into account in our recruitment drive.
The other issue is with regard to the collapse of Bantustan structures and the contradictions that arise. We are a little apprehensive when contradictions appear among patriotic forces. There will be instances in the Bantustans. The issue is not to deny or suppress the contradictions, but to handle them in a way that does not allow them to become explosive. Contradictions will arise of a class character between people who are impoverished and those who have benefited.
Isn't there a danger of us reaching the situation where no one pays? We should establish principled guidelines on a sliding scale which takes account of unemployment etc. From the reports we can see that the regions have had to battle on their own. HQ is not firmly established and the regions have done well in this regard, but membership slow. Must ensure that at HQ there is a powerful machine that guidance, leadership and servicing is given to the regions. There is another context in which we are striving to get the ANC going, is the context of impoverishment. Sharply raised in rural areas the question of raising R12 membership fee. Each report raised lack of resources, particularly in the more distant areas. Problem of poor communications, lack of transport, money for offices, etc. HQ has to look at this. There has been many a revolutionary movement which does not rely on the cars and offices. Many regions will have to rely on our own resourcefulness. Establishment of an ANC office in someone's house. We are a people's organization and we must resolve the problem that way. Impoverishment also affects skills and organization. HQ is responsible to hold workshops, skills imparted and provide assistance. On consultation with our allies, lessons show that we cannot go forward unless we go forward with MDM and Cosatu. Consultation should be the order of the day in all regions as well as at the headquarters.
We have to develop a culture appropriate to the circumstances. The MDM have developed a legacy of some measure of accountability, and we must ensure this is enhanced. Membership cannot be held in the dark. Accountability will enhance development and confidence. Many convenors quite uninformed about the situation in their regions membership, monies collected, etc. This does not reflect well on methodology used in organization. Access to masses comes from activist style, with all its drawbacks. Caught in a bind in that we want MDM organizations to continue to exist, but they take up the day-to-day issues. Vastness of regions need to be looked at, and demarcation can be reassessed. Deployment must be taken seriously. Administration of recruitment must be computerized. Need to set up a forum to distill experiences. We need to take people from each region and hammer out a common approach.
Headquarters must move and be seen to be moving in the process of building structures. Experience in visiting areas shows that little assistance is coming from HQ. No ANC literature, even on topical issues. Guidance should be given on how to relate to developments, e.g. Transkie where regional committee perceived as having been co-opted by Holomisa. Polarization definitely taking place in the Bantustans. Must respond swiftly to offers made, e.g. Transkei and Ciskei offering to assist DIP, e.g. opening radio facilities, provide offices and land, etc. Question of regions holding regional conferences in October will this allow for sufficient time to prepare for conference in December?
We should compile these reports and they be sent to regions for study purposed. This would help us get to know the style of work employed in each region. At the rate we are moving we will not be ready for 16 December, and this house should take this into account, perhaps to postpone the National Conference, perhaps to January 8th 1991. When we talk of a programme of action, in the absence of an organizational functioning structure, it will fail.
We acknowledge that in the last 30 years there have emerged in this country which has served the oppressed successfully. We are being accused that regions have bee appointed undemocratically. There is also the suspicious tendencies of UDF, Cosatu and other levels of leadership. This suspicion has appeared since the unbanning of the ANC. The feeling appears to be that they will be eclipsed by the ANC and positions would be lost. Consultation must not be confused with permission. UDF maintains that we have no right to conduct our affairs without consultation, but this amounts to us asking their permission to carry on with our work.
Regional and other structures having their problems because of the gap between them and the other structures which had all the personnel and infrastructure. With regard to the offers made to us, we do not have the organizational form to process, assess and accept or reject such offers. Why does this information not reach a place in HQ where it is processed and acted upon.
On the question of postponement of the conference: we have enough experience in organizing conferences. But our target must be to have the conference take place at a specific time. On the question of UDF/MDM structures being afraid of the ANC, the Working Committee discussed the need to have a form of democratic broad front. The question of consulting with our fraternal organizations is one of the key questions raised. We have the right to create our structures, but they must be aware they are part of us without a constitutional right to interfere with our work. There is talk of branches with membership of thousands. Do we have a conception of what is a branch? Are we using all ANC members to help make the ANC grow, e.g. by door-to-door? Are we relying on a vertical process only, or are we developing through using the new members. When we create a branch, do we conceive of meeting weekly or how in such vast numbers. Important to remember that we have only been at it for 8 weeks. One valuable suggestion to be followed up is that there should be a workshop of representatives of all regions to discuss among themselves their common problems, common lessons and in that way generalize deficiencies and positive measures. Why are we building a mass ANC? We are building it as a weapon to capture power. Reports raise the question of political education.
