12/09/2014 Newsnight


With Kirsty Wark. The journey of Ian Paisley. Iran's secret war in Iraq. Boris. Scotland. Pistorius. Pumeza Matshikiza sings Puccini.

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Ian Paisley has died, went from this: We say never, never, never,


never... To this, in the space of a lifetime. We will recall his


eventful journey and what it meant for Northern Ireland. Meanwhile in


Scotland. Just last week there was an SNP council up north to get


people to wave a Union Flag. It is a potent symbol when Better Together


are waving the Scottish saltire, is the Union Flag now toxic north of


the border. Where does Ken Loach this it is so hard to sell


Britishness. Here on the ground it is not America


but Iran that is running the show. And not just three their proxys, the


Shia militia. It is the last night of the Newsnight Proms.


Good evening, Ian Paisley, DUP leader, Dr No, Presbyterian


fundamentalist, and First Minister of Northern Ireland has died at the


age of 88. For more than 50 years for good or ill he made the weather


in Northern Ireland with blistering, uncompromising sermons and speeches


and his belief in no surrender. He denounced the Good Friday peace


accord in 1998 and said there was not a snowball's chance in hell he


would work with Sinn Fein unless the IRA surrendered all weapons


publicly. But when the IRA did eventually disarm and renounce


violence it was a short step to the moment he sat down together with


Gerry Adams. Here is our political editor.


We will organise massive demonstrations... Face fit for a


statue, beliefs etched in granite, and some of the most powerful lungs


the world might ever have heard. He was a could loss colossas. But then


he became a yes man. I wonder why people hate me, I'm just a nice man.


The man himself knew he had divided a nation. Paisley became a preacher


at 16 and set up the Free prise by tearian Church by 25, maturing into


a well known Protestant firebrand. Paisley's support grew and


membership of his support doubled when he clashed with the Catholic


civil rights movement and imprisoned in 1968. Election to the Stormont


and Westminster parliaments in 1970 followed, and in 1971 he created the


Democratic Unionist Party, finally the famous Paisley position was


crystallising. There would be no surrender, not an inch, to those


crystallising. There would be no wanting Irish Government in Northern


Ireland. Where do the terrorists return to for sanctuary, to the


Irish Republic. And yet Mrs Thatcher tells us that Republic must have


some say in our province. We say never, never, never, never.


(Cheering) In the eyes of some, his denunciations of terror were


undermined when he appeared to flirt with extremism himself. He always


denied this. The RUC tell me that I am breaking the law because I put a


red beret on my head with an Ulster badge on it, it is time we stood up


and told the RUC... In 1998 the Good Friday Agreement was struck, despite


opposition from Paisley, he vilified David Trimable for signing up. This


paper will destroy the union. In the last two-and-a-half years I have


been giving sense. After the IRA disarmed in 2007, Paisley stunned


the world, he went into Government with former IRA commander, Martin


McGuinness. I think his contribution to peace in Northern Ireland has


been immense. I mean he was the person who ultimately took the


decision, with a lot of courage to make it happen and the man who, in a


sense, was the person famous for saying no, will find his place in


history for having said yes. He said yes and with a chortle, he and


Martin McGuinness were often seen laughing together and were known as


the Chuckle Brothers. Some say an illness had focussed his mind before


death. Others that the violence in Northern Ireland changed so he


changed his mind. It was one of the best things that ever happened. We


still face our challenge, but I will always treasure the year that he and


I were in the office of First Minister and Deputy First Minister


together. We were once opponents but today I have lost a friend. But some


of his old adversaries don't quite see it like that. I think that


whatever about the fact that people speak well about people after their


death. It seems to me any assessment of Ian Paisley and his role in


Northern Ireland has to be a negative one. Mr Paisley is a man


who has injected booster shots of sectarian venom to the body politic


in Northern Ireland, right from a period from the early to mid-60s to


30 more years, in so far as he was clearing up the mess towards the end


of his life. He was clearing up a mess to which some measure had been


of his own making. Paisley makes the most bellicose defend of the union,


passed away in a week where the union faces its most serious


challenge. There is uncertainty, our passionate pro-union sentiments are


they dying away too? Observers say Ian Paisley began life wanting to


lead a church, a political party and become Prime Minister. He was


ambitious and he got there. But many wish the no-man who eventually said


yes, had said "maybe" a little earlier in his life.


We will hear more about that later in the programme.


