Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant or accept liability for the accuracy or usefulness of the transcripts.These are copied directly from the broadcaster's website.
Lateline -

View in ParlViewView other Segments

Tonight - Another immigration backdown. I knew they should never have been in there and tonight
proves it. The children who were plucked out of primary school into the Villawood Detention Centre
last March are released late this evening with their mother. It was pretty bad. I had to face some
bad things where someone tried to commit suicide. This program is captioned live. Good evening.
Welcome to Lateline. I'm Tony jones. Also tonight - We'll meet the Shadow Justice Minister of
Zimbabwe. David Coltart is a white human rights' lawyer - one of the few Zimbabwean opposition
figures who's profile is high enough to protect him against retaliation for speaking out against
the Mugabe regime. Yet only two years ago he survived an assassination attempt and in the last
parliamentary session, six of his fellow MPs died as a result of torture and state-sponsored
violence. He's brought us new footage of Mugabe's Orwellian drive out the filth campaign, which has
already destroyed the homes of 250,000 people in a country facing mass famine. And he has a plea to
the Howard Government to support an indictment against President Mugabe for crimes against
humanity. That's coming up. First our other headlines. Beaten to death in Basra. British soldiers
charged with war crimes over the death of an Iraqi civilian. John Howard arrives in London and pays
an unscheduled visit to injured Aussies in hospital. And the loneliness of the long distance
runner. Peter Costello talks of his leadership marathon.

Children freed after DIMIA realises mistake

Children freed after DIMIA realises mistake

Reporter: Andrew Fowler

TONY JONES: Two young children, who were seized from school four months ago and placed in Sydney's
Villawood detention centre with their mother, are free tonight after a surprise decision by the
Department of Immigration. It's now understood the department made a mistake when it took the
children into custody, and there is now a question about whether the family will seek compensation
for their time in custody.

This report by Andrew Fowler from the ABC's Investigative Unit.

ANDREW FOWLER: A long walk into the cold Sydney night and freedom for a six-year-old girl, her
11-year-old brother and their mother. After the bleakness of their incarceration, the joy of

IAN WHANG: We're very happy, yeah. We'd like to thank all of the people that helped me out.

ANDREW FOWLER: And the expectation by a child that his life just might start returning to normal.

IAN WHANG: Yeah, I'm happy to go back to school. Yeah, I'm really excited.

ANDREW FOWLER: These are the children snatched from Sydney's Stanmore school by Immigration
Department officials just four months ago. They were taken to Villawood detention centre and the
way they were taken caused a furore.

FRAN LARKINS, SCHOOL PRINCIPAL: It was very disturbing at the time and it's not something I've ever
come across before in my entire service.

ANDREW FOWLER: The Immigration Department officials arrived unannounced to pick up the children
after their mother was stopped at Sydney Airport with a visa violation. Refugee advocates
questioned why the children couldn't have been allowed to go home with their aunties where they
were staying while the department decided what to do over their mother's immigration problems,
instead of taking them from the school.

Inside Villawood they got a glimpse of life that at their tender age they should never have seen.

IAN WHANG: It was pretty bad, yeah. I had to face some bad things, oh, like where someone tried to
commit suicide, yeah. A lot of things like that.

ANDREW FOWLER: Now after four months, Ian and his sister are trying to put the bad memories behind

IAN WHANG: She's really happy, yeah. She's excited.

ANDREW FOWLER: It's a normal response for any six-year-old kept apart from her mates.

JANIE WHANG: Getting out and seeing or visit my friends.

ANDREW FOWLER: So how did it get to this? Michaela Byers, the family lawyer, only just managed to
stop the family from being deported a short while ago. The fact that Janie was born in Australia
helped her case, but in the end it was a call from the Immigration Department, not the court, that
ended the family's nightmare.

MICHAELA BYERS, FAMILY LAWYER: There's been review of their files, meaning their parents' previous
visa applications, in which they've found that there was an error. So since 1998, technically, the
family have been holding bridging visas and have not been illegal.

They've been in detention for four months so the department has had many opportunities to review
their file and it appears that they only realised within the past couple of days that there had
been an administrative error.

