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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.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 NEC Meeting June 23
NEC MEETING - JOHANNESBURG 23 JUNE 1990
Present : Walter Sisulu (Chair), Joe Slovo, Chris Hani, Tony Mongalo, Dan Tloome, Jackie Selebe, Aziz Pahad, Joe Jele, Ruth Mompati, Gertrude Shope, Jackie Molefe, Henry Makgothi, Sindiso Mfenyana, Jacob Zuma, James Stuart, Francis Meli, Ronnie Kasrils, Reg September, Mac Maharaj, ZP Jordan, Mzwai Piliso, Steve Dlamini, Robert Manci, Sizakele Sigxashe, Steve Tshwete, Simon Makana.
Per Request : Mohammed Valli.
Minutes taken by GM.
SACP Report : Names of NEC members who are going to be announced at the rally. We know where we come from, and the way in which we have to work. We have not divulged names during the struggle, but given that our basic objective is to work in the long run to the position where there are no secret party members. But we are in an interim situation, and need to take into account interests of both ANC and Party. Dilemma: if we go the full way it will be problematic, but if we do nothing it will also be problematic. We had to find a balance. Want to inform the NEC, raising it here to see what comrades feel.
People on NEC who are going to be named as part of internal leadership group and part of Party leadership are:
JS, Dan Tloome, Raymond Mhlaba, Govan Mbeki (all known), Chris Hani, John Nkadimeng, Mac Maharaj, Ronnie Kasrils, Sizakele Sigxashe, and Reg September.
Others who are not on NEC will also be appointed. Request to give other names: Pool of people, but final list not yet determined. Working Committee or relevant leadership will be notified once finalized.
Apologies not submitted: NEC members missing include Stuart, Meli, Nhlanhla, and Makana. Point made that NEC members not treating the meeting seriously, as this has been planned for a long time. Meli and Stuart arrived 11 a.m., Makana at 12.30 p.m. Apologies submitted: Govan Mbeki, Alfred Nzo and John Nkadimeng.
1. Relationship between NEC and ILC.
2. Ratify decisions of ILC regarding organizational matters.
3. Take decisions or ratify decisions relating to National Conference.
4. Consider measures to further strengthen ILC
(a) Programme to bring into country leading personnel;
(b) Status of PMC, IPC, etc.
5. Ratifying decisions relating to finance.
6. Report of the Commission on Personnel (appointed yesterday).
7. Relationship between legal ANC and underground report.
8. Statements need to be issued urgently:
* Natal campaign;
* Education crisis;
* Press Statement for June 26.
9. Clear position on membership.
10. Report on last meeting between Mandela and De Klerk.
11. Next NEC meeting.
Comment on Agenda :
There are items that should not be on agenda. Item 1 has been repeatedly discussed. Item 2 : most decisions were ratified yesterday. Rather have a report on personnel, combined with discussion on membership. Most of items 1 and 2 have been dealt with.
Ø Suggestion that the report on personnel, membership and legal/underground be taken together.
Ø When did the NEC last discuss negotiations. We need an extensive discussion to determine stage we have reached.
Ø Every meeting of working committee/NEC negotiations have been discussed. Ask for report to be prepared for future discussion.
Ø Despite participation in discussions of the past few days, lack of clarity of where we are in relation to whole issue of negotiations.
Ø Has there been no NEC which met and received report on the matter? Secondly, has there been no report by JZ on this? (Reports have been made.) Therefore we can have discussion, but these reports have been made to NEC.
Ø Problem is that not all members present during discussions. Even minutes of discussion not distributed.
Ø When one asks comrades NEC how we judge and assess the stage we are at, no one really seems to understand. What is needed here is not a recap of what took place, but for the NEC to attempt to analyse where we are at. The balance is very precarious. The NEC must come to appreciate how we see the situation and NEC must have a common understanding of the stage we have reached.
Ø One of the people involved is DP. We can discuss in his absence. Asked DP and SG if this meeting was going to deal with this kind of matter. They felt that on their return there would be a full NEC which would take clear positions. It is an issue in itself.