Earlier this evening I spoke to the deputy leader of the DUP party,


Nigel Dodds, I asked him whether anyone else could have got the two


sides together? It is very difficult to conceive of anybody else being


able to deliver what he did deliver in the end, which was a Sinn Fein


which had decommissioned its weaponry of the IRA, which had


committed to full support of the police, the courts and the rule of


law. You say in the end, he repeatedly said never surrender, no


surrender, not to Sunningdale, not to the Anglo-Irish Agreement or the


Good Friday Agreement, in those years a lot of people suffered on


both sides, partly some would say because of his intransigence? The


one thing about Ian Paisley he was first and foremost a democrat. He


was man to believed very strongly in the democratic process, he always


condemned in the strongest terrorism violence or terrorism, whichever


side it came from. What he was very keen to establish was a durable way


forward, which did not give either undue influence to the Dublin


Government, as the Anglo-Irish agreement did in 1985, or which put


terrorists into the heart of Government in Northern Ireland with


them still holding on to their weapons and not supporting the


police. His language was inflammatory wasn't it? He said the


most extraordinary things, and often the accusation of bigotry was often


laid at his door. He tacked about Catholics breeding like rabbits and


the Pope was called the scarlet woman of Rome. This was not just


rhetoric, it was deeply wounding to a lot of people. All the Catholics


in the country, it was incredibly wounding and he knew it. I was


reading an article today I think it was in the New Statesman, in which


they recalled a reporter going and listening to one of his sermons, and


saying it was no different from the preachers in the Deep South of


America, or the Protestant chapels in South Wales. His belief was very


strong in terms of his Protestant evangelicalism, and he brooked no


cause in taking on these issues. Do you think he will be remembered as


one of the men who stirred the troubles or who delivered peace? I


think he will be remembered by different people from the community


in different ways. He was a very complex character, but he will be


remembered fundamentally as a man who I believe said no when it was


right to say no, and he said yes when the time had come to say yes. I


wonder what he made of the independence referendum in Scotland?


Well, he hadn't expressed a view publicly on that but I know from my


close working with him over many, many years that he would have been


fundamentally and passionately in favour of our Scots kith and kin,


Ulster people have many connections with people in Scotland, remaining


inside the United Kingdom. He would have been passionate about that. And


I am sure it would have been one of his dying wishes to see the United


Kingdom preserved. Well Jonathan Powell was Tony Blair's Chief of


Staff and the British Government's lead negotiator in Northern Ireland


during the talks to secure the Good Friday Agreement. He joins us now


from Switzerland. First of all, what was Ian Paisley really like as a


negotiator? He was very effective. He was very hard, drove a very hard


bargain. And he got what he wanted, he settled for it, he was a


relatively easy person to negotiate with. He carried his side with him.


Sometimes unionist leaders had trouble doing that, but he could


always bring them with him. Did you know, you must have been aware and


you know you have a very detailed book about this whole process, you


must have been aware that the back channels were open between the DUP


and Sinn Fein through a lot of this time of negotiation? Yes, I mean on


the face of it we were shuttling backwards and forwards between two


parts that wouldn't meet. In fact they did have back channel meetings,


they didn't get very far in negotiating with those. There were


more to build confidence. Did you know in your heart of hearts that he


would never sign up to the Good Friday Agreement? I never expected


him to sign up to the Good Friday Agreement, and George Mitchell who


was a facilitator then said thank goodness he didn't participate in


the negotiations. He said if he hadn't participated we wouldn't have


got to the Good Friday Agreement. How did you deal with his attitudes


to Catholics, you heard the kind of language he used, what was he like


in private? In private he could be charming and very, very amusing, but


he did take a very hardline. He was not prepared for example to shake


hands with an Irish Prime Minister, until the very end of the St Andrews


talk, right at the very end. Bertie Ahearn presented him with a bowl


created with wood from the site of the battle of the Boyne, he was


emotional, he and his wife were there and they shook hand, that was


the first time he had shaken hands with an Irish Catholic Prime


Minister. For a start did you ever see him off his guard, was that a


moment you saw him off his guard do you think? I think that was an


emotional moment. He was an emotional man, and he reacted in an


emotional way from time to time. But he was a discipline negotiator and


that helps a facilitator if someone sticks to what they say they are


going to deliver. Do you get any sense that he regretted at any point


the bellicose way he dealt with things and his nature? I don't think


he looked back like that, he was always looking forward. But he did


have this transformation in 2004, he went into hospital and he came out a


really rather changed man both physically and mentally. He told


Tony Blair later that he had a close encounter with his maker, he nearly


died. On the back that have he changed his mind, he decided he


wanted to die as Dr Yes, not Dr No. After that moment in the


negotiations... That's interesting, that at that very moment he thought


he would die before there was peace? He thought he was going to die in


that hospital. When he came out he was determined to succeed in getting


to peace. And there after he was actually well ahead of his party. He


would be in meetings saying yes when the rest of the party was saying no.


