Item 1094 - Interview by President Nelson Mandela to the Financial Times : Interview to Financial Times

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ZA COM MR-S-1094


Interview by President Nelson Mandela to the Financial Times : Interview to Financial Times


  • 1992-02-07 (Creation)

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Transcription of speech made by Mr Mandela

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(18 July 1918-5 December 2013)

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Migrated from the Nelson Mandela Speeches Database (Sep-2018).

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Financial Times interview

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  • English

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Present: FT: Richard Lambert (editor)
Andrew Gowers (foreign editor)
Caroline Southey (foreign news editor)
Michael Holman (FT SA, expert)
ANC: Saki Macozoma(NEC, DIP)
Nad Pillay (ANC UK information officer)

NM: Since we left SA we have been reading your paper a little more closely than when we are in SA. We notice that almost every issue has had an article on SA. The latest being on foreign loans. We thought it would be proper for us to put our position on this question because it is of some importance. Then of course you would free to ask questions on other issues.

I have prepared a statement which will not preclude you from putting questions….

That is the statement I thought I should issue. I don't know if you have a copy but you will have recorded it an full here.

FT: We'll make sure we record it in the paper.

NM: No, no, I meant, if it is recorded in full here, it may not be necessary for me to give you a copy..

FT: Well, that's extremely helpful. Can I ask two questions? One, the… our report, you say was based on a statement from the press department of the ANC?

NM: From the Department of Information and Publicity, yes.

FT: Did that give a different message from that or are you..

NM: No, that is a statement which we endorse, but it was not made by the Secretary-General, Cyril Ramaphosa, as there is that implication in the article.

FT: It might be helpful, Mr Mandela, if I read the paragraph that excited the comment. The statement that came from the ANC offices in Johannesburg was 'a future democratic government will be compelled to .. With great care its obligations to service and take responsibility for debts contacted by the present illegitimate regime and its agencies' . That was the ..

NM: No, understand that, you see, but it must be understood in the light of the comment on the bond issue raised by the Development Bank of Southern Africa. It must not be taken as a general statement. In any case, if there has been some confusion, then the matter has now been put straight. What we are concerened with is the busting of the sanctions, not really debts, you know, which were normally incurred by the regime in the normal course of adminstration. We have made it clear- and nobody has really challenged that- that such debts would be honoured by a democratic government. You can appreciate that there are few individuals-- hardly any individual who will have sufficient merit to serve on the National Executive Committee of an organisation like the ANC, can have a say as a general principle that we will not honour debts lawfully taken by a previous government. That will be a disaster.

FT: What is puzzling to outsiders, at least, is that debts incurred by a government when apartheid was in full force and conceivably spent to reinforce the apartheid mechanism will be honoured, and debts incurred in the process of the reform period, which may well contribute to the constructive development of South Africa may not be honoured. That's one puzzling point, if it goes to the outside.

NM: We are the people who determines when certain strategies have to be ended. We conducting the struggle in the country. Sanctions .. Our attitude is that sanctions must be maintained. Nobody who violates sanctions must be allowed to do so because sanctions were introduced for a particular purpose, Until that purpose has been achieved, sanctions must stand. We are taking a pro-active role in numerous respects. We are the people who introduced .. Who started the initiative that is going on now, the peace process, against the Government. We actually dragged them, to get involved in this process. We have gone further, we have taken steps to create a climate for negotiations, because we suspended armed action. In addition to the initiative that we have taken, we have gone further to look around at ways and
means of normalising the political situation in the country and creating the right climate. We have now gone out to normalise sports and to get our young people to go back to international sport.We have normalised.. Rugby.. What-you-call, cricket and our young people, they are taking part in cricket, are playing cricket. And we have unified rugby, we have recommended that they should be re-admitted to international sport. Our young people today are going to Barcelona to the Olympic committee. All that initiative is taken by the ANC and we therefore would like you to accept our bona fides, not to be puzzled by things which we do in order to ensure that the peace process rolls on. And we are the people who should say that the atmosphere now is ideal for financial institutions foreign financial institutions now to give loans to South Africa. And by doing so, you are removing the pressure which has forced the regime to sit down and talk peace to us. That is the position.

