NELSON MANDELA`S OPENING ADDRESS
TO THE 48TH NATIONAL CONFERENCE
OF THE AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS
Durban, 2 July 1991
Presidential Report II
Comrade President of our movement
Esteemed guests and observers,
I would like to join our President, comrade OR Tambo, in welcoming you
all to Conference. As he has said, this is an historic occasion not only
for the ANC but also with regard to the future of our country.
It is an incontestable fact that the millions of our people and many
more internationally are looking forward to the results of this conference
in the expectation that at the end we will convey to them all a message
of hope that the long days of apartheid tyranny are about to end.
We shall not, through our own acts of omission or commission, disappoint
these expectations by reducing the conference just to another event in
the political calendar of our country. The week ahead of us is therefore
Consequently, we are very pleased that we have present in this hall
representatives of all the organised structures of the ANC, as well as
observers from our allied organisations. During the few days ahead of us
we will have to take very important decisions which may very well decide
the fate of this country for many years to come.
It will therefore be required of each one of us that we approach all
issues on our agenda with all due seriousness. We expect of all of us rational
and constructive debate. Out of that debate must come equally rational,
constructive and realistic decisions, aimed at taking South Africa forward
as quickly as possible to its destination as a united, democratic, non-racial
and non-sexist country.
The conference here today is the culmination of a singularly democratic
process. It is a little over a year since the ANC began the task of reconstituting
itself as a public organisation in our country. You delegates have been
chosen by close to one thousand branches to represent the views of our
entire membership. Your branches have participated in rigorous discussions
concerning our strategy, constitution, organisation and policy.
You have been elected by a thoroughly democratic process. The procedures
that have brought you here are unique in this country. There are not many
movements or organisations which can claim to measure up to these democratic
standards. Certainly, outside the ranks of the mass democratic and trade
union movement, such practices are virtually unheard of. The very process
that brings us together here is an outstanding example of participatory
democracy which augurs well for the future.
Let us continue to demonstrate in our debates here this week that we
stand by the principles of freedom of expression. All views are entitled
to be aired. It is through vigorous and constructive debate that together
we will chart the path ahead.
We have convened as part of our continuing effort to make further inputs
into the unstoppable offensive to end the criminal system of apartheid,
to transform South Africa into a non-racial democracy and to reconstruct
it as a country of justice, prosperity and peace for all our people, both
black and white, in keeping with the objectives contained in the Freedom
In this regard, the first point we would like to make is that it is
the responsibility of our movement to be in the vanguard of the process
leading to the democratic transformation of our country. We must both lead
and learn from our people.
We make this point not out of any feeling of arrogance or superiority
over any other political formation. We say it to make the point that the
ANC is the repository of the aspirations of the overwhelming majority of
our people. In terms of mass support and for reasons that are very easy
to understand, we are the major political formation in this country.
Secondly, because it is the oldest formation among the forces that are
fighting for the victory of the perspective of a non-racial democracy,
the ANC contains within it a unique reservoir of experience of the struggle
for democracy, equality and an end to racism in all its forms.
The ANC has a proud record of struggle and resistance to the efforts
of successive white minority regimes to entrench this system and make it
an everlasting reality defining the nature and functioning of South African
BALANCE OF FORCES
It is precisely that struggle which has changed the balance of forces
to such an extent that the apartheid system is now in retreat. Through
the struggles of our people the ANC has been unbanned and we are able to
meet in our own country today. A regime whose ideology is based on a virulent
anti-communism has been forced to unban our ally, the South African Communist
Party, and remove provisions from the law prohibiting the propagation of
We have with us many of our friends from the rest of the world who,
only a short while ago, would not have been able to enter this country.
They have come here at the invitation of the ANC in order to demonstrate
their continuing solidarity with our cause.
All of these developments represent important victories of the heroic
struggle that the masses of our people have waged under the leadership
of the ANC.
It is our movement that has the vision, the policies, the programmes
and the mature leadership which will take our country from its apartheid
past to its democratic future.
From this conference we must formulate the strategies and provide the
leadership that can and will enable us to lead all the people of South
Africa to the goal which the overwhelming majority seeks, that of justice,
democracy, peace and prosperity.
In a period of transition, in which we will experience many things for
the first time, we are bound to make mistakes and experience failures.
We must make sure that we recognise these quickly, assess them, criticise
ourselves where necessary, learn what has to be learnt and emerge from
these stronger and better able to carry out our historic mission.