And he was able to deliver them. And without him I'm not at all sure we


would have got to the St Andrews' agreement. When you look now at what


was achieved, do you think anyone other than Ian Paisley could have


achieved that? I think it was in the end essential to have people on, if


you like, the two extremes, to have Sinn Fein on one side and the DUP on


the other side. No-one could outflank them or attack a deal they


came to. That was crucial to getting to lasting peace, the peace we had


before proved to be fragile. And when you assessed the kind of


legacy, it is amazing when you actually look back at some of that


archive, because we haven't heard from Ian Paisley for such a while,


you forget how much we saw of that in the late 1970s and 1980sm and


people's views change. How do you think he will be remembered? I think


he will be remembered for both, both contributing to the start of the


troubles by his march on west Belfast to remove the tricolour from


the Sinn Fein office, and the end of the troubles at St Andrews, you


can't leave out both in rembering him. When you watch the way he


operated in Northern Ireland, when he sat down with Martin McGuinness,


and Martin McGuinness said tonight to all intents and purposes they


were joint leaders in Northern Ireland. When you look at the


relationship, it must be a psychologist's dream to look at that


relationship, what did you make of it? It was extraordinary from the


very first moment that they sat down together when we went for the


swearing in of the executive, from the very first moment they were


laughing on the sofa, made speeches that complimented each other. It was


an extraordinary transformation. Sometimes you have these cathartic


moment in peace processes, where people on is either side come


together to make it work. If Ian Paisley had not been in office that


first year I'm not sure the institutions and Northern Ireland


would have lasted. Times are difficult in Northern Ireland, there


are difficulties between the parties, he made it work to start


with. How will you remember him? I will remember him as someone who


could be very amusing, could be very difficult, could be very tough, and


someone who was very, very religious, right at the beginning


Tony Blair was told by Peter rob intone you have to build a


relationship with Ian Paisley if you are going to get to a peace


agreement. So Tony Blair went to great lengths to see him privately,


they used to talk in the den in Number Ten Downing Street, the two


of them, I would shut the door and listen outside and here chuckening,


laughter and voices raised, I would go in and expect something agreed on


the negotiation and text, instead we were talking about religion Grace. I


remember he left behind a religious tract for Leo, Tony Blair's son,


rather than the negotiating paper I hoped to see. A religious man and


driven by his faith, both in the things he did at the beginning,


which in my view were wrong, and those things he did at the end,


which were clearly right. In Iraq American air strikes have, for now,


halted the advance of the Islamic state. Ic State, and speaking in


Turkey today, John Kerry said he was confident that the US could build a


broad coalition of European and Arab countries. However he said it was


inappropriate for Iran to join that coalition. It is now clear he chose


his words carefully. Newsnight has learned that on the ground Iran


already appears to be sending troops and weapons into the conflict areas.


Gabriel Gatehouse has been to one town just recaptured from IS and has


sent this report. There is little left here of the


Iraqi state, of the sovereign, stable and self-reliant country that


America and her allies hoped to create. We're travelling towards the


frontline where an uneasy alliance of Kurdish forces and Shia militia


groups is battling Islamic State with support from American air


strikes. This is a Sunni town, recently


retaken after months under IS control. When the Shia militia


commander and his men entered the town they discovered a mass grave,


around 60 bodies, mostly Iraqi army soldiers, and truck drivers. They


had their hands tied and some had been beheaded. The smell of death


lingers in the air, and with it hatred and mistrust. One of the


problems here is that the local people of this town supported IS in


what they were doing? TRANSLATION: They ran away, they are not here.


