Item 1269 - Notes for President Mandela's Meeting with Editors of KwaZulu Natal Newspapers

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ZA COM MR-S-1269


Notes for President Mandela's Meeting with Editors of KwaZulu Natal Newspapers


  • 1995-03-02 (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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  • English

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1 Withdrawing from Parliament unjustified
1.1 Issue of mediation was in hand, being dealt with by the three-person committee. The suggestion that it was being blocked at that level arises largely out of a misunderstanding of the nature of mediation and what is required for it to be successful. The ANC has repeatedly said that it is ready to honour the agreement.
1.2 In the first place mediation can only occur where there is an impasse or deadlock about a specific issue or set of issues which are clearly defined and agreed amongst the parties. This background presupposes that the parties have presented each other more detailed positions on the issues at stake over which there was disagreement.

2 What are the present disagreements to be mediated?
2.1 The agreement of 19 April 1994 was that international mediation should take place on the position of the Zulu King and outstanding issues relating to the interim constitution.
2.2 Since that time the IFP has become the majority party in the KwaZulu-Natal legislature. The Interim Constitution provides for provincial constitutions 'which may where applicable provide for the institution, role, authority and status of traditional monarch in the province, and shall make such provision for the Zulu Monarch in the case of the Province of KwaZulu-Natal'. The drafting of a provincial constitution for that province is something that was set in motion this week.
2.3 It would seem appropriate, too, that the view of the present monarch as to the need for mediation or what issues were to be mediated, should also be taken into account.

3 Responsibilities of the parties to the country
3.1 The meeting with Chief Buthelezi and Deputy-President was held to begin exploring the problem that has arisen as a result of the IFP's withdrawal from Parliament, and delegated Deputy-President Mbeki to address the matter on his return to the country.
3.2 We strongly disapprove of the IFP's action in withdrawing from Parliament, and it cannot contribute to resolving the position concerning mediation.

1 Background to the meeting of 27 February
1.1 The background to the meeting held on Monday 27 February at the Union buildings was clearly outlined in the State of the Nation Address at the Opening of Parliament and again in speech closing that debate.
1.2 The government is committed to dealing with lawlessness and crime in order to ensure a climate of safety and security. This is not an idle threat.
1.3 All citizens have the right to go about their business without disruption, fear or insecurity. Continued progress in nation-building and reconciliation, reconstruction and development, demands that they should be accorded this right, which is enshrined in the Constitution.
1.4 Consequently its was important as soon as possible to review the security situation in the country, and particularly trends regarding incidents of violent crime, political violence and lawlessness.
1.5 That was the purpose of the meeting on 27 February

2 Review of the security situation
2.1 The review dealt with the overall national situation.
2.2 While it noted that there had been a general
decline in incidents of politically-instigated violence, levels of such violence were still intolerably high.
2.3 Areas in four provinces in particular recorded unacceptably high levels of violent crime, namely Eastern Cape, Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.
2.4 Summarising broadly, there are specific problems associated with the different areas:
-Western Cape: armed gangsters harassing communities; drug abuse; availability of illegal weapons arising out of taxi wars.
-Gauteng: organised syndicates specialising in car theft; hijackings and robberies.
-E Cape: Increasing violence in the large township of Mdantsane; policing situation in Transkei; acts of anarchy.
-KwaZulu-Natal: Indications that the decline in violence is being reversed. According to monitoring organisations the number of killings increased from 52 in October; to 75 in December and 109 in January. Whereas violence in other provinces is confined to relatively small areas, it is more widespread in KwaZulu-Natal.\

3 A plan of action
3.1 In the light of this information the meeting asked the SAPS to draw up a concrete plan to address the problems, including as a first step the deployment of additional police with SANDF back-up in specific areas.
3.2 There are a number of areas in which there is evidence of a proliferation of illegal weapons - addressing this will be a priority
3.3 The SAPS plans will be presented to the President and he will keep relevant national and provincial authorities informed.

4 Security force action will be restrained and non-partisan
4.1 Where the situation requires it, the Government will see that the necessary action is taken, as has been the case recently in the Eastern Cape. Restraint and the use of minimum force will always be a feature of such operations. The loss of life and injury in the Eastern Cape operations is a matter of deep regret to the government.
4.2 With regard to KwaZulu-Natal, there has been comment in some newspapers that the operation is just a smokescreen for a politically- motivated action in response to the withdrawal of the IFP from Parliament. Nothing could be further from the truth.
4.3 Investigations are also conducted with scrupulous adherence to impartiality. For example, the special investigation unit under General Dutton, which was set up by the Minister, is making good progress in investigations into hit-squads within the KZP and is also investigation allegations of hit- squads operating within the ANC.

5 KwaZulu-Natal
5.1 Editors and journalists in the Province of KwaZulu-Natal, will have a special interest in the how the Government sees the situation in that Province.
5.2 There are concerns that lawlessness and violence in the province are increasing at a rapid rate. This province has suffered grievously from violence over many years, and it is a matter of grave concern to the Government that there should not be a return to that situation.
5.3 There are also indications that this situation is not entirely spontaneous and that there may be deliberate attempts to foment violence in the province. These are being urgently investigated.
5.4 This Province is one of those in which the availability of illegal weapons has reached alarming proportions, and addressing that will be one of the priorities of the present operation.
5.5 It is an easy matter to stir up animosities and suspicion in a period such as our country is going through, and the Province of KwaZulu-Natal in its own specific way. All political and community leaders, as well as the media, because of the influence they have in the community, have a vital role to play in approaching the situation in ways that assist in tackling the problems rather than exacerbating them.

6 Public co-operation
6.1 The success of the police actions depend on the co-operation of the public.
6.2 In this connection the Katorus area on the East Rand stands out as a model to be emulated. Once the centre of some of the most intense and sustained violence in the country, this area has become one in which residents can live without fear. This is thanks to determination of all parties in the Gauteng legislature, the various community organisations and SDUs and SPUs, to work together and work with the police in bringing safety and security.
6.3 The media also has a vital role to play, in bringing to light instances of crime and lawlessness and also in informing the public about the campaign.

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Acquisition method: Hardcopy ; Source: ANC Archives, Office of the ANC President, Nelson Mandela Papers, University of Fort Hare. Accessioned on 22/01/2010 by Zintle Bambata




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