Ø Agree we put it on the agenda for this meeting, and motion for future full discussion can be made then.
Report on Commission :
Members were JS, Squire, Popo and WS. Exchanged views and discussed various names, although not able to consult with them. Also want to report on the committee which consisted of JS, Zuma and WS to examine relationship between underground and above ground.
Agree that given the sensitivity of report, matter be expunged from the minutes.
Names of Political Committee :
Walter Sisulu, Nelson Mandela (both ex officio members of all leading organs) Head of Organisational Committee, Steve Tshwete, Pallo Jordan (subject to him being based at HQ), Valli (secretary of political committee), Syd Mfumadi, Mandla Nkomfe, Kehla Shubane, Joe Slovo, Eric Molobi.
Organisational Committee (12 plus two) :
Walter Sisulu, Nelson Mandela (ex officio), Steve Tshwete, Mac Maharaj, Popo Molefe (Secretary), Peter Mayibuye, Jacob Zuma, Ismail Monmoniat, Ronnie Kasrils, Ivan Pillay, Ray Suttner, Guebuza.
Ø Raise a matter of concern. Mac Maharaj indicated that he will retire from all active political work by the end of December. Therefore his deployment should be undertaken with this in mind.
Ø Pointed out that the Conference in December will take many decisions. Our working life is only until Conference.
Ø Comrades expressed shock and concern. Agreed that it should not be discussed here but privately if people want.
Ø With due respect to the commission looking at manpower, we are looking at a very small, limited grouping of people being deployed. Many good cadres not being deployed. Difficulty in understanding why some who have been working in this field for years, and are based in the country, are being left out. There does not seem to be deployment of many of us in structures that are existing, while others are in every committee. Request that we get motivation on deployment and give greater consideration to other personnel who could be deployed.
Ø Endorse views in point above. Why is Thabo Mbeki not included above?
Ø Should look at all structures, and not give the same people more and more tasks. Incorrect that there is not a single woman involved in the committees.
Ø An effort has been made to draw in comrades on the ground, as well as comrades from outside. Decisions were taken in keeping with recommendations yesterday. People from outside will take time to get to know the regions and the work. Support list of names except to consider inclusion of women – suggest Cheryl Carolus.
Ø If we want to recruit members, we cannot have people involved in too many committees charged with the work.
Ø Proposal is a legacy of exile life. ANC not only composed of NEC members. Majority proposed are NEC members. Was geographical distribution taken into account? No people who are in the youth structures included, yet youth should be part of this. Want motivation on names included who are not known.
Ø Women's question should not only be raised by women. Men do not even see this. We have sat in a meeting with 60 men and only four women. We need to look at the question raised of percentage of women be included. Women must be involved. Secondly, a certain difficulty regarding exclusion of some names, particularly those from Lusaka. Unless we have an idea of how we are being deployed, it becomes difficult to assess exclusion from above committees.
Ø We are all committed to organisation-building, i.e. setting up branches etc. As these committees are structured, we will not achieve this. We have to involve internal forces. But it seems lacking. Were youth cadres not considered?
Ø The Committee has done its work and submitted its list. Comrades should make concrete proposals, taking into account the regions. Some comrades should be considered for deployment in regions and departments.
Ø In relation to the political committee, what we are striving for a grouping at HQ which would operate on a day-to-day basis. Someone like Comrade Thabo being at HQ, would automatically be there. Recommend Aziz joins the group. There should also be comrades who are not there on a day-to-day basis, but should be brought into the committee when they are there.
Ø Thabo's department is one of the most important. It is such a big task that it would be inappropriate to involve him in other work.
Ø Proposals for the political committee: Ngwako and Mabitse; Rapu Malekane, Reggie Mpongo, Thadi Modise, Jackie Molefe, Barbara Hogan.
Ø Problem arising is looking at people from outside. People from outside have little organizing experience. Deployment at HQ is not the be-all and end-all of deployment. Regional deployment very critical. Would prefer if someone like Peter Mayibuye be mandated to go and work on the ground for six months in Venda. This would be most beneficial.
