About this site

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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

De Klerk's reply to Nelson Mandela 2 July 1992

23 June 1992

Dear Mr Mandela

I acknowledge receipt of your memorandum dated 26 June 1992. However, an exchange of memoranda is no substitute for face-to-face talks. I was therefore disappointed that you did not accept my invitation to immediate discussions. Every day that is lost will make the resumption of the process more difficult and may lead to the loss of further lives.

Annexures A-F contain observations relevant to issues raised in your memorandum and elaboration on issues dealt with in this letter. There are however a number of fundamental issues which need to be addressed urgently at a meeting between us.

i. Violence

Contrary to the ANC's accusations, the Government has not, and will not plan, conduct, orchestrate or sponsor violence in any form whatsoever against any political organisation or community. The lie that the Government is sponsoring and promoting violence remains a lie no matter how often it is repeated. Where elements in state structures err in this regard, the Government will not hesitate to take appropriate measures. There are prosecutions and convictions on record to prove this.

The second interim report of trie Goldstone Commission showed that the causes of violence are numerous and complicated. The fact remains that most political violence occurs between supporters of the ANC and the IFR This question must therefore be urgently addressed by the leaders of the ANC and the IFF, and the Government, in view of its responsibility for the maintenance of order. I therefore propose that you, Dr Buthelezi and I meet as soon as possible for this purpose. The agenda for this meeting could be to consider:

Ø     an active full-time monitoring mechanism on the adequacy, efficacy and performance of all the instruments and processes already in place to combat violence and intimidation; and o the advisability of a joint monitoring body through which the three parties could act to defuse and solve problems that could give rise to violence. The role of the international community in an observer capacity could be considered, especially in relation to this item.

2. The ANC's programme of mass mobilisation

The South African Government acknowledges the right of peaceful demonstration and protest as important civil liberties. However, the ANC Alliance's campaign of mass mobilisation, owing to its nature and aims, poses serious threats to the stability and safety of the whole of South African society, particularly in the current volatile climate.

Furthermore, the use of this kind of mass mobilisation to make and impose demands in the negotiation process is just as unacceptable as the use of violence for this purpose. Our information indicates that the SACP and COSATU have played a dominant role in redirecting the ANC from negotiations to the politics of demands and confrontation which are inherent in mass mobilisation.

Insurrectionist thinking is currently flourishing within the ANC and is being propagated by a cabal with close links to the SACP and COSATU. These elements undermine the attempts of many ANC realists to negotiate in good faith and also induce within the ANC the spirit of radicalism and militancy of the insurrectionist school, which was evident at the SACP's 8th congress in 1991.

The ANC/SACP have been trying to create the impression that they and the South African Government are the only adversaries. This is document patently misleading and wrong since there are numerous players on the South African political scene, each with an own identity but opposed to the ANC/SACP policies and methods. The ANC's rhetoric has been radicalised and is now virtually indistinguishable from that of the SACP, and so are the ultimatum and polarisation politics now being conducted. In recent days this rhetoric has degenerated into incitement to violence and hatred at grass-roots level.

The current mobilisation action can unleash forces which the instigators will not be able to control. This will, in turn, make extended government action unavoidable. The programme of mass action, in the prevailing circumstances, will inevitably:

Ø     lead to further violence;

Ø     delay the search for democratic solutions;

Ø     damage the economy, on which all South Africans depend; and o seriously disrupt social services to the detriment of those in need of medical care, protection, support and education.

The Government does not seek confrontation and has repeatedly stated its belief that negotiations present the only viable option for the solution of our problems. However, it will not hesitate to take all steps necessary to prevent the country from sliding into anarchy. Any change of government must come in a negotiated constitutional manner. The stated ultimate goal of the ANC's mass mobilisation campaign is to overthrow the Government by coercion. This will not be countenanced.

3. The ANC's aborting of the negotiation process

You say that you have withdrawn from the negotiating process because of the Government's involvement in violence and its lack of commitment to genuine democracy in the negotiating process.

Your allegations about Government involvement in violence have already been dealt with.

With regard to your allegations concerning the Government's document commitment to genuine democracy, I should like to refer you to the substantial agreements already reached in the Working Groups of Codesa. The fundamental difference between the approach of the ANC and that of the Government regarding the purpose of negotiation lies, on the one hand, in our commitment to constitutionality and a transitional government as soon as possible; and on the other hand, in the ANC's insistence on an unstructured and immediate transfer of power before a proper Transitional Constitution is negotiated.

Even after Codesa 2, our approach to transitional arrangements was again explained to ANC representatives. Our proposals are in line with universally accepted democratic principles. A summary of our approach can be found in Annexure 'F', and in Annexure 'B' allegations that the Government is dinging to power are conclusively refuted.

Once again, the remaining differences between the ANC, the Government and other political parties on key constitutional questions make multi-party negotiations more - and not less - imperative.

4. ANC 'demands'

In our view what you are presenting as demands are issues that are being tailored by the ANC to support its programme of mass mobilisation and to justify the abortion of the negotiation process. All these issues could have been suitably discussed at the negotiation table and it is imperative that such discussions do take place to remove any misconceptions and misunderstanding. It should be recorded that some of these have already been dealt with by way of agreements, or have been dealt with by governmental measures. Annexure 'E' contains observations in this respect.

However we would like to comment in particular on the hostels and dangerous weapons.

The problems relating to the hostels have been the focus of much concern and attention, but, as you are aware, it is an extremely complex situation and although extensive deliberations and consultations have already taken place, much work remains to be done. This is therefore an issue that we would like to be given particular attention at our proposed meeting.

