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tv   HAR Dtalk  BBC News  October 26, 2017 4:30am-5:01am BST

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begun in bangkok. elaborate ceremonies have been performed and a symbolic urn is currently being paraded through the streets. hundreds of thousands of mourners have converged on the city to observe the first part of what will be a five—day ritual. voting is under way in kenya's controversial re—run of the presidential election despite a boycott by the main opposition. tens of thousands of security personnel have been deployed to protect voters and polling stations. wildlife rangers and prison officers have been brought in to help police. tributes are coming in for one of the pioneers of rock and roll, fats domino, who has died at the age of 89. he sold more than 60 million records. now on bbc news, it's time for hardtalk. hello, and welcome to hardtalk. i'm
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shaun ley. in december, south africa's ruling party the anc chooses a successor for league of presidentjacob chooses a successor for league of president jacob zuma. corruption allegations denied by the president continued to swell, but he has survived them all. albie sachs is another survivor, but one of a different kind. he survived imprisonment, exile, and being blown up imprisonment, exile, and being blown up by imprisonment, exile, and being blown up by the country's security forces, and he helped write the postapartheid constitution. and he helped write the posta pa rtheid constitution. he thinks it is one of the world's best, so why do others, especially the young, say that the constitution is against us, especially if you are poor? albie sachs, welcome to hardtalk.
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you defended black south africans under apartheid laws. you are in prison under those laws yourself. you then helped write the most fundamental law of all, the constitution for postapartheid south africa, and then sat on the constitutional court to enforce that constitution. is there enough respect, do you think, for the law in south africa today? it is so fascinating to watch, which is the law is playing a central role in our country. —— because the law. the more disrespects there is for it, the more respect there is for the way it is responding. i have been off the constitutional court now for six or seven off the constitutional court now for six oi’ seven years, so off the constitutional court now for six or seven years, so i am not bragging about myself, it is my colleagues, another generation. i think they are doing extraordinary work. one weapon is the constitution, but that is notjust a
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document, a set of words. it grew out of our history. it grew out of oui’ out of our history. it grew out of our pain. it grew out of our eagerness to find a way, how can we live together in one country, when we are trying to kill each other? it grew out of our draw in on the best the world had to offer in terms of governance, the rights of people. it isa governance, the rights of people. it is a very progressive constitution in its terms and we have strong institutions to back it up. and one of the reflections that has come to me of the reflections that has come to m e rece ntly of the reflections that has come to me recently is that you need three things, and if anyone of them missing you are in danger. you need a good constitution. i don't know how you guys in england have managed a couple of 100 years without one. you have managed. but you need a good constitution. you need constitutionalism. that is something in the culture of the society, not just a document, a sense of right and wrong, fair, unfair ways of doing things, and you need
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institutions that can be invoked, that work. and what has been so striking in south africa now for all the allegations, the evidence, the lea ks the allegations, the evidence, the leaks that have come out, the very powerful condemnations of very high figures in our society, the institutions have remained firm. one of them, the public detector, created in a chapter in the constitution, chapter nine, institutions for the protections of democracy. that includes the public protector, like the ombudsman, but much more powerful. it includes the independent electoral commission. can you, now, is struggling so hard, partly because there is a lack of faith in their electoral commission. —— kenya, now. we had elections last year without a single complaint. it includes the constitutional court, the auditor general. a whole series of bodies protected by the
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constitution. let's pick up on one of those, the public detector. the previous public protector had drawn up previous public protector had drawn upa previous public protector had drawn up a report, you will be aware of this, over the state of capture, she called it, in the relationship between the president and a corrupt business family. she urged the president to decide who chaired the enquiry. another institution established by the constitution said, under section 84, this power can only be exercised by the president. whereupon the new public protector says, no, no, president. whereupon the new public protectorsays, no, no, there president. whereupon the new public protector says, no, no, there are numerous reasons to believe the president is subject to a conflict of interest here, so he cannot possibly appoint the chairman of this particular committee of a commission of enquiry because he would have a direct personal and financial interest in the outcome. two institutions, one constitution. you are on the constitutional court, you helped write the constitution. who is right? it is not for me to