FT: And the .. Foreign financial institutions that have threatened to break sanctions in the way that you describe, I'm not quite clear what.. In what areas, what sorts of loans we're talking about. What are these institutions attempting to do in your judgement?

NM: Well, there are banks which have given a loan to South Africa. That is what we are talking about. We are talking about the institutions which have been reported to have given a loan to the Development Bank of South Africa, which is a parastatal institution and that is what disturbs us because now that is breaking sanctions because the sanctions which have hit South Africa the most are the financial sanctions. Because they can't get loans from the International Monetary Fund, from the World Bank and these German banks which have now given a loan to South Africa are breaking those very sanctions and these statements must be understood to be confined solely to that aspect.

FT: But the sanctions that you refer to are the sanctions which the ANC would like to see replaced .. I'm not aware of an official sanction as has been broached by the bond issue? The access to the International Monetary Fund facilities, yes that is a continuing sanction, as it is with the World Bank, but there's not a de jure sanction.. It is not an international recognised sanction that the banks are breaking or South Africa's breaking?

NM: Now, we have called for sanctions by the international community as a whole. The international community will involve .. Will include the IMF, the World Bank, governments, banks, private and public, and those sanctions have been obeyed by all financial institutions, including private banks. And what we are concerned is not the question whether particular decisions of issue, we have recommended to the international community that sanctions must be applied against South Africa by everybody and anybody therefore who violates those sanctions, is not acting in the interests of the people of South Africa, as interpreted by us.

FT: I appreciate the point of view, but isn't it the fact that sanctions have been steadily dismantled? You've just been in Denmark where they've finally. Come on board, and the European Community sanctions are now formally dropped …?

NM: That's not correct. That's not what the Prime Minister of Denmark told me. You are making an assumption which is not made by the Prime Minister of Denmark. They have not repealed sanctions and .. On the contrary, they have listened to my appeal and assured me that they will follow my appeal. I say to them that the priority demand in South Africa today is the installation of an interim government of national unity. To supervise the transition from an apartheid state to a non-racial democracy. This particular regime cannot supervise that transition because they are the government that has introduced this brutal .. This most brutal system of racial oppression our country has ever seen. They are a product of apartheid and therefore they cannot supervise the transition from en apartheid state to a non-racial democracy. And therefore we want an interim government which will be seen to represent the entire population of South Africa. It will have black and white, it will have all political parties, which we have brought into this Convention for a Democratic South Africa. Now the purpose of that .government is to supervise elections, free and fair elections to a Constituent Assembly, which is going to draw up a democratic constitution for the country. That is its purpose. Now we say that interim government can be introduced within the next six months because what is happening now is that there were 19 political parties that met in this Convention. 17 of them decided to sign the Declaration of Intent which contains principles upon which a democratic constitution will be based. Now that was a breakthrough, because for the first time, the black people in the country have now the opportunity to sit down with the regime, to plan a future South Africa. Now we are saying that these 17 political parties which have signed the Declaration, must now come together with the regime and ruling National Party to form this Interim Government. The advantage of that is that once that government is formed - and we think that it can be formed: immediately- all sanctions will be removed except the oil sanctions and the arms embargo. What is more, South Africa will able to end its status as a polecat of the world. They can now return to the United Nations and we are saying therefore, De Klerk can, after the installation of an Interim Government, go to the whites to say now, look at the results of peaceful negotiations, I have ended sanctions, I have ended the isolation of South Africa. There is no reason whatsoever why we cannot a- introduce the Interim Government immediately and why sanctions cannot be lifted immediately that government is installed. Now this is an appeal, a position which is supported by all the governments I think I have been to. The Prime Minister of Denmark has said specifically, expressly, I support this demand,: In Britain here, a third of Members of Parliament, of all political parties, are supporting this demand. And we think that this is the way forward. And all people who are genuinely committed to this peace process will accept the immediate installation of an Interim Government because this is going to resolve most of our urgent problems in the country.