As regards dangerous weapons, weaponry and explosives measures have been taken and adopted regarding the carrying and possession thereof. These measures will be strictly enforced. Further regulations about the possession and carrying of dangerous weapons are currently under consideration.

The carrying and possession of dangerous weapons should receive attention when we meet, but particular attention must be given to the implementation of measures relating to the illegal possession of firearms and explosives, and the introduction of such weapons into the country. The AK.47 has become the symbol of criminal and political violence and firearms are the weapons mainly used to kill political opponents and to perpetrate criminal violence. Ways and means must be found to ensure that this problem is resolved and we must discuss this issue when the leaders of the Government, the ANC and the IFP meet. Until integral part of the problem of violence that it can no longer remain solely on a bilateral agenda [sic].

I reiterate the Government's commitment to peaceful negotiations as the only way to bring us to a new democratic constitution as soon as possible. I repeat my proposal that we should meet urgently for fundamental discussions, especially on the abovementioned four issues.

Yours sincerely

F. W. DE KLERK

Annexure A

THE CURRENT INFLUENCE OF MARXISM-LENINISM WITHIN THE ANC

1. Despite initiatives to become more independent, the SACP still has a close relationship with the ANC, which not only enables its members to constantly influence ANC strategy, but creates a climate conducive to radical and militant thinking during a phase in which negotiation and reconciliation should be a priority. In fact, the SACP lends so much support to initiatives to influence and even transform the ANC, that it seems that its independent profile serves only to draw attention away from its primary revolutionary strategising role within the ANC.

2. It is clear that the SACP, COSATU and individuals within the ANC still pursue outdated tactical communist doctrines and objectives. The question arises whether the ANC is not becoming a captive of these forces. The SACP furthermore still regards a socialist system as only a necessary phase towards realising an eventual communist system. It should be obvious that these objectives and the prominent position of their proponents within the ANC cast doubt on the real character of the ANC.

3. There can be no doubt that both the SACP and COSATU were, in their individual and collective capacity, instrumental in a number of recent crucial ANC decisions regarding the negotiation process. These decisions followed intense deliberations between SACP and COSATU members and were clearly the result of specific guidelines drawn up by the SACP/COSATU. The following examples are relevant in this regard:

Ø     The ANC's decision to implement a programme of mass action in order to force the Government to meet certain bottom lines and/or to transfer power to the ANC.

Ø     The ANC's attempts to deadlock Codesa.

Ø     The ANC's decision to suspend negotiations notwithstand-document ing opposition within both the NEC and the so-called Codesa PR

4. As South Africa moves towards a new democratic order, the strategy and policy of various revolutionaries within the ANC Alliance are increasingly in conflict with internationally accepted norms. For example, to regard negotiation in principle as a 'terrain of struggle' undermines the essence of the concept itself. In the final instance it gives rise to concern that the ANC allows these influences to flourish when these forces are already committed to extra-parliamentary struggle against the new dispensation that the ANC is propagating. This extraordinary approach underlines the fact that revolutionary ethics generally overrule all other principles, and are therefore incompatible with democracy.

Annexure B

PERCEPTIONS REGARDING THE NEGOTIATION PROCESS

1. When the process of negotiation was initiated by the Government, it was clearly stated that its aim was to extend democracy to the whole of the South African nation. It was also made clear that a fundamental and sincere policy decision had been taken by the governing National Party, fully endorsed by its supporters and many others, to remove racial discrimination, to abolish apartheid and to be instrumental in the establishment of a constitutional state in the new South Africa in which all citizens would be equal and justice would reign supreme.

2. This approach will require a restructuring of government and society on an immense scale. Hardly any sphere of life, any element of administration or any aspect of politics has been or will be left untouched by the processes of constitutional change. It would therefore be irresponsible to advocate less than an orderly, albeit urgent, process of transition from present structures, administrations, politics and processes to those of a responsibly negotiated new dispensation. That is why, as a first priority, the Codesa negotiation process focused on transitional arrangements whereby those not now represented in government could become involved.

3. The ANC, on the other hand, has been advocating a sudden plunge, virtually without preparation, into simple majoritarian-ism. The Government responsibly insists upon the replacement of the present dispensation with a fully functional and comprehensive Transitional Constitution providing for proper curbs on the misuse of power during the sensitive period of transition to an eventual constitution. It appears that the ANC wants to avoid proper checks and balances on a 'Constituent Assembly', which, according to a fair construction of the ANC's views, will function in a constitutional void after the destruction of the present dispensation. To accede to such a demand founded on revolutionary thinking would be irresponsible on the part of the Government. The unreasonableness of the ANC in this regard is the real obstacle to progress in constitutional negotiations. Further negotiation on the details of a transitional dispensation with the purpose of extending democracy to all South Africans and to bring social and economic stability to the nation, must be the priority of negotiating parties having the well-being of all South Africans at heart.

4. Given the initiatives that the Government has taken over the past years and the structures created, financed and managed for the purposes of sober negotiation and the restoration of social peace, it is invidious and entirely unconvincing to accuse us of attempting to cling to power in an undemocratic manner. After all, we express our proposals for a transitional dispensation in terms of power sharing and fully accept that such political parties as may be capable of demonstrating substantial support in a democratic election, must not merely be present in the decision-making processes, but must also have meaningful influence under a transitional constitution.