The ability to conduct struggle is gained in struggle. The ability to
score victories is a function of experience that we gain in struggle. Experience
also means mistakes and failures. It is by learning from these that we
are able to struggle in a better way. Fear of mistakes and failures means
only one thing. It means fear of engaging in struggle.
As a result of the struggle that we waged for decades, the balance of
forces has changed to such an extent that the ruling National Party, which
thought it could maintain the system of white minority domination for ever,
has been obliged to accept the fact that it has no strength to sustain
the apartheid system and that it must enter into negotiations with the
genuine representatives of the people. Negotiations constitute a victory
of our struggle and a defeat for the ruling group which thought it could
exercise a monopoly of political power forever.
When we decided to take up arms, it was because the only other choice
was to surrender and submit to slavery. This was not a decision we took
lightly. We were always ready, as we are now, to seize any genuine opportunity
that might arise to secure the liberation of our people by peaceful means.
We are very conscious that the process could not be smooth since we
are dealing with a regime that is steeped in a culture of racism, violence
and domination. We are dealing with a group of politicians who do not want
to negotiate themselves out of power and representatives of the state who
fear the impact of democratic change.
The point which must be clearly understood is that the struggle is not
over, and negotiations themselves are a theatre of struggle, subject to
advances and reverses as any other form of struggle.
Despite our own heroic efforts, we have not defeated the regime. Consequently,
we see negotiations as a continuation of the struggle leading to our central
objective: the transfer of power to the people. There are therefore some
issues that are non-negotiable: among others our demands for one person
one vote, a united South Africa, the liberation of women and the protection
of fundamental human rights.
As a movement we recognise the fact that apart from ourselves there
are other political formations in the country. These are as entitled to
exist as we are. They have a right to formulate their own policies and
to contest for support for their policies and organisations. We have agreed
to enter into talks with all these, and have been talking to most of them,
because we have no desire whatsoever to impose our views on everybody else.
We have never claimed that we have a monopoly of wisdom and that only
our views and policies are legitimate. As a democratic movement we shall
continue to defend the right of all our people to freedom of thought, association
and organisation. It is precisely because of this that we have firmly committed
ourselves to the perspective of a multi-party democracy.
We say all this to contribute to our preparations for the period ahead
of us when we shall enter into negotiations which will determine the destiny
of our country for the foreseeable future. We must participate in these
processes with a clear vision of what we want to achieve, with a clear
view of the procedures we must follow to ensure that our representatives
are properly mandated and that they report back to us, and with a clear
view of the process of negotiations.
Our demand is for freedom now! It can never be in our interest that
we prolong the agony of the apartheid system. It does not serve the interests
of the masses we represent and the country as a whole that we delay the
realisation of the achievement of the objective of the transfer of power
to the people.
Therefore it is necessary that we should have an idea of the time-frame
we visualise for the processes which must take us to the election of a
parliament representative of all the people of our country.
What, then, are the principal steps that we foresee on the road to this
goal? First of all, there remains the matter of the complete removal of
obstacles to negotiations as spelt out in the Harare Declaration. This
must now include the question of the ending of the campaign of terror against
the people, in this province, in the Transvaal and in the rest of our country.
When these issues have been attended to, we should then move to convene
the All-Party Congress. Out of that congress must emerge a number of very
important decisions. These will include agreed constitutional principles,
the mechanism to draw up the new constitution, the establishment of an
Interim Government and the role of the international community during transitional
We still have to grapple with the fact that the process of the removal
of obstacles to negotiations has not yet been completed. We will discuss
this question, bearing in mind both the progress achieved and what still
remains to be done. One of the issues we must note carefully is the way
in which the government has acted to discredit the process of negotiations,
by dragging its feet in terms of implementing what has been agreed.
This has come as no surprise. It has never been on the agenda of the
National Party to enter into negotiations with anybody other than those
whom it had itself placed in supposed positions of power. It is also in
this context that we should understand the use of violence to derail the
All of us present in this hall know that there are people within our
country, and within state structures, who remain opposed to the transformation
of our country into a non-racial democracy. Not only do these forces of
reaction stand against the realisation of that ultimate goal, they are
also opposed to each and every step that has so far been taken to build
towards the accomplishment of this objective.
They did not and do not like the fact that agreement was reached to
release all political prisoners and detainees, to allow the free return
of all exiles, to terminate political trials, to end the state of emergency,
to review security legislation and so on.
