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Fri Sep 14 08:12:38 MDT 2001

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ANC rejects Stofile remarks 

JOHANNESBURG -- The African National Congress yesterday restated its position on
Tuesday's terror attacks on the United States after Eastern Cape Premier
Makhenkesi Stofile said the attacks were not an act of cowardice. 

In an interview published yesterday, Stofile was quoted as saying the American
government "had to look into themselves" to find out why the "guerillas" were
attacking their cities. 

Stofile's reported remarks are directly out of step with an ANC motion agreed by
Parliament a day after the terror attack. The motion condemned the "dastardly
attacks" as "cowardly terrorism". 

In a statement yesterday, ANC head of communications Smuts Ngonyama said the
party was restating its position after media statements, attributed to "some
members" of the organisation, showed apparent reluctance to roundly condemn the

"We must point out that such statements are completely out of sync with the
position of the ANC and that of the government," Ngonyama said. 

"If it is true that such statements have been made by those they are attributed
to, they must be seen as expressing views of such individuals, and as

"The ANC shares the outrage, the misery and the sorrow of the American people
and the international community over this crisis and fully supports the
government of the United States in all their efforts to deal with this

The report quoted Stofile as saying that he was not personally shocked by the
attacks, but that he also did not encourage such acts. 

Questioning the use of the word "terrorist", used to describe the suicide
hijackers, Stofile said: "Even us (ANC members) when we fought in the struggle,
we were called terrorists." 

"I don't think of this as an act of cowardice. It is an act of tactics." 

He said he was not shocked at the attacks because such things had been happening
for a long time. 

ANC spokesman Nat Serache said if the remarks were confirmed, the ANC's national
executive committee could take disciplinary action against Stofile. -- Sapa


Premier clarifies disaster remarks 

GRAHAMSTOWN -- Eastern Cape Premier Makhenkesi Stofile has issued a statement
clarifying his comments made to East Cape News this week about the terror
attacks against America. 

He said his recollection of the interview he gave while in Aliwal North was: 

Question: Are you surprised that bombs and planes have attacked the US? Answer:
No. The world we live in is a very violent one. 

Question: What could have sparked the attacks? Answer: The US government should
do that analysis and find out what has sparked such attacks. This is a good time
for introspection by the US government. 

Question: What do you feel about these acts of terror? Answer: I do not know for
sure that these are acts of terror. They could be guerillas fighting for
something. In that case, guerillas use small units as a tactic, not as an act of
cowardice. These are the same tactics the ANC used and we too were labelled as

Question: How do I feel about the attacks? Answer: I think they are a bad thing
and we do not encourage such attacks. 

"It was more of an analysis than a statement," Stofile added. -- ECN

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