Statement by Nelson Mandela regarding statement made during interview with Sunday Star

27 April 1992

There appears to be some misinterpretation over the statement I made during an interview with Jon Qwelane, published in the Sunday Star of 26 April, 1992, particularly given the misleading headline. To dispel this I repeat what I have said on countless occasions previously.

The ANC considers that President De Klerk has a responsibility for the violence, through both commission and omission, in three key ways. But in no way did I suggest that President De Klerk was directly involved in the violence against black people.

Firstly, President De Klerk, aware that spears, knobkerries etc are weapons of death, issued a proclamation making it legal for Zulu-speaking people only to carry such dangerous weapons. Despite repeated discussions with him on the question, adequate measures to control the public carrying of weapons have not been instituted.

Secondly, last May discussions were held with President De Klerk on the question of hostels, and agreement was reached to phase them out and make provision for both family and single person accommodation. It was further agreed that, in the interim, the hostels be surrounded with barbed wire. There has been no action on either measure.

Thirdly, in a number of areas adjacent to hostels, residents have been forced out of their homes, leaving their possessions behind. Their homes have then been occupied by those responsible for the violence that forced them to flee. People have identified their homes, their possessions and the illegal occupants, but the authorities have failed to take any action.

We hope this clarifies the matter.

Source: Nelson Mandela Foundation