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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.
10 Aug 1993: Nefoloyhodwe, Pandelini
POM Where do you think things are right now?
PN You mean?
POM If this country is on a course to an election which will elect an interim government which will result in a final constitution being drawn up or is it on the road to increasing instability, violence, things generally getting out of hand?
PN There are three things that have to be analysed before a person can be able to say we're on a course to election or we are on a course to violence or some kind of scenario and I'm going to explain to you those basics. The three things are that this society in which we live is basically structured along those three. The first is the political and then the second is economic and the social fabric of our society. So what has happened ever since February 1990 is that the social fabric and the economic fabric has not as yet responded to the new path that people are talking about. There's responding, intangible thoughts not just responding to say we are forming that economic front, that economic forum but in terms of the living realities of the people you want to carry along. So what has happened is that the political arena has been drastically tampered with, because it has got a forum where the political processes are being debated. That's just the political arena.
But now the ordinary person is not able to see, nor does the ordinary person actually operate all the time at the political arena. The ordinary person responds from the economic and the social, and that's what informs that. So as a result of that, the social fabric is now tampered with violence, as you have seen, and the economic fabric is tampered with unemployment, and in my view unless these are drastically addressed and they form part of processes that are at the political arena, there's a likelihood that we are leading towards situation where it will be uncontrollable. And that's really the statement I could make at this moment in time.
Bear in mind that there are lots of other forces that are now operating at these other two fronts and who are refusing to operate at the other front which is supposed to resolve the social and economic arena. And there hasn't been any fundamental movement, not from the economic and the social fabric that shows that the process is towards a resolution of the conflict. All what we know is that their debate about a new constitution and debates of that nature. So, I would say that the situation is definitely of the nature that one at the moment would have to look very carefully before one can say, "We are on a course for election or we're on a course for this or that".
POM How do you relate that to AZAPO's continued unwillingness to take part in the negotiating forum at present?
PN That is precisely the reason for AZAPO's action, it cannot see it's way through getting into that forum. Because AZAPO is arguing that the forum itself has not been structured in such a manner that it can carry along the two fronts that we are talking about. Now, if you want to carry the social fabric along, then you must make the people who constitute these fabrics to participate in electing those who can talk at the political arena so that their voices are carried along through the choice of the elected representatives. And that's precisely what AZAPO is saying that don't choose yourself to talk on something that is actually affecting the ordinary people who want to follow your solutions. Let them participate in this democratic process. That's why AZAPO insists that to democratise the process itself people must be able to elect their representative so that whoever debates the constitution at the political level carries a mandate of those who may torpedo the very process that is there. And that's precisely why AZAPO would want to make sure that people realise that there is a danger of electing yourself into a position of being spokesperson of people who have never participated in choosing.
POM But if there is an election for a Constituent Assembly this would meet your test to participate?
PN Not necessarily because we don't only talk about the Constituent Assembly. Unfortunately the CODESA process doesn't seem to be leading towards the Constituent Assembly, that's the first thing. But the Constituent Assembly we still believe is the democratic forum, but there are certain things that have to be done in order that the election to a Constituent Assembly do not just become election bywords, they must carry along what they were intended for. So what we are saying is that we must first create a situation where the contending parties or one or more of the contending parties cannot have power to control the process itself. In this case we are saying the regime and all the parties, including AZAPO, must be deprived of a hand in controlling the process towards election of the Constituent Assembly. Secondly, we are saying in order to do so, because you've got warring factions, which some call private armies, which I don't believe in, we are saying let's quarantine all the contending armies go to separate barracks, because they represent different interests and they are at conflict themselves, in order to make sure that there is no interference by any one of the parties, armies. That's the second level.
The third level is we are saying if you do that, therefore, you must admit that you would have to have some kind an independent monitoring and control mechanism. And that independent monitoring and control mechanism we're saying it has to be a transitional authority that will be manned by the international community with the participation of the representative of the contending parties. But largely it's spearheaded and controlled by the international community so it may balance the forces that are on the ground. Of course there are things like the media must not be controlled by any one force, and other attendant features. But the fundamental ones revolve around the power that ... You see we are fighting for the power here, the transfer of the power and we need to quarantine the different factions and then we contend for power through the elections, which is the democratic process. And the party that wins, we must all accept; that despite our different army strengths the people feel that party is the one that must rule them. So let's dissolve our parties and integrate them and let a new government be formed in that process. But that's the matter many people in this country don't want to support because what they seem to be saying, they want to emasculate the vote. That's how AZAPO feels, they want to emasculate the vote. That is, they want to formulate a process outside the people, so that when the people vote the vote is meaningless, it's just a procedure. They shall have decided as to what will form the new Constituent Assembly, or they call it a constitution-making body cum legislation body, at the moment they're toying around them. But they are deciding on exactly what the people must decide on. That's not for AZAPO, to tell the people that we are now splitting your vote into legislature and Constituent Assembly. The people must decide. But nobody wants to test that. AZAPO is feeling very unhappy that democracy here is being subverted and we must not cry tomorrow when these guys get into power and become dictators. We wouldn't like anybody to come AZAPO and say we didn't tell him. Because we can see the path towards maintaining power without the people.
