House of Assembly: Vol3 - WEDNESDAY 27 MARCH 1985
as Chairman, presented the Third Report of the Standing Select Committee on Co-operation, Development and Education, relative to the Development Trust and Land Amendment Bill [No 53—85 (GA)], as follows:
H J TEMPEL, Chairman.
27 March 1985.
Bill to be read a second time.
Order! I have to announce that I have received a Message from the State President calling a joint sitting, as follows:
Given under my hand and the Seal of the Republic of South Africa at Cape Town on this twenty-seventh day of March, One thousand Nine hundred and eighty five.
P W BOTHA
By Order of the State President-in-Cabinet.
Proceedings suspended at 15h32.
Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to address Parliament on a matter of grave concern for all of us. However, before doing so I must inform Parliament of a tragic accident that happened this afternoon.
It is with profound regret that I learned of the dreadful tragedy that occurred in Westdene, Johannesburg, this afternoon when a bus on which children of the Hoërskool Vorentoe in Auckland Park were travelling, went out of control and plunged into the Westdene Dam.
I have just been informed that several of these children have drowned. Fortunately 17 have so far been taken out alive. They are being treated in the J G Strydom Hospital. The driver of the bus has also been admitted to the J G Strydom Hospital with injuries. It is not known how many children were on the bus at the time of the accident.
On behalf of myself, the Government and everyone present here I convey our profound condolences to the parents, next-of-kin, headmaster, staff and pupils of the Hoërskool Vorentoe. I also wish to express my thanks for the valuable assistance that has been and still is being furnished by units of the SA Police.
Mr Speaker, I turn now to the matter on which I wish to address Parliament.
When I accepted office as Prime Minister and subsequently as State President, I reaffirmed that I would continue with the task of improving attitudes and relations among the various communities and peoples of South Africa. I committed myself to this task notwithstanding great opposition.
When I addressed Parliament on 25 January 1985, I indicated the road ahead for South Africa. Responsible Governments in the West responded by accepting my sincerity. Responsible leaders in Africa have likewise responded favourably to that speech. Indeed, all responsible leaders in South Africa have indicated their willingness and desire to explore that path together with us. They have acknowledged that we have introduced a new era into South African politics which can create opportunities for all the leaders of South Africa to come together to discuss and bring to fruition our vision of the future.
Mr Speaker, it is ironic that now, at exactly the time when we have taken new initiatives which encompass co-operation on so many levels and in so many spheres, people of ill-will instigate demonstrations and marches which result in arson, violence and death. Innocent women and children have been among the victims. This does not surprise me. It saddens me. It saddens me also that certain people under the guise of moral and religious conviction should take the lead in fomenting disobedience, violence and destruction. They clearly do not want peace and stability. They are not in favour of peaceful processes of reform. They do not want progress and prosperity for all. They want to see the country go up in flames. Their deliberate actions have caused the death of innocent people. They want to bring South Africa to its knees. They want to advance South Africa’s isolation. They solicit outside support for South Africa’s destruction. They want chaos to reign in order that the international community and the United Nations can condemn South Africa as a threat to world peace. They have embarked upon this course at the behest of foreign powers so as to assist them to achieve their diabolical aims. Mr Speaker, I want to state clearly and categorically here today that they will not succeed.
Their schemes are transparent for all of us to see. Responsible South Africans reject revolutionary activities and outside interference in our internal affairs. I have committed myself and those South Africans of all population groups who have indicated their willingness to co-operate, to a process of positive reform. At the same time, however, I am committed to maintaining law, order and stability in our country. I have already given instructions for appropriate steps to be taken to restore and maintain law and order.
There are in our society certain fundamental truths which are not matters for debate; they are facts. I have no reason to believe that there is any party represented in this Parliament which does not subscribe to truths of this nature.
Firstly, no person or institution is above the law or may act as if this were the case and go unpunished in accordance with the due process of law. The law is also indivisible. In essence this means no more and no less than that no-one may choose to obey only those laws, whether of the common or statutory law variety, which he considers to be just and equitable. Laws which at any given point in time are considered as being not in harmony with society’s concept of fairness and justice can be amended or abolished only by the appropriate legislative authority established by rules of law and in accordance with the rules of law which define it in its powers. In the words of a learned judge of a division of the Supreme Court of our country:
The same is true of all the judges who serve the various divisions of our Supreme Court. The highest legislative and executive authorities of this country, subscribing as they do to the rule of law, should be, as a matter of principle, a shining and visible example of respect for the sanctity of law. This means that we must be seen to respect not only the letter of the law but also the spirit thereof.
Against this background I would like to refer to the recent tragic incidents at Uitenhage and related subsequent occurrences. I will do so, Mr Speaker, with all the restraint, compassion, forbearance and sincerity at my command. I pray that this will not be interpreted as weakness.
I have appointed a respected judge of the Supreme Court as a commission of inquiry to investigate and report on the factual circumstances of the incident itself as a matter of urgency. I have no doubt that he will do so in the tradition of impartiality and objectivity to which I have referred.
You have, Mr Speaker, given a ruling in your wisdom to the effect that the subject matter of that inquiry may be discussed subject, however, to certain limitations. I understood your ruling to be that in compliance with the Commissions Act, Act No 8 of 1947, and the regulations which were published in Government Gazette No 9674 of 22 March 1985, no member is to debate the subject matter of the judicial commission’s investigation in a manner that may prejudice, influence or anticipate the proceedings or findings of the commission.
I consider it to be in the best interests of our country that we respect not only the letter of your ruling but also the spirit thereof. For this reason, and for the sake of peace and for the sake of our commitment to the creation of a climate of goodwill, I now appeal to all hon members to refrain from discussing the matter referred to until such time as we receive the commission’s report, following which ample opportunity for such discussion will be afforded to hon members. Since prior discussion undoubtedly brings with it the risk of wandering into the area of the commission’s investigations and may otherwise aggravate rather than contain and improve the security situation, I wish to suggest to Parliament that the judicious course would be for Parliament not to address this matter in any fashion until we have at our disposal the commission’s report. The judge concerned has already indicated that the investigation and report will be dealt with expeditiously. We owe this to our country and all its peoples. I am confident that I will have your co-operation in this endeavour.
I turn now to another matter. There are laws on our Statute Book which are designed to ensure that society at large experiences peace and that people can go about their daily business unmolested. There is also a law which is designed to protect not only the premises but also the persons of members of Parliament and its dignity. There is an urgent need for me to request hon members to insist that these laws be respected by all.
Whether I agree with the various political demands that are being made by various interest groups is not the issue. I am committed to a programme of reform designed to broaden democracy and to improve the living conditions of all South Africans regardless of race, colour or creed.
If I am to succeed, if my Government, and those of us who are gathered here, are to succeed in making this country a better place to live in, it is of paramount importance that all laws be obeyed. Our responsibility in this respect is to afford South Africa the opportunity to succeed.
I want to say here today in very simple terms that the Government and I accept that there is room for a very wide range of political viewpoints in South Africa. We have some very fine traditions in this country, traditions which virtually no other country in Africa has. One of these traditions is that all people regardless of their race, colour or creed are free to hold, pursue and promote their diverse political views without any interference from the Government. The only condition—and I do not think that any reasonable person can argue with me on this—is that the pursuit of political objectives should be done in a peaceful and civilized way. The maintenance of law, order and stability is crucial to the attainment of these objectives.
With the necessary goodwill and determination this country will continue to be the land of Good Hope. I therefore appeal to all South Africans of whatever political persuasion who believe in the future of our country to work together towards the peaceful resolution of our differences so that justice and fairness to all may triumph. I appeal to those who are prepared to accept the goodwill and good intentions of the Government to help us resist and neutralize the efforts of those who wish to destroy rather than to build. I remain convinced that it is we South Africans who will resolve our own problems.
Proceedings resumed at 16h35.
Mr Speaker, I am sure we all listened with great interest to what the State President had to say earlier this afternoon. I want to commence, first of all, by associating this party with the deep regret expressed by the State President at the tragic accident at Westdene this afternoon involving the schoolchildren.
Having said that, I am afraid we cannot accede to the request of the State President to refrain from discussing the events at Uitenhage last week. [Interjections.] The reasons for this decision are as follows: First of all, there is no doubt that debate on this subject is going to continue to rage outside this House, no matter what the State President has said today. The matter is not sub judice here and outside this House it is also not sub judice. The debate is going to continue to rage. According to the ruling given by Mr Speaker yesterday, the debate is also not sub judice in Parliament either. We believe that Parliament cannot abdicate its responsibility in this regard and, Sir, while I will certainly try very hard to respect your ruling, I will also try very hard to uphold the traditions of this House. [Interjections.] One of the traditions in this House is that arguments shall be free … [Interjections.] I have already said that I shall respect the ruling of Mr Speaker. As those hon members know, Mr Speaker’s ruling was that the matter is not sub judice and that it can, therefore, certainly be discussed.
I should like to tell the State President that all the new initiatives to which he referred this afternoon are totally nullified by tragic events like the event which occurred on 21 March at Uitenhage. They are nullified. People forget that the State President has said that the Government will recognize urbanization, that removals are suspended and so on. Such statements are forgotten when dramatic and tragic events like the event at Uitenhage take place.
I would also say that the State President should not have addressed his remarks to us in this House this afternoon. The person to whom he should have addressed his remarks is the hon the Minister of Law and Order. [Interjections.] Only yesterday in The Argus there was a headline which reads:
What there was to be happy about, heaven only knows, but let us say that that was just an ill-chosen word.
Did he say that or did the papers say so? [Interjections.]