ANDREW FOWLER: The Immigration Department simply said that the family's case had been reviewed but
declined to discuss details.

MICHAELA BYERS: The children will be released with bridging visas. Their mother is the appropriate
guardian so she'll be released without a bridging visa into community detention.

MRS WHANG: I'm very happy. Everything. Thank you. Thank you about help for Michaela and Kathy.

KATHY: Michaela, for Michaela.

MICHAELA BYERS: No, no, it was a team effort. It's really good that you're out.

KATHY: Are you going to be coming back tomorrow, aren't you, kids?


KATHY: And I think they're going to be so excited. I think the whole school's just going to be
really happy and really excited to see them back?

ANDREW FOWLER: After four months in detention, home to try to pick up the pieces of their lives.

British soldiers charged with war crimes

British soldiers charged with war crimes

Reporter: Tom Iggulden

TONY JONES: Three British soldiers who served in Iraq have become the first to be charged with war
crimes. This follows an investigation into the killing of an Iraqi civilian in Basra in 2003. The
soldiers have been charged under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court but they've
escaped trial in The Hague and will instead face court in Britain.

Tom Iggulden has the details.

TOM IGGULDEN: September 2003 and Iraq is in chaos. Amid the violence, British soldiers operating in
Basra detain suspected insurgents. It was an operation that would lead to two corporals and a
private from the Queen's Lancashire Regiment being charged under international law with war crimes
after this man, Baha Da'oud Salim Musa, was allegedly being beaten to death in British custody.
Seven of the regiment's soldiers, including the three accused of war crimes, have also been charged
under British military law with crimes including manslaughter and assault. One of those charged is
Colonel Jorge Mendonca, the regiment's commanding officer, who was the first to investigate the

Britain joined the International Criminal Court (ICC) in 2001 as part of then Foreign Secretary
Robin Cook's "ethical foreign policy." He later resigned in protest over the Iraq war.

ROBIN COOK, FORMER BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY, MARCH 18, 2003: Iraq probably has no weapons of mass
destruction in the commonly understood sense of the term.

TOM IGGULDEN: The decision took place over the objections of senior British military figures, but
Cook assured them the change would have no impact on British soldiers. Times have changed since the
Abu Ghraib scandal.

TONY BLAIR, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: We apologise deeply to anyone who has been mistreated by any of
our soldiers. That is absolutely and totally unacceptable.

TOM IGGULDEN: Like Britain, Australian soldiers are covered by the ICC, US forces are not. Earlier
this evening, the British regiment at the centre of the allegations issued a statement saying in

BRIGADIER GEOFFREY SHELDON: "From the moment that Mr Baha Musa lost his life while in our custody,
the Regiment has made clear that this was an isolated tragic incident, which should never have
happened and which I and every member of the Queen's Lancashire Regiment bitterly regrets."

TOM IGGULDEN: The statement went on:

BRIGADIER GEOFFREY SHELDON: " must not be forgotten that Basra in September 2003 was in
intensely dangerous and violently difficult city suffering from rampant unrest, economic
devastation and administrative chaos."

TOM IGGULDEN: The charges come on the same day a London-based group called Iraq Body Count released
its first report into Iraqi civilian deaths during the conflict. Collating and corroborating media
reports, the group says 25,000 Iraqis have died.

PROFESSOR JOHN SLOBODA, REPORT CO-AUTHOR: We decided that we wanted to record the most horrific
cost of any war, which is the cost in innocent lives. And we were fearful there would be many lives
lost and we were also fearful that the governments prosecuting this war would not be doing an
official count themselves.

TOM IGGULDEN: US forces killed a third of the 25,000, with what the report calls 'criminals'
responsible for another third. Less than 10 per cent were killed by insurgents, a finding disputed
by the Iraqi Government.