Some of the locals worked with Islamic State. Will those people


ever be able to come back here and live? TRANSLATION: Impossible. The


key to President Obama's strategy is to drain the Sunni extremists of


Islamic State of local support by drawing moderates into a broad


coalition. But this town is deserted, even the Sunni mayor, who


pled IS in fear of his own life says it is too dangerous for him now to


be here in the presence of the Shia militia. You are afraid, why are you


afraid? TRANSLATION: I can't tell you now, he says. We will meet him


again later. One of the Shia militia groups invited us in for tea at


their forward base, just a few kilometres from the frontline. Their


members are by and large Iraqis, but the brigade is trained and funded by


Iran. They don't want to talk about that though. Without doubt it has


been American fire power in the skies that has done the most to halt


the advance of IS. But here, on the ground, it is not America but Iran


that is running the show and not just through their proxys, the Shia


militia. Few were willing to talk openly about the extent of Iran's


involvement in fighting Islamic state on the ground in Iraq. But one


Iraqi army officer, who wanted to remain anonymous for his own safety,


told us that Iranian forces were operating in large numbers alongside


Kurdish forces as well as Shia militia. TRANSLATION: They are in


charge of heavy weapons and artillery, locating the enemy and


shelling them, it is clear the weapons are from Iran. The Iranians


are all over this area, they control it now. You are saying that Iran in


effect controls this part of Iraq? TRANSLATION: They control everything


except the flag. Less than three years after American soldiers were


forced, reluctantly, to withdraw from Iraq, Iranian troops at their


proxies, appear to be taking their place. Moderate Sunnis find


themselves squeezed between the brutal Jihadists of Islamic State,


and the hostile Shia backed militia group. The Mayor of This town has


had to flee his home town, he says he and his people are forced to pick


sides. TRANSLATION: Everyone hates IS, but the enemy of my enemy is my


friend. Five of my brothers have been killed by Islamic State or


Al-Qaeda. But I would rather they won this war than the other side. We


travelled on to the latest frontline, just a few kilometres


west of the town and the site of the mass grave. IS fighters are holed up


just a few hundred metres away. As we are filming a shell lands in the


field in front of us. Then the sound of another being fired. Everyone


just dived for cover, because out of the blue we heard the whistle of


what sounded like a mortar coming from the Islamic State lines over


there. Everyone went face down into the dust. The shell landed some way


away, no-one was hurt. But there are daily battles here. This outpost is


controlled by the Kurds, the third force in the growing conflict


between Sunni and Shia. For the moment the Kurds are content to


fight IS alongside the Shia militia. But in the long-term they have their


own interests. Of The commander tells me it is Kurdish territory,


and they won't accept the presence of Shia militia here. The United


States sees little option but to support this unlikely alliance


against the Jihadists of Islamic State. But Iraq's divisions are


becoming ever-more entrenched and on the ground Iran's control grows


stronger by the day. Tonight Boris Johnson took on the


unlikely role of a supplicate seeking preferment, he went to


prostate himself in subject of the South Ruislip Conservative


Association in the hopes of seeking a seat in the general election. He


was expected face tough questions not least his preferring of a third


runway at Heathrow. Have you heard from Mr Cameron? Good night, sorry


to miss you on Newsnight. Allegra Stratton is there. They have gone


for him? David Cameron said they wanted their best men and women on


the pitch, Boris Johnson is on the bench and waiting. We understand it


was a fairly tough grilling, the four candidates had half an hour


each of Hustings, 140 people asking them questions, but one source tells


us he was head and shoulders above the rest, he should be really,


shouldn't he. He is not only an MP before but the Mayor of London. He


wanted to be on the pitch, and David Cameron wanted him on there, will he


not take David Cameron off the pitch, do you think? He might do at


some point. It is a difficult period for David Cameron, more so than I


think the Prime Minister thought it might have been about a month ago.


He thought he had his Tories in quite a good place. But they are


very restive, as you would expect about the possibility of having a


Prime Minister that presides over the collapse over the European. Even


if it doesn't collapse the idea of more powers to Scotland does not go


down well for the Tories. And then a Tory defection to UKIP, it means if


the Tories lose the next election it is game on for Boris Johnson, even


if they go in with David Cameron as Prime Minister, Boris Johnson is now


sitting pretty. Thank you very much. In Scotland the latest poll


suggests that the referendum race is still too close to call. With an ICN


poll for the Guardian puts it neck and neck. We are in Glasgow tonight


and we will get up-to-date with the campaign this evening.


