01. e TaMI Jrr..~, 98, No -1aHb~ K~ari
_,t Jun,1 198J UN Pla ztl a
A reception was held for him the preceding afternoon in the
Uganda buildinq,,adjacent to the US Mission. 150 people or so? liphiwa
ibatha (pro-Buthelezi) was present. The morning of the 12th, he met
at 8130 a.m. with Franklin Thomas, Alah Pifer, Bill Carmichael, ,ion
Easum, Arthur KrimtGwen, D.vid Hood, Waldomar Nielsen, Randy (not
ivobinson but ... ), and ?
Later in the afternoon Bill Carmichael told Gwen and me that he
had been prepared to be uneasy or restless and during the first five
minutes, he started to be, but bhen his attitude changed, He was very
much impressed. OT expressed himself just right, saying not too much nor
too little -- this was in the context of OT's remarks about educational
aid, I myself had never seen OT more effective than he was in that
setting. IAcidentally KM he was addressed and referred to as "the
orneident." Also there# Thabo MbeXi of the Central Committee, who's
studied at Suusex; Seretse Choabj, who OT pointed out had been on RI
and at Oxford and was the director of the Lutuli Institute, which is
supplanting the Lutuli Memorial Foundation) and Mak Itjj. Also in the
backgrounds Thomas Shonqwe (I talked with him later; he left Soweto in
1975 when he was active in 3AS? and appeared in danger of being picked up$
he's been in various places and as now in Lusakal could not get into
U of Zululand and studied law thru UNISAj wanted to study medicine, but
there is then the dancer that before you finish, you'll be dropped and
then you are out in the cold).
In re violence, OT said that sanctions 'A-intended for nonviolent
change. Thus Lutuli had started this course by calling for boycotts,
But now they are in a time of armed struggle, and violence and
sabotage "aqainrst innocent pyl&ns" will escalate. He could not tell us
just what would happen, of course, but there would be more sabotage and
violence. He himself thought there should have been more at an.earlier
stage. They have moved very slowly. All this was said in a s4it
and fatalistic tone -- no br dodo at all, They were all caught up
in "the game" and there was no jA;y out of it. It would become increasingly
One of the arguments used against sanctions was that it would
harm the other southern African states. But the escalation of violence
would spill over into these states. SA would pugue and attack and there
would have to be responses, and the s,A. states would seek help. There
would be more repression and "repression causes revolution,"
Repression produced greater resolution. He illustrated this
personally, saying he had not seen the consequences of either Sharpeville
or Soweto, but when he went to bury the men outside Maputo and saw
their bodies and how "ugly" it was and how they had been brutally treated
(allusion to some mutilation) -- at this point, OT pounded his fist
Several times on his arm chair, saying his reaction wasa.o redouble his
resolution and determination. I had never before seensuch a personally
passionate expression. Since throughout he kad spoke quietly and
reflectively, the passion was extremely effective.
Pifer asked what kind lB of timetable (for fundamental change),
OT could not answer the question, he said. But he believed that he
would see such change "in my lifetime." He also, interestingly, said
he did not expect it "in five years." But he was over 60, and he
expected to see it.
About educational opportunities* Yes, education and traniaig
was good in itself and was welcomed that is, scholarships etc. abroad.
OT's argument did not go into any specifics about linking the ANC with
the process of selecting and running educational programs, and he
recognized that other movements and organizations could be involved. But
his general point was that it was important not only that people be
trained and available for the new SA once the new SA needed them but
also that such people should be involved in the process of "creating"
the new SA. They should not just stand by waiting for others to create
and then step in later when needed, Somehow they should be involved
in the struggle, a part of it. Again he did not say that the ANC was
the sole representative or jhe organization through which outside funders
should work. Nor was it clear just how he hoped that students would
Education could not be in isolation from politics. OT turned to
a1fbo Lbek~, who sppke of the problems that arose when, for example,
students were boycotting government schools while others were continuing
their work through SACHED or evident in their uniforms as students who
were continuing to attend private or church schools. (The problem was
obviously one of building and maintain unity, though he did not
use the word "unity.") So all these special educational programs
presented "problems." But having stated a general problem, he -- like
OT -- did not go on to present a particular or desired solution.
Nielsen asked him to talk more about violence and whether or not
strikes etc* were alternatives to it. OT first pointed out that strikes
were by "the workers" who were part of the people and the movement,
Yes, such forms of protest were important but obviously no substitute
for more effective pressure, i.e. through arms. Thabo (?) remarked
that (some 30) trade union leaders had just been arrested or detained.