Howard, Bush stand firm on Iraq timeline

Howard, Bush stand firm on Iraq timeline

Reporter: Jim Middleton

TONY JONES: John Howard has just arrived in London from Washington and has gone straight to visit
Australian victims of the recent bombings. The Prime Minister went to St Thomas's Hospital to see
Gillian Hicks, the 37-year-old South Australian who lost her legs. He's also visiting 29-year-old
Louise Barry from NSW, who suffered burns and spinal injuries in the Tavistock Square bus

Earlier, Mr Howard wound up his US visit with a joint press conference with President George Bush,
where they both refused to set timetables for their military commitments to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Political correspondent Jim Middleton is travelling with the Prime Minister and filed this report.

JIM MIDDLETON: Bouncing from one member of the coalition of the willing to another, John Howard
arrived in London from Washington, with the lavish praise of George W Bush echoing in his ears.

GEORGE W BUSH, US PRESIDENT: I admire John Howard a lot. He's a man of conviction. He's got
backbone. He's not afraid to make the hard decision. He's not afraid to lead. And we're really
thrilled you're here. Plus, he married well.

JIM MIDDLETON: Talks in the Oval Office ranged over China, North Korea and nuclear weapons,
Indonesia's transition to democracy and trade.

But the struggle against terrorism dominated. With Australia having committed more troops to Iraq
and sending special forces back into Afghanistan, the President made a point of thanking the Prime
Minister for standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the United States.

GEORGE W BUSH: We had a good talk today about the way forward in Iraq. I assured him that our
position is one that says, "As the Iraqis stand up, America stands down."

JIM MIDDLETON: But that does not mean withdrawal any time soon, even if the war in Iraq is growing
more unpopular in the US as American casualties mount.

GEORGE W BUSH: They'll be there as long as necessary to complete the mission.

JIM MIDDLETON: Two years ago, Mr Bush declared the combat phase of the Iraq conflict over and Mr
Howard said Australian troops would remain for months, rather than years. Today neither was being
held to a timetable.

GEORGE W BUSH: I get asked about timetables all the time here. But the answer is: when the Iraqis
are ready to do the fighting themselves.

JIM MIDDLETON: Timetables, said Mr Bush, merely emboldened the enemy. The Prime Minister echoed -
and acknowledged - a line from US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

JOHN HOWARD, PRIME MINISTER: I'm not going to try and put a time limit on our commitment in Iraq -
I'm not. It will be governed by circumstances, rather than by the calendar.

KIM BEAZLEY, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: What our exit strategy should be is to focus on the real war
on terror, which is Afghanistan. And we should sit down with our allies and if we were in
government we would do this and work through it with them, so we didn't inconvenience them with
bringing home the Australian troops. So I don't put times on it or time limits on it, but we would
bring them home.

JIM MIDDLETON: The last time John Howard was at the White House George Bush rewarded him with a
warning that Mark Latham's vow to withdraw Australian troops from Iraq by Christmas would be
irresponsible and dangerous. It helped the Prime Minister to a fourth electoral victory and today
he swapped jokes with the President about electoral success.

JOHN HOWARD: I am happy to say in both countries a sufficient number of people have shared those
views, to put smiles on both our faces.

JIM MIDDLETON: His personal relationship with Mr Bush, said Mr Howard, meant a great deal to him.

