Buthelezi, Winnie Mandela Join Government
- By Donna Bryson
- May. 12 1994 00:00
PRETORIA -- Nelson Mandela on Wednesday included his chief black rival in the Cabinet of South Africa's first post-apartheid government and gave his estranged wife a deputy minister post.Zulu nationalist leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi became home affairs minister, while Winnie Mandela was named deputy minister of arts, culture, science and technology.The 27-member Cabinet -- comprising 18 from Mandela's African National Congress, six from former president F.W. de Klerk's National Party and three from Buthelezi's Inkatha Freedom Party -- was sworn in at the Union Buildings and launched its first meeting. It is led by Mandela, the president, and deputy presidents de Klerk and Thabo Mbeki of the ANC.Buthelezi was expected to join the Cabinet after Inkatha won just over 10 percent of the vote in last month's all-race election, entitling the party to three Cabinet seats.But the inclusion of Mrs. Mandela, even as a deputy minister, came as a surprise, especially after Mandela pointedly refused to acknowledge her presence during the first meeting of the new parliament Monday.As head of the ANC Women's League, Mrs. Mandela has wide support among women and militant youths who cheer her fiery rhetoric against the legacy of apartheid. Her appointment culminates a remarkable political comeback after her 1991 conviction on kidnapping charges, allegations of an extra-marital affair and corruption, and her separation from her husband in 1992.In accepting the home affairs portfolio, Buthelezi takes over the ministry that formerly oversaw his KwaZulu black homeland and other black territories created under apartheid to separate blacks and whites.Those homelands have been disbanded under a new political system in which the country is divided into nine provinces with some federal powers. In an ironic twist, Buthelezi has pledged to work for greater federal powers for the provinces, which would reduce his authority as home affairs minister.The ministry also handles the bureaucracy of government documents, such as passports and identity books.Inkatha's Ben Ngubane received the arts, culture, science and technology ministry, while Sipho Mzimela of Inkatha was named correctional services minister.When the ANC announced its list a few days ago, longtime political prisoner Ahmed Kathrada was designated for the correctional services post. His replacement by Mzimela resulted from what Mandela called "horse trading" among the parties in his bid to create a unified government leadership to replace white minority rule.Among the deputy ministers were Bantu Holomisa, former military leader of the ANC-aligned Transkei black homeland, for environmental affairs, and Inkatha negotiator Joe Matthews, for safety and security.Though his party dominates government and he has made clear he will use his position to push through a controversial reconstruction and development program, Mandela also has stressed he wants a government of reconciliation in which all parties play an important role.The ANC, the National Party and Inkatha were guaranteed Cabinet positions proportionate to their support among voters because they each received more than 5 percent of the vote. Three other smaller parties also hold seats in parliament.Reconciliation was the main theme Tuesday, when the former political prisoner took over the government."We must ... act together as a united people, for national reconciliation, for nation building, for the birth of a new world," Mandela said in his inaugural speech in Pretoria.The tasks ahead of the country's first black president are daunting: Mandela has vowed to provide housing, jobs, education and health care to the millions of blacks impoverished under white rule. He must also end the political violence that has killed more than 11,000 people since 1990.Most of the plum Cabinet posts went to ANC leaders, including Alfred Nzo, a former exile named minister of foreign affairs. Joe Modise, who led the ANC's guerrilla wing, is defense minister; and Sydney Mufamadi, another ANC activist imprisoned by the apartheid government, is the top police official.The National Party contributed Derek Keys, who will continue as finance minister. His presence in the new Cabinet should reassure white business leaders and foreign investors.Pik Botha was appointed minister of mineral and energy affairs.