a vote for thursday to repeal barack obama's affordable healthcare act. republicans are now confident they have the numbers to win. a previous attempt to repeal it in march failed. the director of the fbi, james comey, has defended his decision to notify the us congress about reopening an investigation into hillary clinton's use of e—mails less than two weeks before last yea r‘s presidential election. four days before france goes to the polls, the two remaining candidates for the french presidency have attacked each other‘s policies and characters in a bad—tempered televised debate. polling suggests mr macron won the encounter. at a meeting with the palestinian leader mahmoud abbas at the white house, president trump has said he is committed to working for a middle east peace deal. now it's time for hardtalk. welcome to hardtalk, i am stephen
sackur. south africa's anc was once seen as sackur. south africa's anc was once seen as an sackur. south africa's anc was once seen as an inspirational model for africa. now it is becoming a watchword for infighting, cronyism, corruption and the dangers of 1—party rule. president jacob corruption and the dangers of 1—party rule. presidentjacob zuma stands accused of abusing his power not just by his stands accused of abusing his power notjust by his enemies but by many erstwhile anc colleagues. my guest today, fikile mbalula, was made police minister in a recent controversial cabinet sha keup. as the scandals pile—up are we witnessing the slow death of the anc? fikile mbalula, welcome to hardtalk.
let's begin with a simple question, there is no doubt the anc government is in crisis, who do you believe has the responsibility for that crisis? well, i wouldn't say it is a crisis. i would say we are undergoing some challenges in relation to what is happening now. and i think it is a test of time, which has happened not only now, over a period of time anc has been tested. it has emerged victorious at each turning point in terms of its history. well, you call ita terms of its history. well, you call it a challenge, i call it a crisis.
i don't know what other word you could use when even the vice president suggests that the actions taken by his boss, the president, jacob zuma, have been unacceptable. well, the deputy president can express those views but we must understand the president has his prerogative and they have been placed in those positions by membership of the african national congress to lead, even in difficult times, even in times when you don't necessarily agree with the decisions of the president or whoever but it is president zuma's time and he is entitled to those decisions, and both by the guidance of the anc constitution and the national conference resolution, to take a decision to reshuffle his cabinet after consultation, that is what the
resolution says. yes, but minister, he isn't, is he, entitled to reshuffle his cabinet, to fire his respected finance minister and the deputy finance minister without proper consultation with anca and cabinet colleagues. and according to both of the deputy president and the secretary general of the anc, there was no proper consultation before mr gordon and mrjonas were fired? they are entitled to those views and to the descent. they probably don't agree to the president, in terms of the shuffling —— dissent. but the anc resolutions say that the president after consultation will basically exercise his prerogative. we have since reflected on that
matter and both the deputy president and the secretary general have ventilated, you know, their displeasure about certain issues. but the ultimate end, we have cohered around the issue and we have accepted that we have to move on and continue to build south africa and make a great country. a lot of people have not accepted that you simply need to move on. i am thinking of the highly respected senior and veteran liberation struggle is, they are in the party integrity commission, who having watched the events of this catastrophic reshuffle declared that presidentjacob catastrophic reshuffle declared that president jacob zuma must catastrophic reshuffle declared that presidentjacob zuma must go —— strugglers. well, the integrity commission you are referring to has never placed any report before us. we know that there was an attempt to project the integrity commission. we
have equally reflected on that. there was no decision of the integrity committee that the president must go. there are some vetera ns president must go. there are some veterans in our country and in our movement who have over a period of time, for quite sometime now, taken a position that the president must go. yes, indeed. ahmad kathrada, perhaps the most respected individual who sadly lost his life recently. at the funeral his own words from a year ago were read out from the congregation, which was a collection of the most senior and respected anc people. and when his words, a year ago, in which he said that it words, a year ago, in which he said thatitis words, a year ago, in which he said that it is time forjacob zuma, for the good of the party, to resign the leadership, when those words were read out there was applause and there was cheering. it is clear that jacob zuma no longer commands the support of many of the most loyal
members of your party. it is not correct, equally, that the president does not enjoy support. the motion that the president must step down, it was tabled and it was defeated at the level of the national executive committee. it was tabled in parliament and it was defeated. so, the question that some among us have got a different view, and they want the president to go, it is a well—known, documented fact and it does not mean that a majority of anc members agree with that. we know as members agree with that. we know as members of the anc that it is a national conference properly constituted and that if not, branches of the anc, through two thirds majority, that can call for a conference and bake mac —— basically asking to step down. we are going to