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answer. the very issue now is being debated in the constitutional court, and on one hand, the constitution says the power to create commissions of enquiry belongs to the president. on the other hand, the recommendations of the public detector can be put into force, and she says, in this particular case, you would appoint the commission of enquiry. we are not going to say that, but you wouldn't choose the judge to have that. the chief justice will choose. and then you will have to. it is the kind of question you put to final year law students. for them to grapple with. and it will be making law. so it is not for me to pronounce on it. and you would argue there is no right a nswer you would argue there is no right answer on that, but twin, the institutions have to resolve this?” wouldn't say there is no right answer. i think there is a correct answer. i think there is a correct answer. i think there is a correct answer. i won't say what i think it
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is, that my colleagues, or those who would be my colleagues if i were still on the bench, they will decide that. what i can be sure of is that they will give a soundly reasoned answer. i am pretty confident that whatever the answer is, it will be accepted. and that is the key thing, isn't it? whether it goes in his favour or against him, it will be accepted. do you think the public protector‘s palace need to be strengthened, now, watching this in operation over the past few years, ina highly operation over the past few years, in a highly political environment? it can't get more political than investigating the president.” it can't get more political than investigating the president. i think what the public protector needs is not so much more power, the power is there in the constitution, but more re— sources. there in the constitution, but more re- sources. why do you think there have been a growing number of attacks on the constitution? it does seem attacks on the constitution? it does seem to have come attacks on the constitution? it does seem to have come more attacks on the constitution? it does seem to have come more contested in the last couple of years than in the first decade, decade and a half of poster partied south africa. the challenges are coming from two, well, i don't even have the extra arm to show how far apart they are.
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just imagine this arm. indeed, as it once was. as it was. on the one hand, the challenge, thejudges are overreaching themselves. that comes from supporters of the president today. on the other hand, it comes from young people saying that this constitution is standing in the way of real transformation of land redistribution in the country. it is blocking the way. and you heard this first hand, didn't you? when you delivered that lecture back in the university of western cape and some of the audience said to you, every generation has its mission, yours was political liberation, ours is economic liberation. and it is fantastic to hear that challenge. i have spent a lot of time involved now and what is pompously called intergenerational discourse, and it is terrific. those young people, they like to see that i have got some spirit and some stories to tell, and i like the passion, the eagerness, the idealism, the exquisite and beautiful use of language. the country can only
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benefit when people are thinking, evenif benefit when people are thinking, even if the thought is sometimes as cheeky and irreverent as my thought was at that age. it stirs up the country. there is a harsh edge to this. it is the economic reality in which many south africans are living. many of those young people you are speaking to, theirfamilies, thatis you are speaking to, theirfamilies, that is what they have grown up with. whatever the promise of a multiracial south africa in which black south africans and coloured south africans took their place as equal citizens with white south africans, the economic reality is an unemployment rate of 54% for young people and an overall unemployment rate of 27% for everybody. far too high. intense, entrenched poverty. a sense that, really, south africa is not to south africa they were promised. jonathan jansen says not to south africa they were promised. jonathanjansen says that when speaking to students, if the late nelson mandela gets any mention at all it is is a sellout. the man who led south africa into a soft transition which left white privilege undisturbed and black poverty and diminished. he is right,
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isn't he? he's wrong. he's wrong, wrong, wrong. he's not wrong to say that that is what people saying, but what they are saying mrs almost com pletely what they are saying mrs almost completely the reality of what was achieved. —— misses almost. we had to destroy the system of apartheid to destroy the system of apartheid to open the way to economic transformation. but it hasn't happened. if we tried everything at once we would have had chaos, disaster, collapse. people would have said black majority rule just leads to chaos. so we dismantled the institutions of apartheid, we integrated the army, and we gave power to parliament to bring about transformation. if parliament has not done enough, that is a very valid question, but don't blame mandela, don't blame the constitution. i am mandela, don't blame the constitution. iam not mandela, don't blame the constitution. i am not a lawyer's lawyer, who believes in the law as such. but we got so much into that constitution, and you read it, the text, the language, transformation
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is for change. the argument that i'm advancing, in many ways, use the constitution. don't trample on it. it is your biggest weapon to bring about a second liberation which will be the economic liberation. on that second liberation, do you back the argument there should be an amendment to the constitution? this has been advanced byjulius lim of the economic freedom fighters, which would actually allow the state to appropriate land without compensation. his argument is simple. we are told and arrows that we own the land, but we don't own the land. the distribution of land, land ownership, it is still really concentrated in a small number of hands, just as it was before apartheid was abolished. he's absolutely right that the patterns land ownership have changed very slightly. it is not as though nothing has been done. something like 80,000 people who were dispossessed under apartheid got their land back or got money back. and programmes for land reform