5. The progress that was made in the various working groups of Codesa is indeed impressive even in summary. Key elements of agreements which were endorsed by the ANC negotiators as well, include the following:

Ø     'A climate for free political participation is an essential element of the transitional phase towards and in a democratic South Africa'. (Working Group 1 Report, par 6.1.2.1)

Ø     Political intimidation must be terminated. This means 'any action or set of actions committed by any... organisation... that is designed by the use or the threat of use offeree or violence to disrupt or interfere with the legal rights of an individual, inter alia ... the right of freedom of movement'. (Working Group 1 Report, par 7.2)

Ø     A reaffirmation of the National Peace Accord. (Working Group 1 Report, par 10)

Ø     'Political parties and organisations should have fair access to public facilities and venues without discrimination'. (Working Group 1 Report, par 14)

Ø     Codesa should draw up a transitional constitution. (Working Group 2 Steering Committee Proposal of 13 May 1992)

Ø     The Transitional Constitution should provide for a bicameral Parliament elected by universal adult suffrage, proportional representation being the basis for the election of one Chamber: a multi-party executive: the separation of the legislative, executive and judicial powers: a justiciable Charter of Fundamental Rights and the establishment of the boundaries, powers, duties and functions of a regional government structure and its entrenchment in the Transitional Constitution. (Working Group 2 Steering Committee Proposal of 13 May 1992)

Ø     The establishment and detailed structuring of a Transitional Executive Structure for the purposes of preparing the ground for the institution of a transitional dispensation was fully agreed upon by Working Group 3. o The principle of and some details concerning the re-incorporation of the TBVC states was agreed upon by Working Group 4.

6. The Government at all times made it dear that it was willing and eager to support and promote progress in the negotiation process, whereas the ANC has lately derailed Codesa 2, reintro-duced 'mass action' to a tense and suffering society as a form of 'struggle', and is now making demands in a threatening manner apparently in order to coerce the Government into irresponsible concessions that could not be negotiated with the parties in Codesa.

7. An honest analysis of the events leading to the present impasse makes it clear that the ANC is responsible for obstructing the negotiation process, which was progressing extremely well until shortly before Codesa 2. It would appear that the ANC found shortly before Codesa 2, that such progress did not serve its political purposes, and therefore insisted upon driving Working Group 2 to a point where agreement to its proposals or none at all in the whole of Codesa was demanded. The ANC's perception, it would seem, was that its purpose of an unqualified take-over of power would not be served by the reasonable agreements in Codesa that were ready to be sealed.

8. The Government firmly believes in democracy. We maintain that democracy entails universal adult suffrage and majority decision-making procedures. However, to suggest as the ANC docs, that simple majority decision-making is the sole essential feature of modern democracy, is over-extending the notion. A far more fundamental feature of modern democratic states is the extent to which all citizens enjoy meaningful participation and fair representation in government institutions.

9. It is not democratic to attempt to deny meaningful political segments of society access to assemblies tasked with the determination of their future. Furthermore the Government does not accept the ANC's reduction of South African politics to a battle between Black and White. This reduction ironically exposes the ANC's approach to be founded upon outdated racial considerations.

10. The perception that the road to democracy is simple, is a dangerous one. The approach that mere majoritarianism is sufficient will not bring peace to our land. It is the Government's opinion that participation and representation, and not majority domination, however structured, are the building blocks of a democratic future. In a country whose human wealth lies precisely in the diversity of its population, the exclusion of significant minority political parties from decision-making regarding a matter as fundamental as the terms of a future constitution would be courting disaster.

n. Modern democracy goes beyond the mere identification of the majority: it is equally concerned with the protection of minorities against possible excesses of the majority. Universally acknowledged constitutional mechanisms like bicameralism, regional autonomy (federalism), effective proportional participation in government by all significant parties and enforceable and justiciable fundamental rights entrenched in the constitution, serve precisely the purpose of curbing majority domination. It is significant that the Government has been advocating these and the other elements of the constitutional state, while the ANC was prepared to derail Codesa 2 on the grounds of rejecting such mechanisms of modern democracy which had virtually been agreed upon for the transitional dispensation.

12. A healthy and responsible administration constructed on the basis of the effective representation of all meaningful political parties and providing for their participation in the process of government is surely in the national interest. On the other hand, a constitution in which politically meaningful elements of society had no say, would in all probability lead to political instability of no mean proportion. The ANC seems to be bent on such a disastrous outcome.

Annexure C

THE ANC AS A NEGOTIATING PARTNER

i. The Government believes that a sound foundation for at least a mutually acceptable process was laid at the Groote Schuur and subsequent bilateral agreements which, besides reflecting a dearly identifiable spirit, also contained the following:

Ø     'The Government and the ANC agree on a common commitment towards the resolution of the existing climate of violence and intimidation from whatever quarter as well as a commitment to stability and to a peaceful process of negotiations' (Groote Schuur Minute).

Ø     'Both parties committed themselves to take steps and measures to normalise and stabilise the situation, within the spirit of mutual confidence that exists between the leaders. ...' (Pretoria Minute).

Ø     'The right of the broad population to make their views known through peaceful demonstrations'.

Ø     It was further agreed that violence and intimidation, from whatever quarter, that form part of mass action, should be eliminated.

Ø     Further agreed that peaceful political activities and stability should be promoted (DF Malan Accord).

Despite these agreements and the spirit in which they were concluded, the ANC at regular intervals started using threats and ultimatums as part of its political approach, which from the start had a detrimental and erosive effect on the mutual trust that was beginning to develop. The ANC do have a bad track record in maintaining agreements and can be considered an unreliable negotiating partner. 2. Therefore the decision of the ANC NEC of 24 June 1992, in collaboration with its Alliance partners, to suspend negotiations, is viewed as only the most recent of a range of similar past decisions which further contributed to the creation of negative perceptions regarding the ANC's approach to negotiations per se and as a process. The perception that has been created includes indications that:

Ø     The ANC is committed to negotiations only to the extent that its own objectives are served.