They took fright at the prospect of these agreements being implemented
because they knew that sooner or later this process would lead to the democratisation
of political power in our country and, therefore, the creation of the possibility
for the people themselves to dismantle the system of apartheid and create
a society that would be in keeping with the genuine aspirations of all
citizens of our country. That is precisely why there has been the escalation
of public violence such as we have experienced during the last 12 months.
It was not because we were failing that they decided to shoot the people
down. It was exactly because we are succeeding. The lesson from all this
must surely be that as long as we make progress towards the achievement
of our goals, so must we expect that those who fundamentally disagree with
these goals will resort to violence and terror to deny us the possibility
to move forward.
A heavy responsibility rests on the shoulders of the presently ruling
National Party to demonstrate that it is, in practical terms, as committed
to change as its statements suggest. This it cannot do by engaging in manoeuvres
designed to discredit the process of negotiations.
Neither can it expect that we will accept its good faith when it sits
paralysed as the security forces it controls themselves engage in violence
against the people, permit such violence to occur and remain immune from
prosecution when there is clear evidence of their involvement or connivance
at the murder of innocent people.
Consequently, nobody should complain when we accuse the Pretoria regime
of pursuing a double agenda, one of talking peace while actually conducting
war. It is for this regime to demonstrate its good faith not by what it
says but by what it does.
What is of strategic importance for us is that we must defend the lives
of our people at the same time as we push the process forward leading to
the transfer of power into their hands. We should not allow the situation
whereby those who deliberately inject violence into our communities succeed
in their intention of slowing down the process leading to the democratic
transformation of our country through the use of such violence.
We must defend peace at the same time as we advance towards people`s
power. We must engage in successful defensive battles against the counterrevolution
at the same time as we conduct successful offensive battles to defeat the
apartheid system. This is a struggle we must fight on all fronts simultaneously.
Conference has a responsibility to consider these questions, which pose
important strategic and tactical challenges. In this context, we will need
to assess the correctness of the positions we have adopted, the effectiveness
of the actions we have taken, the possibilities we face in the future and
arrive at decisions that will ensure that we do not submit to an agenda
that has been set by the forces of counter-revolution, but pursue our own
agenda whose core must always remain the speedy transfer of power into
the hands of the people.
Conference will have to consider all issues which relate to the creation
of a climate conducive to negotiations and take all the necessary decisions.
I have no doubt that our struggle to create such a climate will succeed
as I am certain that our offensive to achieve the democratic transformation
of our country will triumph.
Accordingly, in our planning we must proceed beyond the mere removal
of obstacles, important as this issue might be. We must engage one another
in serious discussion about how we should manage the period of transition
which our country has entered.
From all that has happened so far, it seems clear that this period is
likely to prove one of the most difficult, complex and challenging in the
entire life of our organisation. It is therefore one which we must all
approach with the greatest vigilance and firmness with respect to matters
of principle, clarity with regard to strategy and timeousness and flexibility
with reference to tactical issues.
One of the first principal policy questions we are going to face during
the transitional period, and in the context of the process of negotiations,
is the issue of the All-Party Congress. With regard to this matter, we
must evolve a clearer idea on such questions as the composition of this
congress, its agenda, the manner of its functioning and the length of time
we propose that it should sit.
Conference should bear in mind the fact that we ourselves said that
the All-Party Congress should convene when the obstacles to negotiations
have been removed. Accordingly, we must calculate on the congress taking
place sooner rather than later and therefore approach all preparations
for our own participation with some urgency.
Similarly, we must discuss the issue of constitutional principles which
will be on the agenda of the All-Party Congress. Fortunately, we have a
draft document on this issue, prepared some time ago by our constitutional
committee and which we have been discussing in our branches and regions.
I refer here to the documents dealing with constitutional principles and
a Bill of Rights.
These are important documents as they spell out our views on the framework
and the broad character of the new constitution. We must ensure that these
do indeed advance our fundamental perspective of the transformation of
South Africa into a united, democratic, non-racial and non-sexist country.
We must also discuss the issue of the mechanism to draw up the new constitution.
As all of us know, we are convinced that this mechanism should be an elected
Constituent Assembly and have made this into one of our major campaigning
The winning of the objective of a Constituent Assembly will not be achieved
solely through the negotiation process. It will require the generation
of mass support for this demand. We reject the regime`s contention that
mass mobilisation stands in the way of the negotiating process. In the
absence of voting rights, the only power we can exercise is the power and
the strength of our organised people.