POM Do you subscribe to the view which I've heard a number of times here that the ANC and the government pulled a deal, that they are really using the negotiating council as a way of just pushing their agenda through, that they are in agreement on the way this is turning out, the rest is just traipsing over?
PN In fact that is not necessarily just a view. We subscribe to that, but not because other people are saying so. It is because power relations work that way. There comes a time when one when one or more parties would feel that let's enter a process that would give power unto ourselves at the exclusion of so-and-so. And that is how things are done. Where there is no vote people tend to enter into deals but in this case what necessitated the deal was two areas. The first area was that the Nationalist Party did not want to be subjected to the next election, if April doesn't come, September next year they must call elections for the white parliament. The Nationalist Party in their process had realised that if they reach that stage the likelihood is that they would not have any power at all, the likelihood is that the power shall have been usurped. Now, they don't want to go through that gamble, the Nationalist Party, at the same time after accepted negotiation as their path and having dismantled part of uMkhonto, in terms of saying don't fight, they are also under tremendous pressure that if elections do not come then AZAPO and other parties will then be followed by the population. And if that happens their life is also in danger. So there are two parties that fear the loss of membership and they entered in their own fashion, they entered a reasonable conspiracy for the first, which is actually out of order in terms of AZAPO's objectives and thinking, but that's natural. [When you are placed in a situation where you either win or if you don't win the concept's practice are too ghastly to contemplate they enter.] So, it's not merely the fact that it is a view, it is on the ground that if these two parties were not to have elections next year before the elections of the white parliament, there will be problems.
POM If there is an election on the 27th of April for a Constituent Assembly they would draft a constitution that's 66% - 70% specified majority and which also operates as an interim government or proviso that anybody with more than 5% of the vote would get a share in the position in the Cabinet. Would AZAPO contest those elections?
PN We've put several conditions for the elections. The first thing is that we are not an anti-election organisation. As you can see our argument is that people must participate, so that's out of the way. But we do not believe in elections for the sake of election; we want elections to carry the vote that has the power that it is intended for. So what we are saying is that if the elections need the internationally acceptable standards, then AZAPO will have no difficulty in getting into contending for power. Because we also want to test to what extent we stand vice versa what we are saying. But if the path of the election does not meet the required standards then AZAPO also will have no business to enter into a fraud. So, what we are saying is that we are putting those conditions, I've already explained, that if you do those things that guarantees the elections will carry a vote which is not meaningless, then we have no business to stand - we will be there. But if you don't do that, you want to cheat our people to enter into a fraud. Who will expose the fraud and say you are just playing with the masses of our people, and that's where we stand at the moment. So we would very much like to be part of the election, but we are not prepared to get into an election which is not really meant to transfer the power from the minority to the majority.
POM But, I suppose, internationally acceptable standards would be standards that ensure that the elections are free and fair, that there is no intimidation that the populace is educated with regard to how to vote properly and make their choices, that it's peaceful and an electoral commission would draw the rules of the game that abides even in international standards. Would those not be sufficient for you?
PN You see, those are just some of the conditions. The international community, as we understand it, is that it would want those conditions to occur. But more than that, they would want to make sure that no single party interferes. That's very, very important, there must be no single party which holds the process unto itself, and that's what we are guarding. At the moment even at CODESA the De Klerk party holds the process unto itself, it's able to control the processes. Why it is able to do so is because it is a legitimate government and it can't be treated equally with the other parties. And that's why it's refusing international supervision of the nature that the elections are controlled by the international community. Because they are a legitimate government, and therefore, we will have to cause the election to occur.
That is why last week De Klerk was saying, "Well, I'll sort out this thing of joint control multi-party but for as long as it's just an auxiliary force which works under the command of my law enforcement machinery." But if De Klerk up to the election date still maintains that view, AZAPO will have a difficulty in entering the election. Because what it means is that the law and order, and the processes of election will be guarded by the private army of De Klerk. Because everybody has his own private army, and if the other private armies are not able to be party to the control of that process then there's a problem. So, what we are saying is that if the standards are quite acceptable to us and there are those that made sure that there is no undue advantage, and there's no violence, violence in fact to AZAPO, we feel that it will not necessarily to be ended up until the day people vote. We've got our own view about why violence is there. So it might be controlled to a reasonable limit, the AZAPO will go for that, but it's not the key element towards voting. It is intimidation which is the key element, not necessarily violence because every society which undergoes changes, to AZAPO, never get violence ended first and then you have elections. Even those democracies that have been there for years, sometimes they have violence during elections. So if we stick too much on maintaining "let's end violence" the forces that are actually causing violence will continue delaying the process because they want not to enter the process. So the key element really lies with the quarantine and the control process by the international community and the law enforcement machinery under the international community, that is law and order. So that there is no undue advantage to parties that have been ruling our country.
