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tv   HAR Dtalk  BBC News  August 18, 2017 12:30am-1:01am BST

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of barcelona, after a van deliberately drove at speed into a crowd of pedestrians. so—called islamic state says it was behind the attack. two people have been arrested, but latest reports say the van driver may still be on the run. the spanish prime minister mariano rajoy has said he's in no doubt that what happened was a jihadist attack. speaking in barcelona, he said the fight against terrorism was the main priority for free and open societies. and this story is trending on bbc.com: donald trump has denounced the removal of beautiful confederate statues from public spaces in the us. he's tweeted that us history and culture are being ripped apart. his comments come after violent protests in charlottesville over the weekend. now on bbc news it's time for hardtalk. welcome to hardtalk.
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i'm stephen sackur. for more than two decades, the anc has been south africa's impregnable political structure, but now cracks are appearing. at least 30 anc mps defied the party whip and supported a no confidence motion against party leader and national president, jacob zuma. cue bitter recriminations. my guest today is pravin gordhan, the man president zuma sacked as finance minister in controversial circumstances earlier this year. does the anc need to be broken up to enable south africa to thrive? pravin gordhan, in johannesburg, welcome to hardtalk.
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thank you. thank you for having me. long distance as it might be. let's consider what is happening in your country today and particularly the fallout from the motion of no—confidence against president jacob zuma, which didn't succeed, but got 177 votes, which was significant. it clearly included a substantial number of anc mps. how toxic is the atmosphere inside the anc as a result of that vote? there certainly is an active debate and discussion of ideas. to answer questions that you have raised in your introduction, the anc is still absolutely crucial to south africa's future, the values, programmes and policies of the anc are extremely relevant now and possibly for the next decade
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or two, they are policies that can still banned this nation together and increase prospects for south africa. however, to be frank, we have gone through a period of disclosures which has demonstrated to south africans and the world that the state machinery and resources are being used in the wrong kind of way. it is important to distinguish between the anc as an organisation and its values and programmes on the other hand, and individuals who currently, in the view of many, don't perform their responsibilities in accordance with those values. you talk about the need to be frank. in that spirit, the chief whip of the anc said that there should be
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a disciplinary process for all those mps who voted for the motion of no confidence in jacob zuma. do you agree? he is reported as having said that there should have been no witch—hunt. this is a moment where we need to step back a bit as an organisation and reflect on what are the reasons for ending up where we are today. and in a self—critical way, as many documents of the anc, formally presented at the meetings indicate, they are things to reflect on. amongst others, why do we have so much corruption and what do we do about it? ways this corruption about one family and a broader syndicate, and what does it have in terms of impacts on the state, and there are billions of dollars of public money, they are putting that money into different accounts in different parts of the world? and finally, how do we unite the organisation in line with nelson mandela and his values?
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i want to talk about those issues of governance in some detail, but sticking with what is happening inside the anc for a bit longer. it was a secret ballot, nobody needed to tell anyone else how they voted in that vote. but how did you vote? as we said, it was a secret ballot. like myself and a number of others who said our conscience would guide us, and in addition, we have a seminaljudgement from the constitutional court and an equally seminal statement from the speaker of our parliament, which indicates that the oath we have taken in the parliament is an oath to the republic and the constitution. finally, our duty lies with the people of south africa. i think i am quite experienced
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at reading between the lines and i think i understand what you are saying. i note that onjuly 18, you clearly said, it is time forjacob zuma to move aside. so we can assume you voted for the motion of no confidence, i think. how do you feel when the police minister has talked about the need for a lie detector test to sort out who stayed loyal and who was disloyal to jacob zuma? how would you react to being faced with a lie detector test? in the first instance, i think the police minister is misdirecting his energy. he should take the lie detector equipment to the area where the guptas reside and others visit and ask them to declare to the south african public in the world how much money they are taking from the public and if we can have it back. the second issue is that the alliance members have raised
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this issue today, and the south african communist party, the issue is, why is attention given to a certain number of anc employees who may have crossed the line, so to speak, but there are a range of corrupt activities that are not being given the same attention. you keep tempting me to get directly onto the issue of corruption, you have already introduced the guptas to this, the successful business family at the centre... there is bell pottinger as well. you expressed the thought that the anc remains crucial to south africa's future and you have expressed your loyalty. discussing the atmosphere inside the party today. reading social media and other
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reports, i know that you have faced threats since the vote of no—confidence. one person in particular said, quoting not mean i saw on social media, said that you should be necklaced, a term used during the apartheid. are you frightened right now about the sort of anger and toxic atmosphere inside your party, some directed at you personally? no, there is reason to be concerned, there is no doubt about that. that kind of remarks, those remarks about necklacing, that is totally unwarranted.