Our organizers must be aware of how to handle these questions. Tensions exist and the regional leadership must move in to defuse tensions and involve all the people. We need everybody. We must take the organization to the people. There is the need to move to the ordinary people and explain the ANC. Rural areas demand priority. We must bring in the ordinary people so that they are not left to the regime to organize as counter-revolutionary forces. In areas of violence organization must evolve around the development of self-defence units. If the people know they can defend themselves they will rally to the ANC.
If we are engaged in a recruitment drive, it has to be done within the context of certain campaigns. We cannot simply build a branch for the sake of boosting membership. The branch has to do something. We must be clear of what our campaigns for the branches are. We will thus not have a dormant membership. We also need to have a line if we are to take the ANC to the masses. When we recruit people, what do we tell them.
Reports indicate that recruitment is not as effective among Indians and Coloureds. We must have a line which answers their questions, similarly with the Whites. We have a general approach which does not appeal to everyone. We need to assess their needs. Problem arising out of consultation between ANC and Bantustan leaders. Confusion among the people. Leadership waging struggles on the ground do not know the content of discussions, and the Bantustan leaders come back and report first hand, claiming ANC authority, e.g. Ntsanwisi claimed over the radio that he had been appointed an ANC organizer. There was a stay-away in Gazankulu there were consultations over the meetings to take place in Cape Town. When Ntsanwisi returned said ANC pledged support for him and calling upon the people to stop their actions. But there was no report from the ANC. Delegation went to ANC office as a result to resolve confusion. Many people coming to the national office feel excluded, that the ANC at national level favours Bantustan leaders more than themselves and this creates terrible problems, for instance in Venda and Gazankulu. Must point out that we are building the ANC in the context in which we are preparing for a national conference. But when one looks at reports of the regions, there is no apparent urgency in preparation for the conference, or deadline for branches to be built. There is no awareness of working for regional conference, which must prepare for national conference. Each region must give itself a set time limit and a way in which work in this regard is evaluated from time to time. We need to adopt certain methods of building the ANC. Campaigns are important. They cannot become members and just sit at home. We need to encourage forums from ANC/UDF/Cosatu for discussion which will draw in all forces to build the ANC. We have tremendous needs. We have the capacity. There are personnel needs in all areas. We have to ask where are all the cadres who were in the UDF/MDM. Can we draw up a register of such cadres who can be deployed? Equally, external resources are great and such a resource list should also facilitate deployment. What happened to the projects which over the years were set up to train people? Where did the money go if there are no people trained?
Membership: We cannot be happy with the figures. The security situation is very dangerous. ILC must ensure security in all regions. Need to have a policy of affirmative action towards women, and develop self-reliance from our communities.
Written report read and submitted. Open for discussion. Agree the document be discussed paragraph by paragraph.
Comments on Introduction.
This document is trying to remove blockages from HQ. It is part of a whole system enabling us to move forward. How does the document address the weakness of being reactive rather than pro-active?
Firstly, reactive refers to the fact that we respond to the groups coming to the office. This is at the expense of giving direction to the overall organizational work. Instead of depending on these appointments, and our actions in fact being determined by them, we will plan who does what and when. The problems at HQ centre around our inability to implement the original plan that was set out in the document "Building the ANC Legally". Before we consider coming up with a new structure, we need to assess our plans and implementation of them with regard to restructuring. It is irregular to devise a scheme for restructuring and, without seeing to its implementation, come up with something else. The original document creates five national structures under the ILC. There is no semblance of existence of national structures as set out by the NEC and sent down to the ILC. It is on this basis that there is no justification for the new structures proposed. We are talking to an organizational committee, referred to as the office of the national organizer, and the need to have a political committee. It is true that recommendations in the original structure have not been implemented. But here we are looking at how to implement and get the basic elements in place to enable us to begin working effectively. More elaborate structures can develop from this. We have to start somewhere. The original document is completely silent on the question of a political committee. One of the positive features of the document placed before us is that it has drawn our attention to the vital need to have a day-to-day political strategizing body which is charged with the task of initiating and reacting to the daily events. Anyone who has spent time in the office and sees the way in which the comrades are torn from one task to another organizations, political and administration must conclude that something drastic has to be done regarding the structuring and organization of HQ. Appeal that we rather discuss the experiences we have in the last three months and take decisions on how to tackle the weaknesses, rather than look at the document drawn up outside and in abstract.
