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tv   HAR Dtalk  BBC News  November 17, 2022 12:30am-1:00am GMT

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this is bbc news, we will have the headlines at the top of the hour as newsday continues after hardtalk. welcome to hardtalk with me, zeinab badawi. next month in south africa, the ruling anc holds its five yearly national conference, where president cyril ramaphosa is seeking re—election as leader of the party, which puts him in position to contest national elections in 202a. but, south africa is currently in the midst of a severe
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economic meltdown with mass unemployment and crippling power cuts and a political culture which many are warning could bring the state to the point of collapse. my guess is the south africanjustice minister, ronald lamola, seen as one of the rising stars of the anc�*s younger generation. how does he account for the government's failure to address the many challenges it faces? welcome to hardtalk. people in south africa are struggling.
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unemployment of at least 35%, nearly two—thirds for young people. what has happened to all those promises when the anc came to power in 1994? you have let the country down, haven't you? there has been a broken promise, as you have seen from the zondo commission's report. these are situations we think the current administration is responding to and we have begun the process to rebuild the institutions, and we believe that we are beginning to turn the corner because money has been recovered that has been stolen from the fiscals, and also the institutions are beginning to arrest the alleged perpetrators. this corner is beginning gradually to be turning. the institutions are being restored, including the soe,
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as it affects the energy crisis, the board, the new board, and the various institutions that are responsible in terms of the energy crisis, we believe that gradually, we are rebuilding including the process that you are well aware of, of the gas transition and we are currently speaking in the cop27 where we are looking at the transition that will be sustainable, that will be responsive to reduce the carbon emissions but also continue to use our natural endowment, like coal, in a manner that will help us to transition. appreciate that you are trying to address your energy issues. you say that the soes, the state—owned enterprises, which were mentioned, in the zondo commission, that is chiefjustice raymond zondo injune when he concluded the judicial inquiry into state capture in south africa, when, and of course by state capture we mean under former
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presidentjacob zuma when businessmen and politicians redirected resources into their own pockets, you're talking about all that but that is a tired old excuse, isn't it, minister ronald lamola? you are part of an administration that has been in power since 2019. you could be doing more to tackle all of these challenges. it is not a tired old excuse. we have started to reboot those institutions to ensure that the money that was stolen is brought back, and in the mfa in south africa, we started to rebuild, including to help them to appoint experienced prosecutors including from private practitioners, to help the national prosecuting authority to be able to handle complex matters and as we speak they are beginning to claw back the money and resource
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and including to hold people accountable. 0k, let me — can ijust interrupt you there? sorry, but ijust want to pick up again on something that chiefjustice raymond zondo said in his findings. he says the anc, an anc government, should be ashamed that this happened under their watch, and since jacob zuma's resignation in february 2018, the anc have done little to tackle corruption within the party ranks. that's why i say you can't just blame it all on the previous administration. zondo says you've not done much to get your acts together to tackle corruption. yeah, hence we say it is not correct, because if you look into the institute today, it is beginning to account, even in the previous year or so, where we put what is called processes in the anc, where those that are accused or who have been mentioned in the zondo commission of inquiry have stepped aside. some of them that were arrested have stepped aside into
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positions of responsibility. as we speak now, the anc does not have a secretary general precisely because of this issue. so it is a sign that the anc has been acting amongst its members who were mentioned in that process, even those that have been mentioned recently, we continue to act on them. so the anc is accountable to the people of this country on some of these issues, but the anc also continues to ensure that it holds government to account, including the current administration, where the boards of the various state owned entities are now being rebooted to be able to be fit for purpose, to respond to the energy crisis, to respond to the crippling challenges, of logistical challenges at the transnet, and also to the various roles which the state owned enterprises are aimed for. 0k. you mentioned transnet there, that's the large south african rail, port and pipeline company.
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but, you know, people are really struggling, justice minister, in south africa. i mean, you know, after 28 years of anc rule, you've got people living in shacks still waiting for the promised government housing. we've talked about the power challenges. people talking about the millions of dollars meant to help fight covid—19 were found to have been misappropriated to the point that former president thabo mbeki has said, you can't have so many people unemployed, so many poor people. "one day it's going to explode." he's predicting a kind of arab spring revolution in south africa if the government doesn't get a grip on all this. he's right, isn't he? the clock is ticking for you. the challenges of people struggling, it's a global challenge. even in the great britain, across the globe, people are struggling, including in the us, because of the covid—19 that has crippled economies across the globe.