Let me quote:
Then he says—the hon the Minister is here and if he did not use these words, he will tell us:
I should like to ask the hon the Minister whether, in his rushed visit to Uitenhage, he bothered to talk to any Black people, other than Black policemen, who were present at the scene of the shootings on 21 March. Did he talk to any of the ordinary residents of the township of Langa or did he only get a Police version both from the White and the Black policemen? I ask this because it is our contention that had he done so, as we did when we visited Uitenhage last week the day after the shooting, he would have found that the Black witnesses gave a very different version indeed to the Police version which he accepted without question.
Did you talk to the Police?
We did try. We tried very hard. I not only’ phoned the hon the Minister the day before we left—that was on the Thursday when we decided to send six PFP MPs to Uitenhage—and told him that we were going, but I also asked him to inform the Police that we were coming because we particularly wanted to hear their side of the story as well as the story of the Blacks.
But you believe the Blacks?
What I believe is unimportant. In the end it is going to be what the commission decides that will be accepted as the true version. The hon the Minister, however, believes the Police version.
And you believe the Blacks.
The Police refused to talk to us. They were under instructions not to give us any information, and for the information of the hon member for Lichtenburg who was so sarcastic the other day about our going in under Police escort—well, perhaps it was not the hon member for Lichtenburg but some other hon member …
You can blame any one of us.
For the information of those hon members I want to say that we were not allowed to go in unless we went under Police escort. We tried to go in without Police escort but we were turned back. Then, when we obtained a permit, it stated specifically—I have it here if the hon member wants to see it:
We did not want this but it was the only way in which we could go in.
The hon the Minister accepted the version that the crowd was armed with stones, sticks, petrol bombs and bricks and was marching towards Uitenhage on the highway from Langa Black township, and that they were led by a person dressed in black carrying a brick—a very dangerous weapon! He told Parliament that a Police unit of 19 men in a Police vehicle told the leader that the march was illegal and told them to go back but that the instructions were ignored. A warning shot was then fired into the ground and the Police were suddenly surrounded and pelted with stones, sticks and other missiles.
Incidentally, this report does not mention that the policemen were in a Casspir. It states that they were in a police vehicle. A “vehicle” is defined in the dictionary as a “wheeled conveyance”, and therefore it could have been a bicycle. This particular wheeled conveyance is an armour-plated vehicle which sticks, stones and bricks and even petrol bombs were highly unlikely to affect, even if they had been used against the vehicle.
The affidavits we obtained from the people we spoke to tell quite a different story. They tell us that it was an unarmed crowd carried in vehicles of their own—taxis and kombis—to attend a funeral in the township of Kwanobuhle on the other side of Uitenhage, but they were told by the Police to get out of the vehicles. When they started to walk they were not allowed to go any further.
I do not believe that a taxi is what one takes when one is planning to invade a town. However, what we believe is not important. What the hon the Minister believes is not very important either, but even accepting that the hon the Minister’s Police version is correct, I want to know what happened to all the riot control training that my colleague the hon member for Durban Central and other MPs observed at Maleoskop a couple of weeks ago?
What about the adamant statement of Genl Coetzee, the Chief Commissioner, that day, that standing police orders were that minimum force was to be used in crowd control, and that fire-power should only be used as a last resort after sneeze-gas, teargas, rubber bullets, birdshot and buckshot had been used? According to the police’s own version fire-power was used as a first resort in Uitenhage. What possible explanation can there be for this?
If there had been a riot condition—what one believes is not important…
Mr Speaker, on a point of order: Is the Kannemeyer Committee not investigating these matters? I am merely asking for an explanation.
The matter being referred to by the hon member for Houghton has already been made public; it has already been published. The hon member is criticizing it.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
There is no evidence that any crowd control methods were used, and the result was nothing short of carnage: A death toll of 19 and many more believed to be dead, and at least 35 wounded. [Interjections.]
On the subject of the wounded … [Interjections.] Mr Speaker, can I have some law and order?
Mr Speaker, on a point of order: Is the hon member entitled to try and circumvent your ruling with well-chosen words?
Order! I do not know what the hon the Minister means by “well-chosen words”. I shall myself decide about the words being used. The words being used by the hon member for Houghton at present constitute criticism on public information already published. I repeat the ruling that I have just given.
The hon the Minister should sit down; he made a fool of himself yesterday. [Interjections.]
On the subject of the wounded, I want to record our strongest objection to the manner in which people who were wounded by the Police at Uitenhage were treated. Just as happened at Crossroads … [Interjections.]
Order! If hon members lowered their voices and made fewer remarks, I should be able to follow the hon member for Houghton more accurately.
Thank you, Sir. I want to state that we have the strongest objection to the fact that wounded people who went to hospital were immediately placed under arrest and under armed guard. My hon colleague from Berea and I visited the hospital and we saw what was happening. The result of this strategy was that many people with injuries did not go to hospital because they feared they would be placed under arrest. As a result of this there are probably chronic injuries, and more deaths than were necessary.
Nobody took the trouble to seek out the relatives to inform them of the people that had died or had been wounded. What sort of behaviour is this in a civilized country?
One wonders why the local magistrate showed such a dismal lack of understanding of how important funeral arrangements are to Blacks when one realizes how he played ducks and drakes with the dates that had been arranged. He cancelled the arrangement for the Sunday because he thought too many people would attend. He then changed it to Thursday 21 March. The result was of course a complete stay-away from work on the Thursday. Then he realized it was the anniversary of Sharpeville and tried to postpone it, to the Sunday again. There was no proper communication between the authorities and the Black residents of Langa township. I believe that to be a major factor in the catastrophe that took place.
I want to repeat something that I have said over and over again in this House about the presence of police at funerals: Keep the Police away from funerals, especially those of people who have been killed by the Police. Then their very presence is like a red rag to a bull. There is trouble if the police are in evidence there.
I have attended three very large funerals namely those of Biko, Sobukwe and Aggett. There were thousands of people at these emotion-charged events and at all of them the police were clever enough to keep a low profile and there were no incidents whatsoever. I hope we have learnt something from the tragic events of 21 March.
We can come to only one of two conclusions: Firstly, that the officer in charge panicked.
Are you doing the judge’s work?
Order! I will not allow the hon member for Houghton to say that.
All right, then I will not say it. I will say, however, that it seems to me that the Police in South Africa have reached the point where their attitude is: “We have stood enough from these Blacks; now let us show them once and for all who is boss.” I for one have an uncomfortable feeling that that attitude is condoned from the top.
There is a third explanation and that is, of course, that the police have become a law unto themselves. We know that the reckless use of fire-power occurred not only at Langa in Uitenhage but also at Addo, Cradock, Kimberley, Kroonstad and Cookhouse—practically across the map of South Africa. It is high time that somebody did something. The Minister responsible, who has now disappeared from the scene although I presume he is coming back, has failed to carry out his responsibilities and he must resign his post. The man who is responsible for law and order in this country is the man, it seems to me, who is responsible for the breakdown of law and order.
Mr Speaker, I listened to what the hon member for Houghton had to say, but we on this side of the House respect the request of the State President.
I was a member of the teaching profession for many years and at this moment I realize only too well what is happening at that particular school where the tragedy occurred to which the State President referred. We should like to associate ourselves with the condolences expressed by the State President.
I want to come to the budget of the hon the Minister. In his speech he pointed out that of the total appropriation, Education and Culture were to receive the largest slice of the cake. That is quite correct. Of the portion received by Education, the largest portion, all of 80%, is being allocated to tertiary education, ie to universities and technikons, something for which we are very grateful. However, I want to point out another aspect. I do so in conjunction with the hon member for Umbilo, who also referred to it. Of the amount which is being appropriated for tertiary education, approximately R135 million is being allocated to technikons. On the other hand R107 million is being appropriated for the education of handicapped children and children in need of care. These two figures are close. The special education for these children is amongst the most expensive kinds, and we are appreciative that so much is being appropriated for this purpose. We want to advocate, however, that in future budgets we should make greater provision for the technikons. In future the technikons must play an increasingly important part in the provision of education with a view to the preparation of the manpower we require. Research and training on technikon level is becoming increasingly important. If we wish to promote the manpower productivity we are seeking so assiduously, then we must invest in this field. That is my plea to the hon the Minister of the Budget.
The hon member of the CP, in the speeches they made here, referred to and discussed own affairs rather acrimoniously.
What are own affairs?
I shall come to that hon member in a moment. He will just have to be patient for a while. I shall gladly discuss matters with him. I shall gladly discuss matters with the CP members personally. [Interjections.]
Today we have an opportunity to debate this subject. Those hon members referred acrimoniously to own affairs. If we analyse own affairs, however, and we begin with …
You do not adhere to the truth.
That hon member must give me a chance to make my speech.
Just adhere to the truth.
I speak frankly and I speak the truth.
Not along devious pathways?
No, I do not follow the devious pathways which that hon member follows.
The heart of own affairs, the starting point and the point of departure of own affairs in its most intimate sense, is the family.
What about the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act?
I say it is the family, and they will refer to it scornfully. I shall still come to that, however. The hon members can giggle about it if they like but I shall demonstrate to them that the family is the point of departure of the community, and out of that community the growing community of the people or of the nation. [Interjections.] Care of the family and the vigilance maintained over the family in its growth and healthy development is the foundation on which the power structures of a community are built.
Those hon members, who are ranting and raving at me to such an extent now, themselves stated in paragraph 6.2 of their programme of principles:
The Afrikanervolkswag, another offspring of theirs, has accepted as its fundamental principle the family as the basis of the existence of the Afrikaner people, and a further objective is “to recognize, protect and develop family life as the cornerstone of national existence”. [Interjections.] The principles which I have now spelt out are principles which they are conversant with and which we respect.
Now I want to focus the attention of hon members of the CP on this principle which they have spelt out in their own programme of principles. How are those hon members looking after their families? If I have to be personal now, and if they had asked me to tell them, I would have told them that they should go and tell the voters of Harrismith and Newton Park what they wrote in their programme of principles. They are own affairs!
We shall do so.
