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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.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 NWC Meeting March 9
Minutes of the NWC Meeting 9 March 1988
Present : Steve Dlamini; Gertrude Shope; John Nkadimeng; Jacob Zuma; Ruth Mompati; Johnny Makathini; DanTloome; Reg September; Sizakele Sigxasha; Robert Manci; Alfred Nzo; T T Nkobi; Joe Nhlanhla; HG Makgothi; Joe Slovo; Tony Mongalo; OR Tambo; James Stuart; Mac Maharaj; Mzwai Piliso; Josiah Jele; Pallo Jordan.
Apologies : Chris Hani; Thabo Mbeki
(i) Minutes of last NWC meeting – previously circulated, taken as read.
(ii) Report of the Presidential Committee.
(iii) Agenda for the NEC Meeting.
(iv) Any other business.
The President took the chair and explained that this NWC meeting had been called at short notice to deal with the planned NEC meeting.
(i) Minutes of previous NWC Meeting :
The minutes were taken as read. Accepted as accurate record of previous meeting.
(a) Matters Arising:
Second Dakar Type Meeting: Cde Stuart raised the issue relating to Cde Thabo Mbeki's absence from the previous meeting and argued that he recalled an NWC decision that Cde Thabo attend the London meeting. Lengthy discussion ensued in which the following points were raised:
- that no one at the previous NWC meeting recalled such a decision.
- The record of the previous NWC meetings did not reflect such a decision.
- Cde President had raised objection in principle to the idea of our interlocutors specifying whom they would like to meet in the NEC.
- The issue was not Cde Thabo per se but the principle of prior consultation and a mandate from the NWC.
- There was unclarity as to the actual decision, we must assume Cde Thabo acted in good faith.
- There can be no deviation from the principle of the NWC choosing delegations.
- The incident brought out a fundamental weakness in the NWC style of work.
- Cde Reg September reported that even the first such meeting had taken place without his knowledge and he had received no report though he was a member of the LONDON RPMC at the time.
It was agreed that the NWC should draw the appropriate lessons from the incident and ensure it was not repeated.
Cde SG : Explained Cde Thabo's absence at today's meeting. He was in London to attend Commonwealth Conference on the Media and was delegated by the Presidential Committee to meet representatives/intermediaries acting on behalf of the regime to discuss the issue of political prisoners.
Cde Reg : Raised the issue of security of the NWC minutes in view of great detail in last meeting's minutes. He was uncertain that that was the best way to handle them. A brief exchange of ideas ensued during which it was pointed out that in part the need for detail arose because the accuracy of the record had been called. It was suggested that it was wiser to keep detailed record but not circulate that. In case of a dispute that detailed record can then be consulted. Decisions and a summary of discussions could be circulated.
The suggestion was made that the Secretariat hold all minutes for inspection in its offices during office hours. After this idea was debated it was agreed that on the basis of the document on Security of Documents the Secretariat and NAT discuss the issue and place proposals before the next NWC meeting.
Decision 1 :
The Secretariat and NAT shall meet and prepare proposals to place before the next NWC meeting.
Nhlanhla : Suggested that he attend next Secretariat meeting in order to sort out the differences that had arisen between himself and Cde Pallo.
(ii) Report of the Presidential Committee :
Cde President handed the chair over to SG in order to make his report on behalf of the Presidential Committee.
Cde President : Explained that the forthcoming NEC meeting was planned to discuss the State of the Organisation. The Presidential Committee was of the opinion it should be postponed. In the meantime the Committee should sit and receive reports from all the movement's departments. This could involve the restructuring of the entire movement. A Report of these consultations then shall be placed before the NEC for its consideration.
The Presidential Committee has already begun to meet. Its first meeting was with the Provisional Directorate of NAT. The Reports required would have to deal with:
- tasks of the department as understood from decisions and in the dept.
- job descriptions of each section and functionary.
- Personnel situation.
- Accountability within the dept and its organs.