Ø For the organizing committee, for continuity, secretary of PMC should be brought in. Propose Joe Jele and myself, Aziz Pahad, for the organizational committee.
Ø Yesterday discussing question of Natal. In this list Natal not represented. Secondly, we should move away from Lusaka tradition of appointments. There should be at least consultation with relevant structures. There are people we don't know.
Ø Names proposed. Do we accept the names proposed? Cheryl Carolus playing key role in organizational work. Wrong to be removed from work on the ground. Suggest that the names proposed be submitted to the same committee, which should also consider names of women.
Ø Suggest we finalise names at this meeting.
Ø Necessity of involvement of comrades, but this is not the overall redeployment of the entire ANC/NEC membership. There are going to be other structures which will need personnel. We should not have a concentration of everyone here. If we have this understanding we should have no problems.
Ø In terms of numbers, we cannot have as many as submitted. The number of people on the committees is fixed as agreed, yesterday. Propose Monmoniat not be part of organizing committee. Ivan should be deployed in Natal, not at HQ. Raymond should serve on the political committee, not on the organizing committee.
Ø Motivate for Ivan being on the organizing committee. He is one of the most outstanding organizers. He has never been deployed in Natal, but outside. He has a wealth of experience, and he should be retained in the HQ organizing committee. Raymond is head of political education. This is key to membership and developing cadres. Therefore he should remain on the organizing committee, as a systematic approach to cadre development. Overload on him needs to be assessed, but cannot remove him from organizing.
Ø Names of Rapu, Reggie and Thandi seconded for organizing committee.
Ø Suggest that Peter Mayibuye and Jacob Zuma be dropped. Strongly urge retention of Peter Mayibuye. Evident that there is a dearth of information on ANC. Serious organisation of membership means they have to be in touch with thinking and policies. In order to expand the movement must be abreast of issues on the ground. If DIP is not there we will be out of touch. He is essential for this purpose. Comrades like Aziz, involved in negotiations, will not realistically be able to attend to the work.
Ø Absence of Zuma from the meeting yesterday was due to a specific crisis. Therefore this is a wrong criterion on which to judge participation. Obstacles to participation temporary. Agree that he should be retained on organizing committee for obvious reasons in terms of his primary job, including his ability to deal with the Natal situation.
Ø Support for Aziz to be placed on organizational committee to serve as a link with negotiating process.
Ø Move that Aziz be part of political committee, and that we do not include Ngwako and Mabitse for this committee. Agree that Barbara Hogan is working in the region, and she should remain there. Agree that the organizational committee have the following comrades added: Rapu, Reggie and Thandi Modise.
Ø Agree that a member of the Women's League be co-opted onto the political committee when appropriate.
Ø Committees themselves should compose the core.
Preparation for the National Conference :
Report submitted in writing. Preparations for inside the country were handled by PMC.
Ø Point out two weaknesses in national committee. Once again there are no women, and calling on the same people yet again. All are very busy and will not have time. We should seriously look at other comrades able to take charge. This committee has to be an active committee, not an overseeing committee. The committee will have to work on full-time basis to ensure success. We need also to re-examine December 16 as a proposed date, and put it further back.
Ø Support for the above points. The people must be involved. It must be their conference which they are shaping and determining the content of. Must ensure that we have solved the problems existing externally, otherwise the conference will be reduced to a shambles where we are discussing issues that needed to be resolved in exile.
Ø Task of the committee we elect here go into all aspects of conference. It will be a very big conference, which has to deal with ANC restructuring and in transition, and all the burning issues facing us. That conference has to give answers to fundamental questions, directing the way forward. Preparatory Committee should outline what type of conference we envisage. Once we have defined the scope we can properly assess what is feasible for December, or if postponement needed.
Ø Names submitted will never do justice to this work. Must be a re-examination of the names. Preparation should not disrupt building the movement. Secondly, 10% is too large a proportion for NEC appointment to attend conference. Overwhelming majority must be elected.
