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This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

ANC NWC Meeting October 4

AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS

OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY GENERAL
PO BOX 31791
Lusaka, Zambia
Telephone : 217665
Telex : 45390

MEETING OF NWC HELD 4th OCTOBER 1988: 09:00 HOURS

PRESENT :     D. Tloome, S. Tshwete, J. Sele, J. Nkadimeng, J. Zuma, J. Selebi, R. Mompati, J. Stewart, M Piliso, T. Mongalo, H. Makgothi, J. Slovo, S. Dlamini, J. Molefe, J. Modise, J. Nhlanhla

APOLOGIES:     T. Mongalo said T Mbeki would arrive late.

IN THE CHAIR      D. Tloome opened meeting at 09:00 hours.

J. Modise asked at MHQ members present should be excused to attend MHQ meeting – Agreed.

J. Modise and J. Molefe left

Chairman tabled agenda.

H. Makgothi explained that item three was simply provisional and that the exact content of that Agenda item would be explained by T. Mbeki – Agreed.

J. Slovo proposed item on Current Diplomatic initiatives – Agreed.

MATTERS ARISING     (1)     Meeting of 25th : No response from J.M. MHQ see letter 16.9.88. Reported however that PMC had considered it but could not respond before consulting MHQ. Matter to be pursued.

(2)     Meeting of 30th : S. Tshwete gave report about PMC attempts to recover monies from Mabhude and Company. There were no prospects of their coming to Lusaka to account.

It was agreed that efforts to bring Sigcau, Xobolo Mabuse etc to Lusaka should be pursued. It was agreed that PMC Treasury would find means of monitoring use of funds for internal use and strengthening accountability, and to consider appointing a Treasurer of the PMC.

(3)     Meeting of 6th September 1988 : H. Makgothi reported that the meeting between a delegation of ANC representatives and representatives of the Zambian Government had been held and report had been presented to NWC.

(4)     Meeting of 8th September 1988 : There had been no response from the Department of International Affairs (DIA) see letter 21 September, 1988. Agreed to remind DIA and demand response. The resolution relating to functioning of Secretariat had not been implemented. In regard to the Resolution on visits by relatives of ANC to Lusaka H. Makgothi reported that Secretariat was trying to convene meeting with E.O.C. – letter, 30th September 1988, to which E.O.C. had not responded. Agreed – Secretariat to pursue the matter.

(5)     Meeting of 9th September 1988 : re: IPC: restructuring – no report.

Re: Theme and Declaration for All-in Conference: Comrade Thabo reported that matter had been attended and meeting noted that Conference had been aborted by banning.

Re: Military Actions: Meeting noted that reports indicated that decision was being implemented.

Re: RPMC's to move inside: A report had been submitted by PMC indicating that implementation had begun – letter, 3rd October 1988.

(6)     Meeting 20th September 1988 : The decision re: routine meetings of NWC had been circularized by Secretariat.

On a Motion :

It was agreed that Minutes should not be circulated but implementation of decisions of NWC should be reviewed.

It was agreed that Secretariat would work out guidelines defining conditions of absences of NEC members from HQ bearing in mind discussion on the issue and previous decisions and practice.

NIC/TIC Meeting :

It was agreed after discussion:

(a)     Papers would not be prepared for submission at Conference, but papers prepared by IPC would be used to assist in interventions by ANC side.

(b)     J. Jele would lead from ANC side on "Cobal" issue.

(c)     S. Tshwete would lead from ANC side on Role of Indian People discussion.

(d)     T. Mbeki would lead from ANC side on Current Situation.

Situation in Southern Africa or Current Diplomatic Initiatives

J.S. said it was becoming clear ANC was being surrounded in an offensive to cut it from the decision-making process posing following dangers:

(a)     In Africa it was becoming clear that there are groupings seeking some accord with Botha. Eight months ago Congo Brazzaville had emerged as a centre point when a delegation was sent to Pretoria ostensibly to put pressure on release of Mandela.

