an urgent meeting later on wednesday to discuss the persecution of rohingya people in myanmar. almost 400,000 rohingya refugees have poured across the border since the end of august. the prime minister of bangladesh has called on myanmar to take them back. north korea has threatened the united states with the "greatest pain" it has ever suffered following new sanctions. president trump said the move was nothing compared to what would have to happen to deal with north korea. and this story is trending on bbc.com. apple has revealed a high—end smartphone with an edge—to—edge screen that has no physical home button. the iphone x, which is referred to as 10, uses a facial recognition system to recognise its owner. that's all from me now. stay with bbc world news. now on bbc news, it's time for hardtalk. welcome to hardtalk.
i'm stephen sackur. is the african national congress, the iconic movement of south africa's liberation struggle, close to the end of its productive life? if so, will its demise be quick, or slow and painful? at the end of this year, the current party leader and president of the country, jacob zuma, will quit as party chief. a host of candidates, including his ex—wife, are vying to replace him. my guest is former interim president of south africa and anc stalwart, kgalema motlanthe. are the most respected anc members ready to contemplate a new political home? kgalema motlanthe, welcome to hardtalk.
thank you. thank you, stephen. thanks to the viewers. it's a pleasure to have you here. and if i may, i'll start with some of your own very well chosen words, from a year ago. back then, you said "if the anc is no longer addressing the problems of our people, well, we may as well begin writing its obituary." have you written its obituary? not yet. not yet, you know, because the obituary really is to be written by the people themselves. do you think it is inevitable? it is not inevitable. it's not inevitable. it depends on how the anc positions itself and how it renews itself, and how it connects to the people and begin to understand that it exists for sole purpose of addressing the concerns
of the people. well, what the people have seen since you said that rather damning statement, what the people have seen is a raft of allegations, which can loosely put under the umbrella of accusations of state capture — that key business people, and many of them associated with one family, have peddled enormous amounts of influence at the heart of government. now that family, the gupta family, denies it, but nonetheless, the people of south africa clearly are deeply concerned about what they are seeing and hearing. that's right. so what i'm saying is, you said "we may have to write the victory of this organisation, my organisation," then. things have gotten worse since then. that's true. i did say at some point that before things can come right, they've got to definitely
get worse, first. you in the end, i suppose, as a key member of the anc, you have to decide to what extent this is a zuma problem, and to which extent it is an institutional movement problem. it is an institutional movement problem. zuma is the head of the organisation. only, you know, serves to amplify that problem. but it's a movement problem. you did call, i think, going back to the spring, you made a decision to call for zuma to go. yes. notjust as party chief, but as president. yes. because my belief is that if you are in the leadership position, you have the responsibility of guiding others. and whenever they get off the rails, you have the ability to pull them back.
and that same conscience should help you as well. and so, when, at leadership level... you you don't think jacob zuma has a conscience? well, to date, it has failed him. it has failed him? i mean, this is important. because our viewers and listeners around the world, some will be aware, and some will not understand the degree to which you represent one of those figures who is a conscience of the anc — ten years you served in robben island. served. that's correct. you were an activist through the struggle. that's correct. you then served loyally mandela and mbeki. you have been a former interim president of the country yourself. that's right. widely respected, i think it is fair to say. when you stood up to read out the eulogy to one of your colleagues in the struggle, and you chose to repeat his words,
that it was time for zuma to go, so many other veterans and stalwarts stood up and applauded you. yep. did you know at that point that you were putting a nail in jacob zuma's coffin? did you feel you were doing that? no. no, because, you know, when conscience fails you — when consciousness deserts you, you know, moral appeals account for nought. they only serve to reinforce your inability to self—criticise. so he is beyond any criticisms, is he? it makes no difference to him? it makes no difference. water off the back of a duck. if you had had a vote in that secret parliamentary ballot, the motion of no confidence in zuma, clearly you would have voted to get rid him. well, you know, the anc, in its messaging — public messaging, it ought to say it
expects all its members, wherever they are, to follow their consciences. because theyjoined the anc because of their consciences in the first instance. so for the anc to say it does not expect and permit its representatives at a national level to be guided by their consciences is the wrong message. very interesting that you put it that way, your focus all about conscience. many people in the anc, those who are loyal to mr zuma, they say the key pillar for understanding the anc is the notion of it still being a revolutionary liberation movement, and that as a movement still engaged in the process of liberation, it has to have complete loyalty and discipline.