- System of reporting to higher organs and structures.
- Departmental meetings and their frequency.
- State of equipment and transport.
- Effective coordination between units and within the dept.
- Problems encountered in fulfilling its work.
It was hoped by this method to detect the common weaknesses. The process will begin at the top with examination of top organs – President's Office; SGO; TGO, etc. Finally the Committee will look at the NEC itself and the NWC and how it functions with a view to producing a comprehensive report on all areas of the NEC. One concern was whether the internal tasks of the movement were being properly catered for – are sufficient of our personnel deployed for internal work. It might be found necessary to propose amendments in structures and personnel.
The will address also the numbers in Zambia and the risk this poses. The leadership must obtain the cooperation of the comrades here in Zambia. We must consider also if it would not be wise to relocate some depts. elsewhere. The definition of the needs of the movement shall inform decisions to co-opt new members to the NEC.
It is estimated that it will require three weeks to complete this work. At the end of that we can have a normal NEC sitting with State of Organisation and one of the agenda items.
The next available suitable date will be 18th April.
(End of Report)
The SG handed the chair back to Cde President.
Decision 2 :
The NWC accepts the recommendations arising from the Report and commends the Presidential Committee to proceed. 18th April shall be date of NEC Meeting.
(iii) Any Other Business :
(a) Cde Johnnyt Makathini reported on a request from the Japanese that the ANC aim to open its offices in Japan on 25th May. The DIA urges that the request receive the NWC urgent attention.
(b) Cde Johnny requested permission to attend a diabetic clinic in Boston, Mass, USA from 14th March.
(c) Reported on the problems arising for us in the OAU. There was need to press for the UN Security Council meeting in this region. A number of OAU members are arguing that destabilization is a function of ANC"s inability to intensify the armed struggle. Concern expressed about 'black on black violence' and increasing calls for ANC-PAC United Front.
There are longstanding offers for training which we need to take up from Nigeria; Ethiopia and Egypt.
Reported on conversation with SWAPO Rep regarding the Angolan President's conversation with NUJOMA to the effect that SWAPO must not allow itself to be taken unawares by developments in the region.
Nigeria has begun to play role similar to that of FRG. Garba is pushing for ANC-PAC talks.
SG : Confirmed the remarks regarding Nigeria. When in that country pressured on this point.
(d) Meeting with KTC Delegation – Reported on the persons already in town and those expected. A preparatory committee was appointed to draw up agenda and a delegation to meet them. It was agreed that the core of the delegation shall be: Cde President; SG; TG; Mzwai; Jele; Zuma; Nkadimeng; Joe Modise; Steve Tshwete; Pallo; Ruth Mompati.
Any other members of the NEC who wished to attend the meetings coul;d join the core.
(e) It was reported that a Student's delegation was expected Friday 11th. A MDM delegation was expected 18th and 19th. Briefing documents were being prepared. A joint NWC-PMC Preparatory Meeting should be scheduled before the meeting.
(f) Prisoner Exchange – The Commission should meet and make recommendations.
(g) Cde Jele reported a PMC decision to co-opt Cde Ray Simons to the PMC.
(h) Cde Ruth drew attention to the need for NEC members to visit the parents of Cdes who have fallen in the west when they come to Lusaka. It was suggested that she should apprise NEC members whenever there are such visitors.
(i) Cde Reg made a special plea that Johnny Makathini ensure that the DIA Administration was in hand before he left Lusaka.
(j) A plea was made for the systemization of the information on our cdes fallen in the west.
Cde President : Reported on long standing Irish AAM request that he attend their March 21st rally.
Decision 3 : Cde SG shall substitute for the President and fly back immediately.\
Cde SG : Reported on the hope that the NWC would meet Metsing.
Decision 4 : The NWC shall meet Metsing on Friday afternoon at 16:00 hours.
The meeting observed a minutes silence in tribute to the comrades who had fallen in the most recent UNITA ambush.