Go and tell them that the CP members care for, nurture and develop sound families.
I promise you, we shall tell it to them.
The hon members of the CP must go and tell this to their people. They must look at the people in their own ranks. [Interjections.]
We shall also say it in Standerton.
That hon member can come and say it in Standerton. I shall say it in Standerton myself. [Interjections.]
Order! I have probably heard “you can say it, we shall say it” about ten times already. Let us get away from that for a while. If the needle sticks in the groove, we must move it along. [Interjections.] The hon member may proceed.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Those hon members can examine their own consciences in relation to this point of departure which they included in their programme of principles. They are therefore themselves accountable for that. I put it to them that that is our point of departure.
This year is Youth Year. In South Africa, too, the youth of this country is being brought together at rallies and through other activities. [Interjections.] Once again I have come up against the insensitivity of those hon members. During this Youth Year we wanted to start over again with the youth in its basic context, the family. We therefore ask in the first place that the child should be moulded in the family context to show respect for structures of authority. Youngsters must show respect for the head of the family, for that is essential. The head of the family also has a task to fulfil for it is he who has to admonish his children. Furthermore, the youth must show respect for the structures of authority and the leaders of the community. Then, too, the youth must show respect for the head of the State, because that is the basic element of civil obedience to the State in which they live and which they must serve.
He is a party leader now, after all.
The hon member for Jeppe is persisting with his interjections. He took offence at a remark which I made earlier in the debate. He will have a chance to speak and he must then tell us what really happened in America. He must tell us the truth about his activities there.
This country requires families, our youth and our children, to perform the task and cope with the demands made on us by these times in which we are living with clear eyes, and at a lively pace and with enthusiasm. We ask our youth to be people who are prepared to accept their responsibilities and develop their potential.
Tell us what happened in Portugal.
No one kissed me on the cheek in Portugal.
Leave America alone then and talk about South Africa.
We ask the youth to serve this country by studying and by working hard, and by perceiving its problems. We ask our educational planners, educationalists and youth leaders to plan meaningfully to ensure that there is contact and that bridges are built towards the youth of other population groups. This is essential. This country consists of a heterogeneous community, and the leaders must meet one another. Artificial and academic contact will not bear any fruit. We must seek and create opportunities so that our youth can make contact and so that there can be greater mutual understanding.
I was one of the first school principals in the Transvaal who pleaded for the teaching of a Black language as a third language on the same basis as German and other foreign languages. Our premise was that the German-speaking people or Portuguese-speaking people are part of our own community and not neighbours, but that Black people will always be our neighbours in this country. If we know the language of the Black man, this is one of the ways of making contact.
South Africa is a country brimful of challenges. We now have this own affairs dispensation, and my appeal is that we should ask our people to look after what is their own. We must involve our parents to a greater extent in …
May I ask the hon member a question?
No. Our youth must seek contact with other youth groups.
Mr Speaker, on behalf of this Party I should like to convey our profound sympathy to the bereaved parents of the Vorentoe High School children who died in such a tragic way, and also to those who sustained injuries.
I want to reply briefly to the speech made by the hon member for Standerton by saying that we believe unshakably in the development and the nurturing of family life, but on our own home ground, subject to our own laws and not subject to a general law of other Houses which dictate to me how I must bring up my children and which lay down norms and impose requirements as to how I must deal with my children.
I also want to say that the CP was not impressed with the State President’s attempt at dramatization this afternoon. It was an attempt to camouflage the dilemma in which that coalition Government finds itself. It is a dilemma which the Government has with its coalition partner and its coalition party because they do not want to bow to the will of the State President who refuses to dismiss the hon the Minister of Law and Order. Furthermore, Sir, it is an attempt to circumvent the very fair and fundamental ruling which you gave. Once again, the State President has shown that he remains a mere politician. He aroused in us the expectation that he was going to address the Joint Sitting and announce a plan to deal with a very critical matter. But the mountain was in labour and brought forth a mouse. [Interjections.]
†I want to return to the hon member for Houghton, because it seems to me that the boys must disappear when the grown-ups start arguing. The NP is not prepared to enter the fray with the hon members for Houghton and Albany. [Interjections.] I want to ask the hon member for Houghton whether her attention was drawn to what was published in the Eastern Province Herald on 21 March 1985:
Does she know about this?
Why is it rubbish? Why does the hon member for Houghton believe certain stories and prefers to reject others?
Some sound so absurd, that is why. [Interjections.]
The hon member for Houghton has certainly had some legal training in her life. Surely at one stage or another she must have heard the well-known legal maxim audi alteram partem. Therefore, she must also take cognizance of what is said by this person. He said that as he fled, the leader of the group shouted that he should go to the charge office and say that he was beaten up by the SA Police. In her venomous attack on the SA Police, the hon member for Houghton chose to ignore that side of the picture completely. She does not see justice in the actions of the SA Police at any stage whatsoever.
That is not true!
We want to tell the hon Minister of Law and Order, who for some reason or other is not present here at the moment, that we support him in his efforts to maintain law and order in South Africa. Our standpoint in this regard has been made quite clear. We support his actions against terrorism. We reject and despise the conduct of the PFP, which in particular was also supported by certain members of the Government and some of its coalition partners. Does the hon the Minister of Home Affairs not agree with me?
They were your partners in the “no” vote.
In this connection I am also thinking of certain members of the National People’s Party. [Interjections.] I also find it very significant that the South African Ambassador in Britain was also alleged to have said that the conduct of the SA Police was unjustifiable.
There was a correction!
He subsequently tried to correct the statement. He said he sympathized with the families of the persons killed. How could such an error have crept in? Surely it is impossible. We know that he is a liberal, a Prog and a close friend of the hon the Minister of Foreign Affairs. I now want to know what message the hon the Minister of Foreign Affairs sent to the Ambassador in Britain. Where does the hon the Minister of Foreign Affairs stand in this entire struggle, this crisis in which South Africa finds itself at present? Is he holding the hon the Minister of Law and Order’s hands behind his back, or is he supporting him as the State President supports him? That is what we want to know.
This new dispensation has been in progress for two months now. We have heard from the hon the Chief Whip of the Government that it has been quite successful. [Interjections.] He even participated in the radio programme Monitor and told listeners that it was a success. But what are the facts? Today we are dealing with the third own affairs Bill of the present session. The first was an additional appropriation, the second was a part appropriation, and the third is the appropriation we are now dealing with. We have already dealt with 70 Bills dealing with general affairs. If we ask the hon the Chairman of the Minister’s Council to explain the situation, he replies in the following pathetic way (Hansard 1985, Question and Replies, col 281):
Is that not strange? I thought the House of Assembly came into existence on 31 May 1910. He went on to say that the Government had apparently gone through a difficult time and:
This was in regard to own affairs since September 1984. The hon member for Gezina said that own affairs was still in its initial stages. The right of our Whites to self-determination is still in its initial stages, according to the hon the Chairman of the Minister’s Council and the hon member for Gezina. [Interjections.]
The 306 hon members of this Parliament are less productive than the 178 in the old dispensation. With the exception of the members of a few standing committees which sit on Fridays, the rest of us have long weekends from Thursday to Mondays. [Interjections.] Some of the other Chambers adjourned on Wednesday afternoon already. We have only sat on one Wednesday night, and it is already 27 March! On Wednesdays we begin sitting at 15h30. Is this a productive new dispensation, the dawn of a new era?
Let us consider for a while the crisis which the hon the Minister of Home Affairs tried to resolve in respect of the private motion in the House of Representatives on the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act and section 16 of the Immorality Act. There was a motion of the hon Minister of Home Affairs, of Solidarity and of the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition, and there was pandemonium in the House of Delegates. If it had not been for the nimble footwork of the hon Minister of Home Affairs, consensus would at that stage already have suffered a mortal blow.
We then come to the next crises, namely those which arose in regard to the hon Minister Hendrickse and in regard to the hon the Minister of Law and Order. What is happening at the moment? This is the Cabinet which has to govern South Africa at this stage. Surely it is an unheard of situation that we cannot get a clear lead in respect of the Cabinet. Where do they stand in regard to the hon Minister of Law and Order and the hon Minister without portfolio?
There are other crises, too, which we can discuss, for example the one pertaining to the admission of Indians to the Free State, the way in which the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning—I think it was him—was treated when they discussed a private member’s motion on the Prohibition of Political Interference Act, the Reservation of Separate Amenities Act, the decision to apply leasehold rights and property rights in the Cape Peninsula, etc.
This is the picture presented by the new dispensation during the past two months. We heard about the prelude to the dawning of a new era, a new golden century, a new journey, according to the Minister of the Budget; but, on the contrary, it is quite clear that this horse to which Mr Speaker referred is stumbling along on three of its four legs.
This brings me to the question of the informal forum which was announced so enthusiastically at the beginning of this session. This informal forum is nothing but the national convention of the PFP. [Interjections.] In 1978 a certain senior Minister put certain questions to the PFP. Those same kinds of questions were asked at the beginning of the session by the hon member for Barberton in connection with this forum and this approach. At the time the senior Minister had asked the PFP, when they held their convention, whether they were also going to invite Mandela to attend. He asked them whether they were going to release Mandela to enable him to participate in their discussions. The NP has already sent out feelers to Mandela.
The Minister went on to ask the PFP what it would do if that national convention of theirs were to fail. He said, inter alia, that when they had reached the stage at which they had convened a convention with all the promises they would have had to make in advance, with all the compromises which they would already have had to make in order to get the people there, they would already have lost control of the situation. Subsequently the senior Minister asked what choice the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition would be left with if such a national convention failed. The Minister’s reply to that was that he would either have to take his hat and leave or he would have to crawl. He would have to stay on and crawl in order to save his skin. In South African politics his party would always have to adopt a crawling attitude, not in order to negotiate but in order to crawl, according to the senior Minister. Are those words not being borne out as far as the NP is concerned?