POM I remember you telling me last year the manner in which AZAPO would organise itself at the grassroots level to pull together its constituency. Are your plans in that regard going ahead?
PN We are far ahead with those plans. But we are not doing that because we want to go for elections. We are doing that because we are a party which has been formed by the people of this country. And as a result we have a responsibility to our country irrespective of whether we will contest for election or not. Whatever kind of elections come, this country will still need AZAPO in the sense that we owe much more to the community than just going through the election. We still want the democratic process of this country to lead towards a democracy that will satisfy the needs of our people. So whether we go for election or not, we will still continue to organise ourselves, to influence this country so that it reaches the kind of ... AZAPO would have loved to have. So that might take even another ten years.
POM If you go back to last year when CODESA collapsed and take the positions of the ANC and the government at that point in time, and take their positions today, who has made what concessions? Has the ANC made more concessions to the government or has the government has made more concessions to the ANC?
PN No, in fact it's the ANC that has made more concession to the government. Because, you see, this plan, the one that is at CODESA, is a government plan, it's not an ANC plan. ANC always say they are responsible for negotiations, they are not. This plan was even put before De Klerk became president. This plan was put by Botha and Constand Viljoen - you see this guy who's leading the Afrikaner Volksfront, he was then the Chief of the army, he was then the person who was ruling this country. The manner of ruling the country of Botha included Constand Viljoen and Groenewald, planning together. So the negotiation process and reform is a child of the Nationalist Party, as seen through the Botha administration which includes this Chief of the army who is now in COSAG or is in the Afrikaner Volksfront. So this plan was never put down by the ANC, the ANC was made to believe that this is their plan. Because ordinarily if they don't make them to believe, it will be very difficult for them to participate as an equal partner. So a process was entered into bilaterally long before. 1985 I think was the start of this process, 1990 was actually just a point of departure, but that was not the time when the white establishment thought of reform. So what has happened right through was that the ANC kept on following a process which was underway and the government was just trying to make sure that the ANC does not get out it because they needed the ANC as an instrument to weaken the liberation forces.
PN What specific things would you point for as evidence of the concessions made by the ANC since last June when they walked out of CODESA and they presented the government with a list of 14 demands?
PN Exactly. Well, the first concession was that those 14 demands were never met and they went back, I mean, the obvious concession is that they were just making hullabaloo, they were really playing a political game. And if you have been in politics that's also part of politics. If you pull out of a process you must tell your constituency the reason why you pulled out. But when you go back to the process you must be made to score a point by your opponent. So if I were to deal with, and we are in a process of partnership, there would be days when I tell you meet maybe on TV and become very, very hostile and the meeting may just end up with being one of talking to each other. My constituency is happy, your constituency is happy, right, you are fighting for that. Thereafter we set up a meeting to say but we can't leave the country to be polarised. The two leaders then meet. When they meeting the constituency says, "OK we told you, you must listen". So I give you something and you give me something and the process continues. That is what is happening with that conspiracy people are talking about of the ANC and the government. When the process is done, they must find reason to push. [Even the ... might have part and parcel of the legitimising processes of the process.] AZAPO is not fooled by those kinds of dealings, they have to be, because otherwise there will be nothing.
For instance, let me just tell you why the election date was chosen. That process was just about come to an end, there was no other issue which people can look upon as something which came as a result of the talks that have been going on for three years. So they needed to create something to focus upon. April 27 was then dangled to us talking about the date. And to some extent that does keep the process on because everybody says, "Come April 27, I don't care what they are doing at CODESA, I don't agree with what they are doing but April comes I'm going to make sure that whatever they've done it's nullified". To that extent those guys were playing us to the date, but whether the date is feasible, I can tell you a lot of stories about whether it's feasible or not, I believe that the date is not feasible, not because we were not there when the date was chosen. There are certain things that need to be done for any country to get into election. Here we have even a more dangerous situation where the date itself must be legislated upon, the date itself, I'm not talking about any other thing. The De Klerk regime's parliament must go and agree and the De Klerk regime's parliament is not composed only of the Nationalist Party, it's composed of other factions. But I think he will win because the tricameral party want also an election and the CP will be the only one which may not want the election, so he knows he will win, but it's a process that must be done first.
The second process that must be done is what they are calling a Transitional Executive Council. It must be legislated upon as well, so that it can have some power. It takes time to do that. The third thing that must be done is to bring this joint control of everything. You were born in a country which is democratic and if you look at your army, those black Americans come to President Clinton and say we want joint control, we have that army intact at the moment, and they say we want to have our little army but we want it come into your army, you know what that means really in reality it's not a child's play, it's not just to say go there to that barracks, you are already in joint control. So they are still faced with practicalities of what they term joint control. That's why we don't opt for joint control. We just feel it's impractical, it can actually lead to violence because the conflicting parties have not as yet resolved what they want. These other boys from the bush want a new society. These other boys from the army they want to maintain the old set up, they are schooled in terms of the status quo but they are supposed to work together to maintain law and order. We think that some time there hell will break down. And the present army is not composed only of Nationalist Party supporters, that's the difficulty we have. We have people in the Defence Force, I think the Chief of the Air Force is actually an AWB supporter. Now, how do you have joint control with that? So that's another stumbling-block of the date, the need for the law enforcement machinery in order to get the date on.