What's new? Just over in that direction an hour or two ago in the


Teachers' Hall, named not after the people who toil in classrooms but


whiskey, Nigel Farage addressed an enthusiastic audience. His message,


don't kid yourself Scotland, there is no such thing as independence if


Scotland remains within the EU. How much good that kind of intervention


from UKIP does in this close low-fought campaign, I'm not


entirely sure. But those numbers you were mentioning, 49 to the yes side,


51 for the no side in the latest ICM poll for the Guardian, there is


another figure in there that we should note. That is the headline


figure when you strip out those who don't know. The "don't knows"


according to that poll 17%. With six days to go everything to play for.


Aside from Nigel Farage, there is a lot of noise around these claims and


counter claims from business about what impact independence would have


for consumers? Exactly, and Alex Salmond spent much of the day trying


to counter that. He said this bullying takes by big business, big


Government and big oil. They are particularly insensed on the yes


side about an intervention by the Treasury, on Wednesday night we got


the news that RBS would plan to relocate their business out of


Scotland to London if there was a yes vote. Well, we learned today


that was communicated to a journalist by the Treasury before


even the board had made the official decision, before they had even


finished their meeting. Alex Salmond wants answers, he recognises, he


says a concerted dirty tricks campaign against the yes side. Now,


also, it sounds like the Better Together campaign are focussing on


the economic arguments and not really embracing this idea that


Scots are really heart felt members of the British Isles, it is a were.


You have been looking at where they stand in the British family and how


Britishness has been playing this week? Indeed, that is the case. I


think a lot of the foreign journalists who have arrived here


for this big new story, expected it to be carried out by Mel Gibson on


one side and people draped in the Union Jack on the other. It is


emphatically not that fight as you well know.


Call it the bulldog that didn't bark, but one theme hardly


referenced in this examine is Britishness. That might -- campaign


is Britishness. It might not be sensible to some, but it is perfect


sense in Scotland. Britishness has a good deal of difficulty identifying


as a modern contemporary identity rather than backward one. The idea


that Britishness has to be one thing, that is difficult to sell in


Scotland, it meant Britishness has become an oppositional identity.


That is not to say there are not Scots who strongly associate with


Britishness, but they will not represent more than had a proportion


even of those voting no. Tonight 's big no campaign event was Labour


one. And you won't hear passionate defences of Britishness here.


Instead a plea to continue a common struggle against a common enemy, the


Labour leader quote ago now dead communist Scottish trade unionists


to make his point. He said the Scottish worker has more in common


with the London docker, the Sheffield engineer, than the


Scottish baron and the Scottish landowner, that is solidarity. That


is what solidarity is all about. That is what nationalism, friends


that is what nationalism will never understand. That solidarity is what


unites our movement. Gordon Brown too spoke at the Labour event, about


Britishness as an inclusive identity was one of the pet themes of his


Premiership, although his crickets suggested this was really about


selling a very Scottish Prime Minister to very English voters. The


yes campaign contend that the inclusivity of Britishness is no


longer needed, today at a rather peculiar event, different


ethnicities, and nationalities were claimed their parallel Scottishness.


Angel describes herself as an English Scot. How English? She was


born to Scottish parents working at the time temporarily in England.


Britishness is not something that is being accepted, not just here in


Scotland, but also in the north of England and Wales and Ireland, we


just don't identify with that stereotype, you know. We are not


that, we are not roast beef, we are haggis. The Union Jack flies in


Glasgow still, but often it is linked to a specific unionist range


of supporting identity. At this Tavern, Jim Macduff tells me there


is a community that feels stigmatised and marginalised.


is a community that feels for being Scottish and British, then


you are traitor. Into this delicate cacophony of sometimes competing,


sometimes complimentry, sometimes overlapping identities, tonight


pitched the UKIP leader, Nigel Farage, his message not so much a


hymn to Britain, but a warning to Scots not to believe that


independence is possible inside the EU. Alex Salmond talk about how


strong Scotland can be in the European Union. Let me tell you


Scotland will be a small and pretty irrelevant member-state of the


European Union. This referendum is not a referendum on Britishness


versus Scottishness, if it were it would have probably been decided


long ago. It is more a debate about where Scotland's best future lies,


inside or outside the UK. Here to discuss what the


independence debate with tell us about British next we have the film


director Ken Loach and broadcaster Echo with us.


