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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

TEC Report 1 on Bop Violence 1994

OFFICE OF THE JOINT ADMINISTRATORS
(BOPHUTHATSWANA)
WFST WING 2ND FLOOR, NEW PARLIAMENT BUILDING
PRIVATE BAG X2018, MMABATHO

Dr Theuns Eloff

TEC

Attached hereto please find the progress report by the Joint Administrators of Bophuthatswana, to be discussed at the meeting of the Management Committee today.

Should you have any further enquiries please phone me at 0140- 899334.

Regards

MARIUS LUND

PA TO DR v/d Walt

JOINT ADMINISTRATORS OF BOPHUTHATSWANA

PROGRESS REPORT TO THE TRANSITIONAL EXECUTIVE COUNCIL MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE

1. PURPOSE OF SUBMISSION

To inform the TEC Management Committee regarding the present situation in Bophuthatswana, to highlight problems being experienced, to obtain guidance on the way forward and to obtain approval for the recommendations, as listed below.

2. RECOMMENDATIONS

That the TEC Management Committee;

3. INTRODUCTION

The first two weeks of joint administration have been characterized to a large extent by pressure and crisis management. Indications are, however, that the tide is turning, and, provided that expert assistance as urgently requested previously is obtained, the prospect of stabilisation and normalisng the situation, becomes a reality.

In general, law and order has been restored, community life/society and business are returning to normal. The critical area, however, is the civil service and related matters which are absorbing the most time and energy. The Joint Administrators have already requested the assistance of the TEC's Task Force on the Civil Service, led by Mr Philip Dexter and Sam de Beer.

An office of the Joint Administrators has been established in the South Wing of the New Parliament Building. Due to the urgent nature under which these arrangements had to be made, the organization and staffing of the office is still far from adequate.

This situation reflects negatively on the competence of the Joint Administrators to perform their responsibilities effectively and efficiently.

The following measures are being considered to rectify the situation;

Appointment of a scribe to record all decisions made by the Joint Administrators and to channel the decisions taken to relevant accountable Persons.

To date, no indication has been given regarding the financial resources at the disposal of the Joint Administrators, it would be appreciated if this issue could be addressed at an appropriate time.

4. INTERPRETATION OF MANDATE

The Joint Administrators interpret their mandate as expressed in the joint South African Government (SAG) and TEC statement of 14 March 1994 and later confirmed and elaborated on by Decree No I of 1994, promulgated by the Joint Administrators of Bophuthatswana on 16 March 1994. The essence of this is contained in the following paragraphs:

"To enhance good governance, protection of life and property and, in particular, the creation of a climate for free political activity in order to promote the election process.."

"..it is essential that law and order and good government be restored and maintained in Bophuthatswana in order, inter alia, to promote free political activity and to ensure the holding of free and fair elections.."

In the Administration of Bophuthatswana Decree 1994, it is explicitly stated that the Joint Administrators are "acting in consultation with the State President of the Republic of South Africa and the Management Committee of the TEC. Seen in this context, it would be appreciated if persons, with the necessary authority to act on behalf of the State President and the Management Committee, could be posted to the office of the Joint Administrators to assist in the handling of non-contentious issues and to consult with their principals on behalf of the Joint Administrators.

5. RESTORATION OF GOOD GOVERNMENT

5.1 THE PUBLIC SERVICE

Presently approximately 65 000 persons are employed in the public service of Bophuthatswana with an estimated top echelon of 180.

There are 26 departments and 42 parastatel, in addition to what appears to be an extraordinary number of consultants and/or agents. It is evident that these departments can, and should be rationalised. A strategy in this regard has already been proposed and should be seriously considered by the appropriate authorities when the present Bophuthatswana Public Service is absorbed in the new central and regional government structures, It is the explicit objective of this and subsequent to negotiations between the Joint Administrators and the Secretaries, it was agreed on 22 March 1994 that the Secretaries wilt take special leave on instruction of the Joint Administrators, providing that their accountability are properly transferred. It was further more agreed that the parities will enter into negotiations regarding severance/early retirement packages subject to the legal and financial implications thereof. it has since been brought to the attention of the Joint Administrators that such packages will have severe financial implications on the present administration. It is therefore envisaged that this may not be financially feasible. The Joint Administrators therefore urgently request the guidance from the TEC in this regard. A copy of the proposed agreement to be entered into between the parties is attached hereto as annexure A for your information and consideration, it should be emphasized that the said agreement is still under scrutiny by the Law Advisors to the Administrators.

