Item 208 - President Mandela's speech to the PWV 5th Provincial ANC Conference

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President Mandela's speech to the PWV 5th Provincial ANC Conference


  • 1994-11-05 (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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ANC Website

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5th PWV Provincial ANC Conference

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  • English

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The responsibility of the ANC is enormous in Africa but also the Middle East. The way the ANC is respected made it very difficult for me to enjoy the quiet rest I went to the Middle East for. Once people knew I was there they wanted to engage me in discussions.

Western countries constantly talk of human rights but the countries are full of poverty and unemployment. However in Saudi Arabia they for example offer free education right up to university level and other educational institutions such as technikons and teachers training colleges. Not only is such education free but at tertiary institutions students get paid a monthly allowance.

Although I did not meet the King this time nevertheless he knew I was there and of the needs in our country.

The world in general and the Middle East in particular is immediately informed of what we are doing here in South Africa and follows our actions closely.

The ANC values self-criticism. Those who come out against us cannot come out with credibility. That is why we are so powerful. The ANC's decisions are only taken after broad consultation not only within our own structures but beyond that to other organisations and groups.

It is important to have powerful and mature advisors. In conferences of this nature we meet as comrades and we should leave knowing other comrades appreciate our contributions. Because I have been armed by my comrades to do my work I can do it so much better and in the interests of all the people of South Africa.

Whatever our problems we know that we are in power and we must exercise that power. I have called a top level meeting with the police on 10 November 1994 so that people in government begin to realise the ANC is in charge.

To charge one of our ministers, especially a Minister of Public Safety and Security, is a challenge we cannot allow to remain unanswered. Especially when murderers and drug dealers are running free around the country.

On the question of MK we cannot allow the problem to continue. There are four points that emerged from my discussion with MK who have legitimate grievances.

The integration process of MK, APLA and other structures, amounts to them being co-opted into the old defence force. That must stop; we are on an equal basis. The Defence Force must reflect the population profile of our country.
The integration process itself is very slow. In the past the Defence Force was able to process 60 000 people a month now they cannot do this in six months.
Thirdly there is still racism. The chaps on the ground are being ordered around as second class citizens.
The living conditions of our people are very bad.
However, I told MK I am not prepared to listen to wild allegations. I fully support therefore their demands and grievances. But I differ with some of the methods they are using.

I gave an ultimatum to those who had left base AWOL seven days to return. Some returned those who did not will never be members of MK again. Some returned for their pay and left.

In my discussions with senior officials of the movement I said if we don't handle this issue properly we will have a major problem.

I am asking you to take a resolution fully supporting the Minister of Defence and coming out clearly in condemning the actions of dissident MKs.

We have been open and transparent. Take General Van der Merwe who promised to support a democratic government. He must now be accountable to us. Until now they have paid a miserable salary to the police, but to embarrass us they talk about collecting money to increase the salaries of the police. We are calling a meeting to get them to account.

In Port Shepstone 14 people were killed yet despite sufficient evidence nobody is arrested. I am taking this to the cabinet. We cannot allow a police force to develop in opposition to the government.

They are declaring war on us we are not declaring war on them, we are merely going to collect them and discipline them. Our actions should be informed that the entire world is behind us and if we abdicate this mantle people will be very disappointed.

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Acquisition method: From website ; Source: ANC Website. Accessioned on 14/11/06 by Helen Joannides




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