The Presidential Years

This is an emotional issue, however, and one can see that in the contribution of Premier Morkel, because he is not a naturally emotional person. The first occasion on which I saw Allan Boesak and Hernus Kriel jointly saying the same thing was that on which the removal of the capital was mentioned. [Laughter.] Not only that, but the names of the very Cabinet Ministers who had taken a decision that we must have no opinion whatsoever until this procedure had been complied with and the reports have come back to us, I now saw on a list which was circulating in the Western Cape, saying "Let Parliament remain where it is." [Laughter.] I called them and said I wanted an explanation. We have taken a decision here that we must not express any opinion on this matter. They said: No, we saw the names of members of the Cabinet of the NP on a list, and we were thinking, in terms of local government elections, that if we did not join ... [Laughter.] I then called Deputy President De Klerk and said: You know the decision. Your Ministers have now gone public and signed a petition that Parliament should remain in Cape Town.

He called his Cabinet Minsters together, and they said: No, we saw the names of Cabinet Ministers of the ANC on a list, and we decided also to join. [Laughter.] So I warned both parties that the strongest disciplinary action would be taken against them if they again came out in public and expressed an opinion on the matter. That is the government’s position on this matter.

I have been quoted as having said that I want Parliament to move to Pretoria. I have issued public statements refuting this, because I have no decision in this matter. I can tell hon members that if I were to make a decision, I am a Kapenaar- I have spent 27 years here ... [Laughter.] [Applause.] ... still I suppress my emotions. I have no opinion. [Laughter.] [Applause.] . . . but still I suppress my emotions. I have no opinion. [Laughter.]