and you have betrayed that loyalty and that value of discipline. no. discipline, as distinct from disciplinary procedures, means your attitude towards work, towards obligations, towards service to people — that's what discipline means. that is not what mr zuma says. well... mr zuma says it means "confronting the enemy, and always understanding who we are and who they are." and he says — and i am going to quote him directly — "0ur enemies, trying to destroy the anc and take control of the country are," to use his phrase, "the representatives of white monopoly capital." well, let me tell you what's the nub of the problem. is that he uses himself and his name
as a metonymy for the anc. and so for each one of his personal indiscretions, he expects the anc to defend him, and, by so doing, he is then in a position to say "well done, you have defended the anc very well." but it is the anc. you see? so you think that is a complete abuse, a manipulation of the movement? he is a member of the anc. he is the leader of the anc. he found it already in existence with a culture and values and laws. so he cannot impose a substitute of his own indiscretions for the anc. but it's notjust mr zuma, though, is it? i mean, the chief whip, jackson mthembu, he's talking about disciplining renegades.
we have the police minister, who, at one point, talked about putting a lie detector test on anc mps who may have voted secretly for the motion of no—confidence. and one of the mps who was honest, saying that "i voted with my conscience," makhosi khoza, she now faces losing one of her key roles as chairperson of the parliament portfolio committee on public service because the anc leadership seem to want to punish her. well, if the — these leaders you've enumerated were just to pause and go through the anc‘s constitution, they will discover that the constitution stipulates that disciplinary procedures must never be used for suppressing views, norfor promoting, you know, intolerance, and also to settle scores. so, with respect, mr motlanthe,
you're losing the argument. we look at what is happening in the anc, day by day, and your view of how it should work, and adhere to its own constitution, bears no reality to what we see. that is precisely my point. so you need to quit. no. but the movement is going in a direction which you regard as completely illegitimate! my point is you can't lead an organisation by disregarding its own constitution. otherwise, you know, what is the point of codifying, you know, procedures, and regulations. but that's what's happening. so one might turn the question around and ask what is the point, today, of the anc? what is its purpose, if it has become so much a sort of caricature of the principles and values that you believe underpinned it earlier —
if it's betrayed those principles, what is the point of it? precisely, that's the point, the question there — what is the point of it? you're one of the most seniorfigures in it, so you tell me! the point is the anc is still a governing party in south africa, and is therefore very central in the polity of the country. now, by literally walking over its own constitution, and — and it also shows how it repeatedly fails to adhere to the constitution of the land. as the governing party, it has to... it is — it's legacy of repeated election victories is that it is the governing party. you could argue it holds a monopoly of power in south africa. but you seem to be teetering on the edge of something very important. you appear to be looking over the cliff edge, thinking "is it time for me to get
out of this movement that has been so perverted?" and get when you get to the cliff edge, you don't make the rational move to get out. no. the point is if we are to salvage the anc, that act can only happen once it has hit the rock bottom. with respect, you don't — i don't think — believe it's salvageable. this is what you said, a couple of months ago, when somebody asked you if you might throw your hat in the ring to run for party leadership, in december. you said "no, i don't think in that sense that i belong to the anc, quite frankly. i don't see the value ofjoining crooked people." "i think the way to relate to crooked people is to stay away from them." true, true. you've given up. true, true. no, no. the point i am making is once you have people who are incorrigible and prove to be so through action, and — and then they organise themselves, and they invite you, and say "please and lead us," it is like being invited by a gang.