No, do not worry! [Interjections.]
After that the Minister used these prophetic words:
I want to tell this Government that a disaster and a catastrophe will begin to threaten in South Africa unless they begin to act as we are accustomed to seeing a strong government Act.
Mr Speaker, one could probably have anticipated what the standpoint of the CP would be with reference to what happened in the House today. However, I was surprised at the insensitivity with which the hon member for Brakpan referred to the appeal which the State President made in this House this afternoon. The hon member has the right to react to it whichever way he likes, but any person who sets great value upon human life ought in my opinion to react to certain events in a responsible way. In this connection I am specifically addressing the hon member for Brakpan. I am disappointed that an hon member of this House tried to dismiss, in such an insensitive way, the true seriousness of the matter by, inter alia, referring disparagingly to the State President as a politician. [Interjections.] It is time all of us in South Africa did our utmost to try to bring about peace and tranquillity in this country. [Interjections.]
The hon member for Brakpan unburdened himself of a few other strange ideas as well. In the first place he referred to the Chief Whip of the NP, but I think he made a mistake. I was not involved in the Monitor programme at all. He was probably referring to the Chief Whip of Parliament. [Interjections.] I accept that.
Furthermore, the hon member for Brakpan said that the Chief Whip of Parliament had referred to the way in which the new dispensation was succeeding. He doubted that statement, however, and referred to a number of laws to substantiate his standpoint. The criterion of the matter, however, will be how many laws have been disposed of during the time since we began until the present.
It is no use saying that they are minor laws, the point is how many laws have been disposed of. I want to tell the hon member for Brakpan that far more legislation has been disposed of at this stage than had been at the same stage last year. [Interjections.]
I want to go further. The hon member referred to crises and, inter alia, presented the Indians in the Free State as a crisis, as though the Indians in the Free State, if that is suddenly a crisis now, have anything to do with the new constitutional dispensation. What kind of foolishness is that? Certain people have been requesting for years that Indians should be admitted to the Free State. Nothing strange and nothing new is happening. It was never a crisis, just as it is not a crisis now. What is true is that the entire matter pertaining to the admission of Indians to the Free State will be dealt with in a responsible way, as various Ministers on this side of the House have already stated on quite a number of occasions. The hon member may therefore rest assured. He need not fear that a crisis is prevailing in regard to this matter; there is no question of a crisis over the possible admission of Indians to the Free State. [Interjections.]
The hon member for Brakpan went further, however. He quoted the hon member for Gezina, I think, and then said that the two other Houses were also exercising authority over and influencing what we were teaching the children in the White schools. I wrote it down here: “Subject to other Houses which tell me how I should educate my children”. Surely that is nonsense, Sir? I want to ask the hon member, or any of the other hon members of the CP, where this is stated in the Constitution or in any other Act.
Look in the Schedule.
I shall deal with the Schedule in a moment. Where is it stated that any other House has the right to express an opinion on the substance of White education? I challenge any hon member to tell me that.
Syllabuses? The hon member does not know what he is talking about. [Interjections.] What is involved is the standards in respect of syllabuses. [Interjections.] Surely the hon member has more sense than that. Surely there is a difference between the contents of a syllabus and the standard that should be maintained. If the hon member wants to argue in this way now, I must point out to him that for years there was a difference between, for argument’s sake, the Transvaal history syllabus and those of the Free State, the Cape and Natal. But what are the facts of the matter? The contents of the history syllabus in the Free State and the syllabus in the Transvaal are not precisely the same, but the standard of that syllabus is determined by the Joint Matriculation Board, and that is important. The hon member is now trying to tell me that for years there was a difference in standard among the provinces. Surely that is rubbish?
We never said that.
It is the same argument.
On a previous occasion the hon member for Rissik, I think it was during the Part Appropriation Bill of the Administration: House of Assembly, and again today, put the following question to the hon the Minister of Education and Culture: “Tell us what are really own affairs and in what respect those own affairs actually imply self-determination?” That is the hon member’s problem. I was a member of the teaching profession for 23 years.
I cannot believe it.
I achieved success with people who could understand, but with people like the hon member who made that interjection, I doubt whether I would achieve any success, because I sometimes failed too. [Interjections.] I shall probably fail now if I try to teach the hon member for Rissik, but there is nothing strange about that.
Order! The constant stream of interjections and comments from certain quarters in this House is totally unacceptable. I request hon members to contain themselves. Interjections are not completely prohibited, but a constant running commentary in an effort to distract an hon member who is speaking, is not in the interests of this House. Nor do I think it is in the interests of either the status or the stature of this House. I request hon members please to heed what I am saying. The hon member for Virginia may proceed.
I shall now try to reply to the question of what own affairs are. Furthermore, I shall also try to find an answer to the question of what effect own affairs will supposedly have on the right of self-determination. I want to accept that every hon member of this House—including the hon member for Rissik—knows what is stated in the Republic of South Africa Constitution Act. Hon members know that the Constitution itself is based on the principle of the preservation of the right of self-determination of the respective population groups, and of joint responsibility over matters of common concern. I shall come back to this later. That is why a distinction is drawn in the Constitution itself between general affairs and own affairs.
Now the hon member for Brakpan, however, is asking what own affairs are. Section 14(1) of the Constitution provides very explicitly what own affairs are, and I shall quote this section, as follows:
Now the hon member for Rissik must please not ask me what identity is. [Interjections.]
The hon member must also not ask me what way of life means.
Who decides about these things?
I shall quote further …
Piet, who decides about these things?
Not you. [Interjections.] I shall quote further, as follows:
Order! Does the hon member for Brakpan wish to put a question?
Mr Chairman, I should indeed like to put a question to the hon member for Virginia.
Order! Then the hon member must please rise and ask whether he may put a question. Is the hon member for Virginia prepared to reply to a question?
No, Mr Chairman.
I just want to ask the hon member … [Interjections.]
Order! The hon member for Brakpan must please resume his seat.
Mr Chairman, as I was saying, section 14(1) of the Constitution provides which matters in relation to each separate population group are considered to be own affairs. This is stated very clearly and unequivocally there. To me it is perfectly clear. Which hon member in this House can still experience any problems whatsoever in understanding clearly what culture, traditions, way of life and identity mean? Matters which affect these aspects, are own affairs.
Furthermore, I want to argue that since the culture and education of a people or population group are inseparable, it must inevitably follow that education must therefore be an own affair. This is also elucidated further in the first Schedule to the Constitution. The hon member for Brakpan himself said we should take a look at what is stated in the Schedules. Schedule 1, in item 2, provides as follows:
- (1) instruction by way of correspondence, and institutions providing such instruction;
- (2) the training of adults in the trades at centres established by the State President acting as provided in section 19(1)(a); and
- (3) training of cadets at schools in terms of section 3(1)(a) of, and subject to, the Defence Act, 1957, and official school sport…
All these things are identified as own affairs. Everything is clearly specified; mentioned by name as it were. Nevertheless the hon member for Brakpan wants to know from me what own affairs are.
But what is important—and this is what the hon member for Brakpan was referring to—is the following. Apparently the hon member for Brakpan is now saying that general affairs should also be mentioned in the Schedules to the Constitution. He is quite correct. What is specified in the Schedule concerned in relation to education? It is provided that since there is also a common element in every system of education—and particularly in regard to our circumstances in South Africa, because the products of all the education systems will eventually find themselves in one common labour market—and this is an undoubted reality, it is clear that the education at all levels shall be subject to any general law in relation to the following, and I shall quote again because this is the important point:
- (a) norms and standards for the financing of running and capital costs of education;
- (b) salaries and conditions of employment of staff and professional registration of teachers; and
- (c) norms and standards for syllabuses and examination and for certification of qualifications.
Consequently this is not at all what the CP is so fond of proclaiming outside. After all, they are now proclaiming that the Whites will receive less money so that the Indians and the Coloureds may receive more money for education. In the passage I have just quoted, it is clearly stated which matters are general affairs.
Is nothing stated there about the syllabuses?
Order! Does the hon member for Jeppe wish to put a question?
Mr Chairman, yes. I should very much like to put an extremely easy question to the hon member for Virginia.
Order! Is the hon member for Virginia prepared to reply to a question?
No, Mr Chairman, I am not prepared to reply to any questions.
It is a very easy question.
Order! The hon member for Jeppe heard the hon member for Virginia say he did not wish to reply to a question. The hon member may proceed.
What is involved here, Mr Chairman, is that norms and standards for syllabuses and for examination and for certifications of qualifications are being placed in the same category as general affairs. I accuse hon members of the CP of trying to confuse members of the general public by telling them that the syllabuses will now be drawn up by the other Houses of Parliament as well, and that those other Houses will in fact exercise control over the contents of the syllabuses. I put it to those hon members that allegations of this nature are completely untrue. They are not in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution; nor is that what will happen.
Mr Chairman, may I put a question to the hon member?
No. I do not want to reply to your questions! [Interjections.]
Order! The hon member for Virginia does not wish to reply to a question. The hon member for Koedoespoort must please resume his seat.
Mr Chairman, now the hon member for Rissik wants to know why those own affairs ultimately imply self-determination.
The formulation of own affairs in the Constitution is so clear that it astounds me that the hon member for Rissik can doubt whether those matters do in fact protect self-determination. Add to this what I have already mentioned; and also the maintenance of the political power base, for as it finds expression at present in the three separate Houses, and as can be seen from the three separate voters’ rolls, each population group functions according to its own political power base. If we add all these things together, we say that self-preservation and the right to self-determination are of course implicit in those rights as well. What the hon members do not perceive, however, is that to recognize what is one’s own, does not mean that one is denying what is general. The recognition of one another’s separate rights, and the harmonious co-operation by everyone in regard to matters affecting everyone, is the basis for peace, stability and prosperity in this country.