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it does not represent our country at this point in time. but remember that we have a large number of people who survived the apartheid period, they have survived different types of torture and maltreatment at the hands of the apartheid regime. they, like myself, are not about to give up on the anc and the values we hold dear. jacob zuma says it is a matter of loyalty. during the apartheid, many people wanted to destroy the anc, apartheid representatives themselves included. jacob zuma is saying to the south african public, if you move against me, you're notjust damaging me but the entire party, letting our enemies and opponents win. how do you respond? very simply. there is a lot of reflecting that the president needs to do
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about what and whom is causing damage to the reputation of the anc, resulting in the increasing lack of trust and the deficit of trust that there is between south african citizens and our organisation. our aim is to increase the level of trust to sustain the support for the south african national congress, and ensure they are in a position to win the election in 2019. others might have a short—term objective of participating in the looting of the state for their personal benefit. let's not get ahead of ourselves talking about 2019 elections. talking about the anc choice as to who should lead the party afterjacob zuma. his term runs out at the end of the year. it seems he wants his ex—wife to take over. the other leading candidate who has stood has made his intentions known. who are you backing?
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the anc will discuss it in september. the candidate is qualified to lead a better future for all south africans. looking at his record, he has been woven into the governing elite of business and politics since the liberation struggle. records suggest that he has remained loyal to jacob zuma in a series of no—confidence votes and the dispute about how jacob zuma spend money on his estate. farfrom being a reformer, this is a man who has been deeply embedded in the old anc elite. that is one view.
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ramaphosa is one contestant, there will be other people competing for that as well. there will be a crossroads at some point. he will be able to put his credentials before you. like many others, he has strong credentials. the creator of the national union of mineworkers. a key negotiator who gave us the basis for the first democratic elections. the 1996 final constitution in south africa as well. all of us have pluses and minuses. i think for a significant number of people, perhaps some of the minuses that you point out... it is not about what you have done or not done, the key is who has a singular adherence to the principles of the anc
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and is willing to take south africa out of the mess it finds itself in, particularly economically as i pointed out. we need growth well above the 0.5, 1% growth. we need to create jobs on a massive scale, we need investment on a massive scale. we require notjust a visionary leadership, but an action orientated leadership that will put south africa on a different trajectory. you know there is a powerful set of voices who may be coalescing around the economic freedom fighters who say that the problem with people like ramaphosa, and possibly yourself as well, is that you don't have a radical vision. in the end, you are still in the pockets of the old elite. they have said that ramaphosa should not call himself a black south african, they have said he should call himself nonwhite as he is still in the pocket of the old elite. the issue is freedom of speech and freedom of polemic in this case. the polemic... but political contestant for power, if we don't have the right leadership and don't implement the policies we have, then, like any other democratic situation, we will lose the elections in 2019. one more political question,
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and then i will get onto allegations of corruption and governance. will you continue your campaign to see jacob zuma removed from office after 2017? he will no longer be the leader of anc but he will still be the president of the nation. he could and it seems will be determined to see his office through to the end of 2018. will you be advocating his removal? well, you know, that will be the responsibility of the new leadership that will be elected in december, 2017... yeah, i am just asking you... (crosstalk). i might not even be part of that. so it is not for me and i have not been campaigning. i have merely been part of a process and, to a large extent, i have been a victim of very
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ill—advised decisions made in respect of governance in this country, which has resulted in downgrades, lack of confidence, drop in confidence, and drop in investment. what we want to see, as i've said repeatedly, is to turn that narrative and situation around so that we have a different kind of trajectory into the future... (crosstalk). the news leadership of anc is elected and they will be decide what the answer to your question is. clearly, you're not going to give me a direct answer right now so let's move on. let's talk about you and these issues of governance that you've already mentioned in this interview. you've made a point of already mentioning the gupta family who stand at the centre of this set of allegations about "state ca pture", the degree to which they have exercised power and influence at the very heart of government. allegations, it should be said, they've consistently denied, but you clearly believe them to be true. do you believe you were fired byjacob zuma, in particular the second firing from the finance ministry, because of influence being exercised by business interests who wanted you out? well, in the first term,
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stephen, i left at the end of the five—year term. in the second instance i did "get fired" as you say, and there is a strong belief that there is a link to the kind of interests and objectives that this particular family and those who work with it, have in south africa, including making sure that we interfere with the banking system and the rights in respect of having particular clients or not having clients, interfering with a decision, possibly, to be made which would have entitled them to buy a bank and then carry on with whatever it is they want to actually carry on. and thirdly, in respect of the kind of activities that were going on in the state—owned enterprises, institutions like eskom and transnet, all of which is now coming to the surface... hang on, this is important.