Ø Everything depends on regions, and their ability to hold regional conferences where they can elect delegates. We should realistically look at some time next year. Suggest reassessment by September. Propose June 26, 1991, as a date by which time we should have branches well in place.
Ø Arguing against postponement. This would be the second postponement. We must be able to explain to the membership why we are postponing yet again. This would be a political setback for the movement. NEC has been lax in assessing rate of progress regarding preparations.
Ø Agree with the above point, and we must not get into the frame of mind that we are going to postpone. We must try to stick to our decision of holding conference on 16 December. Wrong approach. Must do our best to try to make it. Suggest that conference has 3000 delegates. If each person only speaks once for five minutes, it will need 31 days. We want discussion and debate, not card voting. People should be brought in who will do the work, for instance names earlier suggested such as Mibitse and Ngwako.
Ø Agree that date should be retained. June was already postponed to December. The very stage of struggle we are at requires conference, which gives us the opportunity to take fundamental decisions. Must have a preparatory committee which is composed of people who have no other task but conference. Can also be used as an organizing instrument.
Ø Two aspects: organisation not advanced, and preparation for conference. Part of our conference preparations should be the question of talking to the ANC exile community, addressing them about these preparations. One of the questions always asked, when are we going home? This needs to be explained. If we postpone problems are going to escalate.
Ø Names suggested: Sindiso, Gertrude Shope, Ephraim Nkwe, Mabitse and Ngwako be added to the names of Stuart, Nzo and Sisulu. Remainder proposed be withdrawn. Dur to women's launch, GS would not be available. This group will look at ways of supplementing the composition. Other names suggested: Johnny Issel, Ignatious Jacobs, Neil Morrison, Priscilla Nyandza, Ephraim Nkwe. SM raised that his task at Secretariat must be replaced. SG ex-officio. Stuart was the head, and part of the reason why there are no real preparations is because of his failure. If Stuart is to remain at the helm, he must be grounded. We cannot afford another failure. We must also ensure that he is assisted.
Ø What is the central theme of the conference? Organising conference needs to be around a theme. The next NEC meeting must consider the theme.
Documents to be Looked At :
- Statement in support of Natal.
- The Education Crisis.
- Guidelines on Membership.
None of the above documents is ready. June 26 is ready. Agree it be read at lunch time. Other documents will be part of resolutions committee's submission to the ILC, but the statement in support of the Natal campaigns must be ready today. To be prepared over lunchtime.
Report submitted. Want lists of people who can return to help with work and reinforcing ANC structures. We have sponsort who will pay for 500 returnees. Can departments submit lists for this purpose. Need NEC guidance on how to proceed.
Department of Religious Affairs hosted a workshop with church bodies at home to look at ways of receiving and assisting returnees. Part of recommendations was for participants to convene a meeting where we would participate to set up appropriate structures. But at such a meeting, ANC ex-prisoners expressed strongly that the Churches could not be involved in receiving returnees. This contradicts decisions taken in Lusaka.
Ø Propose that ANC urgently establishes department of social welfare, which will be responsible for seeing to well-being of returnees and the problems facing ex-political prisoners. Resent being sent to SACC for questions of welfare.
Ø We now have to decide if we are going to be part of SACC structure, and at the same time have our own structure to receive our people. There are already clashes in requests for money, where ANC and SACC both ask for the same money. Deal with first question: list of 500 people to be drawn up.
Ø Do we want departments at HQ to draw up such lists? Vital that the lists be collected as soon as possible, and proper definition of the task of every individual on the list. Regions have made specific requests for reinforcement in a number of areas of work, mobilization, underground work. There are comrades who have a lot of experience in these areas. Given the weakness on the ground, these comrades should be seriously considered.
Ø HQ requires detailed information of who is doing what in which department in Lusaka, so that from this side able to make requests to fill tasks this side. CV's should be sent as quickly as possible.