FT: We certainly want to go further into the interim proposals that you are making, but [You're welcome] if I could stay a little white, if you'll allow me, on the issue of sanctions and also if we could talk about nationalisation, if you can bear with me.. If I could put aside the specific position then of Denmark, perhaps I misread the account of the .. Visit to Denmark .. It does seem to me that the general point is valid, that although you make a very strong case for sanctions, the fact is that most countries around the world have effectively dropped sanctions and in that sense, the horse has bolted and you're still close the stable door?

NM: Except to say, no country.. No businessmen are going to invest in South Africa today:. No businessman is going to invest in a country where there is no stability, where there is violence and where their investments are not safe. So whatever has been said by any particular country, merely academic, and especially in view of the competition that is going to arise between South Africa and the Eastern Bloc countries. There you don't have this type of turbulence and turmoil that you're having in South Africa. So people who are making an issue about sanctions are not going to invest in South Africa in any case.

FT: What sense did you get from the business community in Davos? Were they.. How did you come away from that?

NM: Well, that's a very interesting situation. I address a number of groups.. Of discussion groups. Lunch .. I would go to three different tables, and at the end of the discussion in each table, they will clap! [CLAPS] Because they put all these questions, you know nationalisation and so on. Violence. And we dealt with them. They would clap. Go to the second, another clapping, third, another clapping. Then the following day, I continue, you know. The same people raise the same. Questions. You see. There is concern about nationalisation. There is concern about violence and although we had discussed the question and you thought you were carrying them, the following day they put the same question. So although they made very complimentary statements.. But it is quite clear that the international community is worried about the question of sanctions. They are worried about nationalisation. But I am prepared to discuss that with you, the question of nationalisation.

FT: I mean, perhaps you could .. You made your position crystal clear on loans .. Perhaps you could make a statement about nationalisation? Tell us what you told them about where you stand on that issue?