i say the entire leadership is crooked, with a few exceptions. with a few exceptions. there are people in that leadership who are trying to stay on the straight and narrow path, and who are trying to do right, but they are overwhelmed by the network of crooked people. you are walking a fine line, here, but i am going to invite you to keep walking. in terms of mrs zuma — if i can call her that — the ex—wife of the president, she, it seems, is going to be sworn in as an anc mp, and the rumour in south africa is that she is going to be very quickly promoted to a senior position in cabinet as a preparation, because mr zuma clearly believes she is the best
candidate to become party chief. how would you respond if that happens? i wouldn't be surprised if that happens, because she has remained on the reserve list of the anc for parliament, and — and so, i suppose, it's time to — for her to take her place. she remained on a reserve list even during her tour of duty as the commission chair. if she were to become the next head of the anc would that be a good thing or not? well, that will be up to... i am asking you personally, as a senior member of the anc. would it be healthy, or not? it depends whether she gets elected. as a consequence of
the free expression of the will of the members of the anc. because if she is sponsored by a network of people who disregard anc procedures, she will be indebted to them, and would be hamstrung in her leadership. the other frontrunner in recent weeks and months in this race, not all of the candidates have declared yet, is cyril ramaphosa, a businessman worth hundreds between moo—$500 billion. h is interests go across industries,
and he is a renowned lover of the good life, if you put it that way. if you talk about the crisis in the anc, would he be a man capable of addressing it? well, as i said, every organisation gets the leaders it deserves. we deserve president zuma, as members of the anc. so... mr ramaphosa, and all the others who have raised their hands for leadership positions in the anc, have done so in spite of a directive by the national executive of the anc, which is the highest decision—making structure. they have issued a directive to say, please, let no—one begin to speak about names. let's not get too procedural. the nominations will only begin in september.
let me ask you just a very simple question with a simple answer required. who do you believe, when looking at the individuals who have expressed an interest in being the next party leader, who would be the best one in your personal view to take the anc out of the mess it's in? i don't know, quite frankly. i don't know. and i'm trying to explain as to why i am nonplussed by this, because these leaders issued a directive to say that nobody must mention names. and they go out with branded regalia, and... well, they are campaigning. they run open campaigns like has never been seen before. then they go back to their meetings at the national executive committee and nobody ever asks why they believe they still enjoy credibility, because it creates a credibility gap. well, one thing, a huge credibility gap... if you say one thing and do the other.
yes. give me a personal assessment. why, after a full generation, roughly 25 years, roughly, has the anc failed to deliver the progress that the people of south africa, the black majority of south africans, believed would come with liberation? look at the figures on endemic poverty, joblessness, especially amongst the young, where it's well over 50%. inequality — 10% of the people of your country own more than 90% of the wealth. why such a record of failure? well, there are some improvements, you know, compared to the olden days of apartheid. however, this failure is really due to a number of factors. one of which is short—termism, in terms of how governments plan.
you see, it works on the basis of five years. and also, weakening the state, the bureaucracy, here you have what you call permanent secretaries. in south africa we have directors general. and there has been a high turnover at that level. which means no institutional memory. every time there is a reshuffle of cabinet, the new ministers don't even give themselves a week to go into the new department to assess strengths and weaknesses. from day one, they are already accompanied, when they report for duty, by a0 plus bureaucrats. a new political head, and new senior managers. that is an interesting institutional take
on what is wrong... it destabilises the state. because implementation is done by the state. interesting you put it that way, an institutional analysis. the more crude analysis, the way i would put it, is that one of the failings of south africa is that after liberation, the anc became institutionalised. your democracy is not really a democracy where there is no genuine choice. it is, in a sense, a one—party monopoly. isn't it time for people like you, with all of the influence that you can wield, to actually throw in your lot with a different political perspective? the democratic alliance, for example, led by young leaders who are no longer white, as they used to be in the past. why don't you send a message by actually building bridges to them? well, there will be a realignment, certainly, of social forces in south africa. i am dead certain that
a new broad front will emerge. what do you mean by that? i mean, you know, with us it is already happening — you know, there will be a broad front of competent, capable people, who will create the environment in which the best available talent in south africa... will the anc split? the anc has the possibility to renew itself. but it will take a lot of courage. and failing that, it has to hit rock bottom. it has to lose elections for the penny to drop. would you like to see, hang on, would you like to see the anc lose the next election?