Mr Chairman, may I put a question to the hon member?
No, unfortunately I do not have the time to reply to any questions. I want to ask those hon members what is more important than to govern oneself. What is really more important than to govern oneself? What is more important than to uphold one’s own identity and traditions, to lead one’s own way of life, and practise one’s own culture. Surely this is self-preservation; it is quite clear. To practise one’s own culture does not mean to remain in isolation. Separate cultures can have an enriching effect on one another. In the Afrikaans culture there are numerous examples of this—in literature, poetry, songs, the arts, etc—in which there were specific influences from other cultures which were greatly beneficial to us.
It is therefore our task and responsibility to communicate our culture and be receptive to extraneous cultural influences, provided they are in harmony with our own philosophy and outlook on life.
Mr Chairman, the hon member for Virginia will forgive me if I do not follow him in the remarks he has made.
I want to return immediately to the Uitenhage incident. I believe that the significance of that incident to South Africa is of vital interest and, within the bounds of Mr Speaker’s ruling, I think it has got to be debated in this House which is the Parliament of South Africa. I must say immediately that I find it peculiar that the hon the Minister of Law and Order, who was aware of the fact that we were going to deal with this matter this afternoon, has absented himself from the House.
Ask the Whip about his absence. [Interjections.]
I have received no indication as to why the hon the Minister is not here but I want to say that we would have liked him to be here because I want to address certain questions to him. [Interjections.] Oh, I understand he is going to try to be here. I really hope he is going to return soon. I understand the hon the Minister’s difficulty because he has obviously been muzzled by the State President’s statement this afternoon. However, that cannot preclude us as an opposition party from doing what we perceive to be our duty towards South Africa in regard to what is a very vital issue.
What happened on 21 March was a major calamity for South Africa, from whichever way we view the event. It represents a tragic episode in an alarming chapter of events which has been unfolding throughout South Africa almost on a daily basis over the past six months and more. I think it must be seen against the background of widespread instability, discontent and frustration among huge sections of the South African population.
We cannot simply pass these matters over by saying—as the State President did the other night on television—that the unrest in South Africa is the result of the work of communists, agitators, and so on. That has been the trite response over the past 30 years in South Africa. Whenever there was unrest the Government immediately said that agitators, communists and such people were responsible for the unrest. That has been the classic response of the Government for decades. When one looks at the situation in South Africa there is no doubt that there is an underlying cause of instability which is founded in the desperate socio-economic conditions, coupled with a massive political frustration among the majority of the Black group in South Africa. Those are the underlying causes of the problems with which we are beset at the present time. That simply is a fact, and I think most hon members of this House will be aware of this problem with which we are confronted in South Africa at the moment.
However, because of this fact it is even more imperative that the Government and its agents show the greatest sensitivity in handling incidents of unrest which are merely symptoms of the greater problem. This is so at the present time for two obvious reasons. Firstly, the totally volatile situation which exists in South Africa insofar as the racial issue is concerned at the present time and, secondly, the supremely delicate international climate in which South Africa finds itself at the present time with sanctions, with disinvestment lobbies and the like threatening us on a daily basis. The events in Uitenhage on 21 March offended against both those factors, against the internal situation and against the external situation. [Interjections.]
In the Eastern Cape there are socio-economic circumstances which are probably far worse and more complex than anywhere else in South Africa at the present time. There is insecurity arising out of general discontent, there is unemployment on a larger scale than in most parts of South Africa and there is intergroup frustration and hostility. All these very dangerous elements in any circumstance in this country are there.
Internationally, as has been said, we are at the moment hell-bent on trying to counter the disinvestment lobby, and while we are busy with this, on 21 March we had this unfortunate incident in Uitenhage where 19 people were killed and scores of other people were injured.
The situation in Uitenhage has been sensitive and delicate for a long time. We on these benches do not underestimate the difficulties in maintaining law and order in these circumstances, but what concerns us is the apparent lack of sensitivity in the handling of a critical situation of this kind. I want to address myself to that aspect particularly, and I am pleased that the hon the Minister has returned.
I believe that this apparent insensitivity must be laid at the door of the hon the Minister. It is his responsibility. This hon Minister is after all the political boss of a police force which more often than not is involved in matters which go far beyond normal law enforcement because of the very intricate and sensitive political climate in which our Police Force is required to operate. Therefore the responsibility on the shoulders of this hon Minister is considerable.
The climate which exists is very largely, let me say, the result of the policy of the Government. We must be quite clear on that point. It is this hon Minister who supposedly gives the orders, and it is this hon Minister who should set the example. Unfortunately the example which he most often sets is an example of arrogance, smugness and total insensitivity in respect of the times in which we live and the events which are taking place around us. I think the handling of the Uitenhage situation was a classic example of all this.
Within hours of the tragedy the hon the Minister issued a bland statement—the hon member for Houghton referred to this in her speech this afternoon—sketching the story of 3 000 or 4 000 people who advanced towards a Police unit and the Police were then compelled in self-defence to open fire. That was the bland statement which the hon the Minister issued.
The statement of the hon the Minister left far too many things unsaid. It did not, for example, say what now appears to be general evidence and generally accepted, that prior to the incident to which the hon the Minister referred, the Police had in fact ordered people out of vehicles such as buses and taxis and only thereafter did they start to walk in the direction of Uitenhage. It is hardly likely that people intent on rioting would proceed in buses and taxis in order to achieve that sort of purpose. Even since that statement we have found a total reticence on the part of the hon the Minister to give us any facts of the situation from the Police point of view.
When we went to Uitenhage last Friday, we found a blanket of silence on the part of senior Police officers on the orders of the hon the Minister. They were not prepared to answer questions from us. We indicated that we were there as members of Parliament, that we were trying to investigate, that we were trying to hear both sides of the story, that we had talked to the people who were involved and that we wanted to talk to the Police. They refused to answer even the most simple questions we put to them. I asked them—I am going to ask the hon the Minister this a little later this afternoon—whether there were any police casualties last Thursday; whether any policemen were injured. I received no answer because they said they were under instructions and they could not answer the questions.
We need the answers to a number of questions related to the Uitenhage incident itself and also related to the general attitude and strategy of the SA Police in dealing with similar situations throughout South Africa.
I would like to put some of these questions now. Firstly, we would like to know if any policemen were injured last Thursday. Secondly, I want to ask the hon the Minister in all sincerity if he is satisfied that the police unit in Uitenhage last Thursday was adequately equipped to deal with the situation that confronted it. Is he satisfied? All the evidence so far seems to point in the opposite direction. There was clearly no attempt to use tear gas, riot control methods and that sort of thing. The hon member for Houghton has dealt with that.
The next question I want to put to the hon the Minister—and I think this is of vital concern—is: What was the state of mind and fitness of the police unit in Uitenhage last Thursday? The State President has talked sympathetically and emotionally about the fact that these were young men involved in a difficult task and faced with a difficult responsibility. One accepts that and one has sympathy for young policemen who are involved in carrying out their duties in such circumstances. What I want to know, though, is what the mental and physical state of these young men was prior to the shooting. There are stories that for 48 hours before that incident they had no sleep. They had been exposed to the situation in Uitenhage and they had had no sleep. Is this correct?
I understand that one of the hon the Minister’s colleagues, the hon Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning, was in Uitenhage 24 or 48 hours before the shooting took place and that he met with the Police of Uitenhage at that stage. He should therefore be able to tell the hon Minister of Law and Order what he found out from the Police in those circumstances at that time.
The question is: Were these fit and relaxed young men, capable of handling a delicate situation with patience and understanding? Or were they a unit of exhausted and over-exposed young men whose patience had run out and who were simply sick and tired of the whole situation? It is important to know how these policemen had been used before the incident occurred as this might also have had a bearing on what occurred last Thursday.
There is another matter that disturbs me. I want the hon the Minister to pay attention to this as this will apply again and again in the future when there is this sort of trouble. I want to know if the hon the Minister is satisfied that there is proper communication between the Police and the people concerned. There is again a conflict of evidence as to the cancellation of the funeral, whether loud-hailers were used in both townships or in one township only, etc. There certainly was total confusion amongst the people concerned as to what was lawful and what was not lawful on that day.
Sir, my time has expired. If we want to be realistic about the situation, we have to realize that there is a danger of its repeating itself in other parts of South Africa. It is necessary for the police to take a thorough look at their entire approach to situations of this kind.
Mr Chairman, I find it a pity that the PFP, and in particular the hon members for Berea and Houghton, found it necessary not to accede to the serious and sincere request of the State President this very afternoon. I am not so sure that the hon members for Yeoville and Hillbrow really condone that decision of the PFP. [Interjections.] It leaves very little to anybody’s imagination as to where the PFP stands in regard to the best interests of peace in South Africa. They are the Arthur Goldbergs of South Africa. [Interjections.]
Mr Chairman, on a point of order: May the hon member say that?
Order! The hon member must withdraw that.
I withdraw it.
I may just amplify my reason by saying that I understand that Mr Goldberg was a convicted communist or a named communist. That is my reason for asking the hon member to withdraw it. The hon member may continue.
I withdraw it, Sir. I thought that Mr Goldberg was outside the country and that therefore it did not apply to him any more. [Interjections.]
I want to say to those hon members that they are paying lip service to the renunciation of violence as a means of change in South Africa, whilst continuing to sow the seeds of condemnation of those people responsible for the maintenance of law and order in South Africa. They are giving the green light to those who choose to instigate violence in this country. We on this side of the House condemn their tactics as not in the interests of a peaceful South Africa. Anyway, I think that these hon members and the PFP are irrelevant as far as politics in South Africa is concerned, and I want to say to them that Newton Park will prove that one of these days.