You have the Better Together campaign flying the saltire in


Scotland, but you would think they would want to fly the Union Flag in


Scotland, and that is not acceptable, and the Scots were the


agents of empire? The context of Britishness is too woolly or vague,


it doesn't have a political point and the Britishness of ordinary


people, and the values of solidarity, of community, of


neighbourliness, of looking after your brother and sister, that's not


the values of the Bullingdon boys at the top of the establishment. So the


concept is too vague really to have any meaning politically. What does


being British mean to you? I think Britishness is an important concept,


I think Britishness is about a country, with lots of different


people, Britishness is about peculiarity, Britishness is about a


country which has been historically open in sometimes difficult ways to


all sorts of people from all parts of the world. But if Scotland wasn't


part of that Britain, would you still feel part of that Britain? I


actually think one of the issues is that politicians, especially in


England, less so in Scotland, especially in England, have made a


poor case for what Britishness can be. Under the Tory-led Government


politicians of all parties have actually retreated from making a


progressive case for Britain which, is to say that Britain is a better


place because of immigration and cultural mixing we have in this


country. You look at your film Spirit of 45, there was no greater


hype of Britishness then? And all the British achievements then have


been systematically destroyed and dismembered. Think about British


Rail, it is own by Germans, or Dutch people and run by them, our power


companies are owned by the French, and George Osborne is getting the


Chinese to invest in nuclear power. There is no great respect for the


Great British achievement. And the NHS is now the providers of the


services is being hived off to foreign healthcare companies. So


there is no great concern for the Great British institutions which we


established. Do you see yourself primarily as English or British?


Fundamentally I think of myself as British, which is to say I'm a


citizen of a country that is made up of many different people. I think


what is important about that is that I think our identity as British


people can be predicated not just on par as to what we have had, but on


the present. Ken Loach is saying there isn't a clear enough idea


about those things? All the good things in tolerance, in


inclusiveness, we have to fight for those. We have to fight for those


whether Scotland is part of this country or not. I hope the Scots


take the advantage and actually make a different kind of society, that is


what they are trying to do. They want a society of tolerance and


inclusiveness, and that is not the kind of society that the Farrages


and the Camerons are going to have in mind for us. Let's be honest,


UKIP has a small percentage of support in England? In Scotland. In


England? Well let's see. Part of the problem with all of this is it comes


in when you start discussing nationalism, which is that ideas of


nation tend to revolve around fixed ideas of what a country has been and


what a country should be, in fact if you think about nations, thriving,


progressive nations are places that reinvent themselves all the time.


Not absolutely but reinvent themselves based on the values they


have, but based on the opportunities that new people bring to those


countries. For you is it too late to reinvent Britishness? It is not too


late to make a decent society. How would you rekindle it? Whether it is


British, English or Welsh or whatever. That is not the point.


Britishness was about empire and slavery and oppression. Sense the


butcher's apron. Britishness has a long legacy which we want to disown.


