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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.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 Special Meeting August 8
AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS
OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY GENERAL
PO BOX 31791
Telephone : 217665
Telex : 45390
SPECIAL MEETING OF THE NWC
HELD ON 08/08/89 AT 08:00 HOURS
PRESENT : ORT; A NZO; T. NK; J. NK; S. TSH; J. SEL; R. MAN; G. SH; R. SEPT; S. MF; T. MB; HM; CH; T. MONG; J. MOL; P. JORD; JZ; JM
IN THE CHAIR : A Nzo opened meeting at 08:00 hours.
ORT : Members of the team (drafters) are now here. They should be present when the document is discussed in case there should be need for further work on it. I hope the meeting agrees that they should participate. We had also arranged for comrades to come from home so that at this stage they gain an idea of how far we are….it has not been possible to interact with them. They ought to have the full impact (of the document) and if possible contribute to the process (of its formulation).
A. Nzo : The document before us titled DECLARATION OF THE OAU AD HOC COMMITTEE ON SOUTHERN AFRICA has been read by members. The President yesterday described their itinerary and suggestions which were made and brought about this result. Is there any comment?
OR : The document is intended for adoption by the OAU. It seemed as we went along we would need separate document. The group that worked on our amended document produced that, and that seems to be the one that relates more to our (own) requirements and (some) points made there don't appear in this document. The set of Principles does not coincide in every respect, but are not in contradiction. So Comrades should not be surprised that the document does not seem to take into (complete) account what was accomplished here. I think it is necessary we have our own document, but it is as yet not settled at what stage we publish ours. If the OAU publishes its document, how will that affect our document? The OAU document purports to take our standpoint.
[Then followed discussion at this point.]
1. When we started (the process) we had I mind a document produced by the people of SA which would then go to the FLS, so that they adopt a document by the people of SA and support it. Then it would go to the OAU.
2. It must be understood this is a document of the ANC and the FLS hae adopted our ideas as theirs (or we hope they do). Once the document is published….I don't see another ANC document for publication. Such one would be for negotiations subsequently. It would never do to come out public with yet another document.
3. The need for a second document arose because it was felt we had put in a lot of detail and OAU may not accept one with so much detail. We hope it would (ultimately) not differ from this one.
4. Our (original) document also adopts language which makes some people uneasy. Also, the OAU would feel constrained (appear to) prescribe to our people on how to negotiate.
5. It must be vital for us to say something….we will be called upon to this initiative. As ANC, we have not spoken publicly stating our position, and already there are complaints from our underground.
6. We were preparing for an eventuality, lest we are taken by surprise. We are not in a publicity exercise; a short statement, yes, but not our position in black and white for newspapers.
OR summarized : There was an earlier document – which (is the one) we presented, the "Position" document. We discussed it with the FLS. They have now made an input into the document of which our intention is that it be adopted as an OAU document by the AD HOC COMMITTEE.
Everyone knows it comes from us. They are (would be) accepting our plan to implement as their own. I think it is a tremendous thing that the ANC can be entrusted (by OAU) with preparing a whole plan. We have told the OAU (in a way we have not done) how to go ahead (without us). We are firmly on the ground as far as the FLS are concerned.
A. Nzo : We now come to (a consideration of) the document itself. We take it as read.
Pallo : Paragraph 1 No. 6 "outdated concepts" – have they ever been accepted (dated).
It was agreed to use "abhorrent concepts and practices".
Paragraph 2 No. should read "Arising from…." Rather than "Arising out of its duty" – [Agreed]
JZ : (Paragraph 13) : "If SA is genuine." We need to bring out dishonesty or lack of genuineness of the regime.
JS : I have reaction to this bland statement about the readiness of the Pretoria regime.
Pallo : The wording can be misleading. It might imply a demonstrable readiness. We are not saying there is readiness, but are saying "if there is demonstrable readiness".
T. Mb : We could then add the sentence that the regime has a record of unreliability.
The recommendation proposed by Pallo was AGREED and the rest (of the amendment proposed) should find place in preamble. Also (paragraph 13.0 "Agree on" preferred to "agree to".
OR : (Paragraph 14) – Can't it be rearranged: that "these and not the amendment or reform of the apartheid government.
[The formulation was accepted.]
Paragraph 15.9 add "territorial integrity of all nations" [Accepted.]
The meeting agreed on the word "agreement" to substitute "realization" i.e. "The agreement on the above principles".
There was some discussion about whether mention of religion should be made in Section, but it was felt that would "open the gates" for more specific accommodations.
There was discussion about whether the "return of exiles" should be enumerated among conditions for creating an atmosphere as COSATU had done, but meeting agreed this condition is in any event related to the demand to consult with the people.
A. Nzo : We now move to Section Process of Negotiation.
OR : We should look at this section from viewpoint of concerns expressed by FLS.