*In the course of my speech I want to refer, in particular, to the hon member for Lichtenburg. I am glad he is here. The CP simply cannot accept the fact that a new Constitution has been introduced in the Republic of South Africa by normal democratic process. The question is: Why must we, day after day, conduct constitutional debates with the CP in this House? By way of a democratic referendum two thirds of the White electorate endorsed the implementation of this Constitution. Today I want to quote two passages to hon members. The first is one by Mr Walter Mondale. After the re-election of President Ronald Reagan he said the following:
Here in South Africa, in the transitional period between being a Union and becoming a Republic, the then leader of the Opposition, Sir de Villiers Graaff, said in this House:
On a later occasion he added:
Why these quotations? There are thunderclouds building up against South Africa, forces banding together against this country and making suspicion-mongering completely unnecessary or superfluous.
Now I want to come to the hon member for Lichtenburg. I should like to react to his style of debating. What do we get from the CP and from the PFP? We have arguments belittling this Appropriation of the Administration: House of Assembly. The importance of this Appropriation, or its lack of importance, is judged on the grounds of specific budgetary amounts. Let us conduct an analysis. This afternoon, for the hon member for Lichtenburg’s benefit, I should like to draw a comparison between departments of own affairs and departments of general affairs. We must bear in mind that as an own affair Health Services and Welfare gets an amount of R679 million in this Appropriation, R428 million of which is for care of the aged; that Agriculture and Water supply gets R421 million, of which R252 million is for agricultural financing; that Education and Culture gets R996 million, of which R792 million is for universities and technikons; and that Local Government, Housing and Works gets R81 million, over and above the R160 million already spent in order to eliminate the White housing backlog, as announced in 1983. We must now bear in mind these amounts of R679 million, R421 million, R996 million and R81 million and compare them with the following amounts allocated for other departments as follows: The Department of Transport Affairs, R503 million; Police, which is responsible for law and order and is probably one of the most important departments in the country, R954 million; Education and Training, R917 million; Trade and Industry, R949 million; Justice, R186 million; Agricultural Economics and Marketing, R576 million; Water Affairs, R248 million; Mineral and Energy Affairs, R627 million and Environment Affairs, R121 million. I now ask the CP: Judging from the budgetary amounts for own affairs departments, are these also inferior departments? Does the allocation of smaller budgetary amounts make the own affairs departments less important, for example, than two departments which receive large allocations, for example the Department of Co-operation and Development, which received more than R2 000 million, and the Department of Defence which received more than R4 000 million? Surely we should maintain a little perspective?
Now we come to the argument the hon member for Lichtenburg raised here. For the purposes of his argument he himself conceded that for the most part provincial authorities also dealt with own affairs for Whites in this country. He himself acknowledged this and said as much. I should like to add—and I think the hon member for Lichtenburg would concede the point—that the overall majority of local authorities, the hundreds of them throughout South Africa, and the divisional councils of the Cape, also spend money on own affairs. So own affairs cannot merely be judged in terms of the Appropriation of the Administration: House of Assembly. There is a large portion of it which relates to local authorities, divisional councils and provincial councils, which should also be taken into account in own affairs. I concede that there are provincial council, local authority and divisional council services which are of a general nature. The opposition, however, will also concede that the self-generating revenue of provincial and local authorities also comes from people of colour, for example horse-racing tax, motor vehicle licences and traffic fines. I nevertheless wish to maintain that the overall majority of provincial and local authority services can be accepted as own affairs for Whites. I hope the hon member for Lichtenburg accepts that as a basis for argument, as he presented it to this House.
According to the South African provincial budgets for the 1984-85 financial year, Cape Town budgeted for an amount of R1 838 million, the Transvaal for R2 409 million, the Orange Free State for R553 million and Natal for R833 million—a total of R5 633 million. As far as local authorities are concerned, the Cape local authorities budgeted for an amount of R1 990 million and the Cape divisional council for an amount of R403 million. Local authorities in the Transvaal budgeted for an amount of R3 710 million, those of Natal for R1 445 million and those of the Orange Free State for R350 million—a further total of R7 898 million. It is interesting that this one amount alone constitutes 31% of South Africa’s total Budget.
Therefore—for the sake of argument—to those hon members in this House who are trying to belittle own affairs, who claim it is all a waste of time and that we are deceiving the Whites in this country, let me say that they are making a colossal mistake and that the time has now come for them to acknowledge the fact. [Interjections.] For the purposes of own affairs we must add up the following: The Appropriation of the Administration: House of Assembly, the allocation to the provinces, the self-generating revenue of the provinces and the appropriations of local authorities. If we were merely to add last year’s figures to this year’s Appropriation figures, we would see that in total this constituted 53% of the overall Appropriation. [Interjections.] The hon member for Lichtenburg advanced the argument here that we should also have included the SATS and Post Office Appropriations. The hon member is free to add them too, if he wants to.
In regard to the amounts I presented to him, own affairs constitutes 36% of the total. Yesterday the hon member for Kuruman spoke of 4,7%. When the hon member for Lichtenburg was speaking in the Part Appropriation, he did not add in the provinces and also came to light with a smaller amount. Yesterday he did, however, acknowledge that provincial councils also dealt with own affairs and he then arrived at 16%.
You really are mixed up.
If I were the hon member for Langlaagte, I would not talk about being mixed up.
Since 1973 a process of evolutionary change has been initiated in this country, a process involving the entire constitutional dispensation. Thus far we have only been working on first tier government. The second and third tiers of government still have to be tackled. The more the process develops, the more different will the picture be. Meanwhile those hon members are gossipmongering, from one platform to another, telling the White voters they are being deceived by the Government, have inferior departments, etc. We can therefore show the whole basis of the CP’s argument to be wrong. Yesterday, when I asked the hon member for Lichtenburg why he did not include local authorities, he replied by making a snide remark. All I want to say about that is that I hope I have now penetrated that tiny brain of his.
I want to conclude by saying that all three Houses of Parliament are joining forces in thinking about and negotiating for funds for own affairs. The hon the Minister serves on all committees dealing with State revenue, State expenditure and financial and economic planning. He serves on the National Priorities Committee, the Committee on Financial Policy and Strategy and the Cabinet Committees on Economic and Budget Affairs. There this hon Minister is making contributions on behalf of Whites for the allocation of money, in the same way as the four administrators also make representations to the Department of Constitutional Development and Planning about amounts to be allocated to them.
In spite of the hon member for Yeoville’s snide remark about the hon the Minister not having spelt out his policy, we on this side of the House wish to give him the assurance that we listened very appreciatively to his policy statement on the establishment of own affairs, efficiency in the departments, the satisfying of needs, the savings campaign, privatization of public services and the devolution of authority. The Administration: House of Assembly has a cardinal role to play in the new constitutional dispensation and we wish the hon the Minister and the Ministers’ Council everything of the best on the new course they have adopted.
Mr Speaker, at the outset I would like to associate this party with the sympathy expressed by all parties with the surviving and families of the victims of the tragic school-bus accident.
In the few minutes at my disposal, I want as law and order spokesman of my party to put clearly on record our attitude to three things, namely the march on Parliament, the Uitenhage situation and the townships violence and police handling of violence in general.
I want to say immediately that we deplore the march on Parliament led by churchmen to demand, inter alia, as was reported that the police refrain from entering Black townships, especially during funerals and vigils. To make a demand of this nature at the very time when the bodies of the victims of barbaric murder are burning in the streets of the townships of Uitenhage and when the perpetrators of those deeds are acting like savages in their brutalizing of those bodies, is quite unbelievable. In these circumstances a march is made on Parliament to demand that the police do not enter those townships! In those townships a courageous community leader and his son and other innocent law-abiding victims have been murdered and their homes burned. However, the police must stand aside and let it happen! They must not enter those townships!
Mr Chairman, is the hon member aware of the fact that five bodies that had been buried this morning, were exhumed during the day and then set alight on the ground? [Interjections.]
That makes it even worse and we regard this march as totally irresponsible, especially in the light of this additional information. We condemn the march, as we condemn all lawlessness, even if it is led by a Nine-Commandment churchman. We see it as a blatant breach of the law, a deliberate challenge to the authority of Parliament and the State. [Interjections.] I have here the Journals of the House of Commons, in which there is the resolution, taken each year at the beginning of the session, to protect the “mother of democracy”, the mother of Parliaments, from any marches or any demonstrations. In fact, the instruction given to the police reads as follows:
So, it is a democratic tradition that one does not march on Parliament. We see it as a deliberate challenge to authority, and as incitement to other people to disregard authority and encourage chaos. We believe that the police acted responsibly, correctly and with dignity in stopping that march. I might add that I am disgusted at the travesty of the Christian calling when churchmen try to whip up Christian sympathy whilst engaged in deliberately breaking the law. I will say no more about that.
As to the Uitenhage situation—these notes were typed this morning, so this has nothing to do with the joint sitting—our stand is that we immediately called for a commission of inquiry the moment we heard the news. We welcomed that commission on its appointment and we stated publicly that we would await the findings of the commission, and then make judgment on the facts as established. If those facts disclosed any blame, or any irresponsibility, on the part of the police, we would then call the hon the Minister of Law and Order to order. However, we shall await the facts and we accept the State President’s undertaking—and will hold him to it—that there will be ample time for debate on this issue when the commission’s report comes out.
As to the township violence and the action of the police in this regard generally, I was one of those who had the privilege of going to Maleoskop to see an exercise in the theory of training in respect of crowd and antiriot control. Obviously in practice that theory cannot be applied as it is taught. However, what everybody must accept is that the Police in those situations are placed under almost irresistible provocation. I believe that there has usually been praiseworthy restraint in the face of that provocation. It is also clear, however, that some have broken under the pressure. I want to say to the hon the Minister of Law and Order that we cannot condone—however much one may have sympathy with them—the acts of those who have abused or exceeded their authority and their power. Sad as it may be that policemen may break under pressure, they must face the consequences of being unable to resist it. They must be dealt with and they must be punished because discipline must be maintained in order that the image of and respect for the Police may be held high by all South Africans.