asking to step down. we are going to a conference of which president zuma will step down as the president. that is happening in less than six months from now. going to the national conference of the anc in december. yes, well, you are talking about stepping down as leader of the anc, you're not talking about stepping down as the president of the country. and many in the country feel that this sense of crisis in governance cannot be resolved without the end of zuma's presidency not least because it is about something fundamental, the phrase we hear from your country so often, thatis hear from your country so often, that is state capture, there are so many allegations now of ways in which the zuma government has been ca ptu red which the zuma government has been captured by private interests, wealthy individuals, cronies of the president, in ways that suggest decision—making has been fundamentally corrupted. well, we know of those views but we know that
the anc is not captured in any way, and we have also reflected, if you wa nt to and we have also reflected, if you want to speak about the guptas as a movement, we have spoken about that at the national executive committee. and indeed, we as members of the anc, and in particularly the national executive committee of the anc, were not guided by a corrupt a cts anc, were not guided by a corrupt acts nor cronyism. how can you tell me it is clear that the zuma government hasn't been captured by these powerful private interest when we know that the former public protector, wrote a report which part up protector, wrote a report which part up evidence that stake capture was happening and that she said that we now need in south africa and independent judicial now need in south africa and independentjudicial investigation. that is a call that has been
repeated in the recent past from cyril ramaphosa and yet you have failed to establish this independent judicial enquiry. why? steve, you will know that as much as there seems to be an overwhelming view which is contested in our country, thulisile nomkhosi's report is a subject of contestation. remember, there was a long debate and argument around that, including the evidence that was supposed to be led and given by the president and by all those who were actually implicated. so, it is not correct to suggest that that report is cast in stone. the report is being contested by people implicated in the report. the fa ct people implicated in the report. the fact is, when we hear of stories which have evidence base, of brown
paper bag stuffed with cash being offered to politicians if they will do the bidding of, and you name them, they denied it, but you have named them, the gupta family, then it is clear that there is something rotten at the heart of the south african government and without an independentjudicial commission of enquiry i am struggling to see how are to convince anybody that the government is taking this seriously. if you talk about state capture and you are not biased in relation to the guptas, you will be very clear that that report is under contestation. those who gave evidence, and they were given brown envelopes, have come to the fore. those matters will equally be tested going forward. that is in the judicial commission of enquiry that has to be established. that report equally is a matter of contestation. in terms of our laws... minister,
minister, minister, you are the minister, minister, you are the minister for minister, minister, you are the ministerfor police, so i know that you regard procedure as very important. iam really you regard procedure as very important. i am really asking you a question about procedure which you are continuing to ignore. cyril ramaphosa, the deputy president, has said that this story of brown envelopes of cash being offered to politicians, it has basically become a problem, he says, for us in the ruling party, it is critical that these allegations of state capture be tested and put to rest because they are, for us in the anc, the elephant in the room. so, this is a question of procedure, whether you are prepared to countenance an independent judicial are prepared to countenance an independentjudicial enquiry. are you or are you not? none of us in the anc have contested that, and none of us are complicit in the corruption. cyril ramaphosa, the deputy president, is articulating a principled position in which all of
us as principled position in which all of us as public representatives will condemn in the strongest terms any form of corruption including bribery by anybody that would have been as reported in the state capture report, it is what would have been undertaken. we have been very clear with that. there is no point about it. all i am saying to you is that the report state capture, as it stands in terms of facts, some of the people implicated are contesting the people implicated are contesting the veracity of those facts. and if the veracity of those facts. and if thejudicial commission the veracity of those facts. and if the judicial commission of enquiry will be established, thejudicial commission of enquiry will basically give the open space for everybody to clear their names and those who are guilty to be dealt with by the rut of the law. well, because it hasn't been tested, i am not sure how you can tell me that no one in the anc
government is corrupt or taking backhanded sweeteners because the process hasn't been carried through —— wrath. what i will tell you is your assurances to me that the anc leadership is united are clearly nonsensical because not only anae quoting to you cyril ramaphosa, who is demanding a proper investigation, listen to these words from the anc parliamentary chief chief whip jackson mthembu, we are divided, we are busy scoring spectacular own goals, and all that we are concerned about is accumulating wealth as if there is no tomorrow. yes, jackson mthembu might have expressed that particular viewpoint. his views in relation to the matters of corruption, they are not only a matter of concern. the state is intact. the state has actually acted against the corrupt people whether
