Return to Transcripts main page
What's Become of Mandela's Rainbow Nation; Film Highlights Women's Rights and Family Honor; Imagine a World. Aired 2-2:30p ET
Aired February 24, 2016 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST (voice-over): Tonight: Exclusive access inside one of South Africa's most notorious jails and the skyrocketing
prison population. A special report as we focus on a country with crippling unemployment and a teetering economy.
Once the engine and the hope of the continent, can South Africa step back from the brink?
Plus, the Oscar-nominated documentary forcing Pakistan to face up to the horror of honor killings. Filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy joins me live
AMANPOUR: Good evening, everyone. And welcome to the program. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.
South Africa says that its economy is in crisis. A harbinger of worse to come, as the Rainbow Nation fades, many have turned against their
president, telling him with this hashtag, #ZumaMustFall, that he is failing them all on all fronts, finances at risk of being relegated to junk,
massive unemployment and persistent corruption, cronyism and crime.
We'll discuss all of this in a moment. But first the view from ground zero, where this perfect storm of failure is causing social instability and
a staggering 29 percent of the prison population is aged just 14 to 25, as our David McKenzie reports in this exclusive from Cape Town and one of
South Africa's most notorious jails.
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Walls designed to keep dangerous inmates out of sight, also hiding allegations of abuse, disease,
outbreaks, severe overcrowding -- until now. We've been given exclusive access inside Pollsmoor Prison.
We're headed to the one section that's the oversight most overcrowded section of Pollsmoor, (INAUDIBLE) centers. Some of the cells over 300
percent over capacity.
Statistics can be hard to grasp; the horrific reality is not. This single cell, crammed with 86 detainees. It was designed for 19. They all share
one shower and a toilet but often it's just a bucket.
No mattress, no nothing?
The smell, this many bodies in such a small space, is suffocating. The filth is so extreme, skin disease is endemic. Contracting tuberculosis, an
almost certainty. Inhumane conditions for even the most hardened of convicts. But all of these men, yet to be convicted.
How many of you have been here for more than two months?
CLIVE (PH): The worst thing is to see all the people must lay on the floors, (INAUDIBLE). Even during the night, when we want to go to toilet,
we have to climb over them.
MCKENZIE (voice-over): Clive (ph) has been stuck here for two years and two months, awaiting trial.
CLIVE (PH): Animals should live like this but not human beings.
MCKENZIE: It seems very unfair to them.
JACOBS: I understand that but unfortunately we don't invite any of them in here. Correctional Services, we don't invite any of them in here. They
come here because they do alleged crimes.
MCKENZIE (voice-over): He says Pollsmoor was designed during apartheid when prisons were meant to break black inmates, not rehabilitate them.
MCKENZIE: It's inhumane.
JACOBS: It's inhumane. (INAUDIBLE).
MCKENZIE (voice-over): Jacobs wanted to show us what wardens were up against.
Today, like each morning, hundreds of remanded inmates head off to court. Some will be let off, some convicted. But the majority will just be
brought back where hundreds more will join them each week inside this prison hell -- David McKenzie, CNN, Pollsmoor Prison.
AMANPOUR: So that crisis in the criminal justice system and crisis all over South Africa now. From Johannesburg, joining me is the political
analyst, Justice Malala. He's the founding editor of South Africa's "This Day" newspaper and the publisher of "The Sowetan" and "Sunday World."
And with me here in the studio, the former British government minister and prominent antiapartheid activist, Peter Hain, who grew up in South Africa
and was last year awarded its highest honor, a proud moment that he now calls bittersweet.
Gentlemen, thank you both for joining me.
Let me, since you're sitting right here with me, Peter Hain, explain to me then why --
AMANPOUR: -- this country of your childhood, you call getting that award bittersweet.
What has failed?
PETER HAIN, FORMER ANTIAPARTHEID CAMPAIGNER: It was a great privilege, because only a few people, who marched in that long freedom struggle, as I
was privileged to do and my parents sacrificed for, that many were tortured and received, received the honor. So I saw it as an award for my parents,
But I worry about the country's direction, under the president's and under the leadership from bottom to the top of the African National Congress,
which, if in South Africa, I would identify with Nelson Mandela's ANC.
