As President you have got many duties. I had to concern myself with nation building, reconciliation, to say in our language, ‘laat ons die verlede vergeet’, let us forget the past, let’s deal with the present and the future, then, the important question of delivery to our people. These are the three things I was concerned with. It was important, David, to marginalise the right-wing because the white minority in this country had one of the most powerful armies in Africa. And many people thought that we will solve our problems by organising a military struggle. I led the formation of Umkhonto weSizwe, our liberation army, and I warned that no this army, we are not forming it for the purpose of defeating the white army – it will take us years for us to defeat them. We want to focus attention sharply on our grievances and also to change the fear of the white man. When our military unit clashed with a unit of the army and put them into flight, you know the confidence of the people was reinforced.
Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, Johannesburg