Photograph: Herman Potgieter
Do you think the new government has the full co-operation of its security forces in cracking down on violence and crime? People act in self-interest and it'll be in the self-interest of the security forces to protect themselves and do what the government wishes. There is fear that government's new reconstruction and development policies have created unrealistic expectations. Do you think this could lead to frustrations which could fuel violence? I'm not pessimistic because the African National Congress was commendably restrained in not making promises which can't be realized. Expectations are obviously high, so for that reason I hope the housing development plans come to fruition and get to sufficient people. As long as people see things
happening, even if it's not happening to them but they know they will get assistance somewhere down the line, they will be satisfied.
Violence in Natal has been more continual than the wars which have erupted at intervals in the East Rand townships. What is the nature of the Natal violence and will it end? There are ethnic and tribal aspects to the violence in Natal, but on balance, it is more about basic economics - the battle for resources. It has decreased significantly and can be further contained. How has the Goldstone Commission's work helped create a bulwark against violence? The most important achievement was the agreement wc clinched with the political parties in July 1992 on guide ines for mass marches and demonstrations. It SOUTH AFRICA
has saved countless lives. There's a fairly sensible attitude which has emerged on all sides since that agreement.
Do you think South Africa still needs to have extra-governmental bodies like the Goldstone Commission to deal with violence? No. I optimistically believe it is not necessary. If there is a political flare-up, it should be handled by the democratic government's security forces. Criminal conduct should also be dealt with in the same way. It's no longer a situation of transition, and the authorities must exert their authority. You seem to be very optimistic about the future. Are you? To be pessimistic is against the weight of evidence. 1fT had told you four years ago where we are now, you would have said: Please God, let it be. â€˘ 35