Let alone the fact that they are now bickering on regionalism, Inkatha wants its Natal, yesterday Mangope was saying, "No, there's no reason to destroy my country", and that seesaw mechanism and the fact of legislating the Bantustans out of existence is also a factor. Because if elections were to take place only in what is called South Africa now, and Bophuthatswana, Venda, Ciskei and Transkei are not in those elections, then you haven't resolved the situation of this country. So April 27, in AZAPO's terms, is really not a feasible date irrespective of what people may say. Some other date after that probably might be feasible. You must know also that the power of the Afrikaner Volksfront within the white community, you'll experience it as you go around interviewing the white people, you'll realise the extent to which they've gained in confidence, the extent to which they realise that through that Front they're just about to get Nationalist power base. So that factor will play a meaningful role into whether the election will be held on the 27th or not.
POM OK, let me go back. Do you have a situation where the ANC has made most of the concessions since last June and yet the National Party seems to be in shambles? I mean, we've got constant reports of fragmentations and divisions and desertions, and one recent survey showed that one out of four people who voted for them in 1989 would not vote for them today, not that they would necessarily vote for the CP [but they are not with the Conservative Party that the National Party is its base]. It's getting smaller and smaller, the divisions within are getting bigger and bigger even though the ANC is making all the concessions. Why would that be?
PN Why that is the case, it's because this country had been ruled so a philosophy which the Nationalist Party when they broke away from that philosophy did not explain it to their constituency. This country was ruled at a very simplistic level, that we must maintain power but we must allege that anything coming from black folks is communistic and they survived under that ideology. Like all situations where an ideology has been part of a nation, when the nation wants to part with that ideology there's no doubt it cracks. You know eastern Europe, I don't want to talk much, but it cracked also because it was firmly rooted on a philosophical outlook. And that philosophical outlook became a blank, it was no longer sustaining the lives of the people. And here what happened is the same so when the Nationalist Party said we are joining with the ANC lots of white folks still felt, irrespective of its concession, they're even arguing that ANC is conceding just like all communist parties, concede in order to come back and usurp power. I don't agree with that, I don't think it's a good argument, but that's they are doing. So the fear of black domination is there and also you must know that the white electorate have been voting and, make no mistake, they understand full well that you can vote and you could have agreed before the voting. When a party wins 70% it becomes more hostile on the basis that it can call on what it has proved. They know that because they have done so as people for many, many years, so they are also aware of the fact that at the end of this tunnel, if you take AZAPO, you take PAC and you take ANC and you combine their collective vote, then it will be squeezed out. That fear cannot be erasable so despite the fact that the ANC seems to be giving concessions the fear within the white community will not die because the day of reckoning, they can't see it as having safeguarded their interests. And they've depended all the years in defending those interests through the might of their military and security structure, and when Constand Viljoen as a hero of that protection which they know best, which they've lived under, which has protected them, he's got reasonable chance of rising up and taking away everything. Although that is still going to lead to another conflict but that's the mentality which is now growing. Every group in society faced with the last chance, tends to regroup itself so that it can negotiate even if it's the barest minimum, it must maximise its resources to the limited. So that even if it is defeated the defeat is not like when if it has given in to these communists at a negotiating table. So the argument is actually that it is better to give in later when we shall have blocked with our force than to just talk our aspirations out and give them to these black folks. So that's the reason why you wouldn't find the white community going along with what is happening.
POM So you would say that the African front is an umbrella organisation under which all other right wing elements come and that it's headed now by a man who has credibility and, more important perhaps, respectability not only with the people but among large sections of the army. In the absence of their demands being met in some manner do you think that the outcome is likely to be some kind of uprising on the right, nothing that is inevitable but is likely to be ...?
PN No we don't see it that way, sometimes people feel being an organisation of our stature we should be seeing that which they want us to see. We simply believe that the concept of negotiating a settlement is far much more deeper all over, that's what AZAPO believes. But at the end of the term we must negotiate from a position of strength. We have never rejected negotiation as a strategy. The Afrikaner Volksfront also is not rejecting negotiation as a form of resolving the conflict. So what can happen in terms of the analysis is that we think if indeed the power of De Klerk is eroded the Afrikaner Volksfront being the representative of the whites in this country, and in AZAPO's terms that will be OK, because what Constand has done for this country and for his people, that is the Afrikaner people, he has been able, where De Klerk has not, to bring a lot of small factions which if they had operated in their individual capacity they would never have done anything meaningful. They would be regarded as the "white right" in the real sense that any country normally just ignores. There's little irritation here and there but the country continues.