Ø     The ANC readily enters into agreements but is not committed to supporting the practical implementation of such agreements.

Ø     The ANC is using extremely coercive negotiation tactics, including ultimatums, deadlocks, threats, reneging on agreements, and projecting unrealistic time-frames, etc., almost every time it becomes apparent that genuine compromise on a give-and-take basis is in the offing. 3. The South African Government remains responsible for the maintenance of law and order in South Africa. It is however a truism, conveniently disregarded in the ANC's statements, that to disrupt law and order is simple, but to restore and maintain it with finite resources, is always problematic. Therefore the Government is concerned about the high level of violence in certain parts of our country. The Government regards existing bilateral (Groote Schuur Minute, Pretoria Minute, D F Malan Accord) and multi-lateral (National Peace Accord, Declaration of Intent) agreements as important instruments in preventing and curbing the violence and finding permanent solutions to the problems facing South Africa. The Government endorses the contents of these agreements. Nothing will however be achieved without mutual trust existing between the parties. The ANC and its allies have violated these agreements, the following being examples: Paragraph 2.4 of the National Peace Accord states as follows:

All political parties and organisations shall respect and give effect to the obligation to refrain from incitement to violence or hatred. In pursuit hereof no language calculated or likely to incite violence or hatred, including that directed against any political party or personality, nor any wilfully false allegation, shall be used at any political meeting, nor shall pamphlets, posters or other written material containing such language be prepared or circulated, either in the name of any party, or anonymously.

In contravention of this agreement numerous inflammatory statements have been made by many ANC leaders, especially in the recent past. Language likely to incite violence and hatred is constantly used. False allegations are made and pamphlets and posters contravening these agreements abound.

For the period November 1991 to June 1992 the ANC was responsible for 186 recorded breaches of the National Peace Accord and the D F Malan Accord.

4. The ANC, by starting planning for mass action even before it became dear that a deadlock might develop at Codesa, reneging on all Working Group agreements on the basis that there was no agreement if all agreements were not accepted, as well as suspending negotiations, cannot but further compound the already negative perceptions surrounding the organisation's approach to negotiations.

5. From these and other decisions and actions by the ANC, in conjunction with its Alliance partners, it can only be deduced that the ANC is indeed negatively viewing negotiations as an 'area of struggle', and even as a battle in the 'struggle' that must be won at all costs. If this is indeed the case, then it is clear that in the ANC's current view of negotiations there is no room for compromise, much less for mutually acceptable agreement.

Annexure D

VIEWS ON THE CURRENT VIOLENCE

i. The South African Government remains responsible for the maintenance of law and order in South Africa. It does, and has been doing, everything possible within its power and within the existing political climate to address this scourge that has descended on our country.

2. The Government is however not the only role player in this regard. It is the responsibility of every individual, organisation, party and leader (whether political or otherwise) to strive for stability.

3. The appalling events at Boipatong on 17 June 1992 have once again shown that the situation in South Africa is highly volatile and accompanied by a vicious spiral of violence and counter-violence.

4. The Government wishes to state categorically that, contrary to ANC claims, the Government does not plan, conduct, orchestrate or sponsor violence in any form whatsoever, against any political organisation or community.

5. The time has come for the ANC in particular, but also for other political groups, to recognise the fact that policies aimed at gaining a monopoly on power in themselves promote violence.

6. The Second Interim Report of the Goldstone Commission of Inquiry quite correctly stated that the causes of violence are numerous and complex. However the ANC has to date not acknowledged its involvement in violence, and as far as the Government is aware has consequently taken little constructive action to curb violence. As a matter of fact, the ANC is guilty of selective quoting from the above report. It never refers to criticism of the ANC by the Commission but uses the Commission to put the blame for violence on other parties. The Government takes a serious view of the criticism in the Goldstone Commission report, but expects the ANC to do the same.

7. The question may also be asked: to what extent does the ANC's non-compliance with the various accords, in particular the National Peace Accord, contribute to the web of violence in which South Africa is entangled? On the other hand the Government regards the existing bilateral and multi-lateral agreements, especially the National Peace Accord and the Codesa Declaration of Intent, as important instruments for curbing violence and finding permanent solutions to the problems facing South Africa and its people.

8. The ANC's direct and indirect involvement in the creation of a climate conducive to violence gives rise to the question whether the ANC was ever fully committed to the National Peace Accord, in particular to paragraph 2.4 which reads as follows:

All political parties and organisations shall respect and give effect to the obligation to refrain from incitement to violence or hatred. In pursuit hereof no language calculated or likely to incite violence or hatred, including that directed against any political party or personality, nor any wilfully false allegation, shall be used at any political meeting, nor shall pamphlets, posters or other written material containing such language be prepared or circulated, either in the name of any party, or anonymously.

In this regard the following statements by prominent ANC leaders are highly revealing:

Ø     Mr Harry Gwala admitted that the ANC is fighting a war and that the ANC is killing IFP 'warlords' and their associates (Natal Witness, 29 April 1992).

Ø     On 26 April 1992 Mr George Mathusa (Chairman of the ANC in the Western Transvaal) vowed that Bophuthats-wana would be made ungovernable through necklace killings and bombs. Addressing people at a funeral service Mr Mathusa said: 'In South Africa we did it through our necklaces and bombs, we can easily repeat it here'. (Cape Times, 27 April 1992).

Ø     In The Citizen of 23 May 1992 it is reported that Mr Nelson Mandela said in Helsinki that President De Klerk was involved in the violence in which almost 1 000 people in South Africa have been killed this year. Mr Mandela told a news conference that it was a serious responsibility to accuse a Head of State of fuelling the violence and the killing of innocent people, but that facts indicated that President De Klerk was involved in this.