Well, the question of Coalition leadership has been raised again. This time on Treasurer Peter
Costello's tour of regional Queensland. Speaking at a function attended by the new Deputy Leader of
the National Party, Warren Truss, when he was asked again about his leasership ambitions. He
replied that he's in politics for the long haul. I'm a long distance runner, Michael. I'm not as
good as some, but this is not a four-minute mile, it's a long distance race. Tomorrow, Mr Costello
will meet senior indigenous leaders in Cairns before a visit to remote Aboriginal communities on
Cape York. In Bali, the appeal has begun against Schapelle Corby's conviction for drug smuggling.
Corby's defence team had hoped to bring at least a dozen people to testify, including a mystery
witness, who they say planted the marijuana in Schapelle Corby's luggage. But when the hearing got
underway today, they could present just one witness. Indonesia correspondent Tim Palmer reports
from Denpasar. Schapelle Corby's new legal team is acutely aware of the need for positive publicity
in Indonesia, and so, engineered a prison interview with the country's 'Metro' news network on the
eve of the new hearing. Well, my case is reopened again tomorrow and no-one from Australia has
come. I need the Australian Government to help me here. Schapelle Corby's legal team had told the
High Court they'd bring 12 witnesses to this reopened hearing. But within minutes of the convicted
drug trafficker's now familiar battle past local and international cameras, it became clear, only
one witness had come. Her lawyers bristled at suggestions that there may be no other willing
witnesses to bring. So don't keep asking, "You failed to get the witness?" That's a bullshit
question. Don't ask me that question anymore. The sole witness today, Jakarta-based legal professor
Indriyanto Seno Adji, said Schapelle Corby shouldn't have been found guilty because the prosecution
failed to demonstrate how the drugs came to be in her bag. He told the court the mishandling of the
plastic bag containing the marijuana by police and customs officers meant the evidence was
contaminated beyond being legally useful. Still, that's far from what High Court judges expected,
or what defence lawyers promised, evidence that someone else was responsible for the crime. The
defence team says it is only the Australian Government's refusal to grant immunity is stopping
their claimed mystery witness coming forward to do just that. In the end, Corby and her lawyers
were delighted. The judges granted them another day in court and the time they'd asked for. oh, I'm
going to sleep well tonight and have a very, very good massage. They now have two weeks to finally
deliver the kind of evidence they've been promising for months. Tim Palmer, Lateline. Families of
two of the cyclists injured in a road accident in Germany have arrived to visit Germany have
arrived to visit their daughters. Parents of Kate Nicholls and brunt Brown visited the and brunt
Brown visited the hospital a short time ago and told reporters their girls were making good
progress. Kate's good. Katie and Katie together are together in the same room and are in good
spirits and hoping to bring one of the and hoping to bring one of the other girls over. Earlier
Australia's cycling fraternity paid tribute to Amy Gillet who was killed in the accident. We have a
special little community, an Australian community here in Europe. We make it our family. Amy was a
special member of that family. (Speaks German) And to lose anybody in your And to lose anybody in
your family is tragic. Amy has two passions is tragic. Amy has two passions in life. (Speaks
German) One was for sport and the other was for her husband. Riders in the Tour de France today
wore black armbands as a mark of respect. All five injured team-mates are in hospital. Two of them
Alexis Rhodes from South Australia and Louise Yaxley from Tasmania remain in a critical position.
Police say an 18-year-old female driver is likely to be charged over the accident.

Zimbabwean demolitions leave 1 million homeless

Zimbabwean demolitions leave 1 million homeless

Reporter: Norman Hermant

TONY JONES: To Zimbabwe, now, where the Government says it has suspended its controversial
demolition policy to allow owners time to register their businesses. But Opposition leaders in the
country say its far too little, too late. They say as many as a million people are now homeless
after months of mass demolitions by the Government.

Norman Hermant reports.

NORMAN HERMANT: Zimbabwe's Opposition says the latest pictures from the country show Robert
Mugabe's demolition campaign has moved beyond urban areas. Here, as a village burns, a mother can
only watch. Her belongings at her feet, her child on her back. And all the while, the police look

The Opposition says as security forces fan out it's the same story across Zimbabwe. The destruction
begins after residents are given almost no notice and ominous warnings.

MAN: The police are going to come here on horses and dogs and they'll beat everybody up and they'll
make sure there's nothing left in this area.

NORMAN HERMANT: Zimbabwe's Government calls this 'Operation Clean-up'. Since May, it's demolished
city markets and entire suburbs. President Robert Mugabe says it's all in the name of restoring
order to Zimbabwe's cities.

ROBERT MUGABE, PRESIDENT OF ZIMBABWE: The current chaotic state of affairs in undesignated and
crime-ridden areas could not be countenanced for much longer.

NORMAN HERMANT: But critics say it's no coincidence that urban areas have borne the brunt of this
campaign. They are also strongholds of the Opposition.

The scale of destruction can be seen from above. These satellite images show a Harare shantytown in
April and then in June - totally wiped out. No community is immune.

The Opposition says this suburb in Harare, called Hatcliff Extension, was demolished. Only three
years ago, the Government apparently felt very differently about the area.

