Mervyn M. Mitloane, May 20, 1981 Karis
One of 7 young academics visiting the US under USSALEP auspices.
Biog: 30, has been a lecturer since 1977 in the Dept. of Pol.Sci'.at the
U. of Zululand, where he received his BA Honours degree in pol.sci. in 15R
1976. In that year he was awarded a scholarship by the Dutch Ministry
of Education for Otudy at the Institute of Social Studies at in the Hague,
and also travelled to Britiin, France, Belgium, Germany, and the US. His
master's thesis, now being completed, is entitled "The Participation
Crisis in SA -- the Orientation of KwaZulu Decision-Makers."
I met him briefly at City College on May 18 and then met him at
Grand Centtal Station and we took the train together to White Plains,
had dinner with Mary and Jimmy at our favorite fish restaurant, and
talked late. The next morning I dropped him off at the City College subwa:
stop and he went to Penn Station to go to Princeton to meet Manfred
Halprin, who had contributed a chapter to a book edited by Helen Kitchen,
and so she recommended him. I urged him to call Henry Bienen and Leon
Gordenker, the two people at Princeton especially interested in SA. M.
is eager to return for his Ph.D., and Nathan Sh. got his Ph.D. at
Princeton -- but he had not been told of either B or G, and I knew of
his visit only the morning he left. Incidentally, I kept him sitting
in the car and delayed his entering the subway because I still had so
many questions to ask, and Mary was so worried that (because of my
selfishness) he might have messed the Princeton train, so I phoned this
morning (the 22nd), the day he leaves and was assured.all went OK though
he could not reach Bienen or Gordenker, but he was glad I'd called
because he wanted to be sure that I would not mention his name in anything
He is not Zulu. Because he wanted to study library science and no
such course was avadable at the U. of the North (he is ... and so should
be a citizen of Bophutatswana) he was allowed to go to the U. of Zululand.
Now it is easier, quite easy, to go to any one of the 3 A.U's. He has
been at the U of Z ever since. During 1976 he was a junior lecturer. He
would like to write something about the precarious position of being in
between the students and the administration -- one must be very careful.
He is quiet, speaks easily and with confidence. We spend almost
all the time on the train talking about his teaching. There are three in
the department. The professor is Joubert, who has written little.
Doctoral thesis on Calvin. He teaches pol theory and also about SA
but not about black politics. The other African is the pub, admin. man.
M. teaches 1st, 2n1d, and third year courses. First year is general
introduction to comparative analysis, concepts, models. He has been
using Latin American case studies because of the interest in military
rule and made comparisons with Nigeria. He once wanted to use Uganda
but did not have material. He apparently does little to bring in SA.
He uses handouts, Apter, (Gable and ...?), ....
He thought his students knew quite a lot about the history of
A. politics. From what? From Welsh. Welsh? He inaa Peter Walshe -
he always confuses, he said, Welsh and Walshe. He seemed to know of
Roux but not Mary Benson. Perhaps I should have pinned him down on whether
he had read this or that. He seemed only vaguely aware of FPtoC and when
later I showed them to him, he said: oh, you've been involved in this?
He wants to buy the set for himself. I told him that I hoped he'd write
to let me know if the set on its way from the HI via the Ford grant had
arrived. And he did not know Gail's book so of course I pressed on him
the fact that it's in paperback.
He had once been told that he should go to Durban to visit Goven
Reddy's bookstore. He did not know Reddy but knew that the store has
now been closed,
His wife has a BA nd (a B.Comm.) and is now studying medicine -- now
only in pre-med -- at the new medical school just outside Pretoria. So
their one child, a six-year-old girl stays with him. She's now being
cared for by the mother-in-law. There has been criticism of using
the facilities of the new school for pre-med since there is a shortage of
professional medical training facilities.