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you've heard, i'm sure, in a recent interview actually on bbc, atul gupta completely rejected the raft of allegations connected to the release of thousands of leaked e—mails. he said the emails were not authentic, he denied some of those key very dramatic allegations about, for example, $40 million allegedly being offered to the deputy finance minister, mrjonas, if he would take charge of the finance ministry on the understanding that he would do the guptas‘ bidding. atul gupta said that was simply not true. there is a fundamental question mark facing all of south africans. should they believe this web of allegations of corruption going to the very top of government? your message seems to be, yes, they should. is there any reason why we should believe anything that a gupta family member has to say. i can affirm to you in categorical terms that the deputy minister of south africa was offered 600 million rands as a bribe in order to take the position of finance minister,
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later that year, in 2015 — which he rejected and, as a consequence, he was dismissed, as i was, towards the end of march this year. secondly, a number of others who are implicated and mentioned in the e—mails that you refer to, have not contested the truth. in fact, have provided one or other kind of explanation, either to vindicate themselves or to extricate themselves from the allegations of... (crosstalk). are you ready to see the guptas in court if they choose to pursue you, because, of course, they deny all of the allegations that you've just mentioned — are you ready for that, if necessary? no, no, that is not myjob. it is the job of the law enforcement entities in this country to intervene where there is corruption in relation
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to the public sector and the private sector interactions. use these e—mails and whatever other information that is in the public domain at this point in time to enforce the laws of this country, to ensure that anybody that has a business here should be law abiding, and a question that should concern the british public as well, is the involvement of a pr company, called bell pottinger, in our affairs in south africa, in creating racial tensions in this country in the course of actually serving the financial interests or whatever other interests they are of this particular family... i'll come to that...hang on, hang on. you are throwing in lots of different things at once. i will come back to bell pottinger in a second, if i may. but before i do that, one basic question — we've talked a lot about the anc — of course, you have been a long—time member — your loyalty to it. but in the end, what is more important to you — getting to the bottom, to the truth of all of these allegations about the gupta
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and state capture, or the health of the anc, because, if the investigation ultimately means that people at the top of the anc get very badly damaged, there might be a choice you have to make. which is your priority — getting to the truth that or protecting the anc? no, they're related because getting to the truth will help to protect the anc. and as you know, the constitutional court in south africa has said, as the previous public protector, that the commission of enquiry needs to be appointed... we haven't not got... (crosstalk). there is agreement in the anc... we haven't got the independent judge. .. (crosstalk). no, there's agreement in the anc that a commission of that nature, headed by a respected judge, needs to be put in place so all of these allegations can be tested and evidence provided, and the only question is when that will actually be done. if the allegations are proven to be correct and if we can extricate this cancer of extreme corruption in our system, the anc will be alive, it will be well, it will be aligned with the aspirations of south african citizens, and ensure that our economy and society moves in
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the right kind of direction. alright. you mentioned bell pottinger. just very quickly on that, this big pr firm based in london but which is working, it seems, with the guptas, has acknowledged that it regrets some things that it did, pushing the guptas‘s case in south africa. but one thing that it seems they decided would be helpful to the guptas was to undertake this sort of narrative which says, according to the guptas, that the problem is not the way they've operated, the problem in south africa today is still the dominance of what is called "white monopoly capital" and, to a certain extent, they have got a point, haven't they, because if one looks at the inequalities in south africa today, who really holds the wealth?