NEWS REEL: Zanu-PF presidential candidate comrade Robert Mugabe today rounded up his campaign rally
for Harare province with a rally at Hatcliff Extension where 6,000 housing stands were allocated to
individuals and cooperatives.

NORMAN HERMANT: The President even handed out money for the construction of a school, all of it now
gone. Many of the homes that have been destroyed are far from shacks. Substantial houses have been
knocked down, sometimes by their own owners, to comply with Government orders.

No-one is sure how many people are now on the move - homeless. Estimates range from several hundred
thousand to more than a million.

Last month, on a secret visit to Zimbabwe, British MP Kate Hoey was told this is nothing less than
a grand plan by Robert Mugabe to cement his grip on power.

DAVID COLTART, ZIMBABWE SHADOW MINISTER FOR JUSTICE: This is a deliberate campaign to drive people
out of the cities into the rural areas where they can be better controlled.

NORMAN HERMANT: Responding to enormous international pressure, Zimbabwe's Government now says it
will build new, better homes to replace those that have been destroyed. But virtually no new
construction has begun and many in Zimbabwe don't know where they'll go, where they'll live, even

Aust help sought to end Zimbabwe's demolition program

Aust help sought to end Zimbabwe's demolition program

Reporter: Tony Jones

TONY JONES: Joining us now is David Coltart, who brought us some of that footage. He's an MP for
the Zimbabwean Opposition Movement for Democratic Change and their spokesman on justice and legal

Thanks for joining us.

Can you start by explaining to us exactly what was happening in that extraordinary footage at the
beginning of that piece that clearly was happening in a village and not in town?


TONY JONES: Just a week ago?

DAVID COLTART: Just a week ago on Tuesday afternoon. What was happening was that the police were
going systemically through villages torching them in an effort to try and drive people away from
those areas. The significance of this, of course, is that this was being done in rural areas. Most
of the focus up until now has been on the cities.

TONY JONES: Were you able to verify what was actually happening there? Who these people were who
were being driven from their houses in that case?

DAVID COLTART: Well, the people being driven were squatters close to a mine. They'd moved in there
in the last five years, part of informal settlement. It was hard to say who they owed their
political allegiances to. They were just poor Zimbabweans bearing the brunt of this campaign.

TONY JONES: There's no question in your mind this is part of the so-called "drive out the filth"
campaign that's mostly focussed on cities up until now?

DAVID COLTART: We have no doubt. Bear in mind, in the March 2005 elections, only the Government
knows exactly who voted for them and we've argued that they know literally village by village who
voted for them, who voted against them and this program we believe is targeted against even small
communities like that rural community that suffered the brunt of this last Tuesday. We believe it
was done primarily in retribution.

TONY JONES: Could that be the only reason, though? I mean, in the end there would be no way of
proving that because Mugabe is claiming, for example, in the cities he's driving out criminal

DAVID COLTART: It's not the only reason. We think as well what is driving us is fear. The regime
knows tension is rising. They haven't been able to meet their campaign promises and we believe that
this is a pre-emptive strike directed against people who are likely to rise up.

We also think it's tied into the shortage of foreign exchange. Labour is now our biggest source of
foreign exchange. There are 3 million Zimbabweans in the diaspora, all of whom send money back to
their relatives in Zimbabwe. But they've sent it through the informal sector and we believe this
attempt to destroy the informal sector is designed to get people in the diaspora to channel their
money through the formal banking sector, which can be controlled by the government.

TONY JONES: What is happening to these people? We saw some pictures at the end of that piece,
people sitting on mattresses on the side of the road. What is happening to them after their houses
are destroyed?

DAVID COLTART: Let me describe to you what has happened in the city I live in, Bulawayo. The
Bulawayo City Council in a report recently given to the UN special envoy estimated that 74,000
people have been displaced, have been rendered homeless, in the course of the last five weeks. They
have now been taken in by churches. On occasions have been taken in by homeowners. But the vast
majority are literally out in the open in mid-winter.