Organizational structures must serve the task. We are gathered here with comrades trying to get the organization off the ground. We should not be formal and constitutional at the discussion. We must examine what the organization needs, and that is precisely what is being presented here today a political committee concentrating on day-to-day events to give political guidance and direction. As we implement we will still have to adjust to ongoing developments and experiences.
The document "Building the ANC"
Firstly, it speaks of an ILC plus regional representatives this operates. It speaks of setting up Interim Committees this has been done. National Organizer Mkwayi heads, DPE Suttner heads, Finance Vusi Khanyile head, and being established in consultation with OTG. By and large a serious attempt has been made to set up the organizational structure as outlined in the document.
Over the past few months there has been practical experience. A number of weaknesses have shown themselves. The present structure makes it impossible to have a smoothly functioning HQ. Discussions have been held over the past weeks to assess our weaknesses. Main ANC task is to struggle. Present structure has no body assessing or initiating campaigns. For instance, the ANC has not responded to the education crisis. This is because it is not the responsibility of any department or body. There is no section, department or committee dealing with the issues at HQ. What we need is to wage struggles, initiate campaigns etc. This has to urgently be addressed. UDF congress decided that it should not play role of political centre, that this should be transferred to ANC. Yet we have the situation where the ANC is not initiating campaigns. Prior to unbanning the mass organizations used to get guidance on campaigns and slogans. This is no longer coming from Lusaka, and Johannesburg not providing the guidance.
Agree that the weakness of the previous document was silence on political strategizing committee, and that this is the weakness of the present structure at HQ. As a result our posture has been reactive. But it is one of the major vices of the movement that we live politically hand to mouth. If we had abstractly drawn up a document which was to serve as a basis for operating, but found wanting, one would have expected this new document to base itself on the reasons why the document failed, and learn from the experiences. We should base ourselves on experiences of attempting to implement previous document. The other fault of the document before us is that there are other documents that have dealt with matters e.g. DIP, adopted by NEC, but it is as if we never wrote or submitted it. Experience of past three months should inform the discussion, pointing out reasons for failure. Absolutely agree on need for political committee.
Not sure we are approaching matter correctly. Decision of NEC giving the guidelines, document says Office of National Organizer will be the key to organizing, and senior cadres be appointed. But no tasks or method of operation elaborated. The current document attempts to give flesh to this earlier decision of who and why and when. The proposal puts forward need for collective and how it should work. DIP attempt to give organizational form, as with other departments. The new document takes the issues much further, and seeks to build collective working and viable entities, ensuring a relationship between departments, so that the work can go forward.
Point of procedure. If we agree that the documents do not contradict, comrades can suggest additions and amendments from either document so that we can move forward. Should accept that the contributions are valid.
It is very important that we elaborate on the concept being discussed, how we view the machine being created at HQ. There is continuity between the documents and we should advance as to whether we accept this machinery at HQ. Document addresses the need to inter-relate so that HQ works as a team.
Agree that we accept this as a working document and proceed.
Report on the Assassination Plots in Vrye Weekblad:
Some right wingers have been arrested due to concrete information that they were planning to assassinate Mandela, Sisulu, Slovo and others. Mandela was to have been assassinated on his arrival. For more than a week, besides other information, monitoring activities of CCB and military intelligence. Clear something was planned. Attempts made to get more information. As a result of our work we have been able to get the information that has appeared in the press. Unfortunate that publication has taken place. Great deal of information. They have been taped and reports made to the highest level. Important that we say something. Clearly right wing linking up with police/army and big recruiting drive with the aim of dealing with the ANC so that it goes back to Lusaka. Main intention is to disrupt negotiations. Even ready to deal with government officials and MPs. In essence, government did not have the information which led to the arrest, we did. At least 8 people should have been arrested, but only five. Further, they want to use the conflict in Natal to kill leading comrades in the area, and killings be blamed on Inkatha. Already a squad in Pmb to assassinate Gwala. We know the name of the leader of the squad. This one is an Inkatha squad. Question is how much attention we have paid to the whole CCB issue. Not taken advantage of all the information we have to expose the situation. Need to determine a clear strategy on this question. This plan in relation to Mandela was fully worked out, but person doing the shooting was involved in a car accident which led to exposure. Organizing throughout the country. We must take the matter very seriously, and politically expose the developments. It seems from information that there is a maturing plan to assassinate FW de Klerk and others connected to the peace process. Discussion returned to the Organizational Report.
Add reference to the previous document in the introduction to provide continuity. Strengthening of HQ, should have been reference to the need to reinforce HQ with the leadership from outside. This needs serious discussion with a specific programme of return.
