- Brian Currin, human rights lawyer, peace activist, Richard von Weizsäcker Fellow at the Robert Bosch Academy
When the Berlin Wall fell 29 years ago, the future of South Africa was dismal; a bloody, racial civil war seemed virtually inevitable. Five years later, another wall fell, the wall of apartheid, which gave birth to a new, non-racial, democratic South Africa under the inspirational leadership of President Nelson Mandela. A negotiated, peaceful resolution to the 350-year conflict promised freedom, equality, and economic justice for all. South Africans embraced their constitutional democracy, a bill of rights, and started the process of building a strong and resilient state – encouraged and admired by the international community.
Yet a generation later, President Zuma, who had been a heroic freedom fighter and head of underground structures of the banned African National Congress in the 1980s, is facing allegations of corruption and state capture. President from 2009-2018, he is suspected of pocketing hundreds of millions of euros for his personal benefit and that of his family, friends, and senior government allies.
Against a background of growing civil unrest, violent protests, hate speech, and racial conflict, many international media outlets sketch a picture of South Africa as a morally, politically, and economically bankrupt state.
At the end of his nine-month fellowship, Brian Currin will share and discuss his perspective on South Africa today in an informal lunch discussion with selected guests.
Brian Currin is an internationally respected human rights lawyer and peace activist. He testified at the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture in Johannesburg, which is investing corruption allegations involving the Gupta family, former president of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, other senior government officials and senior executives in both state owned enterprises and private companies. Currin was responsible for confidentially safeguarding the original Gupta hard drive containing some 300,000 emails allegedly implicating President Zuma and senior colleagues in state capture, corruption, and money laundering.
Registration for this event is closed.