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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.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 Briefing March 16-18
Briefing to ANC members on last NWC meeting March 16/18th
We met President OR and gave him detailed report of events and decisions made here. His health is getting much better and he was able to visit Deputy President Nelson Mandela and his delegation daily.
2. Nelson Mandela
NM's visit to Sweden caused lots of excitement. He met a delegation led by the Premier and prime ministers of the Nordic countries. He will be going to the concert in London but will not meet any officials.
3. Namibian Independence
We received an invitation to Namibian Independence to NM and then another invitation to HQ for a delegation of 5. Swapo said 5 was the limit for government delegations. They expect some 800 delegations. The names of our delegation are : Nzo; JS; Nkobi; Thabo Mbeki; Joe Modise. The video group also to go to Namibia.
4.1 Foreign Minister Shevardnadze arrives on Monday and a briefing meeting has been requested for him on Tuesday (20th) at 10 am. The meeting was held on schedule. A report is being prepared.
4.2. The Western Cape Traders Association. Agreed ANC to send a delegation of 11 to meet them. The ANC delegation was led by the SG who met the delegation for talks over 2 days at the Pamodzi. A report is being prepared.
4.3 COSATU are sending a delegation of 32 to meet the ANC. They will expect to meet the leading figures.
[It was proposed that a joint meeting be prepared but feasibility be considered by Secretariat and Sactu.]
Explained that Cosatu and Sactu would meet to try to teach tentative agreements for future. If they came forward with a new proposal it would have to be discussed at the Tripartite Meeting. So it is not anticipated that meeting with the ANC would take decisions different from those it is expected would be reached with Sactu.
The meeting with Cosatu leaders was held on Tuesday 20th March. A report is being prepared.
4.4 The Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister arrives. Agreed he would be met.
5.1 The first meeting between us and the regime is set for 11-12 April 1990.
5.2 Some cdes are to be permanently transferred into the country. It would be a good idea if others could move quickly in, in order to ensure there is a larger collective available inside. We have given names to NM including names of communications and publicity experts and asked him to work expeditiously to create the conditions necessary for the advance groups. We need to make good preparations from our side and the leadership should brief the groups on issues to arise.
5.3 In regard to a Preparatory Group we agreed it would enter the country during the week starting Monday 19th. Its task would be to make preparation for the FW meeting but it would also address the question of working groups. Our agreement was that the preparatory group would travel in and out for purposed of consultations, butit was felt the 3 would relate to the leadership inside and be acting on the authority of the NEC and would report continuously to HQ. The group of 3 (2 from outside and one from inside) would constitute a preparatory group together with 3 from the regime's side and they would take in every detail including the agenda.
5.4 There would be 3 working groups: on the issue of political prisoners; on the State of Emergency; and on Security matters. The regime side has indicated that they prefer to have 3 separate working groups because they would send specialists on each question.
5.4.1 On political issues: SOE, Release of Political Prisoners and Return of Exiles. To be led by Walter Sisulu and to include: Chris Hani, Joe Nhlanhla, P. Maduna, A. Mlangeni, Phyllis Naidoo, Aziz Pahad, Curnick Ndlovu, Max Coleman.
The following questions to be addressed on the SOE:
(i) Assessment of the impact on our people.
(ii) Repressive solution vs political solutions
(iii) Does Natal need SOE?
(iv) State of Emergency and white fears.
(v) Do we need a SOE to be kept in reserve for potential white rebellion.
(vi) What response to the other side's insistence on a phased lifting of the SOE?
(vii) How adequate is the Criminal Law to deal with the situation?
(viii) List of security laws we would demand to be abrogated/repealed.
(ix) Security legislation and how it encourages police violence.
These questions would require to be addressed vis a vis the return of exiles.
(i) The removal of the threat of prosecutors.
(ii) Government funding of return of exiles.
(iii) Time table for return of exiles.
(iv) Is it advisable for UNHCR to have an office in SA (Jhb) for purpose of supervising repatriation exercise?
(v) What is the position of MK members vis a vis possible return of exiles.
(vi) What about Somafco?
5.4.2 On Security (technical): to be led by J. Nhlanhla and J. Zuma. To include: Mkhatshwa, Gibson, Freddie.
5.4.3 On general questions of security..
These questions would have to be addressed by the Working Group:
(i) The scope of the security issue.
(ii) The role of ANC personnel:
(a) armed personnel
(b) documents of identificaqtion
(iii) Security of leaders and the organisation.
(iv) Policing of mass events – marshals
(v) Expansion of security organs of ANC
(vi) Should the regime finance security of visible ANC structures/objects.
The sub-committee envisaged that these questions would be discussed around the main problem of removing obstacles (i.e. creation of climate)
1. Political Prisoners
a] an acceptable definition of a political prisoner or an acceptable formula.
b] exchange of political prisoners
c] programme and time scale of the release of political prisoners
d] list of political prisoners (from the side of the regime)
e] the Barend Strydom issue: the other side may raise it specifically. What would be the ANC response?
f] What are the implications of failure to reach agreement on the question of (release of) political prisoners? What would we say to the press?
g] The release would have implications for the welfare of political prisoners. [How far would the regime have to be involved?]
h] ending of political trials.
5.4.4 There is also the question of consultations and entry of our people. So the preparatory group will not only consider the FW meeting but matters relating to working groups, entry of security group etc.
6. Drew attention of NWC meeting to a leaflet to be sent in in connection with Sharpeville anniversary (21st March). It was resolved (after some discussion) that the statement should not be circulated inside, but that the internal leadership should prepare a March 21st statement.
7. The delegation to the "summit" should depart on the 8th April 1990 so that it has enough time to consult and to receive briefings.