NM: Now nationalisation is our policy and this policy was determined in 1955. And nationalisation however was confined to three areas. That is the mines, the financial institutions and monopoly industry. The rest of the economy is subject to free enterprise. Now our motivation for this was that all countries which have gone through a traumatic experience, like a war, have not been able to avoid some measures of nationalisation. Britain's an example. France, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea and other countries. We say South Africa is going through a traumatic experience because apartheid is that experience. Now one of the problems that we have in our country, is the concentration of resources in white hands, who constitute only fifteen percent of the population. Now I want to give you just a few, examples, which may bore my colleague because I've been mentioning them in .. Everywhere I speak. 87% of the land is owned by the 15% and the 85% owns only 15%. More than 75% of the shares quoted on the Johannesburg stock exchange are owned .. Is owned by only four corporations, all owned and controlled by whites. More than 90% of the industrial property of the country is owned by whites. You can go on indefinitely. The central, the striking, the most characteristic feature about our economy, is the fact that the resources of the country are owned by the 15%. Now this is a situation which cannot just be addressed through stimulating the growth of the economy. That is what we want. We want to stimulate the growth of the economy, but this is a situation which cannot just be resolved by getting our economy to grow. Because between 1960 and 1976, our economy boomed. There was a growth rate of 6% and yet the gap between white and blacks expanded, widened. Between the rich and the poor. The rich became richer, the poor became poorer. In spite of the boom in the economy and the growth rate of 6%. What was the reason for that? It is because the growth of the economy was not tied to the redistribution of the resources. And we are saying these two must be tied. Without a state intervention, it is absolutely impossible to achieve it. We have discussed. This matter with business and we have drawn their attention to this and it is quite clear that business in South Africa and outside, have not begun to think about this matter properly. Nevertheless, in spite of our argument, businessmen are fearful of nationalisation. And if there is anything that has illustrated that it is what has happened at Davos. Because in spite of my explanation and in spite of their ovations at the end of the discussions, the next day I had to start again. Now nationalisation is a very unpopular concept - its quite clear - and the argument of the people who have been criticising us for adopting nationalisation has now been strengthened by what has happened in the Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc countries because central planning there has collapsed. And what is more, is that the discussions that we have had with people like Li Peng, the Prime Minister of the People's Republic of China, the Vice¬President of the Ministers Council in Vietnam and also I had a discussion with President Mitterand last month, now they have given us a different scenario, because Lee Peng - you must remember now that is a head of a Marxist state- Lee Peng has said, the difficulties which they faced with their economy, has induced them to reduce the area of state participation, the public sector, with 30% and they are corisidering other measures to reduce the involvement of the state in the econamy. Now that was a bit shocking, you see. Then the Vice-President of the Ministers' Council in Vietnam was even more disillusioning to us because there we had also an example of central planning and he says that they are a backward country, agrarian economy, no real industries in the country. And he says that they have been getting one billion dollars, US dollars every year from the Soviet Union, which more or less helped in their economy and he says, but with the collapse of the Soviet Union, even before the actual collapse, that one billion had been cut off. And he says what they did then, you see, was to give more scope to private enterprise and to reduce state participation and he says that brought about a dramatic change in their economy. He says, they are now producing food enough to feed their people and to export and they have gained from export, a year - two billion US dollars. And he says, their economy has an upswing because of this. And very cautiously, you know very diplomatically, because they are very .. They are born diplomats, he did suggest to us that, well, you have to examine the question the nationalisation. And then I had a discussion with Mitterand on some other issue, but I then raised this question now, what is your experience.You people embarked on nationalisation here and he explained to me, what their difficulties were with nationalisation. And that they have now decided .. They decided to abandon nationalisation in favour of partnerships with the private sector. Sometimes 50¬50%, sometimes 51% and so on. But nationalisation.. They told a story ofhow an old lady went to a bank and said, look I want to pull..withdraw all my money. Why? Well, because Mitterand
has nationalised the banks. Madam, but this bank has been nationalised for years! But at the very mention of the term 'nationalisation' arouses, you know, the feelings, you see, that people are going to lose their property. So that is the scenario that we are bringing back to South Africa. Some of the things which we were not aware are taking place in the rest of the world. And now, the important thing is that we want to attract investment, investors. We can't have investors investing in our country unless there is a climate created for investment. And nationalism is like a sword of Damocles dangling above the heads of people wanting to invest. And yet the situation we want to create is that where there is a proper climate for investment, where investors do not fear that they will lose their properties, where they can be able to get their.. A fair return on their investments, to have their profits and dividends repatriated to any country they desire. That is the ideal situation.

FT: But you still need to achieve the redistribution?

NM: That's right, I understand, but I was talking now from the point of view of nationalisation. That as long as nationalisation is our policy, it is clear to me that we are not going to attract investors. So we have to do something and the experience of countries which have actually tried nationalisation and who are now either abandoning or have abandoned it, like France, is something we have to consider. We are therefore having a policy conference in February, where we are going of the issues that we are going to address, is this one of nationalisation.We are not saying that.. I'm not saying that my colleagues will be convinced that the time has come to abolish nationalisation, but we must put these experiences to them
to consider- whether we want investments. If we do, as I have met the major industrial leaders of the world, it seems that.. To me, that is not going to be so easy for us to attract investment if we maintain nationalisation. And we will be giving the Eastern Bloc countries an advantage in competing, you see, for capital for investment.

FT: Should Mr Ramaphosa [CANNOT HEAR] during these interesting exchanges?