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remained to be implemented. so that aspect is completely correct. it is possible to confiscate land, expropriated land, at a valley is well below market value, if you apply the constitution. —— at values well below. section 25? yes, section 25, if it is lying fallow when people needed to housing, it can be used. that could be taken into account. if the land was bought for account. if the land was bought for a song, if the government has invested a lot into loans to the farmers, all of that can be taken into account. none of that has really been tried, so try that first. the problem with doing it without compensation is that there is no discipline at all. you can have state bureaucrats seizing the land, dishing it out to their friends. we don't want that. you are worried about the precedent set by zimbabwe? i don't want to mention particular countries, but it is not restricted to one country. it has happened in many countries, where people who fought bravely for
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freedom gottfried, but then used their position in the state to accumulate enormous tracts of land for themselves and their families. —— fought bravely for freedom got freedom. those allegations have remade get some in south africa as well, but we will leave that for now. who owns the land, who had a sta ke now. who owns the land, who had a stake in the nation, that was an important part of the campaign. we used to say, africa come back. in that sense, it has come back, in a kind of moral sense, a leadership sense, the people are calling the shots politically. africa, and overwhelmingly black africans, we hear the different languages being used in parliament, in this debate, but we have not got africa back in the sense of direct connection with means of production, with the soil, with the way people live. that has to be done, it is a very valid claim thatis to be done, it is a very valid claim that is being made. during that long struggle, the first part of that struggle, the first part of that struggle, because from the sound of that thinks some of these struggles
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continue, you spend months in solitary confinement. do you think you still bear the scars of that area inside? i do. you never get over solitary confinement. italy is a residue, a repository of deep, deep sadness. —— it leaves a residue. ironically, ican't deep sadness. —— it leaves a residue. ironically, i can't explain it, when i was alone up, and i survived, it will away that misery. so that was almost a catharsis of what had gone before? it was like saying, ok, they tried to kill you. and i survived. i survived, you know? people say the definition of an optimist is that the glass is half full. i was a mystic. they only blew off my arm. i survived. that was 1988 and i still feel that today. the period of solitary confinement was in the 1960s, and you spend how long... it was 168 days the first time and about three months the second time, with some sleep
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deprivation thrown in. and you talk about the terrible moment when you realise that they had actually beating your body, not physically be the new, but had kind of put you under such strain and stress that you started to talk, and you didn't talk about people who they could get, you talked about people who had gone abroad or were passed. did you fear that, if that process had continued much longer, you would have been so broken that you would have? i don't know, it is possible. i got through the first session completely, i didn't say a word, 168 days. the second time it was a much rougher treatment and sleep deprivation, i think something in my food, i collapsed on the ground, they poured water on me, kept my eyes open. and my choice was try and control my breakdown, because others had withstood it for three, four, five days, collapsed completely. and then, fortunately, the way these things happen, somebody... another person who had undergone this in another cell put in an application
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to court, i heard about it, i smuggled out a tiny little note about my own experience, and the court actually, at that stage, put a stop to the interrogation. so who knows? i might not the sitting here today that hadn't been for that court application. you talk them about comrades are dead, people you thought they couldn't get out, to give them something. at that stage i was doing that, they were preparing to come back and get me afterwards. i started off by saying, i am making this statement under duress, and so on. theyjust this statement under duress, and so on. they just collided this statement under duress, and so on. theyjust collided it all from the actual document that they had. but afterwards i discovered, i had complained to a magistrate. it is thereon... you know, we used to have these flimsy pink and green carbon copies, and there it is. if anybody wa nts copies, and there it is. if anybody wants to... faint, but still preserved for all eternity. that i actually complained at the time. you mentioned a couple of times already the subsequent act, the attempt to murder you buy south african