5.1.3 POSITION OF THE GOVERNORS

The joint statement by the SAG/TEC on 14 March 1994 has no specific reference to the position of the Governors. Although perceived to be political appointments, the Governors played a crucial role in as far as they coordinated government functions and activities on a regional level, thereby bringing government closer to the people. It should also be noted that they arc governed by a specific statute, viz. the Governors Act. However, the Governors had the san~ status as that of cabinet ministers and therefore is appreciated that their position needs to be reviewed.

Two meeting~ have already been held with the Governors, in a memorandum to the Joint Administrators, the Governors proposed to go on early retirement in terms of the Governors Act. In a press release on 25 March 1994, it was stated that the status quo regarding their position will remain until an instruction to the contrary is issued. Negotiations in this regular are continuing, although it should be noted that the issuing of a decree 'thereby the Governors Act and therefore the whole structure of Governors are abolished is under preparation.

5.1.4 THE FORCES

The generals in command of the Bophuthatswana Defence Force and the Police, as well as the Prison Service are on voluntary leave with the intention to negotiate about retirement.

In the case of the Police, the Joint Administrators deemed it necessary to appoint an outsider (though a previous member of the Force), Brigadier Sekami, as Action Commissioner of Police. b~ the case of the Defence Force and Prison Sentance, the former Second Commanding Officers are acting.

The situation in the Defence Force ~s discussed intensively at a meeting of the TEC Subcouncil on Defence. The Joint Administrators recommended that preparations for the incorporation of the SADF in the new Defence Force be resumed as a matter of urgency. The instruction of the previous regime to cooperate with the Afrikaner Volks Front and the invasion of the AWB into Bophuthatswana has had an extremely negative effect on the morale in the Defence Force. In view of the above the Joint Administrator~ decided, in principle that an urgent investigation be launched into the events, by the Goldstone Commission.

The almost total collapse of the Bophuthatswana Police Force made it imperative for the SAP and SADF to step in.

On request of the Joint Administrators, the SA Correctional Services dispatched two generals to visit the four main prisons in l3ophuthatswana. The report received was very positive. Nevertheless, it would be appreciated if the Bophuthatswana Services could be incorporated in their South African Counterparts as soon as possible.

5.2 PROPOSED INTERIM STRUCTURES

The proposed interim structure is depicted in figure 1.

5.2,1 TEC/SOUTH AFRICAN GOVERNMENT

The TEC and the South African Government have overseeing authority over Bophuthatswana.

5.2.1 JOINT ADMINISTRATORS

The Joint Administrators have been appointed by, and arc accountable to the TEC/SAG, and are mandated to perform the functions as set out in 4 above.

5.2.3 COUNCIL FOR ADMINISTRATION

The function of the Administrative Council would be to advise the Joint Administrators on the administration and coordination of the functions of all state departments, parastatel bodies and other functions of state. The Joint

Administrators will appoint the Council for Administration and the latter will consist of 9 members. Their functions and duties will be outlined in order to ensure that effective control can still be exercised over their actions.

5.2.4 REGIONAL ADMINISTRATORS

Twelve regional administrators (one for each region) will be appointed with the same status as the members of the Council for Administration. This needs to be done as a matter of urgency. There are reports of continuing stay away in various districts notably amongst civil servants, Health workers and Teachers. With the police command now restored by the appointment of the Acting commissioner of police, the prospect in consultation with the local authorities would be in a position to address communities at grassroots level to restore the smooth functioning of services referred to above. The Joint Administrators have in the meantime visited three flash points in an effort to allay fears on the issue of pensions arid salary matters. The issue of restoration of services was also focused upon.

5.2.5 COORDINATING SECRETARIAT

The coordinating secretariat would consist of 6 persons and would be headed by a coordinating secretary.

The functions of the secretariat will be as follows:

5.2.8 DISPUTE RESOLUTION FORUM

The forum would be constituted by the Joint Administrators consisting of persons who have fact finding, mediation, facilitation and arbitration skills to resolve issues and disputes that may arise at various~ levels e.g. National, Regional, organisational and individual grievances.

6. GRIEVANCES

The Joint Administrators have been inundated with grievances' and demands. At present no adequate structures are in place to deal with this effectively and efficiently. Until such time as the above structures are in place, the help of IMSSA and the local branch of the JEC Mediation Services have been called in to assist in processing and resolving the grievances received to date.

Two Task Groups have been appointed to investigate the issues of pensions and salary pant respectively. Pressures for are mounting for the finalisations of the issues on pens ions and salaries. A number of demands have put ultimatums which could once more plunge the country into turmoil if not satisfactorily resolved. It is therefore imperative that these issues be resolved as a matter of urgency.