TONY JONES: We don't have to go too far back in history to remember what happened in Cambodia under
Pol Pot in year zero when people were forced into the countryside. Is there an element of that

DAVID COLTART: As I said in that earlier film clip this evening, we believe that one of the
motivations is to drive people out into the rural areas in Pol Pot-type fashion where they can be
more easily controlled.

TONY JONES: Alright. This campaign has come on top of an AIDS crisis and really terrible drought
over the last - the period of the last summer. There are grave fears that Zimbabwe will be subject
to a widespread famine. How many people could be affected if that's the case?

DAVID COLTART: James Morris, the director of the World Food Program, spoke in the United Nations
about Zimbabwe three weeks ago and he said that the worst humanitarian crisis in the world is not
Darfur, is not Afghanistan. It is in fact centred in southern Africa and the epicentre of that is
Zimbabwe where the World Food Program estimates 4 million Zimbabweans are now in need of urgent
food assistance. So this a massive humanitarian crisis we are facing.

TONY JONES: And you spoke earlier about fear; that Mugabe actually fears an uprising. Why hasn't
there been one?

DAVID COLTART: Zimbabweans have been through two civil wars in their recent history. They went
through the liberation struggle in the late 1970s and then in the early 1980s Mugabe perpetrated
his so-called gukurahundi, his campaign to quash the Joshua Mgabuko ZAPU party in which 20,000
people were massacred. That's so fresh in people's memories, they will do almost anything to
prevent further atrocities like that happening.

TONY JONES: Now, at the beginning of this program we noted that two years ago there was an
assassination attempt against you. It's obviously a very hard job being an MP in Zimbabwe. First of
all, can you tell us what happened in that case, briefly, at least?

DAVID COLTART: It was on a Saturday morning, I was taking my children to a sports event and three
men in a vehicle were waiting outside my gate. I was suspicious of them. I tried to avoid them.
They followed me. We had a car chase, literally through the streets of my constituency for about 10

TONY JONES: Were they armed?

DAVID COLTART: They were armed. I was saved, fortunately, by a cell phone. I was able to phone my
security team that then intercepted this vehicle, got me into a safe house, reinforcements came and
they prevented me from being attacked. Many of my black colleagues were not as fortunate as I was.

TONY JONES: I understand that in the last parliamentary session there was a terrible death rate
actually of Opposition MPs?

DAVID COLTART: Six of the 57 MDC MPs elected in June 2000 died during the course of that
Parliament, directly or indirectly as a result of torture or state-sponsored violence.

TONY JONES: What happened to them?

DAVID COLTART: Well, the majority of them were detained, tortured by the police and several months
later succumbed to the injuries they sustained. One other was beaten up by ZANU youth and another
died in suspicious circumstances in prison.

TONY JONES: Now, you spoke earlier about the campaign in the south in the 1980s against Nkomo's
people. It was more or less an ethic campaign, wasn't it? You described that as genocide at that
time, and still do, I think. This is not genocide, in your opinion, what is happening now?

DAVID COLTART: I think it is dangerous to describe what's going on as genocide. In the 1980s it was
clearly directed at a specific group. This is far too general. I'd describe this now as a crime
against humanity. I believe it violates article 7 of the Treaty of Rome, the statute that set up
the International Criminal Court, which defines the forcible transfer of a population as a crime
against humanity.

TONY JONES: Now, you want the Australian Government to get involved in, if you like, forming an
indictment against Robert Mugabe, which I believe would happen in the Security Council; is that

DAVID COLTART: Zimbabwe has not ratified the International Criminal Court treaty, so it requires a
resolution to be brought before the Security Council. Now we are under no illusions that that will
be a difficult task but we believe that Australia has a unique role to play in this record.
Australia stood up against the apartheid regime and was the very vanguard of the anti-apartheid
struggle and to that extent has the moral authority and it also isn't an imperialistic or colonial
power and we hope the Australian Government will take the lead in rallying international support to
support an indictment against those responsible for the horrors of the last few months.

TONY JONES: Now, I believe tomorrow you're actually going to meet the Justice Minister Ellison -
Senator [Chris] Ellison. Are you going to make this case to him tomorrow?