But Constand instead has formed a danger to this country because he has been able to make them to co-ordinate their various little efforts into one front which co-ordinates that. So the power has increased even if he did not have an additional membership from the Nationalist Party. By mere bringing the groups that may have been weakened by their very existence into one forum he has done something that is fundamental. So what we see is that if he is able to get more to his side, he will then become the doyen of the white community and they will see him as their last resort, a person through which a compromise must come.
Now, what would be needed at that stage is to convince the whites that indeed you have now found your anchor, push your anchor now to negotiate the final onslaught on you. In that sense you might find that he is going to join hands, this now is not an AZAPO position it's just a scenario which I want to make sure that you - the scenario will then be then that you just can't get COSAG as COSAG because you'll find Buthelezi who also has his own fears independently of the Afrikaner fears. Let these fears converge and you'll find Mangope who has the same fears which will converge, you'll find Gqozo has the same fears of being crushed, which will converge. So you'll find a conglomeration of COSAG in this country which shall have broadened its base to the extent that that grouping can then be pitted against a patriotic front of AZAPO, PAC and ANC because at that stage the ANC would no longer have a negotiating partner.
With the ANC stifled for as long as the Nationalist Party is still their negotiating partner, because if it doesn't have power from the white electorate then the process comes to an end. And that's why the ANC sometimes pips up the Nationalist Party. The survival of the two are married now in that process. So as a scenario one can see that there's going to be another re-alignment if that does not work. A re-alignment with COSAG versus a true patriotic front, and then you'll see AZAPO being the organisation now which plays the pivotal role within these other groupings because the PAC and ANC would have to come out and say our partner the NP has collapsed, let's go and seek something. And we'll be saying no, if you want to seek anything talk to that front, but you can't go alone now you know going alone is a dangerous thing, you were there as a ...
Now AZAPO says black people, now is the time a final solution that a final solution could be found. At that level I don't see the coups that people see, I just see a white establishment having a base which they trust rather than the base that they had already had, and that's the first scenario. The debt would be dependant on whether the front when they come to that position, because it would have to rule there in parliament, what will be its first ... vis-à-vis the tricameral people there and we will have to watch a bit but I don't see an immediate come-off of some ...
POM So you see the election being postponed?
PN At the moment I definitely see that.
POM And then there would in fact be another election for the tricameral parliament because that's mandated by the present constitution?
PN No, that one may not be there. The postponement of the election does not necessarily mean that you may have the election of the white community.
POM At what point does the National Party kind of implode, just cease to be of significance?
PN The Nationalist Party might cease to be of significance at two waves at the moment. It can cease just before April 27. The activities of the Afrikaner Volksfront might have demonstrated quite clearly that there is no way, you are just going into this election for the sake of it. The Nationalist Party may opt, like a party which also sometimes thinks, because it's time to talk to the Afrikaner Front actually to make itself stronger, it may postpone to say let's talk together first because they might destroy the whole process. It will have international backing for that to say, yes, you are trying to uphold a holocaust, so fine, postpone the election. But it might also collapse after the new date shall have been put and because of pressure, the elections are held of whatever kind. And it is found that it enjoyed far less to represent white interest than if the Volksfront was participating. That's when you find the white establishment saying after he can't even win any sizeable strength which will make us to be influential in that bogus Constituent Assembly, so what's the use, let's stand for Constand, let's destroy this thing. So it can fall just immediately after the election.
In fact that's where I see the most danger, that if the Nationalist Party does not amass enough constituency at this very election which I say might be a bogus election, it can belittle itself particularly if the CP and the Volksfront had not participated, the white electorate will be asking themselves, "But why should we trust that from today we are going to gain anything? There's black majority already." Then I've no doubt, I've no doubt in my mind, there's no way that process will succeed, there is no way. Because Mandela doesn't' have the instrument to control the army, even if he gets 70% he's just getting 662/3% of uMkhonto we Sizwe but he's not getting 70% of the law enforcement and the bureaucracy that you have in this country which runs the country. So the likelihood is that you are going to have the dangerous scenario, the dangerous scenario to me comes after that bogus election and I'm sure the Nationalist Party will probably be crushed to death because there's no way it can't be crushed to death.
And when that happens there is no way, there is no way where the whites will move forward. I can't see it, and in fact if it were black people probably they would do the same. When you thought that the negotiation process is the one that will protect you and you find out just a day after election that we have only two people, De Klerk and Botha so what are we going to do, in a country when a solution has been found, the forces still negotiate. It's not like when you go for a constitution and it's drawn, things have ended. The old forces still juggle themselves in order that what they've won through that process must never be reduced again and again. And if that happens whites will realise that we've been reduced to nil now. We started with our army, we started this, now look what De Klerk has done. My opinion, is that whoever is just calling for an election for the sake of election must think twice. That's the people who can cause a civil war, because they are not thinking the process out.