Ø     In The Citizen of 25 May 1992, it was stated that Mr Mandela, in Geneva, likened the violence in South Africa to the killing of Jews in Nazi Germany.

Ø     On 16 June 1992 at the Dan Qeqe Stadium, Zwide, Port Elizabeth, Mr Harry Gwala stated inter alia: 'If the only way to our freedom is through bloodletting, so let it be and if we all perish let that happen'. He said those who believed the time for armed struggle was over were seriously mistaken, ... (EP Herald, 17 June 1992).

9. The Government recognises that the ANC's suspension of armed action on 6 August 1990 was taken in the interest of a peaceful transition in South Africa. Unfortunately, this has had no marked effect on violence. Since the suspension of armed action, numerous cases of MK involvement in establishing self-defence units and renegade self-defence units, as well as armed crimes by MK members, have occurred. Numerous ANC arms caches - in violation of the provisions of the DF Malan Accord - still exist. For example 13 MK arms caches have been uncovered since 2 February 1990. Considering the well documented lack of discipline that MK members have demonstrated, both locally and in foreign countries in the past, the Government must inevitably ask whether the ANC still has any control over arms caches and how many of the murder weapons presently being traded to the highest bidder, originate from ANC caches.

10. The Government finds it contradictory that the ANC's answer to violence is the formation of so-called self-defence units, which eventually become uncontrollable, as in the case of Phola Park. It is well known that these self-defence units are themselves major contributors to violence.

n. Another urgent matter is the question of how many incidents of violence can be ascribed to ANC members masquerading as members of the Security Forces. Taking the two recent incidents in this regard into account, the question also arises whether actions such as these are official ANC policy or reflect a lack of control over ANC members.

12. The ANC owes the people of South Africa an explanation for the extreme forms of violence perpetrated against its own dissenting members in detention camps. Since South Africans were involved and since Codesa (Working Group 1) has interested itself in this issue, all investigations and findings, notably the ANC's own commission's report, should be tabled - preferably at Codesa.

13. The ANC's history of violence, and its murder of innocent civilian men, women and children, its barbaric extra-judicial 'necklace' executions, the torture and murder in its detention camps and its total disregard for the consequences of mass action, remove whatever moral base it may have had to point fingers at others concerning the violence. Most of the perpetrators of the atrocities mentioned are still at large and the dossiers are still open.

14. It is clear, in order to escape their own involvement in violence, that the ANC blames other political parties, the Government and the Security Forces for the violence. What is particularly reprehensible is to blame the State President - the very man who started the negotiation and National Peace Accord processes.

15. There is a clear strategy of discrediting the Security Forces. This statement is made due to the following supporting facts:

Ø     Complainants in criminal cases are often influenced by the ANC not to co-operate with the SAP.

Ø     Unfounded allegations are presented as facts to create the perception that the SAP, in particular, is biased and takes part in violent action.

16. In conclusion, the ANC has to account for its direct and indirect involvement in the more than 30 000 incidents of violence since February 1990, and the murder of over 6 000 persons during the same period. Likewise the ANC must also answer the question as to what extent its calls for attacks on Security Force members in the 1980's, and which have never been withdrawn, contributed to the deaths of over 90 members of the SAP in acts of violence since January 1992 alone.

17. When is the ANC going to transform itself from a liberation movement to a conventional political party, and thereby shed its image as a violent organisation?

Annexure E

THE DEMANDS OF THE ANC

1. How the interruption of the negotiation process can be brought to an end, how the demands of the ANC can be dealt with to achieve this end, and how the negotiation process can be structured so as to ensure progress and avoid similar interruptions in future, are matters that should be discussed and deliberated upon at the proposed meeting between the ANC and the Government. What follows are observations about certain aspects of the statement of the ANC on 23 June 1992, and of the Memorandum of 26 June 1992 from Mr Mandela to Mr F Wde Klerk.

2. All the information at our disposal points inevitably to the conclusion that factions within the SACP and the ANC were not happy with what was being negotiated at Codesa and that they initiated, before Codesa 2, a strategy to abort the negotiation process by deliberately creating a deadlock and by reverting to the pursuance of their own goals by way of what is euphemistically called mass action, but what is in reality physical confrontational action. This is our perception of what has happened and this is the only interpretation that can be placed on 'demands' backed up by threats to completely destabilise South Africa if these demands are not met. In our view, mass mobilisation and activation with the war-talk presently being built into these can only be described as reckless given the existing climate of violence.

3. A second leg of this strategy is that at the same time the ANC has also been using mass action and confrontational politics to mobilise support when they registered that their support base was dwindling. This has been happening in spite of the ANC's undemocratic and violent isolation of areas they have taken control of, against all other political parties or viewpoints. They simply do not seem able to adjust to a democratic political process where the people are allowed to listen to the points of view of all the other parties and then to make up their own minds whom they would like to support. We have experienced the violent excluding actions of the ANC and have been informed that these were not isolated incidents but firm policy. Many examples of such 'no go' areas for other political parties can be cited. 4. Observations on Aspects of the Memorandum:

4.1 Par 1.2 to 1.5 (The Government is blamed for the crisis in the negotiation process and accused of minimising the crisis):

The Government is not trying to minimise the seriousness of the situation. We are convinced that the ANC/SACP tried to engineer a crisis. What other interpretation can be placed on the withdrawal of the ANC from Codesa and from bilateral negotiations? That is how a crisis is created, not how it is solved.