JM : (20.4) What do we mean by "all parties". This is normally a sticking point and beginning of all negotiations is (always) the shape of the table. What is meant is all parties concerned about the solution of the problems. As it stands, it suggests parties concerned with principles. The word "among" should be replaced by "involving".
A. Nzo reverting to 20.0 : We may have to answer about "South African Liberation Movment(s)".
OR : It will certainly come up at FLS and Ad Hoc meetings were PAC will be there:
It was agreed : That we would be flexible on this issue. We would leave (mention of) ANC as is, but would remove if considered necessary.
CH : (20.6) Why don't we talk of "creation of a new envy" at least? It is an unusual clause, why only (talk of) Liberation Movement?
It was finally agreed after discussion : That we adopt formulation : "that hostilities would be deemed to terminate after adoption of a new constitution" .
JS : (20.5) The sentence at the end isn't in place.
T. Mb (explained): As we were going round, we (found some) lack of understanding of the idea of transitional government.
Pallo (proposed the formulation which was accepted): After authority insert : "Similar to measures"
A. Nzo : Will someone move adoption of the final position?
JM moved, seconded by CH.
OR : Now that document has been adopted, I would say the only problem likely to arise in presentation will relate to Process of Negotiation. This is an area in which President Dos Santos raised questions. Wherever we went, it was an area of concern. Also, let's look at acceptability to OAU; whether it doesn't involve them too much. I anticipate some reluctance. It is proves difficult to get through, there is a document which has been prepared by the Sub-Committee, and it sets out the climate, principles……but still it doesn't cover the Process. What I am saying is : when the heads meet, they may show reluctance on steps as coming from them. In that case we may have to look at them afresh. Let's report back after FLS meeting, because that will (help) also determine the shape of our own document; let's be ready for another meeting.
A. Nzo : I propose the same delegation (as visited FLS) to the FLS meeting.
OR : I would say that for purposes of the OAU, we should include ohers in addition to (those in) group. It is important for SG or TG to be there to listen at FLS (meeting). We will decide the delegation to the Ad Hoc.
The FLS meeting is on the 10thAugust, then the Ad Hoc on the 21st meets.
It was agreed : (for the FLS meeting) "OR; T. Mb; S. Tsh; P. Jord; Maduna to attend"; SG and TG would listen in.
A. Nzo : It is necessary to thank President Kaunda for maximum assistance (given) and the Working Committee should take the decision. (Agreed)
OR : Can I say I appreciate the hard work done by the team. Cde Ngwako was recording and was part of the discussions. It was difficult to produce the document….it was work….I appreciate that. (Agreed)
A. Nzo : We discussed the Norway issue and I briefed the President about it. Can we conclude the discussion.
OR : A. Nzo reported to me and I was alarmed at our decision to withdraw. I have known for some time about the Oslo meeting. It did not occur to me to ask if the matter had been discussed by NWC. But if Noway have organized something and our people have (also) organized believing it an AN C initiative, aren't we raising questions if we decide not to participate? Evidently the ANC did not take the decision to participate but we shouldn't shoot this one down.
T. Mb : (explained) : When we were in Norway, A. Boraine was also there and he asked to see us: Self, A. Pahad and SG. He was of view it was necessary to take a look at the situation after (years of)SOE and assess progress. He had discussed with Archbishop Tutu, the F. Chik, and Cyril Ram were also drawn in and his ideas were spelt out in document "THINKING THE UNTHINKABLE".
A meeting was proposed drawing in ANC and various elements in the democratic movement. The meeting would also discuss the internal situation; how we want the international community to intervene in sanctions. South Africans would then meet European officials and put across their common view.
The comrades at home had proceeded to form a national committee including J. Naidoo, A. Boesak, etc. They had agreed to initiative, but I am not clear about what happened in our NWC.
S. Tsh : We met people mentioned by T. Mb in Harare, and I attended the meeting. It had been agreed that the Norway meeting take place 18th – 22nd September and the format was further discussed and now there's a draft agenda.
There was further discussion in which participated JM; S. Mf; P. Jord; JS; A. Nzo; T. Nk and IT WAS AGREED that at that stage we could not put out of the arrangements in a organ (or collective) it should be reported to the National Secretariat and put on NWC agenda. National Secretariat should insist on reports.
1. P. Jord promised to send an aide memoire on groups wishing to see NEC.
2. A. Boraine had raised proposal for a meeting for July 14 to be sponsored by Mitterand Foundation. IDASA had proposed date in November, and the ANC would be asked to structure the meeting.
3. CH had come from an extensive tour of military camps. The tour revealed serious lack of health facilities in UK and Tanzania.
AGREED : "That T. Nk would pursue the matter with Department of Health".
CHAIRMAN thanked members for attention and he adjourned the meeting at 12:30 hours.
16th August, 1989