To go back to educations Thomas said that he had been given the
impression that education and training was not desirable if it was
not part of a political program. But, said Thomas, outsiders head
others expressing similarly passionate positions, and they faced the
problem of whom to work with or through. It was this question that
led OT to say that he recognized that "parallel" efforts were going
on and educational training was in itself a good thing, but it was
not enough since persons benefitting from this should not stand aside
from the struggle -- i.e., it would be better for the movement if they
were a part of it.
Easum asked how Black Consciousness could be reconciled with the
ANC's non-racialism. OT turned to Cha to answer and then supplemented
the reply. The main point was that Black C nsciousness was a stage or
phase that was useful. After ll, the ANC itself was initially formed
to bring Afrimans together, Titerestingly, he remarked that B. K. was
"nb# an ideology" -- it was just what its name indicated. The ANC
was working for a SA that would be as nonracial as possible.
No questions about 'Communism" or the Soviet Union.
Nielsen asked about mass media, and the qa discussion turned to
radio transmissions into SA from Dar, Lsaka (?) ad-aPMapeae-4^-
But only 15 or 30 minutes a day and reaching only the Transvaal to
Jobg. Nielsen remarked that perhaps aid could be provided to boost
the transmitters' power. Thabo, I think, agreed that the time was
so short that mainly news was broadcast and not political education.
These are quite general notes, written two days after the event
and about a iarlim wat session with a fairly large group of
So generalists. In addition to Communism and the Soviet Union not coming
t up, I was struck by the absence of radical (certainly not Marxist)
jargon* Nor was anything unfavorable said about US policy. Later in the
S day Bill Carmichael remarked that he was struck by what may have been
r 4 self-control before such a group, but if that's what it was, self-control
J93 Pifer remarked that he was a member of the Rockefeller Commission
S(this was after Thomas had left and Thomas left with warm, farewell
RV4 words to OT -- Bill later commenting that he had learned to observe
Sa "scowl" on Thomas's face when displeased, but there was none now).
$ 0 And Pifer asked what their reaction was to the Report, which apparently
gi they had been given the day -- or so -- before. Thabo answered that
4 he had not had time to read it but that he had noticed that "advancing
r political freedom and civil liberties for all South Africans" (I've
copied this from p. xxiii) was listed third as a US interest and first
no wass "Protting U.S. military and strategic interests and minimizing
S Soviet influence in southern s-rica." (The second interest was ensuring
S key minerals supplies.) Pifer hurriedly explained that all five
Ci interests listed were equal* Thabo smilingly said that he still had
not studied the report, and OT hastily said to him: "hold your fire"
g or "hold your guns." (I wondered how conscious wn effort there was
Dn to avoid getting into incriminations re the US.)
D I asked what OT thought was the government's potential for
0i Q defusing the Black opposition and winning over some segment of the
' ""moderate" (I explicitly said I was using moderate in quotation marks)
114 black leadership* (The Rockefeller report talks about moderate leadership
S And I added a reference to the Buthelezi commission. Thabo replied that
.f the Buthelezi commission and such activities were simply "tinkering"
,4 with the system. And in talking about the government's effort -- which
SWq thought might have spme success, but no names mentioned or groups
characterized -- he repeated several times, and also in connection with
Sthe Buthelezi Commission, that the time was "too late."
Thomas Shonawe later k.xgatrmatt SASM people in exile
joined the ANC whereas SASO people infrequently did so.
S49 Fred Dub and Yusuf Saloojee later came into the room -- this was
some time after OT had left for the NYTimes editorial board, and Gwen and
S I remained for a while. Dube, after Cornell, has some kind of teaching
S3 Job at Stony Brook, but he said he can always be found at the ANC office.
J 'C Saloojee is the ANC representative in Canada. (Gwent I have his card -
Se 9 Canadian Mission, Box 302, Adelaide P.S., Toronto W% M5C 2J4.)
Saloojees 10,000 (is my memory right???) South Africans in Toronto,
remaily white. He found the whites very ignorant but had success in
[, t talking in some meetings with them. When asked about the future and
Ov he mentioned the Freedom Charter, they really did not know it but had
S a vague notion of it as a subversive or communist document. -- The xWai
Sj reprinting of it in Post had been very helpful.
Going up the elevator to OTs there was reference to some corporate people who
were invited to meet OT but bowed out when they realized who he was.
Choi~ab Picton Mbatha Inkatha runs out of his home in London. -
Choabi was arrested with Sam Nolutshungu but Sam was not convicted.
Three years on RI. Lutuli Institute interested in agricultural