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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.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 October 13
SPECIAL MEETING OF THE NWC HELD ON 13-10-89 AT 09:00 HOURS
PRESENT : T. NK; D. Tl; J. Stuart; JJ; J. Sel; R Mom; S. Dl; CH; SS; S. Mf; R. Sept; HM; J. Nhl; R. Manci; JZ
APOLOGIES : S. Tsh (would be late)
IN THE CHAIR : T. Nk opened the meeting: This is a special meeting called to consider a short report given by T. Mb to the PC. A few members of the NEC including the PC were present to receive T. Mb's report. The minutes of that meeting are before you, including a PLAN OF ACTION AFTER THE RELEASE OF THE POLITICAL PRISONERS (both documents tabled). I propose we read the minutes and thereafter consider the Plan (Agreed. S. Mf read.)
T. Nk : How does meeting intend we proceed?
CH : In regard to the Broederbond meeting…. It came to our attention via the media. I want to appeal that at a time such as this, with the other side having an own agenda, we need regular consultations before ( such meetings) take place, as I believe the enemy side does (consult before the meetings) in order to maximize their gains (from such encounter); they want to be able to carry their constituencies…. We get embarrassed when we have to say to (our) members that we don't know these things…. I know the PC was given the right, but it is an advisory body, the main leadership is the NEC.
R. Sept : And further, I saw the SG about he (alleged) meeting and he denied knowledge…. The Broeders couldn't have decided overnight on a meeting; it would be good if we knew who arranged the meeting.
JJ : I head news of meeting (over BBC).
R. Mom : I don't think it is the first time we make these comments. Why is it that the people who are involved are ones having nothing to do with internal work? The President's Committee are also tight-lipped about these matters.
T. Nk : It is this body which said that as far as the question of negotiations, it should be handled by PC (to report regularly). Before this meeting, we did receive information that the regime wanted to meet the ANC. We agreed to assign Comrades JZ and T. Mb to find out what about…. I would like JZ to recapitulate report he gave.
[Followed a discussion about whether one assigned to such meetings should not be briefed in advance. R. Mom; T. Nk; Ch; R. Sept; participated.]
JZ : When I was instructed to meet these people, I thought it was because of my sphere of responsibility. On the 12th Sept I met two gentlemen (named) certainly from the establishment who raised a few matters:-
(a) There was concern from their side, (affecting even the ruling class), that change was in the air and whites had realized this, but did not know how to go about it without involving outside forces, who would invariably come with their own agendas.
(b) De Klerk was thinking of change, not playing a political game, and they don't want contact from their side to go public. Forces who they think were main players were the ANC and National Party.
(c) Whether the establishment likes it or ANC likes it, pressures will be exerted on all sides because the urge to resolve regional conflicts (by peaceful means) will not avoid SA.
(d) They indicated their awareness of contacts with NM and did not aim to undermine the. In fact there was a feeling that NM should have an opportunity to brief the leadership about developments in this regard.
(e) Basically they should not be understood to be negotiating, but simply exploring possibilities of common ground.
(f) The meeting between PW and NM had been arranged long ago but had to be delayed by illness of both PW and NM.
(g) De Klerk was compelled to be ambiguous because of the impending elections, not because he was not committed to genuine change.
(h) The release of political prisoners was no longer a question, only a formula for effecting this was desired.
(i) When De Klerk says he must be given time he is serious and genuine. He had hurdles to overcome (e.g. the police).
(j) They wanted elaboration of the Harare document.
(k) They had taken the initiative in the interests of coming to terms with reality. The regime had displayed serious ness about the EPG initiative and had had confidence only in Obasanjo. They were wary of outside involvement.
(l) They urged the ANC to read Afrikaans newspapers and they (ANC) would be able to judge that some people are really serious.
[JZ reported that he ad already given this report to the PC even though T. Mb had been absent.]
Followed discussion in which it was denied that the meeting that T. Mb had reported about had been one with the Broederbond and that it was the media which had sought to give the impression. Stressed that those who go to meet other side (enemy) should hae benefit of guidance from the NEC which reserved the right to reject some approaches.
It was agreed that the Secretariat would work out suitable guidelines.
The PLAN OF ACTION AFTER RELEASE OF THE POLITICAL PRISONERS ws then read by S. Mf and discussed paragraph by paragraph.
On Paragraph 2 : CH : Our people have struggled for the unconditional release, and the release takes place at a rime when the people are defying. The masses will not accept the "low profile" formula. This is sheer blackmail: "If you behave we will release NM; if you don't we wont." We should say these comrades should exercise their leadership role and complicate the situation (for the enemy). De Klerk is not being charitable by releasing the leaders.
S. Dl : These documents give us the view of the bourgeoisie. The conditions mentioned in paragraph two shows that the tiger will not change its spots. The release is unconditional. The only way out is armed struggle.
J.Z : I support CH. The view (low profile) has been held by NM. He expressed it on G. Mb's release. He did so also when HG was to go abroad. Perhaps NM is looking at it from his own viewpoint; we should point out that the release is not out of change of heart. In my view, we can't have WS coming out and just keeping quiet as if the Boers are doing him a favour. They should address meetings and participate in the struggles to get rid of the restrictions.
J. Sel : I would not understand why they are not to participate in the sanctions campaign.
JJ : I agree that if releases are unconditional they should be seen to be such. Our leaders should address rallies inside the country. We have discussed arrangements for such rallies. This plan ought to be considered in the context of the plan we formally elaborated.
On paragraph 3 : CH: This is speculation. We will discuss