He xa and his wife had lived in an apt* at the U. but he now has a
touse formerly occupied by a w'ite staff person. Since 1976 it has been
impossible to assure the safety of whites living on the campus so they
now live in town (but where is town? -- the U. is only a few miles from
the sea, which can be seen from the campus).
Buthelezi has virtually no support among the students and dare not
appear on the campus: The following I wrote down when we were going over
my MS, which I gave him on Monday and so he had been able to read it
by Wednesday n*ght -- and he perhaps somewhat apprehensively asked me to
taxt read my notes back to him -- thus Inkatha youth league has some
students at the U, but they are not organized. He assumed that meetings
take place, but they do not pin notices on the notice boards because of
the depth of anti-Inkatha feeling. (He thinks -- this was not read back
to him -- that the Inkatha youth leader is a student at the U, but he
obviously is not a prominent student leader*)
Also (& read to him): AZASO and COSAS (but COSAS is secondary
school, is it not,/, I said -- he seemed unsure) do not put up notices
and do not come out openly, but for reasons different from Inkatha
youth's reason, Occasionally placards do appear. There is wide support
for Azaso, but it does not come out in the open.
In 1979 some students harassed students who were too pro-Inkahha.
But when I asked if Inkatha might grow in strength on the campus, he said
There is definitely no.correlation between being Zulu and pro-Inkatha
and non-Zulu and anti-Inkatha. Attitudes toward Inkatha have nothing
to do with ethnic affiliation. This and following notes until further
notice written while he was speaking.)
There are students who were strongly pro-Inkatha in high school and
who come to the U. and become anti-Inkatha.
The general position of students is pro-ANC because they see ANC as
doing things. (There is little support for PAC because they don't see
anything happening.) Black Consciousness -- yes they are for it --
support for it and the ANC merge,
Who are the most important black leaders? First, Mandela. Second,
Tutu. Who else? No reply. Much feeling about Biko today? Yes.
How about Rachidi? He didn't know Ken R. but knew of another: Sol
Rachidi, but not a leader.
One factor which inhibits and retards the clarity of Buthelezi's
position regarding the government is the fact that he tends to be
engaged in a battle of words against AE ANC and so lots of his energy and
time is a crying for credibility and trying to boost his own ego.
M tloane 3
(Remarkably, M. managed to say very much that was strongly anti-B.
without ever giving the impression that these were his own feelings.
Of course, this made the net impact more impressive.)
Continuing with the notes I took while he was speaking -- so these
are disjointed hat because they came up as he turned the pages of the
MS. I was pleased, of course, that he said he found it fascinating and
had recommended kIte to the other academics in the group that they
should read it. He had also read the nine or so pages of notes
carefully. I taoticed that there was much underlining, but this
marked passages that were very accurateS He had no criticism at all,
although he added points here and there.
Buthelezi is sometimes mamm stuck between two poles, for ex., being
for the free press and wanting the government to censor the press that
was against him.
Yes, more and more he has been identifying himself with the SA gov,
and against the Mandela campaign. He is, more and more, competing with
the ANC and Mandela.
Dr. Dhloro's daughter is in a Catholic multi-racial school in
Eshowe and not in a KwaZulu school. People asks how can the Minister of
Education send his daughter to a better school. I asked are you sure
these facts are accurate? Yes, they are true.
Buthelezi "near paranoia" -- certainly correct.
Tutu has a number of advantages. He does not claim leadership,
and this is in his favor. Nor does he speak for any particular
constituency. Yes, Tutu's stoc k maybe had been going down but his
pro-disinvettment speech in the US at the UN (I must get it from Reddy --
quite a short speech) and the withdrawal of his passport "authenticated"
m=u him. I M. got hold of a copy of his speech and found it quite mild,
T but what was picked up in the SA press was his saying that SA was the most
vicious gsomx system since Nazi Germany.