POM OK, that's one side. How about the Buthelezi? I know I asked you about him last year. He has made it as clear as could be that unless his demands are met in some way or that he's accommodated in some special way, he's going to stay out of the process. He's trying to play the Zulu card by drawing the King into it. Is this one monumental bluff or is it for real?
PN Well, with Buthelezi it's for real, not that he will cause much strife. But the fact of the matter is that he is not making a threat, he is making a statement motivated by reality. He's in a situation where to go for democracy, as we now see it in AZAPO, it will mean he's "up", yes he's gone up. There is no doubt, if he goes for democracy, and we mean it, and he follows AZAPO, unitary state, everybody is in one country, Gatsha will no longer survive, there's no way. So he realises that and he has said so that he doesn't want to enter processes that will legislate him out of politics. So he's not making just a bogus threat, he realises the extent to which the democratic processes will throw him out and therefore, just like in any situation he dies like that, he must maintain. And if it comes to a push, people fear that and they give him what he wants, so be it because that's what makes him to survive. So he's on a course of conduct which is very serious and which must be recognised as such. And therefore, if he continues on that course of conduct, playing the trump cards of the Zulu and whipping emotions the likelihood is that it will cause this country a delay to democracy. It won't completely not bring democracy, it will delay the democratic process. He's not too big enough to disturb this country if this country was united.
Let me just give you my own thoughts, separate from the AZAPO so that you can see where I normally lead to. It's that, for instance, if you were to be smart you could as well say, alright guys these guys don't want democracy and you can stay with your little cocoons for now, but the whole of this South Africa and those who agree we are going for democracy. You get your elections, it's a compromise which people might go for and to squeeze them up. They don't have an economy which can sustain them, they don't have an army which you cannot override, so what would be the power? There's a way that they can be squeezed up. Bophuthatswana can't stand without a budget from here, Gatsha can't stand, he gets a salary from here. So he's playing also really. The Bantustans can't stand on their own, they know. So what they are doing they are using that process as a stepping stone for protecting their continuing existence. If a democratic election is held here, these Bophuthatswana and these other Bantustans they'll dwindle to zero.
POM But his claim of ready to play what I'll call the Zulu card to move into the direction of not talking about Inkatha any longer, most of the statements are about Zulus, that about the Zulu nation you interject a new dimension that is feelings and emotions of people that are kind of destroying half of central Europe at the present time. Like even in Yugoslavia there's no economy, that doesn't mean everyone hasn't got a gun. In Somalia there's no economy, that doesn't mean that everybody doesn't have a gun. In fact getting a gun seems to be the simplest thing in the world. You know, if you were to arm yourself and fight you can do without external resources.
PN But here there's an external resource which is the point which I nearly forgot. That he must not be looked at in isolation. At the moment his strongest external resource is the right-wing parties. They've discovered that in order to weaken further this nonsense of De Klerk, is even to get those guys who were co-operating with De Klerk yesterday, who are not feeling happy. So at the moment, apart from the fact that he can pick up a gun anyway, which is also a resource, he also has guns he was given by De Klerk when he was still De Klerk's friend, before he went the COSAG side. Now, the COSAG guys also have guns which they are using within De Klerk's army today, which they are also trying to use and another view as AZAPO is that a process of training is going on at the moment of the COSAG's guys, they are converging, they are talking about their last resort. And that is where actually the greatest danger of the Zulu mentality as expressed by Gatsha comes in. It doesn't come merely as Gatsha alone, it comes when you look at it in totality of the forces that are against the democratic process. So the likelihood is that the Afrikaner Volksfront together with that which you've just mentioned and in AZAPO's term that is the greatest block that might actually be the block that people would have to rationalise with for the next solution. That is the block that can crush, in fact it can make that place to collapse tomorrow, this Kempton Park, because at the moment in fact the Kempton Part process has collapsed. They are trying to woo Gatsha back and Constand, being a military strategist, he stands outside and he says, "We might come back if you do 1, 2, 3, 4" and he's also gaining momentum.
POM Let me ask you. What if the government and the ANC say, "OK give him what he wants, give him special consideration, give him Natal/KwaZulu, give him special powers." Do you think that the ANC in Natal which has fought this gruesome war with the IFP over last 15 years, and which has at some time shown itself to be rebellious to the national leadership, would take that lying down?
PN No, you see the problem about war is that once you are in war you create either or. All wars are fought like that as far as I've been analysing them. So once you create either or, you're giving no chance for democracy to survive because democracy survives with one for, another against, abstention, another just apathetic. So in Natal they have a problem, the divisions caused by war will make sure that those who are at the moment carrying guns fighting the ANC who claim to be Inkatha will still vote Inkatha. Unlike if there was a situation of free and unhindered political activity that would kill more Inkatha than the ANC. So in reality the Natal situation is not as easy as the ANC deciding against. Because they know that polarisation has already given enough strength to Gatsha, which it would not have been if the situation was just left without war.