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security services. what do you recall that they? it has shaped me, and it has not only shaped me physically, it shaped my thinking. because when i got a letter, i am recovering in a london hospital, don't worry comrade, we will eventually, avenge me? we are going to cut off their arms, blind blind in one eye? is that what you want? if we get freedom, we get democracy, we getjustice, if we get freedom, we get democracy, we get justice, that if we get freedom, we get democracy, we getjustice, that will be my soft vengeance. roses and lilies will grow out of my arm. and since 1988, soft vengeance has been my theme. and getting the constitution, helping to write a constitution, sitting on a court that is upholding the constitution, it is all part of my soft vengeance. and soft vengeance is much more powerful than ha rd vengeance is much more powerful than hard vengeance. hard vengeance is we are stronger, we are doing to them what they did to us. soft vengeance as the triumph of the ideals. all the pain you went through, all that period of recovery and co nvalescence, period of recovery and convalescence, all, i guess, the
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fear that at some point you may not have made it, you didn't feel any anger? on the contrary, i felt joy. that i had survived, and it is for something. it validates all the pain, the hardship, the misery, the doubts. yes, we are getting democracy in the country. yes, we have a court that will stand up to the president, to parliament, to wherever, if necessary, in terms of the constitution. and yet you say that, when you took a very young son oliver to the scene, planning to tell him oliver to the scene, planning to tell hi m exactly oliver to the scene, planning to tell him exactly what had happened to his proper, you couldn't quite bring yourself to tell him the full evil of the system that you had been fighting —— papa. evil of the system that you had been fighting -- papa. i could tell him about the bomb, the event. something inside mejust blocks me. i didn't wa nt to inside mejust blocks me. i didn't want to tell him that his mum and his dad would have been breaking the law just by kissing his dad would have been breaking the lawjust by kissing each other, let alone conceiving him. i didn't want
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him to hear that from me. because his mum was black and you were white. she is black, all would have been classified as black, i would have been classified as white. i didn't want him to carry that burden from his dad. he will learn about in history, from others. he is already learning about it. and for you, that is still the most revolting thing about the system, the inhumanity of that, as much as the violence, as much as the terrible thing, like, for example, the agents who tried to kill you. yes, it is the humanity of the conception, that some people are worth more than other people. this is foundational, and it is that denial of basic human dignity. and that has been a huge achievement in south africa. there is so much that is wrong now. it is not only corruption, it is unemployment, there is violence, racism in our society is still very, very strong. but we have got a country. we didn't have a country before south africa. we have got a constitution, we have got institutions, and we have got
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people who speak their minds. leaders come and go, but the people never die. it is a very romantic notion, but i think it is a notion worth holding on to, that people never die. i wonder if there is a bit of romance that perhaps has got in the way the transition for south africa, and added that perfectly understandable sense of camaraderie, that sense of loyalty comrade ‘s who fought in the struggle for so long, and the ideal of the african national congress, to the principal and the belief that you all swore to. do you think perhaps some people have held onto that too long, and perhaps being too willing to put, in a crude way, party before country? no, the values you can never hold onto long, never, never, never. and the value has always had that critical self reflection element to it. bolivar, who i am speaking about a lot now, he was so open—minded, so willing to embrace new ways of
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looking things, but those core values of non— racism, never change. that shouldn't change. the loyalty is to the values. you cannot have failed to see that, in a succession of votes of no confidence against jacob zuma, for all the allegations against him, the anc mps loyally trooped through the lobby supporting the president, and in the first ballot which is held with the secret ballot, the most recent, suddenly perhaps 25, maybe as many as 30 anc mps perhaps 25, maybe as many as 30 anc m ps vote perhaps 25, maybe as many as 30 anc mps vote against him. that is a revelation, isn't it? that actually this is a corrosive thing, this loyalty to party. only when they are protected by the secret ballot do they vote with their conscience. protected by the secret ballot do they vote with their consciencem is even more complicated than that, because the story was, many more would have voted in favour, except they felt it wasn't for parliament to change the president of the anc. the anc is having a conference in december, the anc has to do it itself. that's fine, but if you are
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one of the people on the end of all that, the ordinary people of south africa, you can say we can have this debate and talk about it, but nothing changes. and we here for example all these allegations, the public prosecutor finds he is $44 million, i think, public prosecutor finds he is $44 million, ithink, have been public prosecutor finds he is $44 million, i think, have been spent on sorting out his property for security, he is told to pay some of it back and says i am not going to pay it back. nothing changes, nothing happens. no, no, no. he was ordered to pay some of it back, and he paid it back. only because the court intervened. yes, the court intervened and his own counsel said we acknowledge he has to pay it back. that is not insignificant. in fa ct, back. that is not insignificant. in fact, i would say it is hugely significant. would it be better for the country there was a change of president sooner than 2019?” the country there was a change of president sooner than 2019? i am not going to get drawn into that simply because i don't think it is right is a formerjudge. it is a question i would love to offer my opinions on, but... we would love you to do so. i require... it is a kind ofjudicial