But I think it's his legacy is being, day-by-day almost, squandered and also betrayed not because it isn't difficult to govern South Africa, given
the apartheid legacy, it's enormously difficult.
And not because the ANC hasn't achieved a great deal, it has. Millions have been given jobs, have been given houses, have been given running water
and electricity. It's got a great constitution, one of the best in the world.
But there's far too much corruption, there's far too much cronyism and it's dragging the country down.
AMANPOUR: Let me ask you, Justice Malala, from your perspective on the ground there, you and others have started hashtag #ZumaMustFall. It's
quite unusual, obviously, for everybody to go against the ANC, to go against the president.
What is it that has caused this crisis?
JUSTICE MALALA, SOUTH AFRICAN POLITICAL ANALYST: I think it's been a long time coming. I think that, over the past five, six years, many of us have
pointed out that trajectory that South Africa is on is appalling.
If you reference there the clip you showed earlier on, with incredibly terrible conditions that ordinary people, people who have not been
convicted of any crime, have to suffer through during detention, that is not what many South Africans fought for.
That is not what many South Africans believe we should be going through right now. And so all of these eruptions of society are really about
what's going on because we are better than this. We can be better than this and we shouldn't be where we are.
AMANPOUR: Let me specifically ask you, there's a huge spike in crime. A lot of these endemic problems are presumably contributing to that. And
there's a huge unemployment figure.
Look at this, 69 percent of black males, aged between 15 and 24, are estimated to be unemployed and that's 75 percent of black females in that
same age group.
If people have no hope and no work, what is the future of your country, Justice?
MALALA: Well, the future is in our hands. The future is for us to do something about it.
The problem that I have found in our leadership, and as Peter has said so eloquently, the problem with our leadership is that we are very quick to
jump to conclusions about the global economic meltdown, about the global forces that, you know, oh, we are victims here.
We are not victims. The ANC is not a victim. The ANC is a party that has always presented to South Africa a vision of the world and of humanity of
South Africa that says, we can do something about this.
My fear right now is that the ANC, under Jacob Zuma in particular, does not seem to have the ability to give that hope and to put down policy that says
that we can solve these problems.
AMANPOUR: So what would be the policy, Peter Hain?
And do you agree that it's largely around the failure of one man, Jacob Zuma and what he's instituted, he's talking about cronyism, corruption,
that is the main problem?
Or is there a bigger problem?
The IMF says, for instance, that growth is predicted next year for maybe 0.7 percent or 0.8 percent. That's not very high.
HAIN: No, it's not. With a rising population, with rising immigration and also with other countries in Africa now accelerating ahead, this is a
continent that is awakening economically from the problems of the past.
I would just make one other point about South Africa. South Africa's majority population was, for generations, starved deliberately by the
apartheid system of the skills that it needs. And that's -- when you starve the majority of the skills that they need, it's very hard to
actually then achieve high levels of economic growth.
But that's no excuse. It isn't just one person's fault. There are big problems at the top. It's the ANC as a whole, I thought very appositely
put by one of Nelson Mandela's comrades on trial for their lives at Rivonia in 1964.
He said, Dennis Goldberg said, the ANC has to be cleaned out of its leadership from top to bottom. This isn't just one person, although you
could be highly critical of Jacob Zuma, particularly for corruption and cronyism. This has got to -- the ANC has got to change or South Africa --
HAIN: -- is imperiled and the ANC will die and betray completely Nelson Mandela's legacy.
AMANPOUR: But Justice, let's say the ANC doesn't know how to reform and dies.
What is the alternative?
We've been reporting for years on the political system and there have been parties that have crept up. But nobody makes the kind of dent in the ANC.
It is the supreme lead -- you know, the biggest party, the most powerful one there.
MALALA: My view is that it's not over, that there is political competition that's coming through, that there are some green shoots in the system that
say that, no, South Africa is not this monolith, where President Zuma and the ANC -- and I would like to agree with Peter here about that. It's not
one person, it's a whole system.
But I think that system is being chipped at from all sides and there will - -change is coming. And I don't think South Africa will explode. I think that the change will come from ordinary citizens, speaking up and saying,
this is not what we are about. This is not what you were elected for. And I believe that that will bring about the change that we need to see.