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it is a function that all of us are responding to, and as you speak about the resources that were stolen during the covid—19 period, most of the people that were responsible for that have been held to account. the monies have been clawed back through institutions like the special investigating unit, and we are building to ensure that there is an economic recovery plan to take us back to the covid—19 period, which is what the current administration is responding to, and that will also obviously need a compact between government and the private sector so that we are able to respond to the declining economy or lack of economic growth, including to the challenge of unemployment, which affected mostly young people, and we are of the view that if we are able to find that compact between us and the private sector and society as a whole, we will be able to respond to ensure economic growth and to the challenge of unemployment.
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0k, justice minister lamola, even if you say now the government's got the will to address all these challenges, i put it to you, as sanusha naidu, an analyst at the institute for global dialogue, says, how can you actually do all this effectively when, she says, so many of the state's organs are financially and systematically broken? so, even if you had the will, you don't have the tools. the tools, as i have said, are being rebuilt as we speak, now. the national prosecuting authority in the country, responsible for prosecuting and dealing with some of these challenges that you have raised, is being rebuilt. we have been able to appoint about a thousand prosecutors in a period of three years, which will enable them to function, and we do believe that because of that rebuilding of some of the institutions, like sars, that has now
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collected more than it had expected, it is a sign that it is being rebooted and it is being now well oiled for people. so there is work to rebuild the institutions and you can see some green shoots in that regard. you mentioned the south african — sars, which is the south african revenue service, but i want to repeat to you the point that thabo mbeki said, which, he said, one day this is going to explode. he's saying you don't have the time for all this. people are hungry now. they're living in shacks. they don't have the power cuts, there are interruptions to the water supply. this is all going to take time, and they want to see results now. but if there is a compact between government and the private sector, i do believe that people will have hope that we are resolving the challenge, because they will see in action the economy recovering. they will see jobs being created.
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they will also see those that have stolen from the fiscus being held accountable. they will also participate in the project to rebuild our democracy, and i do believe that because, from time to time, the people have an opportunity in south africa to participate in elections, which they have just done, for the local government elections — also, in 2024, soon, they will also participate in an election process. 0ur democracy enables them to participate. it is not the same conditions in the arab spring, as you said, where they did not have a period of regular democracy to participate and to express a view in terms of the country's direction. so i do believe that the people in this country, as they participate and also play a role in legislative frameworks and also in policy development to respond to the challenges that they are feeling. they will be able to continue to shape the country's democracy, not in a manner that they may be destructive,
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but in a manner that is constructive and developmental. you mentioned the municipal local elections last year. the anc won less than half of the votes for the first time, with south africans naming corruption as their top concern. people are losing faith in the anc. yes, but we remain a leading party and we have demonstrated to the people that we are rebuilding that trust through ensuring that whoever was, is involved in corruption is held to account and institutions are able to stand on their own without any interference from politicians or from bureaucracy. the institutions like thejudiciary, the rule of law remains our standing beacon of hope for the people of this country. all right. so that whoever is involved in corruption, whether it's local government, whether it's the national government or state—owned entities will be held to account. all right. and could the president be held to account?