NM :No, Ramaphosa spoke to me this morning, he phoned me this morning, to explain to me what happened, that he made no statement whatsoever. Yes. And Ramaphosa is a young man of important position in our political life. And he is very cautious. And his statement was not written by him in the press and unfortunately he has not been accurately quoted. And he accepted the fact that it would be a disaster if we would make a bold statement, to say that we will not pay the debts entered into by the regime because we would never get any loans anywhere. Any investments. That is so obvious, even to the leader of a local branch of the ANC and much more to the leader, the Secretary-General is the second important person in the organisation, in the ANC.

FT: Sir, have you ther ideas of how you could achieve the redistribution you're going to need? It might be perhaps through . The tax structure? Or partnership arrangements or sort of social charters that would ensure that people got fair treatment and so on, fair wages?

NM : Well, you see, if we handle this matter correctly, we should be able to do so without nationalisation. You know, when the National. Party, the ruling National Party was faced with the problem of poor whites in our country, who are Afrikaners, what they did was to create a bank, a land bank to assist. Afrikaner
farmers and to lend the money on very easy terms. They also created and insurance company which lent money to Afrikaner entrepreneurs, capital for them to be able to compete with the English and they were able therefore to get, to empower the Afrikaners economically and financially. Now that is one of the strategies that we have to use. You know De Klerk is praised because he abolished the Land Act and Group Areas Act, that's very good. We welcome that and we praise him, you know commend him for having taken those steps but what the people do not know is that the repeal of those laws have left the status quo exactly as it is and there is no chance that blacks will ever be able, as a group, to take advantage of the repeal of those laws because if De Klerk was serious, he would not only repeal these laws, he would ensure that the capital is available for blacks to take advantage of that repeal and without money, you can't take advantage. You can't buy property in town because there the properties are very expensive and what is more.. But I want to be careful about this because I have not checked it, I must check it myself and find that it is true but what I hear from somebody who deals with properties is that the whites who now own 87% of the land are beginning to buy from the 13% which was reserved for blacks. So that that 13% might disappear. Because if a person comes to me and I have got a property worth 1,000 and he says now look this property's worth 1,000 and I would like to give you 2,000 .. When I hesitate, he says all right, I'll make it 3,000 - I'm a poor, man, I have never seen so much money! I will fall for that and lose a piece of land and have just cash. And that is what I believe is beginning to happen now, but I don't want to vouchsafe for that because I have not checked it.

FT: But what if the World Bank, who's President visits South Africa next week. Were to propose, for example, funding a land distribution programme which would assist black South Africans to make land purchases and redress the balance - they may also put forward programmes for education and health - is this the time for the World Bank to become involved? What would be your response?

NM: No, I met Mr President when I was in America recently, during December and he discussed coming to South Africa, which I welcomed. I will be having dinner with him on the 13th. He has, by the way, a very good approach, even more progressive than that of China and Japan because he says, there's nothing wrong in state participation, linking state participation with the private sector. That's his approach. Any anyway he is coming to do a .. To inspect the position in South Africa and to talk, you know, to the leaders ands to see what role they should play. I have, however, appealed to him not to do anything except to come and inspect what could be dpne by the World Bank and he has accepted this position and by the way, when I visited America - I went there of course to address the United Nations - but I also took advantage of going around the United States, New York, Washington, Pittsburgh and Huston, I had discussions with President Bush and later with Mr James Baker, the Secretary of State, and with businessmen in all these areas, including, the [CANNOT HEAR] leading foundations in the United States of America and the message that I was putting to them is that 'come to South Africa to inspect investment opportunities' because I sincerely hope that within a period of about six months, we will be able to achieve a breakthrough in our discussions to normalise the political situation. I hope that an Interim Government will be introduced. In which case, business wiII be entitled to invest. But you must come now to study because investment is not something that can be done with the stroke of a pen overnight. It’s a process. Come and do feasibility studies. And they welcomed that. And the letters that I'm receiving from them are absolutely tremendous. And you'll be surprised at the financial support we are getting from business. We have targeted the mines in South Africa for nationalisation, although of course they now know my views. Because when last year, in October last year, I addressed a meeting somewhere in Cape Town, and I said to them nationalisation is our policy but we are discussing the matter with business because no liberation movement or democratic government can succeed in straightening out the economy if it does not get the support of business. That is why therefore, we are very cautious and discdssing the matter on an ongoing basis with business. But the press - well you know better - they just took out what suited them. That nationalisation is our policy, says Mandela, and nobody's going to do anything about it. So I became concerned and I phoned Ogilvy Thompson, who is the Managing Director of Anglo-American, I phoned him and explained to him that this is not true. I did say this but I went further to say what we are discussing this matter with business and I even said, without the support of business, we can never succeed in solving. Our economic problems. And that is why we are having these ongoing discussions. Then I phoned Donald Gordon, who is the Chairperson of one of the leading insurance companies in the country, Liberty Life, I found that he was in London. I phoned London and explained to him. Now I'm.. Is there something wrong?

