Tag Archives: south africa

Monday Matters Trident Vote & Mandela Day 18 July 2016

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Nelson Mandela – released in 19901after 27 years in captivity

 

Monday Matters with Jason McCrossan as broadcast on 106.SFM.

On the show tonight:

It’s International Mandela day – after 9pm Jason speaks to a biographer of Nelson Mandela – Martin Meredith – about the Mandela’s early life, later life and struggles which saw him go from spending 26 years in a prison cell to becoming the first black President of South Africa.

The Prime Minister says she would be prepared to authorise a nuclear strike.  Theresa May’s made her first Commons speech since entering Number 10, during a debate about renewing the UK’s nuclear deterrent – we’ll discuss the pro’s and con’s with Green Party MP Caroline Lucas and former First Sea Lord and former Security Minister, Lord West.

Our featured artist tonight is Don Henley who is 69 on Friday. The drummer, singer, composer, and co-founder of The Eagles who has also pursued a successful solo career, releasing hits like The Boys of Summer.

Also we have The World Tonight; Not In The News and the latest music news and releases.

 

Martin Meredith: Mandela A Biography

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Today is Nelson Mandela International Day (or Mandela Day).  An annual international day celebrated each year on 18 July, which was Mandela’s birthday.

The day was officially declared by the United Nations in November 2009, with the first UN Mandela Day held on 18 July 2010. However, other groups began celebrating Mandela Day on 18 July 2009.

Jason McCrossan spoke to one of his biographer Martin Meredith about a biography which was published in 2010. Also broadcast on http://www.sfmradio.com 106.9 SFM in Sittingbourne.

 

 

 

 

Rolihlahla Mandela was born into the Madiba clan in the village of Mvezo , Transkei, on 18 July 1918. His mother was Nonqaphi Nosekeni and his father was Nkosi Mphakanyiswa Gadla Mandela, principal counsellor to the Acting King of the Thembu people, Jongintaba Dalindyebo. In 1930, when he was 12 years old, his father died and the young Rolihlahla became a ward of Jongintaba at the Great Place in Mqhekezweni 1 .

Hearing the elders’ stories of his ancestors’ valour during the wars of resistance, he dreamed also of making his own contribution to the freedom struggle of his people.

Mandela, while increasingly politically involved from 1942, only joined the African National Congress in 1944 when he helped to form the ANC Youth League (ANCYL).

In 1944 he married Walter Sisulu’s cousin, Evelyn Mase, a nurse. They had two sons, Madiba Thembekile “Thembi” and Makgatho, and two daughters both called Makaziwe, the first of whom died in infancy. He and his wife divorced in 1958.

Mandela rose through the ranks of the ANCYL and through its efforts, the ANC adopted a more radical mass-based policy, the Programme of Action, in 1949.

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Nelson Mandela on the roof of Kholvad House in 1953. Image courtesy of the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation

Oscar Pistorius: The Life & Trial of A Murderer

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Oscar Pistorius is a murderer. He brutally shot and killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, most probably after an argument, on the morning of valentines day 2013.  Later that day, Reeva had been due to speak to young girls at Sandton High School in Johannesburg, about respect from men and avoiding bad choices in relationships with partners.  Oscar not only put a stop to her talk – but to the rest of her life.

 

The image that the media proliferated and profiteered from was that Oscar was a wholesome good looking hero, a person who’d battled against the odds, succeeded with a disability and who could inspire a younger generation.  He made and sold column inches.

The truth was to become much murkier and complicated as the interview I did with author and blogger Lisa Wilson shows – Oscar, in my own words was “a nasty piece of work” and Lisa told me how he didn’t just compete his way to the top – he bullied and used his families wealth and influence to secure a place in the olympics and to ultimately pay for top legal representation – following his cold bloodied murder.  And  even now -with his bail set at 10,000 rand (or $700/ £450) – and him able to spend time at home as a convicted murderer – it seems to continue to work.

When Oscar was in the court room giving his evidence – most of it lies – I often wondered what his family heard – and why that differed so much from what I and the rest of the world heard?  (Apart from the odd crackpots who shamelessly spout his innocents)! Did Oscar’s family argue over whether to support what they must have known was the truth (he murdered Teeva) or was the honour of the family name just too important? I guess we’ll never know.

When Pistorius took to the witness stand – all I heard were the whimpering lies of a murderer – desperately trying to save his career – inconvenienced by his current predicament – wanting nothing more than to get away with his murder and get back to his celebrity lifestyle.

I often ask myself why didn’t his family find the humanity to say to him ‘Hey Oscar, quit with the lies – just tell the truth and let be done.  Reeva deserves the truth’.  But they didn’t. They supported his story and continue to push the lie that it was all an accident  – and that Oscar believed he was protecting his girlfriend with the unforgivable sentence ‘When Reeva went to bed that night she felt loved’.  What an abominable insult to Reeva and her family.