AMANPOUR: Well, that's very good news. And I want to just ask a final brief question to both of you about race. You know, it was about giving
the majority power and the democratic rights, human rights. And yet many have said that a lot of the skills, the power is still concentrated in the
hands of a white elite.
Is that a problem?
HAIN: Joined by a black elite, actually, many of them, ANC aligned. And that's -- so it's more complicated.
Also, can I just make this point?
South Africa was presented under Nelson Mandela because it was a miraculous moment, as a miracle. It actually was never a miracle. It was never going
to be that easy to change a system from a hideous legacy of apartheid, generations of inequality and poverty, mass unemployment and all that went
with that, and the deprivation of skills. It's neither a miracle nor is it going to hell in a handcart. It's somewhere in between.
And as Justice has said, there's a big fight now for the future. I'm still optimistic about this country. It's still very wealthy, has a fifth of the
GDP of the entire African continent, despite only having 50 million out of 1 billion people on the continent.
There's great potential there, it's just the people have got to assert themselves as they're doing.
AMANPOUR: So great potential, Justice.
How do you see race and the legacy of race continuing to play out today?
MALALA: I think race will continue to be a big issue in South Africa. Remember, we're not like many other post-colonial African countries as
such. We don't have a colonizer, who moves out of at the end of the colonization.
You have a South Africa where you have white and black, post-apartheid, living together. As you referenced earlier, their poor economic growth is
putting a lot of pressure on race relations in South Africa. I think this will be an issue that is going to come up again and again.
But I think we can get through it. But 22 years is too little for us to say, oh, you know, it should be Kumbaya. It's not, as Peter says.
And it's going to be tough. But I believe that if we find the kind of leadership, the kind of vision we had in 1994-95, when we didn't like each
other but got through terrible moments, I think we can do it again.
AMANPOUR: All right. On that note, Justice Malala, thank you for joining me from Johannesburg; Peter Hain, thank you for joining me here in the
HAIN: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: Now we reached out to the South African government for an interview on all of this but no one was available.
Tonight, we do hope to speak to them in the coming days and weeks.
After a break, we shift our focus to Pakistan and its Oscar spotlight on women's rights. Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy has already won one Oscar for
raising the veil on acid attacks. Nominated again this year, she's hoping for a double whammy after this.
AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program.
This year's Oscars will be announced on Sunday amid a row, of course, over a lack of racial diversity. The host and the comedian, Chris Rock, who's
refused to join other prominent black artists who are boycotting the ceremony, is instead expected to address the controversy in his opening
Now one powerful film that's been nominated for Best Documentary Short highlights the controversial cultural crime of honor killing in Pakistan.
It's called "A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness." Here's a clip.
(MOVIE CLIP, "A GIRL IN THE RIVER: THE PRICE OF FORGIVENESS"
AMANPOUR: Now despite or perhaps because of her record of highlighting these harrowing crimes, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has congratulated the
director, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, on her Oscar nomination. And she now joins us live from Los Angeles.
Welcome to the program, Sharmeen. It's great to see you again. As I said, you've already won one Oscar.
But tell me, how is this going down in your home country?
You keep poking your lens where it's least welcome.
SHARMEEN OBAID-CHINOY, FILM DIRECTOR: I think it's very important to shape the status quo. I think it's very important to have these difficult
conversations and, you know, we aren't going to make the country a better place if we keep glorifying the good things about it. We must talk about
all of the issues that confront Pakistan.
And there are many issues that confront the country. The most hopeful thing about this film is that it started a national discourse in Pakistan,
about honor killings, something we desperately needed to have.
AMANPOUR: Well, tell me first about the story and then I want to ask you about Prime Minister and how you, you know, took the unusual step of
actually congratulating you for this.
How did you come across the story?
OBAID-CHINOY: You know, I've been wanting to do a film about honor killings for a long time. Unfortunately, all of the victims of honor
killings, you know, perish, they don't survive. And so it's very hard to tell that story.
So one day I was reading in the newspaper that a girl had been shot and thrown in a river in a gunny bag and had survived in what appeared to be an
attempted honor killing.
And so I called up the hospital and arrived there and, right from the beginning, the young woman who had been shot was determined to fight, she
was determined for her story to be told, because, as she said to me, she didn't want any other woman in Pakistan to go through what she had gone
AMANPOUR: Well, we've got pictures and we have Prime Minister Sharif welcoming you, meeting you.