Ø How are people being selected at present? There should be a meeting between internal and external to determine our priorities regarding what we need to achieve. This should enable us to deploy people in keeping with our urgent tasks, not simply departmentally. People from regions want to go to their regions, who are in fact requesting people from their regions. We should not be bound by the figure of 500. l This would help streamline the work, rather than by individual requests. There must be a centralized mechanism to match tasks and people, with people specifically dealing with this task.
Ø Essential that departments make recommendations, but we need to prioritise how we are deploying people. Departments must not necessarily be reproduced in the same form outside. Bodies such as the organizational committee should liaise with the external to address this task. Agree with centralized mechanism to ensure this happens in an organized way.
Discuss second question: SACC problems relating to ex-prisoners. Do we stick to agreement, or do we establish ANC department of social welfare to address problems?
- Agreement was not only the SACC to play major role. All bodies were to form a core and call a meeting. If we only have a few people opposed to this, should they not be approached and discussions held with them, rather than put aside the whole scheme. Raising of monies should be discussed to prevent conflicts and contradictions.
- We would be unable to implement this programme ourselves, and create such contradictions between ourselves and others that would hamper work. Important that we be involved with the repatriation group as equal partners, and we establish social welfare body.
- It is not only our people who are opposed to the SACC handling welfare of returnees. PAC and Azapo also opposed. Other problem is that DP told our delegate to that conference that ANC must take care of our people. Therefore we need to set up social welfare department. SACC and others will expect us not to fundraise for returnees, as they are handling this question. Why the people are opposed to SACC has a long history. Even comrades on Robben Island are very anxious about what has happened to ex-prisoners. Important for meeting between comrades, including on setting up of welfare committee. Jackie must meet with comrades while he is in the country.
- Real issue is agreement with SACC; ex-prisoners dissatisfied. SACC body will handle returnees. We must avoid situation where we become responsible for housing etc. Our returnees must be fully integrated into communities.
- Agree: It would be politically disastrous for us to withdraw from the SACC-related body. It should be complemented by our own social welfare body to assist ex-prisoners. Must consult with the comrades on the ground.
Discussion on Resolutions
- June 26.
- Right wing violence.
- Natal violence.
Corrections noted and made to the drafts which are accepted and must be distributed.
The State of Negotiations
On the basis that there will be a full NEC meeting to discuss this question when the DP returns, discussion postponed.
Ratify Decisions Relating to Finance
Agreed that report made yesterday from the Finance Committee be approved.
Document of the Harare Fundraising Workshop read. There are many issues dealt with which will take up enormous resources of the movement. The document should be passed on to our treasury and come back to the NEC with recommendations on the specifics. The document entails decisions affecting other organizations – Namda etc – which are affected by the recommendations. ANC will not necessarily be drawn into the implementation of decisions. Agree that it should be referred to the Treasury for its recommendations. This whole workshop was held at the initiative of the Treasury. This document is the result of this workshop. They need to operate and want to be assured that the NEC Working Committee has no serious problems with the recommendations. Agree that the Treasury look at the details and specifics, and bring a full report to the next NEC meeting. Question asked if the Fundraising Committee has been set up.
If a document is circulated it is intended to be read, and comrades have the responsibility to do so as a matter of principle.
Next NEC Meeting
To be held in the beginning of August provided it does not interfere with the rest programme of the Deputy President.
Necessary for a press statement to be issued by DIP. Should be of a general nature.
Holomisa requested NEC delegation to visit Transkei to brief the Council on current developments. Agree we send d delegation: Chris, Steve, Pallo plus who ever else can accompany. This should not conflict with meeting on Wednesday where resolutions being presented. Agree all bodies meet during the week and the delegation take place towards the end of the week. What happens to the statements released? Get them to the press today.
June 26: ZPJ requested to address meetings in other areas. Must find other people to speak as all members must be here to begin our tasks.
June 26 statement must reach all offices.
Holidays must be arranged through the appropriate channels for WS and Govan Mbeki. Task of administration.
Closure of meeting.
Thanks to comrade Walter for the sterling work carried out. Amazed of stamina and capacity, and we are proud of him at the helm. Need to translate our decisions into practical implementation.