4.2 Par 2 (The Government is accused of ignoring democratic principles and of trying to build a white minority veto into the political process and constitutional structures):

The constitutional negotiation process leading up to the ANC-created deadlock is dealt with in another annexure. What follows are examples of inconsistencies in the Memorandum:

2.5 According to figures of the Development Bank of South Africa approximately 23 million people will be able to vote in 1993 in an election for a constituent assembly/transitional government. Of those only 4 million (17%) will be white voters who will probably be voting for different parties. How can a 70 or 75% majority requirement possibly amount to a white veto?

2.6 Here the deadlock is attributed to the Government's supposed insistence on a minority veto (whatever that may mean); but the ANC itself is proposing a sixty-six per cent majority. There is therefore agreement on the principle that a constitution should not be created by a mere majority but should rather have 'overwhelming' support.

2.10 to 2.13 Here the ANC aligns itself behind the principle that constitution making should be a unifying and legitimising process which should enjoy overwhelming support. This is the guiding principle underlying the Government's approach to the process. This is why the Government wants as many parties and interests as possible to be part of the constitution-making process. The product of the process, the new constitution, must be accepted and supported by all; it should not be a constitution enacted by a majority in a constituent assembly elected on party political issues.

4.3 Par 3 (The Government is blamed for all violence and [read with the NEC statement] accused of pursuing a strategy embracing negotiations together with systematic covert action, including murder, involving security forces and surrogates):

Nothing in this whole paragraph even attempts to support the bizarre and completely unfounded opening sentence of the ANC Statement. The whole paragraph is blatant propaganda rhetoric containing factual inaccuracies and distortions. Thus it is not true that the majority of deaths have been caused by 'cultural weapons'. There is also a distorted description of police investigations, while the ANC itself has been intimidating Boipatong residents from talking to the police. The ANC has also not once fulfilled its obligation under the Peace Accord to assist the police in their investigations when ANC members have been involved in atrocities. Compare this with the numerous instances when the criminal acts by security force members were investigated, prosecuted and punished. Apartheid is blamed for the current violence, while the ANC's history of political intolerance and violence and atrocities against mainly black political opponents over more than a decade is ignored. The difference is that the Government has rid itself and the country of apartheid but the ANC has not been able to adjust to democratic political competition.

4.4 Par 3.3 (The Government is blamed for legalising the carrying of dangerous weapons)

In terms of the National Peace accord the parties agreed that no weapons or firearms may be possessed, carried or displayed by members of the general public attending any political gathering, procession or meeting. The Government has subsequently honoured its obligation in terms of the National Peace Accord by issuing the relevant proclamations after consultation with political parties, i.e. the ANC and IFF. On 28 February 1992 a prohibition was issued in terms of Section 2(2) of the Dangerous Weapons Act, 1968, prohibiting any persons attending or participating in a political gathering at any public place to be in possession of any dangerous weapon which dearly includes traditional weapons. Other steps taken by the Government are as follows:

Ø     On 19 March 1992 a further prohibition was issued in terms of the Dangerous Weapons Act, 1968, prohibiting a person from being in possession of any dangerous weapon at any property of the South African Rail Commuter Corporation Limited. Objects, including so-called traditional weapons, which are to be regarded as dangerous weapons, are explicitly listed.

Ø     Various prohibitions concerning dangerous weapons were issued under the Unrest Regulations in terms of the Public Safety Act, 1953. Provision was also made for an additional substantial prohibition with regard to spears.

Ø     The Government is presently preparing draft regulations in terms of which the possession and carrying of all dangerous weapons at any public place may be absolutely banned. As the need may arise these regulations will be implemented in areas declared to be unrest areas. 5. The demands

In preparation for the discussion of the demands, the following observations are made and need to be dealt with in such discussions:

Ø     The Government will do whatever it can, without departing from its principles and ideals, to get negotiations, both bilateral and in Codesa, on track again.

Ø     Fourteen issues have been identified: Re the issues of a constituent assembly and an interim government of national unity. In Codesa complete agreement was reached on the broad structure of transitional arrangements, including a transitional executive council, an independent electoral commission and a constitution-making body within the framework of an elected transitional government. The Government has therefore already agreed in Codesa together with the other parties, to that which is now demanded. What the Government was not prepared to agree to was an appointed, as opposed to an elected, interim government. If there are any misunderstandings on these issues, the Government would like to discuss these when we meet.

Re the issues of covert operations, special forces, prosecution of Security Force personnel and repression in Self-governing States. These demands are introduced with a general demand that the 'regime must immediately end its campaign of terror against the people and the democratic movement'. This is a demand that cannot be met simply because there is no such campaign of terror: and the ANC knows this. The Government is however agreeable to discussing once again the specific issues mentioned, but will also want to discuss the ANC's own contribution to political and other violence and to explore ways and means of bringing that to an end.

Re the issues concerning hosteb. The Government is concerned about the hostel situation and has therefore approved a comprehensive hostel strategy. The aim of this strategy is to create humane living conditions for the hostel dwellers by means of upgrading the hostels or converting them into family units. The upgrading/conversion will however be based on consensus reached after negotiation between the hostel dwellers, surrounding town residents, the owners and all other concerned parties such as political groupings, civic organisations, trade unions, employers etc. A peaceful resolution of the issue is therefore not possible without consensus amongst the parties directly involved at local level. In its memorandum to the Government, the ANC attached a document dealing with the problem of the KwaMadala hostel and in which many allegations were made against a number of individuals and organisations. It is clear that factual disputes will arise. As the Goldstone Commission is currently investigating the Boipatong incident, it is suggested that any findings concerning these allegations be left to the Commission.