When people come and are made welcome and we work together, that's


the kind of society we want. Could there be more effective ways in


Scotland of selling the idea of Britishness? Well yes, I think so. I


think the point is Britain in Scotland. Even if you are in


Scotland or England the notion of Britain has a country that is open


for possibility, as a country where the individuals in it, wherever they


come from, have an opportunity, possibly even an obligation to make


themselves heard, to make themselves part of what the country itself can


be. Not what it has been. I think you can frame what Britain is as a


place of genuine possibility, genuine progress, even hope, rather


than insisting that it is best and its true values lie only in the


past. This is a different kind of politics, it needs a different kind


of politics, based on common ownership, you have to have an


economic system that he will flect community and sharing and e--


reflect community and sharing and equality. Our Britishness is massive


equality, the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. We have


to have a different structure to make the Britishness you are talking


about. Thank you very much both of you. It was no surprise to you that


Oscar Pistorius of found guilty of culpable homicide, the parents of


Reeva Steenkamp had wanted a murder conviction, and he wept when ageted


of murder yesterday. -- acquitted of murder yesterday. Today he was


impassive as the judge delivered the verdict. How has South Africa felt


for being under the gaze of the world for this, rather than


something to be proud of? At the centre of a media frenzy, as


he has been since he fired those fatal rounds on Valentine's Day last


year, Oscar Pistorius was freed on bail after the best verdict he could


have hoped for. One that took many onlookers by surprise. Mr Pistorius


please stand up. On count 1, murder red with section 51 (1) of the


criminal law amendment act, 105 of 1997, the accused is found not


guilty and is discharged. Instead he's found guilty of culpable


homicide. State prosecutors said they would await sentencing before


considering an appeal. We are disappointed that we did not get or


secure a conviction on premeditated murder, and also that there was an


acquittal on the other two charges. But as I said, we are satisfied at


this point that you know the court has played its role. Pistorius's


uncle spoke on behalf of his family. We had never any doubt in Oscar's


version, we as a family remain deeply affected by the devastating


tragedy of the event. And it won't bring Reeva back, but our hearts


still go out for her family and friends. Famous, wealthy, with his


model girlfriend on his arm. Piss pitches one of South Africa's


favourite sons. Until he blasted the defenceless Reeva Steenkamp through


a toilet door through his apartment. The court accepted he hadn't meant


to kill her, but that he was negligent, shooting first at a


presumed intruder, he said, instead of calling for help. The prosecution


portrayed him as gun toting and trigger happy. Pistorius gave his


evidence off camera? I heard a noise coming from inside the toilet that I


interpreted at that split moment as coming out to attack me, my lady.


You just started shooting, or accidentally your fingers pulled the


trigger. I started shooting at that point. At the intruders. They door.


But in your mind, at the intruders? That is what I perceived as a


shooter coming out to attack me. The state's case seemed to echo the


words of an ex-girlfriend outside court, who said that Pistorius was


an accident waiting to happen. It is hard to remember that Oscar


Pistorius was once a celebrated athlete, the Blade Runner. The


poster boy for Paralympic sport. He even competed against able bodied


athletes at the London games two years ago. Incredibly a comeback at


the Rio Paralympics is not out of the question. If he served any


punishment given to him before Rio then the ball is in his court, if he


wants to compete then we wouldn't stand in his way. But there's the


little matter of his sentencing first. Miss Steenkamp's mother says


she has forgiven him, but the family's pain is raw. Only people


that have gone through this, will understand. It is easy for other


people to look in and see and listen and have their thoughts but only


once they have gone through it will they know what we feel. Pistorius is


at his uncle's home tonight, while his case raises uncomfortable


questions for South African society, such as sexism, domestic violence


and gun crime. Earlier I spoke to the South African journalist. The


eyes of the world are on South African but not for the right


reasons, how uncomfortable do South Africans feel about this? They are


uncomfortable that their golder boy has turned into this. South Africans


found Oscar guilty in the court of public opinion before he actually


walked into the dock. They are shocked on their findings of the


judge and I think they want to see him go to jail for a long time. That


is certainly the feeling I get there. They believe because he was


wealthy he got away with it. That it has become a license for men who


show violence to women. There are even many who say this is a racist


decision. Although Judge Thokozile Masipa is a black judge. Is that the


view across all sections of South African society? Yes, a very widely


held view, here in Pretoria where Oscar Pistorius lived and went to


school, there is a very hard kernal of support for him, people walking


around wearing the old school tie for his school. There is that if you


went into a pub in Pretoria and said something about Oscar you would pick


up trouble. Widely the belief is he was guilty and there is some shock


disappointment and anger at the findings of the judge. That is


interesting, because what you seem to be suggesting is that if all


sections of society, black and white, are united, that is an


interesting unity? Very much so, but I mean the victim was a white woman,


and people saying this beautiful white woman's life was taken nobody


has paid yet. That is why I think the hope is there is no murder


charge, but there will be a lengthy prison sentence handed down


mid-October. You know Oscar Pistorius well, you MC'd the launch


of his book, how will he be taking all of this. What will he be


thinking just now as they prepare the appeal? The court heard about


the two Oscars, the champion, the athlete, who overcomes great odds


and the very, very vulnerable person who feels anxiety and is terribly,


terribly aware of his limitations as a disabled person. I think what we


are seeing now is a hugely relieved Oscar, he wept with relief yesterday


when the murder charges were dropped. There is some anticipation


about the culpable homicide charge. He comes from a moneyed family, and


certainly his uncle won't allow any custodial sentence to go unappealed.


This will run and run. If a custodial sentence is handed down


mid-October, it will go to the appeals, it will go all the way to


the constitutional court. It will be some years before Oscar Pistorius,


if indeed he does ever walk through a Prisongate. Thank you very much


for joining us tonight. That's about it for tonight. It is also the last


night of the Newsnight Proms, our series of live previews of the BBC


Prom, we wemt with a South African lyric soprano singing Puccini's O


Mio Babbino Caro. If outdoor plans for the weekend are


for you it is a good


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