POM You understand Harry Gwala who made even great trouble at the meeting between Buthelezi and Mandela. He certainly wouldn't be accommodating to the ANC saying, "It's OK, we are going to give Gatsha his region, it's his region". You are saying to them the struggle you've endured over the last ten years was totally wasted time. And now they are not likely to break away from the ANC's national leadership and to continue their war? And they are not going to let this guy run this district?
PN In Natal, if you check very seriously, even if you were to give Gatsha his own KwaZulu, under the circumstances still meaningless unless the elections, you see the elections are the determinant. If we are still going to conduct a regional election the likelihood is that he might not win the regional election. So what it amounts to is that there must not be democracy in KwaZulu. Really, in the long run you are just saying you have been ruling people the way you continue to rule who are not even to come there to do anything. Nothing short of that will ever satisfy Buthelezi, he knows that even if you take a small place of yourself. The Bantustan's did that, they took space for themselves and some of them got ousted through tribal politics. It can happen to him as well. So the thing that he seems to be wanting is that, "Let it be me, and no one else here."
POM If the ANC and the government say, "No, you'll just have to get on the train"?
PN But what if he also says, "No, you can have your process alone but you'll have to reckon with me." That's the power he's trying to exercise.
POM Yes, so in fact he avoids an election by not participating. His strength will be because they can always maintain the illusion that the numbers he got if he were in the process. What happens then?
PN Well, that really is something that at the moment I can't tell you. But that, at the moment, that is the kind of process that is there. He realises that that's what he has to do and he has no other choice ultimately, no other choice. The others also realise that just to give him what he wants, ANC people will say, "You are mad, because we're also in KwaZulu, are you giving us over to this guy?" But, funny enough those conflicting interests then favour the Nationalist Party. He stays out of them, they say, "Well, we can't hold elections because the two of you can't agree." But he knows it's part of his strategy, that's the difficulty about these political parties. The NP knows that it started the violence in order to stand aloof and accuse the two parties for not wanting democracy to come because they can't tolerate each other. So the Nationalist Party rides a conflict of their own making. Because all this violence here has been started by the Nationalist Party to weaken their opponents and at the moment they've succeeded.
As I told you some time back, they were hoping that when that happens, they will then push in the army because it's very strong and our people must clap hands and raise the fists, "Viva the South African Army, viva!" And once that happens then the De Klerk regime will claim that, "No, we are liked all over the country, so we can conduct the elections, our forces are able to keep law and order so what's the matter, what's your argument?" It was planned before the ANC was brought in and it didn't see that that the plan must culminate with De Klerk maintaining law and order. He is going to come with a State of Emergency, so that he moves his soldiers all over just before the elections and that law and order is maintained. Because he's the one who started war and he can stop the war but he now stops the war to make the Nationalist Party win. Although, to AZAPO, he won't win even with that but it's a good strategy from the point of the Nationalist Party. And also it's a good strategy to convince the international community that you don't need another force here. Look, we have been maintaining law and order all the time, what is making the other people to call for international forces which we have called long ago is because De Klerk seems not to be maintaining law and order. He had left it that way so that you can talk, talk, talk, you want this, he maintains law and order. Then he says what's the talk? In terms of strategy the Nationalist Party is far ahead of the ANC except that it's not far ahead of AZAPO, that's the only problem it has because AZAPO can see behind all the other things that are being brought in in order to make sure that democracy doesn't come in. I just hope the ANC was like AZAPO, because then we wouldn't be having this process that is going on here.
POM It's interesting you say that because I talked to a man today who was tried at Rivonia with Mr Mandela and a loyal ANC person all his life. His feeling is that if there's an election and the IFP loses, the violence in Natal would still continue. They are going to say we lost through fraud, or if the ANC lost they'll say we lost through fraud, so either way the violence will continue. And I'm beginning to believe that only the Afrikaners can keep law and order. That's what he says.
PN The world saw him and now what it means is he has lost the war. Because now he's actually getting where they wanted him get. They wanted him to have that belief, that only the Afrikaner can save us, so he has lost. And probably we'll only be left with AZAPO which is not lost, because AZAPO sees it as just yet another strategy to convince the general population that only these guys know how to maintain law and order. So the whole strategy was to make sure that this thing called uMkhonto which the ANC prides itself can't maintain any life. Yes, life gets destroyed in front of uMkhonto, what's this uMkhonto? We will bring in our boys and life won't be destroyed. So we compare, "Ja, uMkhonto is useless, because we allowed it to come home anyway and we can allow them to parade, they are just parading, people are dying in Thokoza and it can't maintain anything." De Klerk keeps on calling on Mandela to make sure that they assist in the violence. So he says, "No, you have been accusing me of being 'kragdadig' or being too hard. Now I'm bringing my army because I've allowed you ample time Mandela, to see to it that you control your constituencies with Inkatha but I can't leave this country to go into the doldrums." That's good strategy, on his part.