FT: [TALK ABOUT CHANGING TAPES) Can I take the opportunity to pass on the good wishes [TALK CONTINUES ABOUT A PERSONAL FRIEND]

NM: Oh, I see. How is he?

FT: He's very well, he's our political columnist. He appears.. Is it three times a week.. Twice a week and..

NM: Well, please send him my felicitations and tell him that I haven't forgotten him.

FT: [HANDING NM A PHOTO] Its from this morning, Sir.

NM: Oh, thank you. Good God, so fast. This technology! You see one of the things we regret very much, is the flight of technology from our country. We, have lost tremendously. This is beautiful. We have lost tremendously. Because with the capital and skills and expertise, have gone away technology. Our country has become even more poor and that is why I'm so impatient about the installation of an Interim Government. Its because it is going to solve a lot of things. Now but, I must develop the point here. Just to show you how the mines are taking a realistic view, you know. And how we have established firm friendships. So I phoned them, both Ogilvy Thompson as well as Donald Gordon and we get on ve ry well them. But one day I was invited by a very leading mining magnate and I then said to him, look we want some money. I want 100-million rand, because we have got our exiles who are coming back to the country. Many of them are old, they can't be employed. Those that can be employed are without skills and they rely on us and their children, we must send their children to school. We must give them shelter. He said, well you must assure me that if I give you this money, it will be useful. I said that’s why I'm asking you. He says, bring my cheque and he sigrned 500,000 rand on the spot. Now Donald Gordon .. Now that is a mining magnate, who's business, who's industry we have targeted for nationalisation. Then we have said financial institutions. I go to Donald Gordon and I say, look I've got a problem, I would like you to settle this. He does so on the spot. And not small money. And then we arrested, we detained about 32 people in our prisons [CANNOT HEAR].. We released them, they came back, they were very disgruntled and amongst the things they said.. That they raised, was look, we are wearing the clothes we wearing in prison. What do we do? Well, we considered it our responsibility to give them clothing and then I phoned a friend of mine, a stockbroker, only for advice. Look we want to get some clothing for these
chaps. Can you recommend to me a wholesaler where I can get these things cheap? He says, very well I'll come back to you tomorrow. The next thing I hear is somebody from Donald Gordon's insurance company, sent all those chaps to this particular shop, and they outfitted.. They fitted them out, suits, underwear, shoes, ties, belts, a complete fitting. Now, you see now the approach of people who's industries we have targeted for nationalisation. And they are doing this because they can see what we are doing. They see us taking initiatives on all .. In all spheres and being pro-active. They know that we are having discussions with them- who do we address this problem? Because the first meeting that we had, was 400 top businessmen in South Africa and that meeting was addressed by Gavin Relly, who was at that time still the Chairman of Anglo-American. Donald Gordon himself, Thabo Mbeki and myself and we had a workshop for the whole day and at the end, a press conference. Now these people know that we are not mischievous. We are not agitators. We are looking for genuine solutions and we have realised that we can't makes these.. We can't solve our economic problems without involving business. They are confident of that.