But we must also deal with other important matters which arise in the
context of the Constituent Assembly. To have an elected Constituent Assembly
means that we must have elections. For us to succeed in those elections
we must prepare for them, bearing in mind the fact that throughout the
period of its existence the ANC has never participated in general elections.
We must therefore take all the necessary decisions which will enable
us to engage in this process successfully. Among other things, this means
that we must have the necessary policies to present to the country at large
and the organisational machinery to do this. It also means that we must
have clear ideas about such questions as electoral systems and the demarcation
of boundaries of constituencies.
As you are aware, another issue which belongs within the transitional
period is the question of the Interim Government. The importance of the
matter cannot be overemphasised. Among ourselves we are agreed that it
would be incorrect and unacceptable that during this transitional period
one of the parties to the negotiations, in this case the National Party,
should continue to govern the country on its own.
An Interim Government will therefore have to be formed and constituted
in such a manner that it is broadly acceptable to the various political
formations in our country. To that extent, it will take on the character
of a transitional government of national unity. Once this government is
formed, we will have reached the situation whereby, for the first time
this century, South Africa will cease to be ruled by a white minority regime.
In this regard we must provide the lead on all major questions that
will affect the constitution of an Interim Government as well as its lifespan.
It would be important that we have some idea of the time-frame within
which the new constitution should be drawn up and adopted. We certainly
do not want a long-drawn or endless process with regard to this matter.
In the end, as we have said already, the sooner power transfers into the
hands of the people the better.
The international community continues to be of vital importance to the
future of our country. This will remain the case even after we have won
our freedom. In both the Harare and UN Declarations, it is visualised that
a stage will be reached when this community will determine that we have
arrived at an internationally acceptable solution to the South African
question. This would then enable the rest of the world to welcome democratic
South Africa as an equal partner among the community of nations.
But before we reach that stage, it would be important that we discuss
the question of the possible role of the international community during
the transitional period. The role it could play to expedite this process
so that we move forward with minimum delay towards the accomplishment of
our cherished goals. Conference will therefore have to deal with this matter
Needless to say, the transitional period is not an end in itself. It
constitutes the conveyor belt which should take us through to the goal
of a democratic South Africa. At the end of this road and the beginning
of another, is the question of the exercise of political power. I take
it that we all agree that when the moment comes the ANC will present itself
to the country at large for the election into the new parliament.
It therefore seems obvious that we should continue the work we have
been doing already of preparing our policy positions on all major questions
of public life. We have already had to explain ourselves to the people
as a whole, in terms of these various policy positions. The country has
understood that we needed the time to work out these positions as we had
to rebuild our movement after 30 years of illegality.
But obviously elaboration of policy cannot itself go on forever. We
must begin to arrive at firm conclusions about what we would do with the
country once we become the governing party. Conference should at least
give the broad guidelines which will enable the movement as a whole to
move forward and arrive at these basic policy positions as quickly as possible.
The matter should not be underestimated that all our people want to
know how we would govern the country if they gave us this responsibility.
They want us to speak with one consistent voice and put forward a clear
It is clear from everything we have said that there are very many major
tasks ahead of us. Their accomplishment will be of critical importance
not only to the ANC and its allies but to the country as a whole and to
the millions of people who are not necessarily members of our organisation.
We must therefore closely scrutinise the issue of our organisational
capacity to carry out these tasks. If we are weak, we will not be able
to realise our goals. If we work in a confused manner, we will not be able
to take the country forward.
The Secretary General will be presenting the report on the organisation.
Therefore I will not go into any detail with regard to the issues that
confront us in this area of our work. I would, however, like to draw your
attention to a few issues which I am sure Conference will have to discuss.
Organisationally, what do we need? We need a movement that is organisationally
strong in terms of the membership that it attracts into its ranks. After
17 months of legality, we have recruited 700,000 members. Even though the
effort has been commendable, there is no room for complacency and much
more work has got to be done to draw millions of all our people into the
We must also express concern at the proportionately low number of members
that is drawn from rural areas. We must also do more to attract members
from the middle strata.
We can ill afford to be content with the relatively low level of success
that we are making with regard to drawing whites, Coloureds and Indians
into the organisation. We must ask ourselves frankly why this is so. In
this context, we should not be afraid to confront the real issue that these
national minorities might have fears about the future which fears we should
We must remain a movement representative of all the people of South
Africa - a people`s movement, both in name and in reality. As we build
our organisation, we must therefore constantly watch this issue to ensure
that we do not just concentrate on one sector of our population.