they wear our colours or not, or whatever ideological colour you want to make us believe is that we anc members and leaders were implicit in corruption, we protect corruption, whereas that is not the case. we have acted at every turn in relation to matters of corruption as guided by our courts and where the state organs have had to arrest, including members of the anc, they have acted without any hindrance. members of the anc, they have acted without any hindrancelj members of the anc, they have acted without any hindrance. i am simply reporting to you the grave concerns of people inside your own party, thatis of people inside your own party, that is why i call this a crisis for the anc. let me try one more time with you. the former anc treasurer general, mathews phosa... hang on a second. he says this, we are not serva nts second. he says this, we are not servants of the people any more in
the anc. we have a president and when we plead with him to go these days. my plea is this, for once, mr president, serve your people and go now because if you do not history willjudge you to be the architect of the destruction of the anc. mathews phosa and whoever in concert, they are not anc. there is a lot of discipline numbers of the anc if you have not sought to express anc if you have not sought to ex press a ny anc if you have not sought to express any view in the manner in which some of the views have been expressed. you are telling me one of the struggle is for the liberation of south africa, he does not for you represent the anc, cyril ramaphosa? he isa represent the anc, cyril ramaphosa? he is a leader but where i
correcting you is views expressed by individuals who are members of the anc did not necessarily represent what the anc represents in the national african congress. if mathews phosa has a view about zuma to go, it is not the view that the majority of the anc members have. there is still debate not yet settled weather the next vote of confidence or no—confidence injacob zuma should be by secret ballot. those who want him to go believe that a secret that it would give politicians much more freedom to express their real feelings about jacob zuma. let me put you on the spot, to use support the democratic idea of a secret ballot? our constitution does not allow that in
terms of the voting process is in parliament but equally, we have been tested to their limit. to think that the african national congress can actually take a position to take itself out of power, simply because the opposition wants that, we are here in parliament as an date of all voters and we will never take ourselves out of power because the opposition would also never do that. if are opposition would also never do that. ifarea opposition would also never do that. if are a may say so, you strike the isa if are a may say so, you strike the is a senior member of cabin crew on the titanic refusing to accept the ship is going down. it is notjust the opposition out to get mr zuma, the opposition out to get mr zuma, the south african federation of trade union, the south african communist party, which is clearly lined up alongside the anc, both
those institutions also said jacob zuma is to go. baby gone to the street to listen to people who say that president must not go. —— have you gone. the view you are expressing is one—sided stop it is a coalition of forces. it is not the view of the majority. i have seen opinion polls,... view of the majority. i have seen opinion polls, . .. hang view of the majority. i have seen opinion polls,... hang on. you asked me what i have seen. the latest tns poll says seven out of ten south africans believe jacob zuma should go. the economic situation seemed this disastrous cabinet reshuffle has taken a new downward turn. we have had south african debt turned intojunk old have had south african debt turned into junk old status by snp. have had south african debt turned intojunk old status by snp. —— junk
bond. you have an unofficial employment rate of 50%. you are now supervising economic as well as political chaos. there is no political chaos. there is no political chaos. there is no political chaos. it is the wishes of others that want this to be seen as that. it is important that everybody comes to the party, in the interests of all south africans and a national interest to career around what is important around our country. in relation to growth and employment creation has been a matter that has been receiving all attention since 1994. even the recession that we have come to whip those exacerbated the situation. in this particular
instance, we are going to have to ensure we get out of the quagmire of jobless growth and an economy which has not been assisted in terms of employment creation. leaders have looked at this downgrade and said that people who will suffer... hang on... this is the words of the banking association of south africa, the people who will suffer are the pork because they will feel interest rate rises and inflation rise. pork because they will feel interest rate rises and inflation riselj pork because they will feel interest rate rises and inflation rise. i say to you, those economic experts you are talking about, do not speak about them as though they do not have an ideological interest. they do! and probably those of vested interests want to get rid of jacob zuma. it means the state, in