Re the issue of dangerous weapons. The carrying of dangerous weapons has already been dealt with but can be further discussed. The Government would also want to discuss the application of measures to counter the illegal possession of all dangerous weapons, including firearms and explosives, and ways and means of stopping the introduction of such weapons into South Africa and of ensuring that such weapons are not used in the perpetration of political and criminal violence. Contrary to the ANC's allegations, these are mainly the weapons used to kill political opponents and to perpetrate criminal violence.

Re the issues of international involvement, 'political prisoners' and 'repressive' legislation. Although grouped together by the ANC, these demands concern three separate issues, two of which, namely 'political prisoners' and 'repressive' legislation, have already been the subject of extensive agreements. These two can nevertheless be further discussed and so can the third issue, namely ways and means of arriving at the truth about the Boipatong massacre and other acts of violence: and ways and means of preventing such occurrences in future together with the role the international community can play in this regard. With regard to these issues the Government would like to elaborate as follows:

International involvement

The Goldstone commission charged with investigating the Boipatong case involved international assistance to assess and evaluate. The Government wishes to reiterate its abhorrence of all the events surrounding the Boipatong incident and trusts that justice will prevail in the shortest possible time. At the same time the Government wishes to express its grave concern over newspaper reports to the effect that witnesses were instructed not to co-operate with the SAP in its investigation.

Political prisoners

The Government has fulfilled its obligations under the various agreements resulting in the release of a very large number of prisoners. What is now disputed is the release of a number of prisoners who have committed common law crimes such as murder and whom the Government maintains fall outside the ambit of the agreed definition on guidelines for identification of political prisoners. Yet the Government (and the ANC) have agreed at Codesa working Group 1 that a task group consider the identification of such prisoners, and the definition of 'political prisoners'.

Apart from the above, the Government and the ANC have been involved over a long period in bilateral talks on a number of issues identified as far back as the Pretoria Minute, which should and could be finalised in one single agreement with a multilateral effect, including the disputed prisoners; the lack of indemnity for MK. and senior officials of the ANC; the future of MK; and the arms caches. Ancillary issues such as the question of treatment of former detainees in ANC camps abroad and whether such camps still exist will possibly have to be addressed.

'Repressive legislation'

Working Group 1 has made extensive unanimous recommendations in regard to security and emergency affairs at Codesa 2. The ANC's inexplicable delaying tactics are keeping these issues alive. The Government can not possibly abrogate its duty to govern and to take steps to reduce the level of violence, intimidation and crime. In this regard reference is made to legislation passed recently in Parliament, pertaining inter alia to illicit trafficking in arms and ammunition, usurping police and military powers, violence and intimidation, drugs and drug related crimes.

6. In conclusion, withdrawing from negotiations, especially from Codesa, cannot contribute to the resolution of any of these issues. The Government is only one of nineteen parties in Codesa. How can the ANC justify the deliberate wrecking of Codesa by putting demands to the Government? What better forum is there for putting its demands, if this is what it really wants to do, than Codesa itself.

Annexure F

Government proposals regarding a transitional constitution for South Africa

PRINCIPLES GOVERNING A TRANSITIONAL DISPENSATION

Ø     The Transitional Constitution must be a complete constitution.

Ø     The Transitional Constitution must effect the fundamental replacement of the principles of the current Westminster system with those of a Constitutional State.

Ø     The diversity of interests existing in the South African community must be accommodated in the Transitional Constitution.

Ø     The further restructuring of the second and third tiers of government must be facilitated by the Transitional Constitution.

Ø     The Transitional Constitution must satisfactorily underpin the maintenance of order and stability.

MAIN FEATURES OF A TRANSITIONAL CONSTITUTION

The following are the main elements of the Transitional Constitution proposed by the government:

Ø     A parliament consisting of a National Assembly and a Senate o An executive Council directly elected by all the voters o A Cabinet appointed by the Executive Council o An independent judiciary, with judges being appointed by a non-political body o A justiciable Charter of Fundamental Rights o Autonomous regional government o Autonomous local government o Special provisions regarding the following functionaries and institutions in order to safeguard them against political manipulation:

Ø     The South African Defence Force o The South African Police o An independent Auditor General o An independent Ombudsman o An independent Commission for Administration o The entrenchment of constitution-related legislation (such as electoral laws, laws concerning the courts and laws applicable to the Public Service) and of other laws such as those relating to existing pension rights and laws regulating standards for public offices and professions.

REPLACEMENT OF THE TRANSITIONAL CONSTITUTION

Ø     For the amendment or substitution of the Transitional Constitution a majority of 70% will be required and 75% for the Charter of Fundamental Rights.

Ø     If the Transitional Constitution has not been replaced within three years, a general election will be held in terms of the Transitional Constitution.

Ø     The Transitional Constitution will be amended or replaced only within the framework of general constitutional principles as agreed upon at CODESA, and the Constitutional Chamber of the Appellate Division must certify this to be the case.

The following must, inter alia, be enshrined as general constitutional principles:

Ø     The autonomy of civil society, i.e. the exclusion or interference by the state in the affairs of civil society, such as sport, culture, professional life, religion, trade unionism and traditions.

Ø     Democratic standards to which political parties must conform.

The Transitional Constitution must itself also be drafted within the framework of the agreed general constitutional principles, including the above.

PARLIAMENT

The National Assembly o The Transitional Constitution will provide for a National Assembly vested, together with a Senate, with legislative powers as well as the power to amend and replace the Transitional Constitution by special majorities.

Ø     The National Assembly shall be elected proportionally by universal adult suffrage according to the party list system.

