coming up on Friday's show....an interview with acclaimed poet Philip Schultz, a look at the comic partnership between Peter Cook and Dudley Moore and reviews of the latest albums from Sharon Van Etten, Neil Young and Sam Smith
Yesterday marked the 20th anniversary of the first ever democratic elections in South Africa. It marked the dawn of a new era. Decades of the worst oppression were about to come to an end. Marian is joined by phone from Boston by Melanie Verwoerd, former South African Ambassador to Ireland.
We’re going to hark back to the long struggle against white minority rule in South Africa. A young man called Saths Cooper organised student protests against the regime in the mid-1970s, working with black activist Steve Biko. In 1976 Saths Cooper was imprisoned on Robben Island. There he got to know Nelson Mandela and Walter. Also on Robben Island he began to study psychology, a discipline in which he is now a leading international figure. Now Professor Saths Cooper, he is in Dublin today to receive an award from the Psychological Society of Ireland.
Earlier this week a South African court granted live broadcast coverage for the trial of Oscar Pistorius. The multi-medal winning athlete known as ‘the blade runner’ is on trial for the murder of his wife Reeva Sttenkamp in 2013. To discuss this forthcoming trial Sean was joined on the line by Nastasya Tay an independent broadcast journalist based in South Africa.
As South Africa prepares to say its final goodbyes to Papa Madiba with a seven hour funeral service this Sunday morning, the initial sadness at his death has shifted to celebrating his extraordinary life. Sean was joined from South Africa by Father Sean O’Leary, Director of the Denis Hurley Peace Institute.
The remains of Nelson Mandela have arrived at the main government building in South Africa's capital, Pretoria, where he will lie in state for the next three days. Yesterday world leaders gathered to pay their respects to Nelson Mandela at a memorial service at Johannesburg’s Soccer Stadium where US President Barack Obama received a roaring ovation. While in stark contrast, South African President Jacob Zuma was publicly humiliated by a hostile crowd as he addressed the high profile ceremony. Obama also pointedly shook hands with Cuban leader Raul Castro and he was spotted posing for a “selfie” and joking with Danish prime minister ...
As the South African people continue to mourn the passing of their beloved Madiba, police and the authorities in the country are gearing up for the arrival of seventy heads of state for the national memorial service of Nelson Mandela tomorrow. John Jacques Cornish is a journalist in South Africa and he joined Sean this morning.