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prudence. i won't answer. are you disappointed with south africa as it is today? is it that sense of the curate's egg? is today? is it that sense of the cu rate's egg? good is today? is it that sense of the curate's egg? good in parts?” is today? is it that sense of the curate's egg? good in parts? i think no, no. i am curate's egg? good in parts? i think no, no. iam much more curate's egg? good in parts? i think no, no. i am much more affirmative than that. it is partly... i lived in mozambique after independence. it was fantastic. we were so excited, we we re was fantastic. we were so excited, we were lifted up by this revolution, and it clashed. —— crashed. bitter civil war, just chaotic. are you saying at least south africa isn't as bad as that? we haven't had that, it hasn't happened. and collections are meaningful. we had a higher percentage polled around municipal elections last year than in america had for their president, and there wasn't a single complaint afterwards. let me ask you a question, and it has nothing to do with individuals. yes. whoever he or
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she is who takes office after summer of 2019, watches south africa's next president came to do differently than the previous three presidents? i would hope, whoever comes president of the anc, who was in automatically the future president of south africa, because people have a vote in general elections after that. they do, but it has been the anc so far. well, giving strong emphasis on restoring integrity of institutions, restoring the values of non— racism, in creating conditions for serious and deep going economic transformation, but getting advice from as many sources as possible, that with a strong initiative in that regard. and maybe cutting down on some of the... the bitterness, the sharpness, the toxic elements of our debate. however it
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might be. albie sachs, former justice of the constitutional court, campaigner for the end of justice of the constitutional court, campaignerfor the end of apartheid, thank you so much for being with us on hardtalk. thank you. hello there, good morning. there are some significant changes to come over the next few days. once again, though, on wednesday, it was another mild day, with much more sunshine around, and we saw temperatures as high as 20 degrees in the south—east. but over the next few days, for all of us, the wind direction is going to change. it's going to drag down some cold air, as well. but at the moment, this weather front is on the scene. having moved southwards, it's now moving northwards, dragging misty, murky, damp weather into england and wales.
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north of that, though, clearer skies in scotland. but enough of a wind to prevent the temperatures getting too low, and across the far north of scotland, we've got some more showers. lighter winds for northern ireland, could be some patchy mist and fog early in the morning here. cloud spilling into northern england, bit of dampness around too. a damper start with much more low cloud across wales, the midlands, towards east anglia, too. some hill fog likely. more general low—level fog in the south—east, where there's not much wind to stir things up at the moment. but it may well brighten up across southern counties of england, and turn out to be another mild day. and we've got the sunnier skies in scotland, away from the northern showers. more sunshine for northern ireland, perhaps the far north of england, but in between, a zone of much more low cloud. temperatures lower than they were yesterday, and we could see a little rain and drizzle through much of the day across east yorkshire and lincolnshire. that weather front, though, is weak, and it will get pulled apart as high pressure builds in overnight into friday.
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and it's going to drag down, with that high pressure, some drier air and clearer skies, so more sunshine on the way on friday. a chilly start, maybe a touch of frost on the grass, from wales, the midlands, northwards, some early mist and fog, too, but otherwise a brighter day. more sunshine, and temperatures where they should be for this time of year. things change again on saturday. you'll notice the wind really starting to pick up. there'll be more cloud around. there's likely to be some showers around, too. it's all because an area of low pressure is running close to our shores. that, though, is going to dive its way into europe, and bring some really wet and windy weather into much of europe this weekend. the position of this high pressure behind that is crucial, because it means for us, on sunday, we're going to get more of a northerly wind, and that is going to drag down some colder air across the uk. you will notice it feeling much, much chillier, especially in the wind, which will be strongest down the eastern side of the uk. temperatures 13 or 14 in the south,
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but struggling to 8 or 9 in the north. there may be one or two showers. as the winds drop out overnight, we could start quite frosty, particularly in the countryside, on monday morning. hello, and welcome to bbc news. i'm tom donkin. these are our top stories. farewell to the king: ceremonies take place in bangkok, as the funeral for thailand's former monarch begins. a declaration of independence or a call for fresh elections? the row over the future of catalonia takes another twist. voting gets underway in kenya, in the controversial re—run of the country's presidential election. and i'm ben bland. an end to stimulus orjust a slowdown in bond buying? economists will pour over the european central banks statement later for clues about the bank's plans. and is the little birdie flying high yet? twitter will report its latest results. lots of new features over the last year, but will it be enough to ignite user growth?
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