FT: Are you making the same progress in your relations with Mr De Klerk? You spoke of the prospect of a breakthrough- I think was the word you used- as it seems to me despite a difference between what Mr De Klerk [CANNOT HEAR].. Interim period of perhaps several years and your concept of a much shorter period, would you define.. Highlight the differences between and the constitutional issues? [LAUGHTER ABOUT TIME].. Like we did last year, Mr Mandela, you continued on the business theme, but I thouht I would take a hint.

NM: No, that's all right. Well, this is the boss, of course, you see I must obey. …Now we have always started from different positions with De Klerk. We have nevertheless what I consider to be very good progress, in all these issues. Our greatest vicotry was ideological. To force De Klerk to abandon apartheid and to embrace the principle of one-person-one-vote, for which they persecuted us for four and a half years in a prison trial, from 1956 to 1961. Simply because we demanded one-person-one-vote in a common voters' roll. We have now convinced them that apartheid is a disaster and that they must accept one-person-one-vote. Whatever difficulties they have, they have abandoned apartheid and said so openly. And embraced one-person-one-vote. We have had numerous other differences and one difference, for example, which you must have known, was the fact that when we discussed this Convention, the possibility of holding this Convention, they say only three parties must take part. The National Party, the ruling National Party, Inkatha and the ANC. We rejected that. We said we can never have that. All the political parties in the country must be involved because what you are now encouraging, provoking, is the same situation in Angola and in Mozambique where you leave out political parties because they are small. In the world today, a small party which opposes an established government will get support and it will grow because once it has weapons, once it has funds, its likely to grow. We rejected that. We now have 19 political parties talking together. And on the question of an Interim Government, De Klerk first said over his dead body. An Interim Government will enver been introduced in this country. We have forced him to retreat. He now says he wants an Interim Government except that he wants it elected, he wants it to last for ten years. Now that is ridiculous. Nobody can support that except the National Party and Buthelezi who works with him. And we are convinced, you see, that we've got a very powerful case.

FT: But can you envisage a lengthy period, whether its termed an interim period, or whether its on a constitutional basis, in which whites have a substantial presence in government and that the de facto or de jure coalition, but the whtie presence is there for the foreseeable future?

NM: Well, we are a non-racial organisation. We practice that. In the summit, first summit that we had with the government in May last year, May 1990, that was striking difference because the government brought eleven white males, all Afrikaners. All Afrikaners, not a single Englishman. We brought eleven, a non-racial delegation. It had whites, it had coloureds, it had Indians, it had Africans. There was even an Afrikaner amongst the white and another one of Jewish origin. We had two women. The women were not satisfied, they wanted more. But at least a compromise on two. So in the Interim Government that we are calling for, it will have all population groups in. It will have all political parties that are involved in negotiations. So the whites will have a presence. What is more is that in the very first memorandum I've sent to P W Botha, then State President, I raised the question of the minorities. That the test for the ANC and the regime is going to be the manner in which we allay the fears of the whites in particular, because they fear that the acceptance of the principle one-man-one-vote, will lead to the domination of the whites by the blacks. And I said we have to address this. And you will have seen recently the controversy because I said in one interview, I'm against block votes for whites, such as happened in Zimbabwe. But to allay their fears, I am prepared that we should give them block votes. I was criticised by them. I was criticised by the whites themselves, they rejected it. We don't want a block vote. And because they still hope that they will have veto on any new dispensation in the country. But we are concerned to evolve some ways of allaying the fears of the whites.

FT: Now, in our last minute, and then we'll leave it, could you give us a vision, as it were, of beyond the interim stage. I mean, take us ten years forward and give us…?