Apart from the ANC itself, our movement has three other important component
parts. These are the Youth and Women`s Leagues, and the People`s Army,
Umkhonto we Sizwe. The responsibilities that fall on the shoulders of the
Leagues are very heavy indeed. It is part of our task to ensure that they
are themselves strong enough to carry out these responsibilities.
They, like the ANC itself, should understand the point clearly that
they are charged with the task of leading not just their own members. They
must, each in its own sector, lead the millions falling within their constituencies.
Thus when we talk of mass action, it must be real mass action which draws
into struggle not just members but the masses of the people we represent.
At the same time, we need to pay better attention to our heroic army,
Umkhonto we Sizwe, than we have done during the past year or so. MK has
been at the centre of our struggle in the past and delivered the telling
blows that brought us to the point where a negotiated solution became possible.
It is proper that this conference should pay homage to all the commanders
and combatants of MK who laid down their lives and made other invaluable
sacrifices that have brought us to where we are today. We are very glad
that some of those who survived during the course of that struggle are
with us today.
Some of them were serving long sentences, but we managed to get them
out, even to the point where the notorious Robben Island prison has at
last been closed down. Some of them are serving commanders of the people`s
army, but we have succeeded to get them to be present at this, their conference.
Of those that were sentenced to death, we have ensured that none will hang!
Soon we shall have all of them among us, to continue the struggle for the
victory of the people`s cause.
We have suspended armed action, but have not terminated the armed struggle.
Whether it is deployed inside the country or outside, Umkhonto we Sizwe
therefore has a responsibility to keep itself in a state of readiness in
case the forces of counter-revolution once more block the path to a peaceful
transition to a democratic society.
CHALLENGES FOR MK
New challenges will face MK in the context of the installation of the
Interim Government. As we have said, this is one of the issues we will
have to discuss, an important part of which will be the issue of the control
of the security forces by such a government. It is clear that MK will have
to play a vital role in these processes. Where it can, it must, of course,
make its expertise available to those communities that are engaged in the
process of establishing their self-defence units.
At the same time, MK must prepare itself to become part of the new national
defence force we shall have to build as part of the process of the reconstruction
of our country. The task of training this cadre cannot await the adoption
of a democratic constitution but must be carried out now to ensure that,
as happened in Zimbabwe and Namibia, when the time comes to rebuild our
defence forces, we are ready to participate in these processes in defence
of our democratic gains.
Such are some of the major tasks that confront MK during this period.
To carry them out properly requires that all the necessary logistics be
made available. But it also requires that MK continues to be an army that
is committed to the democratic perspective that we represent.
We will also be discussing the new constitution of the ANC. Quite clearly
we must ensure that we agree on a structure which enables the membership
to participate in the formulation of policy and direction of the work of
the movement while the leadership we will elect recognises that it is accountable
without compromising its ability to lead.
But whatever our constitution will say, it will only function properly
if we all proceed from the position that we are all comrades, bound together
by common goals, with all of us equally committed to make a contribution
to the realisation of those common goals. Much work remains to be done
among us all to raise the level of political consciousness so that every
cadre, however high the position they may occupy, is schooled in the policies
of our movement, its character, its strategy and tactics.
Certainly, we must also resist the efforts of some among the media to
encourage factions within the movement by suggesting there are groups locked
in mortal combat, there is a division between the exiles and the internal
group, the ex-prisoners and somebody else, the so-called militants and
We should not tolerate the formation of factions within the movement.
The best means of ensuring this is through open democratic discussion within
our ranks so that no one feels excluded or denied the right to express
his or her opinion.
Many people both inside and outside our country repeatedly raise the
question of our relations with the Communist Party. We would therefore
like to take this opportunity once more to reiterate the fact that we consider
the South African Communist Party a firm and dependable ally in the common
struggle to rid our country of the system of white minority rule. We will
therefore rebuff all attempts to drive a wedge between our two organisations.
At the same time, the point must be born in mind that the SACP is a
separate organisation which does not seek to dominate the ANC as the ANC.
The ANC, for its part, does not seek to dominate the Communist Party. The
policies of the ANC are not decided in the Communist Party as neither are
the policies of the SACP decided in the ANC, regardless of the number of
people who might be members of both organisations.
Both we and the Communist Party must be judged by the policies we espouse
and the things we do to propagate and advance those views. We believe our
detractors should outgrow the pathological anti-communism of the period
of the cold war, stop the red-baiting and live up to the commitment they
all express in favour of a multi-party democracy.