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because, as you know, he's embroiled in a controversy right now involving a theft of about four million us dollars from his cattle farm in the north of the country. the opposition, and even some within the anc, questioned whether he violated foreign exchange or tax rules. the president denies any wrongdoing very firmly and he says the stolen money, the money that was taken for him was the proceeds of an animal sale that he made. the south african ombudsman that investigates allegations on public misconduct is looking into this case. so we're all awaiting to see what happens there. however, this doesn't look good for you, does it? the president is a constitutional, democratic person. he has subjected himself to the institutions that are appointed to investigate him. he is cooperating with them. all the institutions from the law enforcement agency, the, the public
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protector, as we have said, including the processes of parliament, and the president said he will cooperate with them wholeheartedly and fully. and he knows that the institutions must be able to stand on their own. and the constitution of the country is the one that reigns supreme. so we have to give that process a life of its own. all right. we'll see what happens in that particular case. you're. .. the anc, since it came to power 28 years ago, and including the administration, in which you serve, has also been trying to deal with the longstanding issue of land ownership. according to president ramaphosa, about 72% of south africa's privately owned land is in the hands of members of the white population, who account for between 8—10% of people in south africa. and the black population, who make up the vast number, own a very small percentage of that land. a bill to address this failed
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in parliament last year. so what is the main option now to really tackle this long—standing injustice? yes, the bill could not go through because, as the anc, we still believe in mixed ownership of land, where the state owns the land for its own use, individual saving, private ownership and touristic people, we have an option. we are currently having an expropriation bill, that is before parliament and that expropriation bill is now being passed by the national assembly awaiting concurrence by the national council of provinces in parliament. once it goes through that, it will now have to go to the president for his accepting. we also have the land court bill, which is aimed to fast track the disputes that are before the land court
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now and also to make the land court permanent. it will also develop jurisprudence. that land court bill, which also have been passed by the national assembly, is now in the ncop, which immediately after being passed there and also the national assembly, it will have to be accepted to by the, by the president. the current sixth administration is, also, in the process of distributing about 700,000 hectares of land to respond to this challenge. yeah. we remain committed to the land question. we will also obviously have to accelerate some of the various pieces of legislation aimed to accelerate land reform. 0k, thank you. you've set that out very clearly for us. you mentioned the ncop, which of course, is the national council of provinces, which is the upper house of the south african parliament. another big challenge, which is often associated with south africa, is the issue of crime. we've seen the murder rate go up by 40% since 2010. we've seen kidnappings for ransom quadruple. we've seen the theft
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of infrastructure such as copper and power cables, resulting in billions of dollars in damage. gold and platinum are illegally mined or stolen and sold illicitly. this is a dismal state of affairs for you as minister ofjustice. so, in a nutshell, what are you doing to tackle all this? yes, there is work happening with the npa and the south african police where there is a unit dedicated to respond to the issue of theft of copper cables. as you look now, there have been lots of sentences that have been handed over by our courts to various criminals who played their role in cable theft. some of them have been sentenced to more than 15 years, some ten years. so it has been a range of heavy sentences to criminals involved in cable theft. there is also a dedicated focus
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on the, on the issue of the mining towns challenges. and there's been lots of arrests even there. oh, yeah. some of the criminals have already been convicted. so there is work in progress in that, which we believe we need to do more. but, yeah, you do need to do more. sorry to interrupt you here, but you cannot get on top of this, can you, minister? a report this year by a geneva based ngo, the gitoc, that's the global initiative against transnational 0rganised crime, says all of the things i was talking about "are signs that the state "is struggling to contain criminal activity. "in three decades, organised crime has spread across south africa "and forged links across the world". yes, hence we are putting a focus on this form of organised crime, and as i have said, some have already been convicted. 0k. it is important that we get the planners, the plotters, the ringleaders, the middle people that are the ones
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who are making the chain of organised crime to work. and that is where the focus now of the cluster is. and then, with time, you will be able to see that happening. and there has been soon, recently, arrests of, of this kind of crime syndicate... 0k. we'll be looking at that. and you said you're working... ..with law enforcement. sorry to cut across you then. you said you were working with the npa, which is, of course, the national prosecution authority. but let's just look at the general kind of picture for the anc and its prospects. the respected south african commentator william gumede says "there is a psychological acceptance within south africa "that it is the end of the anc as a single governing party". and he predicts that the anc will lose its majority nationally in the 2024 election. this is a very clear sign, isn't it, that after nearly three decades in power, south africa is being run as a kind of one—party state and people no longer trust
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you to get things done? south africa has always been a multiparty democracy since even president mandela. you will remember he ran the country with the former president de klerk in a multiparty democracy. so there has always been opposition parties. they've always played a role in our country. and we deliberately allowed a proportional representation system to enhance in the flourishing of various political parties and, and views in our country. the anc has been, obviously, a dominant organisation, a leading party in that regard and we do believe, as the anc, that we were able to reconnect with the trust of the people, ensuring that those that were involved in the, in the theft of, of monies or siphoning of monies in these fiscals are accountable. if we ensure that all the institutions of our democracy work, the s0 is responding to the challenges of unemployment,
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lack of economic growth. we will reconnect with the people of south africa and the anc will continue to be the governing party. ok, you talk about the multiparty democracy system in south africa. i mean, could the anc conceivably go a bit further? because, you know, there is the thought that there comes a time when a party that's been in office a long time could benefit from not holding power exclusively. and i tell you, a survey by the social research foundation in april this year showed that many potential voters in south africa favour the idea of the party governing in coalition with other parties. is that something that you think, an idea that could fly? as i've said, the anc has always accommodated the role of smaller... but an actual coalition government is the thought here. there's a coalition government, as i was concluding on that point, we have always governed with them, with the smaller parties. from time to time, you will find the leader of the ifp at some stage.