And that is one of the things that disturbs me about this family.  There was no humanity shown towards Reeva nor the Steenkamps.  I guess the family that surrounds Pistorius are tied to his success – you can imagine that as Oscar’s stature rose – so did theirs.  His adulation – became theirs- to share with friends and acquaintances, who also wanted a piece of the pie.

When Oscar pulled the trigger and aborted the ‘mission’ – they found themselves shackled to a narrative not of success & heroism – but of a angry, spiteful young man who put himself above others and treated women like  accessories – to own and discard at his whom.

One imagines – after all the highs – they didn’t want to face the lows – even if that meant denying facts, and perpetuating a lie.  They allowed themselves to become victims.

Unfortunately the latter also meant trampling all over the life and memory of someone else.  Oscar’s family couldn’t bring themselves to believe that their status within their social network, South Africa and the world beyond – was as bloodied as the toilet where Oscar ended Reeva’s life.

Oscar and his wealthy family have been pivitol to his success and his failure as a human.  The failure that lead him to become a murderer – who is currently on bail and out of jail – which shows what money and influence can do.  Had he been unknown, without the wealth – or another colour – he’d be banged up right now – contemplating his actions.

Lisa Wilson has co-authored many books about Oscar Pistorius- including her latest booked which she co-wrote with Nick van der Leek called THE APPEAL: Oscar Pistorius – which she wrote with the freelance journalist and author Nick van der Leek.

Oscar Pistorius: Murderer

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South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal has accepted the State’s appeal and changed the conviction that was handed down to Oscar Pistorius from manslaughter to murder.

Eric Leach spent just under 30 minutes reading the unanimous ruling which was agreed upon by all of the five judges.

Leach said that having armed himself with a high-calibre weapon, Pistorius must have foreseen that whoever was behind the door might die, especially given his firearms training.  Of course he should.  He killed Reeva because he was angry and because he felt he could.

The Supreme Court ruling comes as a relief to many people who thought Oscar had evaded justice and literally ‘got away with murder’.  Pistorius had given unconvincing testimony at his trial with him being referred to as a ‘poor witness’.  Many, including me, watched the trial at times with disbelief as Oscar’s defence team trotted out one questionable expert after another – it really  was nearly laughable – but it wasn’t, because a young woman was brutally murdered on valentines day by the very person who should of protected her.

Anyone, and there were thousands, who sat through the court case was left in no doubt that Oscar was an angry young man who always got what he wanted and was prone to violent outbursts – usually, but not always vocally.  It seems he was a ticking time-bomb waiting to go off.  Unfortunately, Reeva Steenkamp took the full impact of his explosion.

 

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Reeva Steenkamp

So, how did he manage to get off with it first time around?  Well, like most, if not all justice systems around the world – money and the ability to afford the best lawyers seem to have played its part.  Had Oscar been a black poor kid and Reeva been the same – this wouldn’t of even been a footnote in history and Oscar would be serving a life sentence in some unforsaken prison – where he would be unknown and forgotten about by all but a few close relatives.

The UK court has a system of juries which has its positives when faced with straight forward cases – however, can fall down when things are complicated and be swayed by good witnesses or defendants.  No system is, or can be, the perfect system.

I hope that the Steenkamps can now feel some sense that justice, from their home country, has finally came down on their side.

Judge Chris Greenland discusses Oscar Pistorius release

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Paralympian Oscar Pistorius is to be released from prison on 21 August having served 10 months for the culpable homicide of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Judge Chris Greenland discusses with Jason McCrossan why the trial Judge Thokozile Masipa got the verdict WRONG & what the likely outcomes will be leading up to the appeal.

Oscar Pistorius Trial – the verdict

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Judge Thokozile Masipa

After 41 days of tears, anguish and at times gruesome testimony in the Pretoria High Court, Judge Thokozile Masipa gave her Judgement on the trial of Oscar Pistorius, the double amputee who became one of the biggest names in athletics. She found him not guilty of premeditated murder but guilty of culpable homicide.

Jason spoke with respected South African legal expert and President of the Law Society of the Northern Provinces Llewellyn Curlewis about his views on the verdict.

Oscar Pistorius Trial – Llewelyn Curlewis

It was on the morning of the 14th February 2013 that four shots rang out from the gun of Oscar Pistorius – a Paralympic athlete and rising star in his country and around the world. Three of those shots hit the 29 year old South African model and reality TV star – Reeva Steenkamp. She died not long after a fatal wound to her head. Criminal lawyer and the special legal advisor to Sky news in South Africa Dr Llewellyn Curlewis spoke to Jason McCrossan