I want to conclude by saying that we feel even more strongly that the Police must find those faceless inciters and punish them. We want to see them punished for what they are doing to the Black people of South Africa. As in the case of the Defence Force, action to solve this type of problem should consist of 20% police action and 80% of the problem should be solved politically. This places a responsibility on all South Africans of all races to help to ensure that mob rule does not disrupt this country, and to help to restore normality and peace. This responsibility rests on us in this Parliament, and heavily on the media whose task it is to report accurately and correctly; to give the facts, but not to use unpleasant facts to stir up emotions and hatred and to incite reaction. We have that same responsibility in this Parliament. That is our attitude to those three fields in which South Africa is facing tragedies and unpleasantness.
Mr Chairman, I want to refer to the speech made by the hon member for Durban Point in general terms only. At a time in which South Africa is being confronted by very difficult situations which have to be dealt with, in which the lives and freedom of people are at stake, hon members on this side of the House have great appreciation for the standpoint which he adopted here this afternoon on behalf of his party. A desire for law and order to be maintained at all times was apparent from this speech which the hon member for Durban Point made. Also apparent from it was that the process of law as democratically laid down by this Parliament should be adhered to. And what was furthermore apparent was that if certain matters had to be rectified politically, the necessary steps would have to be taken. For this standpoint which the hon member for Durban Point made very clear here, we on this side of the House want to thank him very sincerely. It is a responsible standpoint and I would say that it is a standpoint which does not place the interests of either the Whites, or the Blacks or the Coloureds or the Indians first. I think it is a standpoint which puts the interests of South Africa first. If we adopted this standpoint to a greater extent in this House there would also be, under very difficult circumstances, room for law and order and for peaceful co-existence in this multinational country of ours.
I want to return to certain statements that were made in relation to that aspect of the Budget dealing with local government and housing. Local government and housing are of course those two areas within the Administration: House of Assembly which are so sensitive, and so directly involved in the maintenance of own affairs that we listened with very keen attention to the budget speech of the hon the Minister. In this budget of the hon the Minister we see that, as far as the field of housing and local government is concerned, there is an increase in the funds earmarked for housing projects, and certain guidelines are being laid down in respect of local government. It is a clear guideline that self-determination over own affairs should not be made subordinate to general affairs. This is a matter which I hope to debate further at a later stage.
This side of the House regards the restructuring of local government matters as something which ought to be accorded the highest priority. It is on local government level that own affairs finds expression in its purest form. Initial progress has been made with investigations to adapt third tier government to the new constitutional dispensation. One can expect the adaptation of local government to take place in accordance with three fundamental principles. In the first place it ought to take place in accordance with the principle of the maximum devolution of power. The second principle is that of the minimum of administrative control. The third principle in this connection ought to be overall co-ordination and planning on the first tier. These ought to be the three fundamental elements in the restructuring of local authorities.
The devolution of power to local authorities creates certain problems. In the first place it is true that when devolution of power occurs, a greater responsibility rests on the bodies to whom the power is transferred. The legal question which arises from this is how disputes between autonomous local authorities are going to be settled. Perhaps a local government tribunal could be established in this connection to settle disputes of this nature. Such a tribunal could be a quasi-juridical institution which could also decide disputes between taxpayers and the authorities in question. I expect that the restructuring of local authorities to adapt to the new dispensation will probably take place in accordance with these principles.
Furthermore, I think that the finances of local authorities will fall under the jurisdiction of the Auditor-General. Probably, too, there will be categorization of local authorities to maintain various levels of autonomy over, and administration of justice in regard to, own affairs. One can expect local authorities to be restructured within these general guidelines.
A very important question which arises in this connection is what the position of second tier government in relation to restructuring is. It is also clear to me from the inquiries which have been instituted in this connection that there should be a body on the second tier in order to co-ordinate the functions of local authorities. Whether this institution on the second tier should be a political institution or merely an administrative institution, further inquiries will demonstrate to us.
Then, for the edification of the CP in particular, I just want to say that local authorities are the sphere in which own affairs best manifest themselves. In a study which the Council for the Co-ordination of Local Authority Matters made various functions of local authorities were thoroughly examined. A committee of experts scrutinized local government activities and indentified 95 different functions of local authorities. Of the 95 functions, 75 were definitely identified as being exclusively own affairs functions. Nine functions, powers and duties of local authorities were identified as being exclusively general affairs. Included among these we find water, electricity, roads, cementaries, the establishment of markets, etc. The other 11 functions are overlapping functions.
If one therefore takes an objective look at the functions of local authorities, particularly at those which have been identified as own affairs, there is no truth in the statement that own affairs on local government level are being subordinated to general affairs. This side of the House maintains that own affairs on this third tier of government is being taken to its logical conclusion and that people are able to realize their aspirations in respect of their own affairs to the full here.
Since the introduction of the new dispensation remarkable progress has been made, in the sphere of housing, with the provision of White housing. We want to convey our gratitude to the hon the Minister of the Budget and thank him very sincerely for the money that has been appropriated for housing. During the past year 2 307 housing units for Whites have been constructed and more than 3 000 welfare housing units have been made available. In the planning for the present financial year, 2 700 housing units for the White community are being provided and R61 million is being appropriated to meet the tremendous need for welfare housing. In respect of the provision of housing, too, the new dispensation has not carried on in the same vein as in the past, but has added new stimulus to the provision of funds for the housing for all the population groups. In fact, I want to emphasize that this provision of money to the respective population groups out of the National Housing Fund will also afford the House of Delegates and the House of Representatives an opportunity to decide for themselves where and how money for accommodation should be spent. This is consequently a great improvement on the situation which obtained in the past.
I want to conclude by referring specifically to the question of own affairs and general affairs. The hon member for Virginia quoted from the Republic of South Africa Constitution Act in order to support his argument in connection with own affairs and how they are being entrenched.
Let us examine the history of this matter. Whether it was Adam Tas, who agitated against Willem Adriaan van der Stel in 1706 or whether it was the republics of Graaff-Reinet and Swellendam in 1795; or the Great Trek or the Boer republics of the Transvaal and the Free State; whether it was the first Anglo-Boer war of 1880-81, the second Anglo-Boer war of 1899-1902 or even Union, in 1910—I could continue in this way to outline the principle events in our history—one central theme is recognizable throughout. This central theme in the history of the South African nation may be typified as the struggle of minorities to survive. This is the central theme in our history—the struggle of minorities to survive. In this struggle for survival one elementary question is present throughout. This is the question of how own affairs can be arranged in relation to general affairs.
Just listen to that! Listen to that interpretation of history!
It is true!
That is how one interprets history!
It is in fact true. The elementary question is how own affairs are regulated in relation to general affairs. [Interjections.] I want to put it to hon members of the CP that conflict arises in South Africa when the own affairs of a specific group are promoted at the expense of the own affairs of other groups. That is when conflict arises in South Africa. I believe that the system of equal partnerships in relation to own affairs and general affairs offers us the solution to the problems of South Africa because in that way the necessary space is created in which all minority groups can co-exist in an orderly way in this country.
Mr Chairman, the hon member for Bellville always makes a well thought out contribution. He will, however, excuse me if I do not follow him directly.
It is not my intention to analyse the tragedy in which a large number of people died at Uitenhage last Thursday. I will leave that analysis to the Kannemeyer judicial commission of inquiry. There is one question, however, which I should like to draw to the attention of the hon the Minister. I know he is not able to be present here at the moment for certain reasons. There are many people missing. The attitude of the local population in Uitenhage towards the police force—and vice versa I might add—is not what it ought to be at the moment. The Police Force and the people it looks after should have a close and special relationship, and there is an opportunity for the Police Force to reinstate that relationship if they assist in seeking those missing people because there are many parents who are deeply disturbed.
We have the names of 34 people who are missing. These names I am prepared to divulge to the hon the Minister. People have been sought at the mortuary, in hospitals and in prison cells. They have not as yet been traced. I believe if the Police would come forth and be really helpful in the attempt to locate those people, that could do much to re-establish proper relationships with the local people. The Kannemeyer commission of judicial inquiry will obviously analyse this unfortunate situation in great depth. However, I wish the terms of reference of this judicial inquiry had been broadened to cover investigation of other recent killings in that area as well, including the gruesome and particularly repulsive murder of the Kinikini family. On this occasion I want to draw the attention of as many people as possible to the warning implicit in these events. They scream out to us to stop and to take stock of the South African situation. In the light of these events we, as Whites, should ask ourselves what kind of society we envisage in this country 10, 20 or 30 years down the track and what kind of a role we see ourselves playing in that society.
Anyone who takes the trouble to speak to Government officials and the Blacks in any of the townships right across the country who oppose them, will become conscious of the enormous gulf we have brought about between ourselves and the Black community. Unfortunately the situation has now been reached where the Blacks are no longer trying to bridge that gulf; they are helping to deepen it.
About a year ago I spoke to the hon the Minister of Law and Order before I visited Cradock and I told him that I wanted to see a complete cross-section of people at Cradock and to discuss their problems with them. My MPC, Molly Blackburn and I did so and had discussions not only with members of Cradora and Craydoya, but also with the mayoress, the magistrate and the Chief of Police in Cradock. The gulf between Black and White was enormous. On my return I wrote a long report to the hon the Minister, pointing this out to him. Furthermore, my information is that the gulf between Black and White in that little town is still growing wider all the time. Exactly as we anticipated, the problem has spread to other and bigger towns. It has become clear that whenever this problem appears, the same circumstances exist. There are Government-created structures of administration which are spurned by the local population. [Interjections.] The elected officers, who profess to speak for the inhabitants, have no credibility. They represent a negligible proportion of votes and are expected to administer a whole series of laws, regulations and affairs for a population which rejects them totally. For a while the powers of State are sufficient to make it appear as if the system is working, but not for long. The State President can make his “kragdadige” statements, he can say that he wants to maintain “wet en orde”, but he cannot even protect his own appointees.