And that day, that's when the weakening goes further on the liberation forces. Because as you say this guy also now he feels that uMkhonto is useless, that he has nearly died for uMkhonto on Robben Island but now he's deserting. Now that's what war is all about. In war you make sure that people, psychologically and otherwise, they desert the cause that they've stood for. Because war doesn't only happen at the arms length, it happens also at destroying your capacity to stick to your resolve. And violence was the best strategy ever thought of by the De Klerk regime, because that is terror which can weaken any fair man and any semblance of maintenance of the family and nobody dies, who cares. If it can be done by these guys let them then do it, it's a long time we've been suffering. And that's what AZAPO has warned is going to happen.
POM The assassination of Chris Hani, is that an event in time or has it an importance both within the ANC/COSATU/SACP alliance and a broader significance in terms of politics of this country?
PN In terms of AZAPO, we feel that the assassination of Chris Hani was a well orchestrated strategy by the forces working with the regime to remove Chris Hani to be the contender when ANC old leadership are taken away by the processes that we know are death. And that if you are a strategist you do calculate the lifespan of the leadership of an organisation. You don't just fight an enemy without also calculating other very important facets. My own view is that the ANC is sustained at the moment by Mandela, it's not necessarily sustained by its own capacity as an organisation, Mandela sustains the ANC at two fronts. He has been one of those that none of us can feel that he has not sacrificed for his people. There is nobody, including us in AZAPO, so to that extent anywhere you dangle Mandela, there is no way ANC doesn't find something out of that. That's just the personality and the struggle that Mandela has been made a hero of our people, the sacrifices he has made for 27 years, so we parade him for that but it is not organisational, they are playing on the leader.
The second level where Mandela sustains the ANC is the fact that people are sympathetic to that which I have said and they throw him money, he lives they don't care. So the ANC sustenance is Mandela it's not the organisation, he pays that he does what does. But if Mandela was to be removed, you'd then ask yourself who takes over? And whoever takes over will he continue the policy that has made us of the international community to find our home in this future. Because the international community also is also vying for its own interests and they've found that if they work with Mandela honestly their interest will not be adversely affected. If they work with AZAPO and Nefoloyhodwe there might be a question of having to rationalise later. So at the moment the mood is, "So let's pour as much of our resources during this time." But they also know that Mandela is an old man and at any time he can collapse or anything can happen. Doctors also, you see many people who fight wars they even go check your health record and your advisors will tell you that you are fighting so and so but we think healthwise he has about five years to go, the maximum. So when that has been declared, you then think that if that five years doesn't come, anything happens in the meantime, here my enemy may tend ... there can be problems.
And we think that is what necessitated Hani to be killed, because at that stage Hani was ascending particularly within the youth, the leaders of tomorrow and particularly we feel what you call people who are in the homeless communities what people refer to as 'squatter camps', I don't use that word because I don't believe people are squatting in their own country, just to clarify the matter. So he was becoming that and that is the social fabric I was talking about, where Hani was becoming the hero and this side you have the fighting boys who would normally be part of uMkhonto, he was becoming the hero. So if I was there, if I had my way I must remove that boy before I get a terrible ... as time goes on. And if I remove those ones that I think may ascend and leave the other one who may actually ascend and go the same direction then I'm OK. So we think precisely for that reason he was assassinated and they used a poor foreigner because to us, we feel they wanted it to appear that it is his hatred for communism that fellow from Poland because he lives under communism. And nobody killed another communist and that the matter lies there. It's not like that, this matter is far deeper than that.
The Nationalist Party is able to assassinate its own leaders, so it doesn't surprise me if they assassinate Chris because they were able to assassinate Verwoerd. They do away with their own people if they realise that they are going the same direction, what more at this moment. But for the ANC and the Communist Party, particularly with the Communist Party, that had been a very great loss for them because he was a capable leader and very balanced and also he had a gist which if he was to accept would also balance the one that is being paraded. He's a soldier from the start, from university with a degree he became a soldier of uMkhonto right through, across borders, he did a number of in and outs, risking his life at that level. So he couldn't be faulted even when he contends for ... You must also know that at the ANC conference he was going to be deputy. At the ANC conference Hani was going to be deputy and he was vying for deputy when Thabo Mbeki ... Thabo was not going to get deputy because of the popularity and then because they avoided a clash of Hani as deputy to Mandela they then brought the old man Sisulu to assert. I'm not surprised when I find that the youth is being influenced to call on Thabo Mbeki to become the deputy. I'm saying that Thabo is part and parcel of the grand design of what they think a reasonable leadership.
POM That's whites thinking?
PN Whites and the international community generally they feel that if he follows there is no way they will lose. Because Thabo to me is the international community of the ANC. There's no doubt, he can sign deals with any government, he can sign deals with capitalists of any type, he's liked. He addresses forum which are not in the ... I don't want to be talking about individuals too much but that's the little I can give to you.
POM Thank you very much.