NM: Well, that's a simple thing because we have got a policy already, the Freedom Charter. Now the Freedom Charter declares South Africa to belong to all its people, black and white. We declare for the equality of all population groups before the law. We declare for a Bill of Rights in which the rights of every individual will be fully set out, black and white. We call for the establishment of an independent non-racial court which will entrench the Bill of Rights. We call for a multi-party system where each political party will be able to canvass his political views. We call for regular elections. We call for an economic system which will ensure growth and redistribution of wealth. So that is the future South Africa that we have and of course we say that once we believe in a non-racial society, nevertheless any population groups which want to retain its own schools, its own language, its own culture, its own reliigion, will be free to do so. So that is the future South Africa that we have in mind.

FT: Would you envisage that for the decade of the nineties, the government of South Africa will, accepting the principles you make, nonetheless be a de facto coalition, involving the -- led by the ANC and the National Party?

NM: Look the.. What happens in Western democracies is that the party that polls the most votes is called upon to run the Government. We don't see why there should be any change in our country at this critical moment. The proposals which are being made by De Klerk are calculated to make the operation of a majority rule impossible. And the situation today in terms of his proposals, is that there will be a First House which is very democratic in its constitutional powers, but the Second House, the ANC can have 90% of the votes and the National Party 10%. If that 10%, if the National Party is against a particular measure, that can be vetoed. You don't have that anywhere in the world. Nevertheless, even assuming the ANC is returned with an overwhelming majority, I personally would suggest that we should think in terms of some coalition because we are going to have a lot of problems in our country. And it is proper to have a government of national unity which will ensure that all parties are represented, apart from the fact that we stand for proportional representation, I would nevertheless urge that let every political organisation be represented, even those who have not actually been returned.

FT: Do you still get on with President De Klerk, has your relationship changed for the worse, or do you just… ?

NM: Oh, no we have differences, but we get on very well. We are together in what-you-call.. We were together in Davos, and we were speaking together, we were..

FT: Do you speak Afrikaans or English?

NM: Well, my Afrikaans leaves very much to be desired. More or less I can understand. And then we have this joint prize in Paris and so we get on very well.

FT: Yes, it was a peace prize?

NM: It was a peace prize, yes.

FT: Do you like him?

NM: [PAUSE AND LAUGHTER] No, the question is not whether I like him or not, the question.. The point is that we can make progress without him and he had made a very good contribution and he is a pleasant chap, you know. I think you have seen De Klerk, he is a very pleasant, smart chap, you know, very intelligent and very easy to get along with.

FT: He says the same about you, Mr Mandela. [INTRODUCING ANOTHER PERSON] Carolyn's from South Africa.

NM: You're from South Africa?

FT: Middleburg, Cape, the Karoo.

NM: We must go out there together.

FT: Oh, I'd love to. Is it a disappointment to you, two years almost to the anniversary of your release, that the ANC isi not in power…?

NM: No, really, one could never have expected the ANC to be in power within two years and the point that is encouraging is that we have a lot, immense support in the country. There is no organisation that draws as many supporters as we do. However, we are not blinded by that into false illusions because our support is not identical with our membership. Our support is wider than the actual membership and we have to try and reconcile the two. Make our support identical with our membership. That is our problem now. That we are dealing with. But there is no doubt that we have a chance to be called upon to run the government, if we take advantage of the potentialities that we have at the present moment.

FT: Thank you very much indeed. Thank you for making your position so clear on these important matters.

NM: No, thank you very much.

FT: If you'd spare just two seconds for a group photograph, I'd like one for my scrapbook?

NM: Oh, well if you are prepared, you know, to apepar with [CANNOT HEAR] [MUCH LAUGHTER] [PROCEEDS WITH PHOTOS]

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Acquisition method: Hardcopy ; Source: ANC Archives, Office of the ANC President, Nelson Mandela Papers, University of Fort Hare. Accessioned on 12/01/2010 by Zintle Bambata




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