7. LAW/ORDER AND SECURITY

The occurrence of incidents has declined since the period 9/10 March from hard violence to criminal forms of violence of which intimidation, robbery, and murder arc the main elements. The number of incidents per day have drastically declined and is presently stabilized on a low level.

Incidents of violence are typified by armed conflict between different parties but has stabilized to such art extent that weapons are now only used to intimidate; "remind" and influence the population, persons in key posts and officials. It is anticipated that some elements within the political spectrum could and do make use of intimidation to broaden their political power base.

There arc, however, still various military- and police weapons unaccounted for, this has the potential to be used in politically inspired- and/or criminal acts. The situation at schools is not yet totally normalized. This can be potentially dangerous, as youths in these school could initiate an escalation in violence.

8. PREPARATIONS FOR FREE AND FAIR ELECTIONS.

The Independent Electoral Commission established an office in Mniabatho soon after the change in government. The office of the Joint Administrators is in regular contact with the IEC the latter is represented at daily security briefings of the combined military forces.

Several voter education programmes were already launched in the territory and it is envisaged that a similar programme will be launched in schools within the territory on Monday 28 March 1994.

The Office of the Joint Administrators already received visits from several Observer Groups, e.g. the European Community Observer Group, the OAU and various church groups.

The visit by the President of the African National Congress, Dr Nelson Mandela took place without any incidents and Dr Mandela's call upon the people to support and cooperate with the Joint Administrators are appreciated.

High level political actors are increasingly using the opportunity to obtain public support by visits and mass infecting, few or no incidents have been reported during these meetings visits.

Preparations are presently underway to assist the South African Department of Internal Affairs in issuing temporary voter cards.

The process of releasing political prisoners will contribute much to enhancing free political activity

The Joint Administrators are determined to be seen as adhering to the principle of strict neutrality towards all political parties.

9. LEGAL ISSUES

9.1 ISSUING OF DECREE NCYS 2 AND 3 OF 1994

After discussion with the TEC Law Advisor, Mv. A Meyer, decree no. 2 of 1994 was issued whereby certain additional sections of the Bophuthatswana Constitution were put into operation, and certain technical improvements were effected to Decree No. I of 1994.

Decree No. 3 of 1994 was issued in order to provide for the putting into service of the SADF in Bophuthatswana, under section 93(3) of the Bophuthatswana Defence Act.

9.2 MORATORIUM ON CERTAIN LEGISLATION

A moratorium was placed on the application of certain Acts in Bophuthatswana, the existence of which were in conflict with the aims of the Administration as set out in Decree no. I of 1994. Some of the legislation put on hold are Chapters 1 and 5 of the Internal Security Act1 the Industrial Relations Act and the Mass Action Act.

9.3 CIVIL CASE MANAGEMENT STRUCTURE OF THE BNDC vs. THE JOINT ADMINSTRATORS

Following the decision by the Joint Administrators (after considerable pressure from the BNDC crisis management), to instruct the Senior General Management of the BNDC to go on leave; the Senior General Management applied, in the General Division of the Supreme Court of Bophuthatswana for reinstatement on the basis in1~li~ that the correct legal procedures were not followed to effect their suspension. After careful consideration, Counsel for the Administrators recommended, and the Administrators approved that the matter be settled out of court and the Senior General Managers be reinstated.

A formal commission of enquiry is now to be lodged into the financial affairs of the BNL)C, thereafter, if it is justified, the responsible officers of the BNDC, against whom evidence of maladministration appears to be available, be suspended and/or dismissed.

9.4 RESTRUCTURING OF PARASTATEL BODIES

It appears as if the various Boards of Directors/Council Members of the majority of Bophuthatswana Parastatel bodies are faced with the situation that there ate board members who were previously ministers in the Mangope-Cabinet and /of persons who for a wide variety of reasons are unacceptable. Due to the legal implications and complexities involved in the receiving of such directors/council members of their posts, coupled with the dangers of the striking workers striking if these members remain in power for too long. it was decided in principle to draft a decree whereby the various boards are dissolved and their powers and duties placed with the Administrators, until such time as the Administrators appoint new boards.

9.5 URGENT Application: L M MANGOPE vs. JOINT ADMINISTRATORS OF BOPHUTHATSWANA

An application will be made on behalf of L Mangope against the Administrators of L3ophuthatswana for an order in the following terms:

The said application is to be heard on 31 March 1994.

On behalf of the Joint Administrators. They are at persist ascertaining certain information and/or the consultation of certain functionaries with a view to the preparation of apposing the application.

10. CONCLUSION

It is obvious and to be expected that the situation in Bophuthatswana is not normal used fully. However, it is envisaged that this would in fact be possible as soon as the proposed interim structures are implemented and fully functional.

Dr T v/ti Walt

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.