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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

Report Number Five of the Technical Committee on Violence 26 July 1993

EMBARGOED UNTIL TABLED IN THE NEGOTIATING COUNCIL

1. RESPONSE TO ISSUES RAISED AT THE PREVIOUS MEETING WITH THE NEGOTIATING COUNCIL

1.1. The minutes of the Negotiating Council meeting of 22 June reflect various issues which were raised by members of the Negotiating Council and which required the attention of the Technical Committee on Violence. The following are the responses of the Committee:

1.1.1 The Technical Committee was requested to give serious consideration to multi-party control over private armies and security forces. This is covered by chapter five of Report Four of the Committee which set out the Committee's proposals on armed formations. The proposals resulted in point seven of the Resolution adopted by the Negotiating Council meeting on 22 June 1993.

1.1.2 The Technical Committee was requested to review paragraph 6.2 of the Fourth Report on the requirements which should be met when any party to the MPNP holds a demonstration, protest or any other form of mass action. The Committee recommends that the following paragraph replace paragraph 6.2 in the Fourth Report:

"6.2 The Committee recommends to the Negotiating Council that if and when any party to the MPNP holds a demonstration, protest or any other form of mass action, it should ensure that in addition to complying with existing laws:

6.2.1 It has given priority to the need to promote peace;

6.2.2 In making its decision as to whether the demonstration or any other mass action should be embarked upon, it should give due cognisance to the political climate prevailing at the time and the appropriateness of the size, venue, route and nature of the proposed action;

6.2.3 The action will avoid deliberate provocation of opponents, injury to persons and damage to property;

6.2.4 The structures of the Peace Accord are kept fully and timeously informed by the convenor(s) of the action and are utilized to maximum effect in assisting with planning arrangements, monitoring of the action and mediating any disputes that may arise;

6.2.5 Good faith negotiations occur with all relevant parties and the security forces regarding the proposed action;

6.2.6 All agreements reached regarding the proposed action will be binding and that it will comply with them and ensure that all participants are aware of such agreements;

6.2.7 Sufficient trained and identifiable marshalls will be provided to ensure that the action is peaceful and disciplined. As a guideline there should be at least one, but preferably more, marshall for every SO demonstrators. Marshalls should be deployed throughout the action undertaken and should maintain discipline within the group of demonstrators;

6.2.8 All reasonable steps should be taken by the convenors and marshalls to make sure that no participants in the action are in the possession of incendiaries or any other unlawful weapons and no weapons are carried with unlawful intent displayed in a provocative manner or used to inflict injury to persons or damage to property.

6.2.9 The route of any demonstration is planned so as to best implement the provisions of this paragraph. It must provide for a specific place where it is to start, the route which is to be followed and a place where the march should end and where and how marchers should disperse. This planning should include consultation with Peace Committee structures and local authority representatives.

6.2.10 Provision should be made for adequate means of communication between the convenor(s) of the action, marshalls, Peace Committee members and the police during the action."

1.1.3 The Technical Committee was requested to look at the probability of a contradiction in terms of the paragraph referring to the carrying of weapons (paragraph 6.2.8 above) and the wording of the Goldstone Bill. The Committee is in contact with the drafters of the Goldstone Bill on this issue, and will report back to the Negotiating Council in due course.

1.1.4 The Committee was instructed to consider a moratorium on mass action prior to the election. Views on mass action were expressed in the Report. However any moratorium on mass action relating to the election in the period immediately before the election should be addressed by the Technical Committee on the Independent Electoral Commission.

1.1.5 The Committee was requested to define mass action. The Committee believes that mass action should most appropriately be defined in legislation and the Goldstone Bill is the best vehicle to do this. As mentioned above the Committee is in contact with the drafters of the Bill. It will report to the Negotiating Council in due course.

1.1.6 The Goldstone Commission has investigated the whole issue of firearms and automatic weapons, and its proposals are being awaited by the Committee. This matter is still being addressed by the Committee.

1.1.7 The Technical Committee has re-examined point 11.13 of its Fourth Report, and has decided to retain the proposal as set out in that report.

1.1.8 The Committee was requested to look into women being victims of political violence and to make recommendations to the Negotiating Council. The Committee has investigated the issue but has not been able to located it appropriately within the transitional process. Furthermore, the Committee has not received submissions from any of the parties at the MPNP to guide it in this issue.

1.1.9 Other outstanding issues will be addressed in the Sixth Report.

2. Peacekeeping Force

2.1 The Committee has met with the Technical Committee on the TEC and another meeting will take place shortly. A report will be presented in due course.

3. Peace Corps/Youth Services Corps

3.1 Point 11.1 of the Resolution of the Negotiating Council of 22 June 1993 requested the Technical Committee to prepare detailed proposals on the desirability, financing, establishment and composition of a Peace/Youth Services Corps.

3.2 The Committee has received submissions from a number of parties to the MPNP on this point. It is also requesting submissions from youth organisations which have not yet presented proposals on the issue. The Committee is liaising closely with the National Youth Development Coordinating Committee in the preparation of detailed proposals, and will present a report to the Negotiating Council.

4. Free Flow of Information from MPNP (Mark to find out)

4.1 The Technical Committee is concerned about the prevailing ignorance in rural and urban areas among people of all ranks and status about the process and decisions taken at the MPNP. It is clear that the flow of information about the negotiation process has not so far led to an adequate and constructive public comprehension. The ordinary people know more about violence and structures that are perceived to perpetrate this violence than those that are intended to counter violence. For example very little is known about this Technical Committee which is designed to address violence related issues and the decisions that are taken by the MPNP in order to stem the tide of violence. In the rural areas very little, if anything, is known about the National Peace Accord and its structures.

4.2 The fact that information that flows from MPNP is by the courtesy of the media, sometimes does not reflect the true situation and content of the decisions taken. Another obstacle is the fact that the majority of the people in our country do not have access to TV and radio. The majority of them are illiterate or semi-literate and cannot read and do not understand English.

4.3 Recommendations

4.3.1 In order to address the situation the Committee recommends the following:

4.3.1.1 Establishment of a Publicity Desk at the MPNP

4.3.1.2 A Publicity Officer be appointed to personally appear on TV to convey important decisions reached by MPNP on a regular basis.

4.3.1.3 Translate decisions/ resolutions into various African languages and have these broadcasted on SABC radio stations

4.3.1.4 Furnish copies of the translated version to newspapers that use African languages.

4.3.1.5 Send these articles to all tribal authority structures and hostels throughout the country to ensure that rural communities are aware of what is going on at the MPNP.

4.3.1.6 Some vigorous attempts to popularise MPNP should be made, to correct the negative impression created by those opposed to the process.

4.3.2 The Committee believes that such information could go a long way towards changing peoples attitudes and misgivings. It could restore hopes and confidence and could therefore contribute in creating conditions that reduce the level of violence. Such information will enable the members of the public to predict the future and reduce uncertainty.

4.3.3 The Committee has noted with great concern the negative reporting of news by SABC TV. Almost everyday the headlines are on violence. Sometimes statements are made which suggest that a particular political party is either responsible or likely to be responsible for particular acts of violence. The right of the public to know through the media is accepted , but the media needs to be more wary about giving judgments without facts and thereby pre-empting investigations or creating potential conflict situations. This is a matter the MPNP should handle with the authorities of the SABC.

4.3.4 This matter should be drawn to the attention of the Technical Committee on the Independent Media Commission.

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.