Mandela warns of 'shallow' change

NELSON MANDELA marked his first 100 days as South African president yesterday with a speech to parliament warning that the new- found spirit of national reconciliation would remain 'shallow' if not accompanied by 'thorough-going changes' in all areas of life. The yardstick that 'we shall all be judged by is one and only one: and that is, are we, through our endeavours, creating the basis to better the lives of all South Africans?'

So far, Mr Mandela indicated, change had been most visible in the political arena. 'We have at last a robust and vibrant democracy, with broad consensus on the most important national questions; we have forged an enduring national consensus; we have a government that has brought together bitter enemies into a constructive relationship.'

Mr Mandela spelt out the issues which required immediate attention: crime was first on his list, notably 'the wanton killing of security force members' (160 policemen have been murdered this year) and increased drug trafficking. He promised 'urgent, visible and effective measures to eradicate these problems'.

On the economic front, funds would soon be forthcoming from the Reconstruction and Development Programme, the lynchpin of government policy, to finalise arrangements for a major clinic-building programme; for a primary school feeding programme in the poorer communities; for rebuilding townships, particularly in areas which have been prey to political violence; for new water and sanitation schemes; and for the restitution and distribution of land to some 40,000 people made homeless under apartheid.

Initiatives were necessary to promote foreign and domestic investment. This would require a 'critical merger' of bodies representing labour, business and government. In a veiled criticism of the recent spate of strikes, he said that while workers had every right to engage in collective bargaining, 'the new situation obliges all of us to take on board questions of increased investments'.

Mr Mandela, who has been accused by ANC critics of mollycoddling the white establishment, also said the government would move rapidly to make the civil service 'truly representative of South African society'.

In another response to demands from his own supporters, he signalled the establishment of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to supervise an amnesty for violators of human rights 'on the principle of disclosure'. The past should be overcome but not forgotten for otherwise it threatened 'to live with us like a festering sore'.

He also promised 'the rapid dismantling of all the networks which kept members of the public under surveillance simply because they were opposed to the government of the day'.

At the end of the speech, as if to reinforce Mr Mandela's faith in the new national consensus, Deputy President F W de Klerk and Inkatha leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi joined in the applause which broke out from every corner of the chamber, including - in a significant break from the protocols of the past - the packed public gallery.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
house + home
Arts and Entertainment
tvGame of Thrones season 5 ep 4, review - WARNING: contains major spoiliers!
Life and Style
Bats detect and react to wind speed and direction through sensors on their wings
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA celebration of British elections
Danny Jones was in the Wales squad for the 2013 World Cup
rugby leagueKeighley Cougars half-back was taken off after just four minutes
Life and Style
The original ZX Spectrum was simple to plug into your TV and get playing on
techThirty years on, the ZX Spectrum is back, after a fashion
Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn are breaking up after nearly three years together
peopleFormer couple announce separation in posts on their websites
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
Arts and Entertainment
Haunted looks: Matthew Macfadyen and Timothy Spall star in ‘The Enfield Haunting’
tvThe Enfield Haunting, TV review
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living