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mr buthelezi also played a role in government, but the anc believes that they must be a leading party, which is the governing party, which is always the anc. in the metros in our country, like the city ofjohannesburg, the commercial hub, which is the capital city, nelson mandela metro, it has proven that coalition government are not yet the way in our country. 0ur democracy has not yet matured to the level where coalition governments can be one that is working. it will be worse at the national level where you can just have a situation almost like a yo—yo government. 0k. so we are of the view that we must continue to have a leading party, which is the anc, to constitute government so that there is a stable democracy and also a stable path towards economic growth. you mentioned buthelezi there. of course that's mangosuthu buthelezi of the inkatha freedom party. finally and briefly, ronald lamola, justice minister
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in south africa, you want to be elected cyril ramaphosa's deputy next month at the anc party meeting and that would put you in pole position to run for president in 2029. do you believe you have what it takes to lead the nation of south africa? yes, i do. um, i am a person who grew up in a farm, in this country, who, as a child of farm workers, who also went on to acquire higher education from such an underprivileged background, who also practised law, who believes in the constitution of the country. i have also been privileged now to be the minister ofjustice, who has been responsible for the resetting of state institutions, aimed to support our constitutional democracy, like the npa, which are now able to function free, without any fear or favour or prejudice or interference from anyone, whom we have given support in terms of resources
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to appoint a number of capable and competent people to work in regards to crime and corruption, and also to provide them the necessary resources. so i do believe that i can... i can contribute to the development or to the continuous development of our constitutional democracy. ronald lamola, justice minister in south africa, thank you very much indeed for coming on hardtalk from pretoria. hello there. the weather's looking pretty unsettled for the next couple of days. we're going to see quite
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a lot of rain in places, a risk of some localised flooding, too, and it's all because of one area of low pressure which is expected to hang around for thursday and friday evening into saturday morning before it eventually fizzles out. this is the low pressure system i'm talking about, moving a little bit further eastwards, and then pulling back northwards and westwards across the country during thursday and friday, where it slowly will weaken, but it's going to bring a lot of rain and fairly strong winds at times. now, we start thursday off on a really chilly note for western scotland and northern ireland — some frost and fog here, but elsewhere, where we have the cloud, wind and rain, temperatures remaining between 5—9 degrees. but a really thoroughly wet day to come for thursday. 0ur area of low pressure, as you can see here, slowly pushing northwards and then westwards. some heavy rain for eastern scotland, northern england, north wales, eastern england — strongest of the winds along north sea coasts there. probably the best of any brighter weather off that chilly start, northern ireland and across the south and southwest corner
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of the country, but nowhere particularly warm — 9—11 degrees. and then, through thursday night, the rain continues to pile into eastern scotland, a few showers elsewhere into northern ireland, some wet weather for northern england and north wales. probably the driest weather towards the south of the country. but because there's more cloud and wind across the whole of the uk, it won't be quite as cold for many — 7—9 degrees. so, for friday, there's our area of low pressure again, starting to fill at this point and weaken, but still going to bring a lot of rainfall for the northern half of the country, especially the east of scotland. by this point, rain really will be accumulating across angus, aberdeenshire — risk of some localised flooding here. something a little bit quieter for england generally. still a few showers around, the best of the sunshine on friday again, parts of northern ireland, wales, central and southern england. up to around 12 degrees there, but distinctly chilly further north, where it will continue to be windy, especially for the northern isles. then that fizzles out saturday. brief spell of quieter weather before the next frontal system moves through during saturday
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night into sunday, followed by sunshine and blustery showers. so, it starts off fairly dry for many on saturday — quite chilly, mind you — and then wet and windy weather sweeps through saturday night into sunday, and that'll be followed by sunshine and showers.
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welcome to newsday, reporting live from singapore. i'm monica miller. the headlines — yesterday's missile strike in poland probably caused by ukraine's air defence system, says nato�*s secretary general. we have no indication that this was the result of a deliberate attack. and we have no indication that russia is preparing offensive military actions against nato. president biden congratulates the republicans on winning the house of representatives, following last weeks midterm elections. a rousing reception for brazil's president elect, lula da silva, who told the un climate summit he will stop
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the deforestation of the amazon.


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