Senate o The Transitional Constitution will provide for a Senate. An equal number of members will be elected from each of the electoral regions that will be delimited for this purpose, using the development regions as the point of departure. Seats are allocated to a region in proportion to the party support in that region.

Ø     Legislation may be initiated in the Senate and all laws must be approved by both Houses. The Transitional Constitution will provide for mechanisms for the resolution of differences between the Houses as well as for exceptions in regard to specific subjects in respect of which the powers of the Senate may be upgraded or downgraded (e.g. financial laws, laws relating to education or specific regional matters).

Ø     When the Transitional Constitution is amended or replaced, the boundaries of each region and its functions, powers and form of government will also have to be approved by a majority of the representatives from each electoral region that will be affected in each case.

REGIONAL GOVERNMENT

Ø     There will be regional governments in the transitional dispensation. Agreement must be reached regarding the powers, functions and boundaries of regions and regional governments prior to the coming into operation of the Transitional Constitution. Should the process of the full establishment of the regional dispensation delay the implementation of the Transitional Constitution, the finalisation of the boundaries and the implementation of aspects of the system of regional government may be left to the Transitional Parliament.

Ø     If some of the present regional authorities still exist when the Transitional Constitution comes into effect, they will continue to exist for the time being; provided that a TBVC state may participate in the transitional dispensation by undergoing a transformation of status beforehand from independent state to self-governing territory.

Ø     The autonomy of regions will consist in their powers, functions and boundaries being derived originally from the Transitional Constitution and will not be subject to amendment without the concurrence of the authorities of the regions concerned.

Response by Nelson Mandela to De Klerk's 2 July 1992

memorandum

4 July 1992

r. I have received the response of Mr F. W de Klerk to a memorandum which I addressed to him on the 26th June 1992.1 enclosed the statement of the Emergency meeting of the National Executive Committee of the ANC adopted on the 23rd June, 1992.

2. In my Memorandum and the statement of the ANC we pointed out that South Africa is on the brink of disaster for which we hold the NP government entirely responsible. Specific and concrete demands were made to Mr F. W. de Klerk as a means of finding a way out of the impasse.

3. These demands related to two crucial aspects:

3.1 Firstly, the deadlock in the negotiating process because of the refusal by the NP government to move together with all of us in the process of truly democratising South Africa. Our fundamental position in this regard is that we cannot accept an undemocratic constitution aimed at addressing the fears of a minority party about its own future at the cost of democracy. This is at the root of the negotiations deadlock. It is for this reason that we focused attention on the Constituent Assembly. We are clear in our demands that the NP government abandon positions directed at subverting the sovereignty of the Constituent Assembly, which include subjecting it to a veto by a second house and ensuring that a minority in the Constituent Assembly shall be able to frustrate an overwhelming majority.

3.2 Secondly, with regards to the violence in our country our demands centred on three aspects:

3.2.1 Ensuring that the direct and indirect involvement of the NP government, its surrogates, the security forces and police are brought to an end forthwith.

3.2.2 Ensuring that the De Klerk government immediately implement agreements reached with the ANC more than a year ago on curbing violence.

3.2.3 The establishment of an international commission of inquiry into the Boipatong massacre and all acts of violence as well as the international monitoring of violence.

4. In communicating with Mr F. W. de Klerk we made it crystal clear that '(his) response and practical steps... to these demands will play a crucial role in determining the direction and speed with which bona fide negotiations can take place'.

5. He has chosen to ignore the gravity of these demands. He seeks to channel them into endless negotiations and discussions. In particular, the content of his reply seeks to elevate government to a legitimate and credible force standing above the crisis. This is part of the deliberate attempts to perpetuate the notion of'black on black' violence rather than draw attention to the central role of the de Klerk government and its security forces.

He tries to enhance this position by calling for a meeting between Dr. Buthelezi and myself at which Mr F. W. de Klerk and his government will participate 'in view of its (i.e. the de Klerk government's) responsibility for the maintenance of law and order'. He persists in shielding his regime behind the back of the government-supported IFP. Government covert and open support for the IFP has been confirmed in numerous instances. These include the Second Interim Report of the Goldstone Commission, the International Commission of Jurists fact finding mission and the Amnesty International report.

6. De Klerk's memorandum, and his state of the nation address on 2 July 1992 are characterised by a threatening mode and a propensity towards repression. He assumes the legitimacy of the existing order and his government. He appears also to believe that the military power that his government commands can be a means of resolving the conflict. This was demonstrated when Mr de Klerk attempted to visit Boipatong, where the people in the township demonstrated their anger and revulsion. Shaken by this overwhelming rejection at a press conference held immediately thereafter, he threatened to return the country to the old style repression of the P. W. Botha regime by raising the possibility of the re-imposition of the state of emergency. 7- We have sought to ensure that the de Klerk regime responds to our demands positively and undertakes practical steps. We have done so with the clear knowledge that the longer it takes to find a way out of the current impasse the more difficult it will be to reach agreement and the more difficult it will be to ensure peace and stability in the future. If he shared this commitment, there is nothing in our demands that he could not have addressed practically and immediately. His response has failed to address the crucial issues. It is riddled with factual inaccuracies, distortions and blatant party political propaganda. It confirms the fundamental feature of our society that he and his government want to be both player and referee. By responding in the manner he has done, Mr F. W. de Klerk has chosen to drive South Africa into a collision course.

8. I accordingly see no reason to mislead the public and the international community about the gravity of the crisis facing our country. No good purpose will be served in my meeting him at this stage.

9. The National Executive Committee will look into the question of providing a detailed reply to the memorandum I have received from Mr F. W de Klerk.

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.