Secondly, composition of ILC includes General Secretaries and Presidents of Cosatu and UDF. Are they there as representatives of these organizations, or are they there by virtue of being ANC members? Does this change the ILC into a federal structure? In talking about the political committee and organizational committees, the document excludes departments, including at regional levels. Media liaison and propaganda mentioned without departmental authority. What definition are we giving to the political committee: is it a strategizing committee or a committee that assesses day-to-day. Impression of division is that political work relates only to media relations, but propaganda is much broader than that, and is certainly not merely organizational.
In order to improve the work and co-ordination, it was felt that it was in the interests of the movement that the general secretaries of UDF and Cosatu should be part of the ILC. This does not make the ILC a federal structure. Need to correct what is happening at HQ. It is so difficult to get through to HQ from the regions. Phones can take up to one hour to get through. When you get through the phone rings for another 15 minutes before the phones are answered. What is the role of the alliance if the organizations are going to function from within the ANC? If Cosatu and UDF are there, why are other organizations general secretaries left out? They should be there in their own right as individual members, not representing organizations. Points above are valid. The inclusion of the General Secretaries and Presidents in the ILC is in no way an attempt to have the alliance functioning at this level. The four people are there as ANC members, not representing their organizations. They have been co-opted as ANC members. The document's formulation gives a wrong impression. The arrangement is provisional, but it can create a precedent which will give us a lot of problems. We are taking into account the ANC constituency. We want to carry our constituencies with us. There is a contradiction in how the four people are brought into the ILC, as the document specifies that they are there in their organizational capacities. But the political character of UDF will change with the unbanning of ANC. Essential that the wording be changed. If they are there as members of ANC, there is no need to mention secretaries and presidents. Draw attention to the fact that in 1943, in drafting the policy of the ANC, the ANC included the general secretary of the SACP, designated as such, designated also Gana Makabeni, as head of the trade unions. Therefore we have had precedents along these lines.
Comment on the role of ILC.
Central political authority, therefore ILC must ultimately become policy-making body. It must begin to act as this central political authority. It is going to be necessary to change the tasks and nature of ILC meetings, which get bogged down into many details. This should be taken over by administrative secretary. We must then transform ILC into a strategizing body. ILC meets periodically. Must determine specific meeting dates. The work of the ILC has had two functions: give day to day political leadership, and to build the ANC structurally.
Therefore the ILC is constituted of a certain core, heads of regions etc. This should remain the position. The ILC as a larger body cannot carry out this function. This document intends to cater for the gap, since the ILC cannot run the day to day political strategizing. The role of the political committee is very adequately defined. We should seriously address the deployment of senior comrades from outside.
Secondly, what is the ultimate decision regarding presidents, and secretaries of UDF/Cosatu? Recommend exclusion of organizational representation.
Taking into account what has been discussed on ILC, document highlighted task of reconstructing the ANC. Propose deletion (b) Structures of ILC from departments and add "four others". ILC gives political overall leadership, overall in charge of re-establishing ANC. Get other structures involved. ILC meetings bogged down, leaving strategic questions. Must create sub-structures to deal with specific areas. Document incorrect emphasis, where the political committee strategises and reports to ILC which listens. It is the ILC which should be the strategizing body, not the other way around.\\Structure: remove reference to general secretaries and presidents, and replace with "other such other members as may be co-opted by the ILC". Agreed: Correct that the ILC should be responsible for overall leadership. The point being made is that because of ILC size and membership based in the regions, it could not meet very regularly. Therefore day to day problems must be addressed by sub-structure accountable to ILC. The actual planning and strategizing must be done by a broader body. All regional convenors should be part of drawing up plans and strategizing. Such planning does not need such frequent meetings. It would be wrong for us to sit in the regions waiting for a small committee sitting in Johannesburg to tell organizers/convenors what to do. Strategic planning must be broad-based. Several comrades have been misled by layout of document.
Delete (c) on page two, and place it as introduction of a new heading replacing B with sub-head "Sub-Structures". (c) then forms the introduction to the sub-structures. Political Committee becomes B(1) and Organizational Committee becomes B(2).
Necessary to change "periodically" to a fixed interval for meetings, at least bi-monthly. Regional convenors will not be part of strategizing committee and therefore essential to be part of broader discussions. Agreed. Suggest that the tasks delegated to the political committee should in the main work as a strategizing committee, in the same way as the PMC worked, compiling a programme of action and examining the political developments on an on-going basis. Too theoretical for us to sit here and determine a committee of this nature. Impractical to work on a minute-to-minute. (Doc incomplete)