relation to the economy and the poorest people, must continue to be perpetuated. the zuma government thatis perpetuated. the zuma government that is a leading talks radical transformation in the interest of the poll, to ensure we redistribute land and our people become the primary beneficiaries of that particular programme. thanks of the reshuffle, you are police minister. south africa is a terrible problem of violence and insecurity. i am wondering if it was useful and wise for you in one of your first statement as police minister to talk about instilling new levels of fear in criminals, telling the police that if they are approached by violent criminals, the police should outgun them, meet fire with fire. you are not given your guns as toys, you told the police. is that really the best way to address south
africa's massive insecurity problem? that is probably the best way to deal with violent crimes and violent criminals who terrorise our society full of making our people gripped by fear. in fear of free movement. we are fear. in fear of free movement. we a re steadfast fear. in fear of free movement. we are steadfast and clear in relation to criminals within the context of the law. it seemed to me there was something alarming and threatening about your words. you talked about protesters and warned protesters not to do damage during demonstrations and you said, i do not want another marikana, referring and you said, i do not want another marika na, referring to and you said, i do not want another marikana, referring to the mass killing around the mine some time ago, do not want another marikana we re ago, do not want another marikana were police open fire and people died. suggesting your message to
protesters in the future if they might well face police who to quote you should not view their guns as toys. no, no, no dog do not exaggerate situations. that message is directed to the criminals. criminals who are dangerous and think they can run south africa. i am very clear when it comes to protesters, we a re am very clear when it comes to protesters, we are upgrading our approach in terms of our units and i am saying that those units of the police that are supposed to deal with specific dangerous crimes, will not come closer to ordinary south africans who are protesting. minister fikile mbalula, we thank you very much forjoining us from
cape town. hello there. the weather contrast on wednesday got a little bit more stark across the uk, with low cloud dominant across parts of east anglia and the south—west. a breeze off a chilly sea. 9 celsius the high for one or two, but in the sunshine, and plenty of it further north and west, high teens and low 20s. and considering our wind is coming from the east, and will be for the next few days, you look downwind, clumps of cloud of running into the same areas that we have seen during the past 24 hours. so more cloud around on thursday. maybe the odd brighter break here and there. but east anglia and the south—east always prone to the odd spot of rain and drizzle and maybe a few splashes of drizzle further west.
a few breaks in the clouds towards devon and cornwall, the channel islands but probably a little bit of a cloudier start across wales, compared to what we saw yesterday morning. further north, though, sunshine will be out again across much of northern england, after a chilly start. a chilly start but a sunny start in northern ireland. the odd mist or fog patch. in scotland, more chilly start, dry and sunny. around moray firth, shetland low cloud close to the coast. that will come and go through the day. still with some sunny spells. a few brighter days through the midlands and parts of north wales into the afternoon after a grey start. but still plenty of cloud across other southern counties. still the chance of one or two passing showers. a breezy day. limiting the temperatures off the cold sea across those eastern areas. in the west, particularly gusty winds west of the hills. western scotland 19—20 celsius is again possible. then into thursday night, we see a few more in the way of bright clearer breaks across parts england and wales, and that will lead to temperatures dropping a touch. outside of the towns, you mightjust about get a touch of frost here and there once again but most will be frost—free particularly the further
south you are. the breezy helping to limit things. so another breezy day on friday. further areas of cloud drifting across southern counties of england and wales. maybe into the midlands later. further north, clearer skies across northern england, scotland and northern ireland. temperatures for some getting down a little bit but could still get to then high teens across western scotland and maybe to the west of cumbria. a few changes as we go into the weekend — the high—pressure that has been with us recedes a little bit towards iceland. allows this low pressure system to get close — how close it gets is a big question mark but it could spread rain across devon and cornwall, channel islands, maybe southern counties of england through the day. north of that, some brighter sunny spells and feeling a little less chilly across south—eastern areas. the rain close by if you go through the night and into sunday. either way, whether it reaches the south coast or not, it clears into the near continent, allowing north—easterly winds to develop for sunday. so we'll see a bit more sunshine around in places. the best in the west.
cool down the eastern coast. take care. welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is mike embley. our top stories: the us congress announces a vote to repeal obamacare as republican politicians say they have enough support to win it. the fbi director defends his handling of the hillary clinton e—mail investigation. look, this was terrible. it makes me mildly nauseous to think that we might have had some impact on the election. but, honestly, it wouldn't change the decision. the candidate of the elite, or the spirit of defeat? rivals for the french presidency trade insults in their televised debate. and we visit the american town where one in ten are addicted to opioids and where pharmaceutical companies are getting the blame.