The Presidential Years

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The first meeting I know of where we met Meiring was where he led a delegation from the SADF. It was Meiring, who was still chief of the army; the chief of the SADF, Liebenberg; the chief of the air force; the chief of the navy and the Surgeon General, the top five of the defence Force; and the chief of intelligence. They came to meet us: Joe Modise, Chris Hani, Jo Nhlanhla and Mo Shaik. We met at the Admiralty in Cape Town. We were sent by the president of the ANC who said, ‘These people want to talk,’ and we met them. That was our first meeting and it set the practical engagements.

That was in April 1993, the first practical engagement about how we were going to go about the formation of the SANDF. Integration really happened post-1994, but the parameters were laid before in 1993. There was some good rapport there, but obviously it was a feeling exercise and you could see they were suspicious of some people.

But in fact even before that I had, with Joe Nhlanhla and Jacob Zuma, met some of their military intelligence people at a farm in Pretoria. Roelf Meyer was there and the chief of the air force, Pierre Steyn.

Siphiwe Nyanda
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