(b)     Botha had met Chissano and meetings have been held e.g. in Gabon to put pressure on Angola.

(c)     The media was speculating on moving to a Southern African summit with Botha.

(d)     What was worrying was pressures which presented African States as becoming "reasonable" and moving toward a détente. Some of our friends eager to avoid conflicts were tempted to encourage process and leaving impression that even in Soviet Union there was a bias towards pushing for a negotiated settlement.

The ANC needed to make a diplomatic intervention lest we are pushed into settlement talks, and we would be in trouble if a substantial portion of Africa took positions against us. The ANC was not taking initiative to assert itself as a determining factor and even the release of Mandela was being used as a ploy by the likes of Margaret Thatcher.

Proposed a delegation to key African states to put ANC point of view across starting with leaders sympathetic to our viewpoint, and to discuss strategies being unveiled.

T. Mbeki concurred: The forthcoming meeting of Front Line States assumed greater significance. Front Line States had taken certain decisions, including a decision that Chissano meet Botha. Mugabe's utterances also reflect a decision of Front Line States. At forthcoming meeting of Front Line States reports would come from Chissano SWAPO, etc.

There was no meeting planned by Front Line States with Botha. A meeting in Zambia with Mobutu was envisaged but it would discuss Zairean support for UNITA.

President O.R. would be expected to make a statement at Front Line States meeting at the NEC should assist in gathering information to facilitate his intervention. The Front Line States had arrived at a situation where they were taking collective decisions.

T. Mbeki reported he had seen British High Commissioner who had informed him Buthelezi had seen Margaret Thatcher in U.K. Buthelezi had said the conflict between Inkatha and ANC should stop and he had said same to Gen. Obasanjo. In his view it required a prominent statesman to intervene. Thatcher had agreed with Gatsha that the conflict should end and had expressed a willingness to help make peace.

In Harare, COSATU gave a report on legal agreement with Inkatha and raised the view that a meeting between MDM and Inkatha should address question of escalating township violence. The UDF was still uncertain and COSATU had suggested ANC take initiative to bring meeting between COSATU and UDF, to include prominent personalities like Tutu to plan how to deal with the issue. T. Mbeki had taken position tht contact between ANC and Inkatha should be after suitable conditions on the ground shall have been created, and that could come about if Gatsha stopped the violence. Further condition could be that certain key personalities who had participated before in attempts to stem violence and who had been gaoled should be released to participate.

Kinnock had informed S.G. a few months ago that Thatcher would visit the sub-region maybe in January to talk to Front Line States and South Africa and she would want to intervene in a situation where there was a mood in favour of negotiations e.g. the release of Nelson Mandela.

T. Mbeki asked that response should be made to British High Commission, and a response to COSATU proposal.

J.S. read from letter he had received on 28th September. Insofar as it appeared to conflict with report given by T. Mbeki.

It was agreed that T. Mbeki should write a message (to COSATU) clarifying matters.

Discussion ensued in which following participated:

S. Dlamini, J. Nkadimeng, T. Nkobi, J. Slovo, J. Zuma, J. Nhlanhla, R. Mompati, S. Tshwete, J. Jele, M. Piliso and the following points were made:

(i)     Gatsha committed crimes and was playing tactics of enemy.

(ii)     The P:ietermaritzburg situation is genocidal and the ANC should face it squarely.

(iii)     Botha was using the issue of the release of Mandela, the Sharpeville six to meet the Mobutu's with the idea of enhancing his image.

(iv)     We need to revive contacts with the Soviet leadership in order to ensure we are on the same wave-length.

(v)     Comrades Toni, Johnny and Tom should form an ad-hoc committee to gather information in preparation for Front Line States Meeting.

(vi)     We need to make an open statement clarifying our positions. J.S. should prepare a draft statement (this was agreed).

(vii)     Time has not arrived to speak to Gatsha or even Thatcher.

(viii)     We should say to Thatcher that we think that this is not the time for her to go to South Africa and this would give the right signal to our people.

Chairman thanked members for their attention and closed meeting at 13:45 hours.

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