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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

Sweep out the crooks and assassins!

The ANC's historic national policy conference has just ended. The conference has endorsed and elaborated the ANC/SACP/COSATU programme of action. We are giving the De Klerk regime until the end of June to

     release all political prisoners;

     agree to an elected and sovereign constitution making body;

     establish an interim government; and

     create the conditions for a free and fair election.

Unless these basic demands are met, the tripartite alliance, and the widest range of democratic forces will be unleashing a rolling wave of unprecedented mass action.

These decisions must be seen against our deep frustration with the way in which the regime has been conducting itself at CODESA. The deadlock at CODESA 2 was deliberately engineered by the regime.

FW wanted deadlock

CODESA 2 happened to deadlock around the crucial issue of decision making in an elected constitution making body. But if there had not been deadlock on this issue, the regime would have found another issue over which to deadlock. Going into CODESA 2 the evidence was mounting that De Klerk wanted a deadlock at all costs:

     In the course of April the regime's allies in CODESA Working Group 3 were caucused. The message to them was that things were moving too fast, and the regime needed a 6 months breathing space.

     Not surprisingly, in the same month, in a much publicised event, De Klerk held his first summit with Buthelezi since Inkathagate. Ciskei's Gqozo, and Qwa Qwa's chief minister were also present. In a well-orchestrated move the three homeland leaders "told" De Klerk that CODESA was moving too fast. Of course, this is exactly the message De Klerk had asked them to convey!

     In the week before CODESA 2, the Human Sciences Research Council, ever willing to produce statistics at Pretoria's bidding, came up with the astounding claim that "the majority of South Africans, black and white", preferred the present regime to remain in power, rather than see an Interim Government installed!

     According to well-informed journalists senior regime sources admitted that after their top negotiator Gerrit Viljoen's withdrawal from CODESA he was deliberately not replaced by a senior person in the key Working Group 2. The regime preferred to rely on the relatively junior Tertius Delport. This meant that he had little authority in the crucial weeks before CODESA 2. His constant referral of matters hack to De Klerk helped to slow everything down.

In the run-up to CODESA 2, then, there was plenty of evidence that the regime was looking for a deadlock.

The next question is why?

Why FW wanted to delay

There are at least three immediate reasons why the regime wanted to delay the process of settlement.

     The first of these reasons is neatly summed up in the sub-headline and opening paragraph of a Rapport centre page article, dated 29 March 1991, which, translated from the Afrikaans reads:

The NP is calculating that there will be some 15 million voters of whom only 3 million will be white in the first non-racial elections. If they succeed in getting most of the 3 million whites and some 4 million blacks they reckon they will have close to half the votes.

But, as the Rapport article concedes, they will have to battle bitterly to make any significant impact among blacks. The work has only just begun. De Klerk is certainly in no hurry to see a more level political playing field, as envisaged in the CODESA agreements. He needs, for instance, his present monopoly over the SABC to assist him in his electoral probe into black areas.

     A second factor behind the delay is the Angolan election scheduled for September 29-30. This is a connection to the regime's CODESA strategy that has passed unnoticed in the local media. But Pretoria's strategists, not least those in its Department of Military Intelligence, have never viewed the transition process in South Africa in isolation from the wider sub-regional situation. The dissident military intelligence major Nico Basson revealed last year that the elections in Namibia and Angola were being seen as dress-rehearsals for the "real thing" here in South Africa.

A top secret military intelligence document leaked to The Weekly Mail (15 May 1992) expresses concern that the peace negotiations in Angola could go badly for South Africa, impacting on local negotiations. "The process of negotiations in Mozambique and Angola...will determine the nature and extent of the deployment of defensive conventional forces in the neighbouring states."

According a Le Monde report (see Guardian Weekly May 15, 1992) the South African airline SAFAIR is presently providing Savimbi with a C-130 Hercules aircraft to help him move about Angola for his election campaign.

