The Presidential Years

Madiba is wearing an ANC cap and a Thabo Mbeki tshirt

Addressing crowd outside CNA

We have changed this country completely from a polecat of the world, not by the National Party, not by the Democratic Party, but by the African National Congress. It never happens in history that a community which has been oppressed for more than 350 years, which underwent the most brutal oppression you can imagine in the history of our country, went to the oppressor, the apartheid regime and said, ‘We are all children of God, we should we be slaughtering one another when as South Africans we could sit down and resolve our problems?’ The overthrow of white supremacy was done by the African National Congress but to be able to create this miracle nation, we couldn’t do it alone. Africans, coloureds, Indians and whites had to work together in order to create this miracle. Now, we can go overseas today whereas five years ago whites could never go overseas and tell the people overseas that they are South Africans. Because you’d immediately be boycotted, shunned and insulted. But today you can go out, whether you are black and [sic] white; whether you are Afrikaans and English speaking. And all that you need to say is, ‘I am a South African’ and the doors of the world become wide open for you. That is the miracle that we have achieved. In Angola here, a war has, a civil war has been going on since 1975. Many innocent people: men, women, children have been killed, slaughtered. And that is a country which is heavily mined. I don’t think there is a country in southern Africa which is as mined as Angola. [CUT]

We avoided that and the initiative to avoid that was that of the African National Congress. We had the courage and the vision to go to our enemies and said, ‘Lets sit down and talk’. That is why you have this miracle. We have brought to this coutnry stability; we have brought peace; we are uniting the country. Only the African National Congress can unite this country. Only the African National Congress can promote reconciliation. Only us can be listened to if we say, as the majority, ‘Laat ons die verlede vergeet; laat ons ons nasie bou.’ Only us can do that. Only the African National Congress can deliver quality services to those have never had it [JA JA FROM MEMBERS OF THE AUDIENCE AND CHEERS & ULULATION]

And I’m saying to whites in particular, and I do so with love and admiration for whites in this country, you must take responsibility for the fact that our country was boycotted by the entire world because you continued to vote for a government which applied cruel policies; which was condemned by the world as a crime against humanity. Notwithstanding that we came to you to say, we stretch our hand of friendship to you and said, ‘Let us make peace in our country. Let us save our country’. We have succeeded in doing that. Now, but you are making a second mistake because you are grouping around white parties which are defending white privilege. Did you know that when Parliament dissolved, in the National Assembly the National Party had 82 members, 27 being Africans, coloureds and Indians, 55 whites – double the number of Africans, coloureds and Indians – 55. That’s a minority of less than 14%. The Democratic Party, when we closed Parliament, had six lily whites, not a single black. You are supporting those parties. You are wasting your time; your energy [CHEERS] because those parties will never rule this country again [CHEERS. BUWA. NEVER EVER] But you, the whites here, the whites here, you can take positions of leadership today in this country. You have lost political power but in actual fact you can still lead this country because you have had the advantage of going to school, acquiring knowledge, skills, expertise. You could go to universities, technikons and so on and acquire these skills. Because of that training and background, you can actually lead in this country. Not because of the colour of your skin but because of your training. But you must forget that you are part of the minority. You must regard yourself as part of the minority [sic]. We have Derek Hanekom, an Afrikaner, who is the Minister of Land and Agriculture. You have Alec Erwin, an Englishman who is the Miinister of Trade and Industry. They sit in the Cabinet. Because of their training they are determining the future of this country, its direction. Don’t marginalise yourselves, please become part of the majority. And I have no doubt that this country will become more of a miracle than it is today. Now I’m telling you that we have changed the attitude of the world. I went to Russia recently and I went to the offices of De Beers in Moscow. They are doing a wonderful job because we have a lot of expertise in South Africa. In the People’s Republic of China I went to Beijing and I went to see the offices of MNet [SOUND FADES COMPLETELY FOR A FEW SECONDS] Now I’m going to see them. They told me something I did not know: [the] Chinese government issued a tender to build satellite dishes around the country worth many billions, the competition was ruthless: America, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Malaysia – all competed. Who do you think won that tender? Just tell me. MNet. MNet, an Afrikaner company, in a Communist country. That is the change we have brought in this country. You are now part of the international community. Don’t make the second mistake and go and vote for Micky Mouse parties. [CHEERS] With the African National Congress you have got a home. You will not be wasting your vote and your energy and your skills if you vote on the 2nd of June for the African National Congress. I wish you good luck and [in Afrikaans] it is an honour and a pleasure for me to have addressed you. [CHEERS] [A SONG IS SUNG IN HIS HONOUR] [ANSWERS A QUESTION] It makes not difference if the ANC is going to win with a two-thirds majority or not. What I want to tell you is that in the Cabinet today we have 27 ministers. There are three from the IFP, there were six from the National Party. They will tell you that although we have the majority of 18 we never abused our power. We avoided making them a carbon copy of the majority party. And that is why we have built this mutual confidence. What we want to do is to have sufficient majority to be able to carry on with the programme of bettering the lives of all our people [QUESTION A JOURNALIST JEFF KOINANGE If the ANC is going to win a majority and Thabo Mbeki is your man, why have you been campaigning so hard for this man and this party even till the last minute?] I am not campaigning for an individual, I am campaigning for the African National Congress. I believe that if the African National Congress wins, South Africa will have won as a whole. Thank you [WAVES]

​ clip#03[A]>66717MT>31/5/1999>Mandela election Campaign, Killarney Mall

Original Source

SABC Information Library, Johannesburg.