would it be good for south africa? for as long as it is associated with corruption and failure, people will vote it out. would it be good for south africa if it were voted out? it would be good for the anc itself. and for the people of your country? let me tell you why. those elements who are in it for the largesse will quit, will desert it. and only then would the possibility arise for, you know, salvaging whatever is left of it. you seem to be telling me that if there were an election in south africa tomorrow you wouldn't vote for the anc. well, i am a member of the anc. would you vote for them? the vote is a secret. laughter i don't think you're making it much of a secret. i am wondering why you're not happy saying it to me, what is the only rational
explanation for what you have just said, which is that it would be good for the anc to lose an election. surely the logical conclusion is that you shouldn't vote for them? well, i will try to get them to win, but i am dead certain that at the rate at which, you know, it is sliding to the bottom, it might be good to lose the elections. you think that in the next national election in south africa the anc may lose? yes. that is extraordinary. we are talking about a party which since liberation has commanded more than 60% of parliament. it is not extraordinary. political parties are established for a purpose, a specific purpose. maybe the anc has achieved that. and outlived it? yes. kgalema motlanthe, we have to end it there, but thank you to being on hardtalk. thank you, stephen. hi there.
wet and windy weather will continue to work its way eastwards, we've already had some fairly lively gusts of wind around our most exposed coastal areas around england and wales. gusts of around 50mph or 60 mph typically, and the met office has issued an amber weather warnings, strong winds expected to reach 75mph in places. the warning across parts of north wales, north england, lincolnshire and norfolk as well. this is the first named storm of the season, eileen, and the strongest winds will be on the southern flank of the storm as it works out into the north sea before those very, very strong winds batter the north—west of europe.
it will be blowy to start the day across a swathe of north—east england, across yorkshire, lincolnshire and across into norkfolk as well. it will be blowy to start the day across a swathe of north—east england, across yorkshire, lincolnshire and across into norkfolk as well. the wind gusts, given the trees have fallen leaf, will bring down branches and maybe knock down a few trees so the potential for localised transport disruption, maybe some power cuts as well. through the rest of the day it will stay pretty blustery nationwide with those north—westerly winds dragging in plenty of showers across scotland, northern ireland and across the north—west of both england and wales, but nowhere is immune from catching a downpour. some heavy and thundery at times, feeling quite cool across the north of the uk, temperatures up to 18 degrees in london but feeling a bit cooler than that given the strength of the wind. then as we go through wednesday night, there'll be further bands of showers pushing southwards across the country. temperatures dropping away despite the winds, we could still see lows getting down to single figures. then for thursday, we're looking at another unsettled day with further showers coming
in on those strong north—westerly winds. given the north—westerly wind flow, the showers always more likely across the north and west of the uk. the fewest showers likely towards the south and east but again, nowhere immune. temperatures still disappointing for this stage of september. we're looking at highs ranging from 13 degrees in the north of scotland to around 18 degrees in the london area. will there be any improvements towards the end of the week and the weekend ? not really. high pressure builds to the west of the uk and thatjust sends more of a northerly wind flow down the uk. again plenty of showers, particularly flowing down the north sea, some of those could be heavy with under mixed in at times. some chilly northerly winds feeding all the cloud in as well. now, we are approaching mid—september, is it too early for thermostat wars with your partner? well, maybe not. because on saturday we're looking at highs again reaching around 12 or 13 degrees, but cooler than that in the wind. even 17 in the south—east, there'll almost certainly be an autumnal chill in the air. that's your latest weather. i'm sharanjit leyl in singapore. the headlines: 400,000 and they are still fleeing.
now, the un security council holds an urgent meeting on the persecution of rohingya people in myanmar. new sanctions on north korea — pyongyang says it will make the us suffer greater pain than ever before. donald trump responds. those sanctions are nothing compared to what ultimately will have to happen. i'm babita sharma in london. also in the programme: how do you recover from all of this? the havoc and damage inflicted by hurricane irma across huge swathes of the caribbean. and the need to rebuild is urgent. everyone here is telling us the same thing — tourism is the lifeblood of these communities and without it, the suffering will continue.