DAVID COLTART: Exactly. I'll do that tomorrow.

TONY JONES: What will you say to him?

DAVID COLTART: Well I'll say, for a start, that we welcome the comments made by the Foreign
Minister, Mr [Alexander] Downer, a few weeks ago when he met Foreign Minister [Phil] Goff from New
Zealand, in which they spoke about the possibility.

And I will present to him further evidence, some of which you've seen this evening, to support our
contention that this is in fact a crime against humanity and that we need to move from rhetoric to

TONY JONES: Now, is there anything else that the Australian Government could do? I mean, we often
hear of stopping cricket tours and those sort of things, but what could be done beyond that, beyond
the indictment issue?

DAVID COLTART: I think that Australia needs to consider supporting the civic society group, the
human rights groups, the churches in Zimbabwe who are taking a very courageous stand against the
Mugabe regime. Many of these institutions are under dire threat and need whatever support they can
be given and the Australian Government can play a meaningful role in that regard.

TONY JONES: The man who could possibly exert the most powerful influence over Robert Mugabe is a
South African president Thabo Mbeki. Why is he virtually sitting on his hands, while this is going

DAVID COLTART: We speculate a lot about that. I think it's a very complex issue. I think it has to
do with fears about divisions within his own ANC Party. As you know the Opposition in Zimbabwe was
rooted in labour and the ANC has divisions as well complicated by the emergence of COSATU, the
South African Trade Union group as a powerful block within the ANC. I think as well, that Robert
Mugabe has...

TONY JONES: Do they revere him still as a great African revolutionary? Is that one of the problems?

DAVID COLTART: Well, I think that that is the problem. And Robert Mugabe has had the ability to
press all the right buttons in Africa. He's used land, race and imperialism to argue his case. And
of course those issues resonate in South Africa, resonate in the rest of Africa and leaders like
President Mbeki have to be aware of their own constituencies in tackling Robert Mugabe.

TONY JONES: You recently had an audience with Nelson Mandela and I'm wondering, is he at all
disturbed by the inaction on the part of his successor?

DAVID COLTART: Well, he didn't - he was polite enough not to speak about President Mbeki. But he's
obviously deeply concerned about what's taking place in Zimbabwe. He's spoken out publicly against
what is happening and I think he's doing whatever he can within the ANC to bring a stronger line.

TONY JONES: Very briefly, do you think he'd be prepared to get further involved if pressed by the
Australian Government, for example?

DAVID COLTART: President Mandela is one of my heroes and he turned 87 this week. I think he
deserves his retirement and I think he's doing what he can within the ANC.

TONY JONES: David Coltart, thank you very much. It's a rare thing to get an insider's perspective
on what's going on in Zimbabwe these days. We thank you for coming in to talk to us.

DAVID COLTART: Thank you for having me.

Thank you for having me. In the United States, President George W. Bush has ended two weeks of
speculation by naming John Roberts as his nominee for the US Supreme Court vacancy. Roberts is a
50-year-old Appeal's Court judge who had previously served under presidents Ronald Reagan and
George Bush senior. While his public record is conservative enough to please President Bush's
supporters, he may also prove moderate enough to dampen opposition from Democrats. Judge Roberts
has earned the respect of people from both political parties and earned a reputation as one of the
best legal minds of his generation. He will strictly apply the constitutional laws, not legislate
from the bench. It is both an honour and very humbling to be nominated to serve on the Supreme
Court. In the weeks ahead, John Roberts will face tough questioning from senators on abortion and
other issues, ahead of confirmation hearings expected to begin in September. To the markets now.
The All Ordinaries pushed higher today, buoyed by Wall Street. Woodside Petroleum added $1.20,
revealing second-quarter production volumes were at a three-year high. Banking stocks were
generally stronger, apart from the Commonwealth, which declined 12 cents. Now to the weather.
That's all for this evening. If you'd like to look back at tonight's interview or review any of
Lateline's stories or transcripts, you can visit our website at: I'll be back
tomorrow night, so please join me then. Goodnight. Captions by Captioning and Subtitling