And the same SAFAIR is also providing an old Dakota for journalists covering his campaign. Although SAFAIR is a privately owned company it has plenty of SADF connections. It is unclear who is paying for this electoral boost to Savimbi. We can be sure that the planes are just the tip of a large Comops-style operation of the kind mounted in Namibia during the election there.

Clearly, De Kierk is in no hurry to agree to any multi-party control, or even monitoring over security force operations, until at least after the Angolan September elections.

     The third immediate reason for delay has been the regime's relative failure at CODESA itself.

When the PAC and ether critics of CODESA argue that 16 out of 19 delegations at CODESA are either tricameral or bantustan entities they are perfectly right. Yet, despite this fact, the ANC-led alliance at CODESA has generally outmanoeuvred the regime and its allies.

It is the ANC-led alliance scenario (based on the Harare Declaration) that has emerged as the dominant position. It is within the framework of this scenario that all the negotiations are now taking place. By contrast the elaborate proposals put forward by Inkatha, the position originally set out by the Democratic Party, and the countless proposals mooted by the regime have all been swept from the table.

The regime has basically been forced back into the position of seeking to undermine and spoil the ANC scenario from within. Without for a moment underrating the regime's cunning, its present defensive position within the negotiations compels it to reveal its hand more obviously as the spoiler.

From all of this we need to understand that the deadlock at CODESA 2 is not a defeat for us. It is a sign of De Klerk's relative insecurity and relative vulnerability.

FW fears democracy above all

An election campaign into black areas, the Angolan election, the moral high ground at CODESA itself, these are all factors behind the present deadlock in negotiations. But at the end of the day the main reason for the deadlock is that the regime has still not given up its hope of postponing, forever if possible, democratic majority rule in our country. And, at the end of the day, this is why they must now be taught a lesson.

The deliberate deadlock at CODESA is all the more unacceptable because every week brings fresh confirmation of the sinister and decadent character of De Klerk's regime.

Sweep the crooks and assassins out of office!

It is clear that De Klerk's regime is not fit to rule. Every week there is more evidence of far-reaching corruption, of mismanagement and the squandering of tax-payers' money. Every week there is more evidence of a massive security force network, of hit squads and continuing special operations.

De Klerk, your mask is off! You can no longer hide behind the past, you can no longer claim that apartheid is dead, or that it ,was all your predecessor, PW Botha's fault.

In the time of PW Botha, YOU, De Klerk, were a loyal servant of the total strategy war on our people.

When Goniwe was assassinated, YOU, De Klerk, were a senior member of the national security council.

It is under YOUR presidency today that general CP van der Westhuizen, not only continues to walk free, but serves as head of Military Intelligence.

It is under YOUR presidency, at this very moment, that an extensive hit squad net-work, operated by the Security Branch you claim to have dissolved, is functioning on the East Rand. This is one network that has been exposed, how many more are in existence?

It is during YOUR presidency that the level of violence has surged to record levels.

In April this year, while township dwellers were being killed in their scores in taxis, on trains, in their beds, it was YOU, De Klerk, who reassured whites during thewhites-only referendum that the "nature of the violence has changed since February 1990, soft targets are no longer being hit."

It is under YOUR presidency that more than 400 political prisoners continue to be held hostage.

It is under YOUR presidency that men like Gerrit Viljoen, totally discredited by the corruption in departments they headed, continue to serve as senior cabinet ministers.

It is YOUR department of so-called correctional services that released the murderer Shange.

The list goes on and on and on.

You tell us, De Klerk, that our threats of mass action are undermining "the spirit of negotiations". If you are so concerned about the spirit of negotiations, perhaps you can then also tell us who it was that was bugging the SACP and ANC phones at CODESA?

We are serious about negotiations. We want negotiations to work. But negotiations are not just about talking, the negotiations must ensure that our country moves very rapidly FROM CORRUPTION, FROM MURDER AND MISMANAGEMENT TO DEMOCRACY, TO JUSTICE AND TO GOOD GOVERNMENT!

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.