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well, disproportionately it is still the white people. who owns the land? it is stil disproportionately the white people. so there is a problem which people like you, who have been in powerfor a long time in south africa, have signally failed to address. not quite true. remember that what we have in south africa, and it is something that we need to constantly remind ourselves, is a constitutional arrangement that came out a political settlement. this wasn't a conquest situation, where any one side conquered the other and, at will, was able to reshape both the politics and the economy of the society. secondly, you might also want to remember that, as part of ensuring stability, mr mandela and his colleagues in the early 19905 period, leading up to the 1994 elections, in fact did a couple of things — firstly, they agreed to a government of national unity, secondly, they agreed that a finance minister of the previous apartheid leader would continue for a short while in order to reassure the markets that nothing untoward would actually happen. so stabilising the situation in south africa economically was quite important for the politics to actually take root as well. thirdly, there has been any amount of transformation that has taken
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place but, fourthly, has it been adequate? has it eradicated 300 years of colonial legacy? definitely not. so there is a lot of hard work to do, a lot of reconstructing to do, but what is happening currently, in terms of the pilfering of state finances and the kind of undermining of state institutions, is delaying that project. yes or no — we have to end like this, you talk about really constructing and reforming south africa. it may be the best way to do that would be for people like you to leave the anc and join a different political movement. will you ever leave the anc? after a0 years of contribution to the struggle here in south africa and to the african national congress, not at this stage. and remember, stephen, that the anc, as an organisation and as a part of our history, is very close to the hearts of the majority
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of south africans. some might be disappointed with what we have seen recently but we have to respect that it has massive support on the ground. if we get it right, in december, then that support will return to the anc and we will continue to transform south africa in the right kind of way. we have to end there. but i must thank you very much, pravan gordhan, for being on hardtalk. thank you for having me. hello there. friday is looking a bit cooler across—the—board. and there'll plenty of showers around too. some of them merging together to bring longer spells of rain in the north and the west of the uk. we start the morning off with sunshine and dry in the south and east. plenty of showers in scotland.
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some merging together to bring longer spells of rain in the north—west and eastern areas as well. sunshine to the south. some sunshine and one or two showers for the northern isles. england and wales, most of the showers in northern and western areas. the midlands eastwards, largely dry. temperatures around 15—17. quite breezy, especially close to the irish sea. in fact, that coast around the irish sea will be windy through the day. wet in the northern half of scotland. this feature near ireland pushing towards wales and western parts of england later in the day, bringing prolonged rain. the south—east, plenty of dry weather. top temperatures, 22 degrees. cooler than what we saw on thursday. certainly in northern and western areas. during friday night, blustery. further pulses of rain. showers moving through. tending to turn more dry by the end of the night. cooler spots in rural places,
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central and northern part. saturday, fine and dry. in fact, we're in between weather systems. looking good through the country. a windy day. showers are lighter. especially in northern and western areas, staying dry. this area of low pressure hurtling across the atlantic towards our shores will contain the remnants of what was hurrican gert. it will bring a surge of rain to south—western areas on sunday. starting of dry with sunshine. uncertain about how far and heavy this rain will spread. what it will do is introduce a brief surge of warmer and more humid air to southern parts of britain towards the start of next week. but, again, uncertainty with how much sunshine there will be.
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temperatures could be reaching the mid—20s. a cool air alert behind that weather front where we could see rain as it slowly starts to go south. i'm alpa patel, in london. the headlines: terror on the streets of barcelona as the band ploughs into a crowd killing 13 people and injuring more than 100. i immediately sensed it was a nice—like event and people around were running away, fled away, in panic. a massive security operation is underway and two men have been arrested. police are still hunting
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for the van's driver. i'm rico hizon, in singapore. also in the programme: the grim toll of the philippines' war on drugs. 50 suspects are killed by police in just three days.
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