(The next morning M. re-emphasized the points about Tutu's appeal
being due in part to his not appearing to claim national leadership
and especially to his being a bishop and head of the SACC "Africans
are Christians," said M. M. also made much of the point that although
my MS had spoken of hoW far B. had gone in his pre-Soweto speech
-- in the Approaching Hour of Crisis, etc. -- B's speech was only
excerpted and reported on in the press whereas at about the same time
Tutu had written his open letter to the PM, Vorster, and this was published
in toto (or almost in toto?) and also had impact because it was directed
at the PM. It had been a long time since there had been an open letter
directed at one person. Ippetty he letter appeared in the Sunday
T4mes, which has the greatest mass circulation. I didn't realize this.
I wuted the speech in the Rockefeller paper as it appeared in the SA
Back to my notes There isLpo Inkatha branch at Nongoma (sp.?) --
the King is not a member. -AT should check on whether the Ink, flag
is exactly the same as the olig of KwaZulu. Knd I should check regarding
the fact that the RMxbtRd head of Inkatha must be the hand PM of KwaZulu.
(The const. amendamntt, which he seemed not aware of, remove all references
to KwaZulu, so I suppose this means that a non-Zulu can become head of
M* Mtloane 4
Sally Motlana told Leon Sullivan that he should have a 7th principles
Re my quotation from Buthelezi, saying that KwaZulu was almost a
liberated area -- this reminded M. of Bishop Muzorewa saying in speeches
that R/Z was liberated and fighting against "terrorists,"
JIst after Tutu returned to SA and was interviewed on TV, Buthelezi
was then also shown on TV attacking Tutu.
At the top of page 26 I wrote of the astute offering of K. citizenship
-tl Africans whose ties to homelands-gone-independent were resulting in a
loss of SA citizenship. This, said M. "reflects me." His appointment
at the U. had iSkk first being temporary, but only after he had taken out
KwaZulu citizenship had it become permanent. Who had told him that he
should take out such citizenship if he hoped to become permanent? The
administration. But now, he added, that is not necessary (I wonder).
When he applied for a passport there was delay until he was able to
show that he was a K. citizen. (He should be a Boph. citizen.)
Re Inkatha community projects? It agg been involved in the
distribution of water in Zululand and also in the distribution of
bursaties which come from the SAIRR.
Buthelezi haa been very articulate in presenting grievances.
One of B's probk&ms is that money for K. has been cut compared to
that which goes to the independent homelands. Bor ex., Bophutatswana
has a university (strange, now that I think of it, that he made this
point), a national stadium, and other big visible projects.
White South Africans do generate the feeling that Zulus are strong.
Inkatha students have had contacts with the Afrikaanse Studentebond
and maybe a meeting at Stellenbosch.
END OF WRITTEN NOTES.
Obed Kunene, editor of Ilan a -- M does not read it. (But can he xma
read Zulu?). He spme time ago invited Kunene to speak at the U. on any
general topic he wished, but the meeting never took place -- I think because
of the feeling that he might be (as he generally is, of course) pro-
Inkatha. M. obViously does not think of Kunene as a particularly
Dhlomo -- are did he come from? He was plucked out by B. He is no
political challenge to B.
M. knows Dr. Sibusiso Bhengu very well, the former s-g of Inkatha and
dean of students at the U. He was quite popular. His contract in
Geneva will soon by up, and M. has heard that he is being considered
fOr some kind of post in Cape Town. What chance that he might return to
KvaZulu? Possibly. M. has heard that he has made some overture# of
reconciliation with B. Serious potential rival to B? How could he be?
What corat* ency dies he have? pwrf asstyV(tihe students are hardly a
constituency for his taking over in Inratha.)
Much more general talk the morning after about pro-ANC sentiment
among the students. At dinner, I asked what kind of students leave
the country for guerrilla training? His first response aroused Jimmy's
interests sometimes because of a disappointment in love or in order
to join a boyfriend abroad. Thus some girls went to Botswana, but of
course, they also had other motivations. I'11 stop here. ###