What has he done that gives you hope?
OBAID-CHINOY: First of all, the prime minister has made very bold statements. He has said that there is no place for honor killings in
Islam, a religion that gives women a lot of rights.
He has held the first screening of the documentary film at the prime minister's office, having members of his cabinet, parliamentarians, civil
society, members of the diplomatic corps and the press there and has made a very strong speech at the event, saying that his government will introduce
legislation as early as next week, talking about how honor killings need to be stopped, that there is no place for them in Pakistan, that Pakistan is
going towards a progressive society, where women are equal partners to men.
For a prime minister of Pakistan to be making such statements sends off a very positive signal. It doesn't mean that honor killings will end
tomorrow but it does mean that the leadership is taking this very --
OBAID-CHINOY: -- seriously and that they are going to have laws that will counter it.
AMANPOUR: OK, that is really encouraging news. You know, I've read that there are something like 1,000 of these honor killings every single year.
But even if the prime minister stands up for law and order and for women's basic rights, what about in the villages and in the homes and in the
It's families taking the law into their own hands.
OBAID-CHINOY: It very much is. But, you know, right now, as the law stands, when a father kills his daughter or a brother kills his sister, the
family can forgive. The wife can forgive the husband, the parents can forgive the son. And so very few people actually go to jail for honor
killings in Pakistan.
What that means is that, in entire villages, towns and even cities, people know of people who have killed women in their family and are walking scot-
free, which gives off the signal that there is nothing wrong with killing women.
A law has to be brought into place that acts as a deterrent. We need to start sending people to jail. We feed to start making examples of them.
If we start making examples of them, then perhaps the next step is education and bringing people, making them aware of, you know, of this
But, for as long as people don't go to jail for it, how would people think it's a serious crime?
AMANPOUR: Well, right, and of course, it happens right across your border also in Afghanistan and, actually, in many Muslim communities in the West
as well. And so it is a big, big problem.
Can you tell me what actually has happened to Saba, the girl who was shot, the principal in your film?
OBAID-CHINOY: Saba has recently given birth to a baby boy. You know, in the film, at the end of the film, she wants to have a girl, because, as she
tells me, she wants a girl to be educated, to know her rights, to be part of society as an equal member.
But she's had a son and she's planning to raise this son as someone who respects women. She is, you know, since the hype around the Oscars, a
donor has come forward and donated land to her. She's going to be building her own home.
And I think right now, as she said to me before I set off to L.A., she said, if the prime minister changes the law, I will go to Islamabad, to his
office and thank him in person.
AMANPOUR: Well, it's really great to hear all this and we hope you win. It's an amazing spotlight.
But did she stay with the husband who they were trying to separate her from?
And where is she living?
Is she living still in a village with all those creepy people who tried to kill her?
OBAID-CHINOY: You know, at the end of the day, Christiane, this is a -- it's a love story. It's a --
(EMERGENCY ALERT SYSTEM)
AMANPOUR: Finally tonight, image a world where the Queen of England personally ferries you across London. For Londoners, it's the world of
tomorrow. Well, kind of, as we're really talking about the Elizabeth Line.
Opened with a royal flourish by the Queen herself, it is the city's first new tube route in almost 40 years, already affectionately dubbed the Lizzie
Lest you think the Queen is a regular London Underground commuter, she is not. She first hopped on as a princess in 1939, just before underground
train stations became World War II bomb shelters here in the capital.
She became the first reigning monarch to take the tube in 1969, opening the Victoria Line, which was named for her great-great grandmother, who, by the
way, she's recently overtaken as the longest reigning British monarch.
And as always, no good royal tidbit goes unembellished. One New Yorker, no less, has staked her claim to the new Elizabeth Line. She is actually
Elizabeth Line herself.
Yep, that is her name. And she's currently enjoying her 15 minutes of fame as an overnight celebrity, tweeting and joking, quote, "What an amazing
honor, just wish the Queen would give a rest with those photo bombs."
That is it for our program tonight. And remember, you can now always listen to our podcast, see us online at amanpour.com and follow me on
Facebook and Twitter. Thanks for watching and goodbye from London.