The other member of our alliance is the Congress of South African Trade
Unions. We would like to reaffirm our firm determination to respect the
independence of the trade union movement and to act in a manner consistent
with this position, both now and in future. We are ready to act in support
of positions that are put forward by this allied organisation with regard
to issues such as retrenchment, a living wage and the Workers` Charter.
The incoming National Executive Committee will have to ensure that our
tripartite alliance works better than it has done in the past. This will
ensure that we use the collective strength represented by our respective
organisations in a better way.
We have also advanced the perspective of a front of all patriotic forces.
Undoubtedly a report will be presented to Conference on this matter. The
unity of our people, and the organisations that represent them, has always
been central to both our thinking and to our practice. Unity remains important
to this day. It must remain an essential part of our activities, from the
Our contact with various organisations has not been as strong as it
should be. This, too, will have to be corrected.
Our strength lies in the masses of the people. We must therefore continue
to pay the closest attention to the issue of our work among the masses.
They must see the ANC as their organisation, one that represents their
aspirations and actually advances their interests.
We must ensure that these masses are in fact engaged in struggle and
are drawn into the fundamental discussion which must now take place about
the future of our country. To ensure that these do not remain mere slogans
and pious wishes, we must pay attention to the importance of door-to-door
campaigning and the value of small local meetings.
We must help entrench the culture of political tolerance amongst our
people. We reiterate, it is absolutely impermissible for any one of us
to use force against the people. As we continue to engage in mass struggles,
we must ensure that the people join these struggles as a result of conviction
and not because of intimidation.
We must stand out as an unchallenged example of a real people`s movement,
in touch with these masses, responsive to their needs, capable of drawing
them into action in their millions and enjoying their genuine allegiance
and voluntary support. Hopefully Conference will address this question
as well and be unsparing in its analysis and criticism of where we might
have failed to relate to the masses in the manner I have described, so
that we do indeed strengthen our links with these masses.
The continued support of the international community remains vital for
the victory of our cause. We also need further to strengthen our links
with the rest of the world to ensure that the international community,
so well represented here today, remains engaged not only in the struggle
against apartheid, but also in the struggle for the democratic transformation
of our country.
From this international community we shall therefore require continuing
political and material support for the present phase of our struggle. But
equally we will need to prepare these friendly nations to come to our aid
as we carry out the enormous tasks that will face us during the period
of the reconstruction of our country, as well as define the place of a
democratic South Africa within that international community. These are
matters of critical importance to our people as a whole and will have to
be discussed bearing in mind this reality.
Undoubtedly, we will also continue our discussions of the sanctions
question which we began at our Consultative Conference last December. The
challenge that faces us with regard to this question is that we should
find ways and means by which we arrest the process of the erosion of sanctions
and help create the situation whereby we do not lose this weapon which
we will need until a democratic constitution has been adopted.
Let me take this opportunity once more to join our President in saluting
our honoured international guests who are with us today and pay tribute
to them for everything they have contributed to the protracted struggle
which has brought us to where we are today. We thank you most sincerely
for your support and are confident that you will stay the course with us
not only to end the system of apartheid but to help us rebuild this otherwise
While you are with us, we hope that you will see a little bit of it,
talk to as many of our people as you can and gain a better understanding
of the challenges that the ANC and the rest of the democratic movement
The masses of our people will undoubtedly feel greatly strengthened
that you were able to visit them directly to express your solidarity and
to strengthen the bonds of friendship which must underpin the relations
that a free South Africa will have with the rest of the world.
We would also like to thank all of our other distinguished guests from
within our country, including the members of the diplomatic corps, who
took time off to be with us today. We deeply appreciate the interest you
have shown in our conference and trust that you will accept its results
as a contribution to the common concern we share of the speedy transformation
of our country into a non-racial democracy.
I would like to thank all the comrades and friends who have been involved
in the work of preparing this conference. They have had to attend to a
lot of issues. To honour and respect their contribution to the struggle,
we are called upon as delegates to go about the business of our conference
with all due diligence and seriousness. I wish all of you success.
Finally, I would like to thank the Vice Chancellor of the university
of Durban-Westville, Professor Reddy, and all other members of the university
for making the university available for our historic conference.
We have no words to express our gratitude but trust that the results
of our conference will help to reinforce the work in which you yourselves
are engaged, of transforming this centre of learning and the educational
system as a whole in keeping with our common aspiration to create a just
Thank you for your attention.