Our Black population lives under conditions where there are always issues that can be used to rally people. Such issues can be in the field of education, transport or housing, but these do not he at the root of the problem. Even though one may rectify them, the dissatisfaction will remain because the underlying problem is of a political nature. We have denied Blacks meaningful political participation in their own country; we seek White domination through pseudopolitical structures that fool nobody. In these circumstances the Whites are on a high road to nothing. The demographic reality combines with political and economic considerations and world opinion to create a rapid and growing shift in the balance of power.
In these circumstances the State President’s plans for community councils, co-ordinating councils and regional services boards are ineffective. We must ask ourselves what types of society are possible for South Africa in the future and then plan for the most acceptable type. The role of the Whites in that society may be influenced by our actions but it will certainly not be exclusively of our choosing.
In 35 years’ time, when the population will be between 70 million and 80 million and the White population will be approximately 5,5 million, do we still intend to dominate Blacks? Do we think we can? Will Blacks still be crowded into the Sowetos, the Langas and the Zwides? Will they submissively come to our factories, keep off the beaches and come to town to spend their money? Sir, we cannot be that naïve. It will not be 20 or 40 men, women and children who will have to be killed to keep the Blacks submissive, but hundreds of thousands. By that time our Police Force will be involved in Nazi-like suppression operations while our military forces will be apprehensively gazing across our borders. Trade sanctions will have reduced exports to a miserable trickle and the busiest factories will be the armament factories. Famine will stalk the land.
If any hon member cares to come with me to Uitenhage and Port Elizabeth, I will introduce him to lots of young, intelligent Blacks who do not want that situation any more than he does, but they see no alternative. There has been a significant shift in Black attitudes. We prescribe and they reject. Blacks who play along with the system will be increasingly difficult to find.
To what lengths can we go to see our prescriptions work? We have not been very successful in tiny little Cradock although it crawled with security police. We have not got the children back to school in Port Elizabeth. Can one say that the situation in Cookhouse, Somerset East, Beaufort West, Fort Beaufort, Graaff-Reinet and Uitenhage has improved? The situation is worse, not better.
This type of violence debases our population, all sections of it, Black and White. The worst elements are encouraged and are given scope: “The best lack all conviction while the worst are filled with a passionate intensity.” This is not the world for free enterprise. In these circumstances there is no affinity with the Western democratic tradition. There will be no place for us in the international community. If we let our society develop like that, we deserve no such place. It will be open season throughout the year for all adventurers who want to take a swipe at South Africa. Many of our best people will leave this country. They will not be prepared to be co-opted into the oppressive system that will be necessary.
We are moving into an escalation of violence where, for every atrocity one side, the other side will commit another. Judges will no longer make our decisions, but inflamed passions will decide the verdict and dictate the punishment.
Rule without consent of the governed works on a ratchet system. Oppression creates resistance, which creates more oppression and more resistance until eventually there is guerilla warfare. It does not take much imagination to see that developing in Uitenhage. In Uitenhage we have already had shootings, assassinations, arson and bloody murder. Let me ask the hon the Minister how he intends sorting that problem out.
The Police report that they are run ragged with long hours and tense situations. Are we going to shoot more people until they are submissive? Are we going to bring the Army in and, if so, for how long? How about deportation? The TBVC lands will not take them.
Sir, regrettably my time has expired.
Mr Chairman, if time permits I shall be coming back to the PFP and the hon member for Walmer. I should like to refer back, however, to the speech made here yesterday by the hon member for Prieska. That hon member made a fairly vehement attack on the hon member for Lichtenburg. He accused the hon member for Lichtenburg of having made irresponsible statements about agriculture. Then the hon member, who apparently has an exceptional knowledge of the maize industry, went on to ask the hon member for Lichtenburg where on earth he found the figures he had quoted. Then the hon member for Prieska gave us his own figures about the alleged cost of maize production per hectare in South Africa. I am speaking of the input costs. What are the figures he quoted? He mentioned R60 for fertilizer, R20 for labour, R16 for maintenance, R18 for diesel and R10 for seed. He said that gave a total of R124 per hectare. What a responsible statement! [Interjections.] I should like to know from the hon member where on earth he obtained these figures.
The latest figures to be determined—those of March of this year—by the department on the production costs per hectare are: Tractor costs R75,26, vehicle costs R18,65, combine costs R10,89, implements in general R39,17, fertilizer—I want the hon member to listen—R133,08, spraying R21,10, crop insurance—I take it that in the hon member for Prieska’s part of the world one does not insure crops—R11,03 and interest on working capital R46 per hectare.
Surely we are talking about the cash input costs, are we not? [Interjections.]
As far as I know all the items I have mentioned are cash input costs. As far as I know, the fertilizer one has to buy is a cash input cost. As far as I know, one’s tractor costs are, for the most part, cash input costs. And as far as I know one’s regular labour, calculated at R23,31 per hectare, is a cash input cost.
You are now talking about production costs. [Interjections.]
The department also calculated that the production costs for the past financial year were R494,41 per hectare. That is a far remove from the hon member for Prieska’s R124 per hectare. I would appreciate it a great deal if the hon member for Prieska and the hon the Minister of Agriculture and Water Supply, who apparently agrees with him, would come and demonstrate to me, on my farm, how one can plant one hectare of maize with a cash sum of R124.
Does that not include interest on capital?
That amount you have just mentioned.
Well, yes, in the total R494, that is a far remove from the R124 of the hon member for Prieska. Perhaps the hon Minister of Agriculture and Water Supply could enlighten the hon Minister next to him and also that hon member.
The hon member for Lichtenburg spoke about R500.
I was intending to leave agriculture at that for a while, but I shall go a little further.
In this debate a great fuss has been made of how important own affairs are for the Whites. If one ever wants to speak of an artificial division into own affairs and general affairs, one need only look at the two departments we now have, ie the general department and the so-called own department.
What are all the things under the control of the hon the Minister of Agriculture—and here I am referring to own affairs? This includes plant production improvement and livestock improvement. These matters are, of course, important, but is it…
Research too. Is that a matter which is solely an own affair of the Whites?
How would you divide that up?
I say it is an artificial division, and I know why it has been done. It has been done because there are so few matters which, according to the NP’s new dispensation, really are own affairs. That is why such a large portion of agriculture has now artificially been classified under own affairs, whilst in reality being a matter of general affairs. [Interjections.] Anyone who knows anything about agriculture knows this. How can production research and promotion in the agriculture of South Africa be an own affair affecting only the White farmers of South Africa? Surely this also affects the Indian and Coloured farmers of South Africa.
Do you not want the right to determine that for yourself?
No, wait a moment. [Interjections.]
The hon the Minister gets terribly excited if he is interrupted while he himself is speaking, but he does not want to give me an opportunity to put my case. The NP is trying to bluff the Whites. They are also trying to bluff the Coloureds and the Indians, because one merely has to look at the agricultural budget of the other two Houses. I am saying nothing more than that.
In an earlier debate this year, when the Crossroads situation was under discussion, I said the following (Hansard, 1985, col 1414):
What a strange reaction I got from the hon the Deputy Minister of Law and Order, the man who, amongst others, is supposed to be responsible for the implementation of the laws of South Africa! As a result of what I asked he subsequently levelled the following accusation at me and at the hon member for Kuruman (Hansard, 1985, col 1456):
If one asks to have the laws of this country implemented, one is classified as being in the same camp as the radicals.
There probably has to be some shooting.
That is the product of that scatterbrained hon member who is not able to make a contribution to this House but who thinks up such things to present us with.
What has been of interest to me in the debate thus far is that although we have all known unrest, particularly in the Eastern Cape, would come to the fore in this debate, it is remarkable that prior to the State President’s participation in the debate this afternoon—he entered the debate—not a single member of the governing party displayed enough courage to pick up the cudgels for the hon the Minister of Law and Order. We had the strange phenomenon, as far as that was concerned, of the debate being conducted between the PFP and the CP. The NP chose to continue with ridiculous attacks against the CP. So let us merely continue with that debate, if there are no NP members of the House of Assembly to come to the aid of their own Minister.
Mr Chairman, may I put a question to the hon member?
No, there is no time for questions.
The Leader-in-chief of the NP took up the cudgels for him.
There is, in conclusion, a question I want to put. According to this morning’s Cape Times the hon Rev Hendrickse reconfirmed that the caucus of the Labour Party in the other House was unanimous in its request to have the hon the Minister of Law and Order removed. The hon the Minister of Home Affairs has just said that the State President took up the cudgels for him.
Did he not do so? [Interjections.] Just say whether he took up the cudgels for him.
I am now putting my question: The State President is the head of the executive authority, and here he now has two members of his Cabinet, the hon the Minister of Law and Order and another one, an hon Minister without portfolio, demanding the resignation of the hon the Minister of Law and Order; is he going to keep both of them in his Cabinet? That is the question, and we now want the answer. Is that the state of affairs in which South Africa finds itself this evening? We have here a coalition government which is split internally in the sense that one Cabinet Minister, who is also the leader of a House, is demanding the resignation of another senior Minister, and we get no answer from the NP. We get no answer from the State President. There is merely a completely deafening silence!
You do not understand the new system. [Interjections.]
As far as the PFP is concerned, I do not think they are convincing anyone that those of them who went to the Eastern Cape did so with a view to carrying out a really objective investigation. There is every indication, in their statements to the Press too, that they went there as inquisitors against the Police of South Africa. They went to the Eastern Cape, as they have repeatedly done since I came to this House, to look for evidence against the Police after already having placed the South African Police in the dock. That was their aim.
In accordance with the Resolution adopted on Wednesday, 20 March, the House adjourned at