The Presidential Years

Question: Mr President, your visit to Bethal this morning and there’s this national trend from the so-called Afrikaners who are increasingly calling for their Volkstaat – they feel that they are marginalised. Is it practical, do you think it’s a matter for concern?

Nelson Mandela - No, I, when I discussed the matter with General Viljoen and Dr Ferdi Hartzenberg, shortly before the general elections, I said to them I would be prepared to recommend to my organisation that we should consider the idea of a Volkstaat on three conditions. I said the two of them claim that the Afrikaners are for a Volkstaat, whereas De Klerk also claimed that the Afrikaners were against a Volkstaat. And I said, therefore, the first condition before we consider the question of a Volkstaat, is that there should be a referendum amongst the Afrikaners to decide what the attitude of the Afrikaners is. Secondly I said the results of the referendum will not necessarily bind me, but those results will be an important consideration to take into account in deciding the question. And thirdly, we must define who is an Afrikaner. Is it whites who speak Afrikaans, or is it everybody: African, coloured, Indian who speak Afrikaans. And I said on the fulfilment of those three conditions I would then go to my organisation but they have never come back to me. They have never taken up the challenge. And I therefore feel that they themselves are not very enthusiastic about the idea of a volkstaat.

Original Source

SABC TV Archive, SABC Information Library, Johannesburg.