South Africa, Kelly David, Ramaphosa discussed on Monocle 24: The Globalist
The world of finance today find out how we can help you contact us at ubs dot com eight nineteen in paris. Nine thousand nine here. In london we have never experienced anything on this scale. The words of the south african high commissioner to the u k yesterday in response to last week's riots and looting the violence was sparked by the imprisonment of the former president jacob zuma in defiance of an instruction to attend an investigation into claims of corruption. Well now the clear up has begun and they are counting the cost david. Mckenzie is an international correspondent for cnn and he joins us on the line johannesburg. Kelly david good to have you with us. Good morning. i'm a. Could you just describe. What's the damage actually like. The damage is extensive. I mean as you said that. They've never seen anything like this. In south africa people many decades and across counting province and causing tell province. There's just lodged swats of commercial and retail space. That has been asked the destroyed now. The police are going around trying to recover some of those looted goods but even just the physical structures that we've witnessed Burning for days both here around hattiesburg on and over the weekend is quite breathtaking and be damage both intended the trust of the government and just the physical damage and supply lines of this country in these key. Areas aren't gonna take a long time to get right and it sent me a day when the military is called out to keep the peace. Of course you know being in the webster. And witnessing the military at first tentatively and then with much greater force on those streets is very jarring in south africa i mean all of us of a certain age remember the military being in the same townships and informal settlements during the doctors of the pate a crushing the anti apartheid movement. And i have the move by president To get military on the streets to calm the situation and it was extremely jarring sight to see that and an president. Ramaphosa has said. We won't let anyone destroy our democracy that the suggestion is that this is a coordinated effort to unseat the government. I think at this stage. We needed to see proof of that. Certainly is talk from the ruling party and the president. That in their words was an organized. Insurrection attempt clearly. They was based on what we saw on the ground in terms of the coordination and the speed which this unfolded there was some level of coordination and they was not just retail shops looted. Which one can expect. I guess if the chaos ensues in terms of the huge wealth gap in this country emma but there was also a commercial and the air is warehouses that were torched and there was arson. Which suggests something more at political but there hasn't been proof yet given that and there is some level of contradiction within the government's messaging ramaphosa cooling. This as an attempted coup almost his defense minister coming out yesterday and saying that it wasn't so i think we have to wait and see whether there's any proof of that sydney there was a candidate for undefended whether it was an organized movement on that scale that remains to be seen. I mean there's a suggestion also this this could be something of a judgment on the government of the anc. It has been in power since the creation of the current south african south africa. Yes and i think it speaks to the huge divisions within the ruling inc both in terms of the way that they reacted to what was a severe crisis. Meaning when i say they i mean the government which in and out of itself is sometimes hard to differentiate from the ruling party and also just the subsequent disagreements but publicly and privately within the party. The answer has a lot to onset bowl with the chaos at seared and what has been interesting in the business community in the middle class in south africa which is across the races. It's no longer than a race based class system. Yeah of course will then twenty years after democracy coming in has been a lot more vocal in criticizing the president in the last few days. I do think feel. The country feels relieved that the situation is calm. But there's a lot of finger pointing now wide got to this. Never chaos afrika go from him more. Generally i mean yes. The clean up and rebuild has to be done but in terms of the way that this event has possibly reshaped some history here. What's the President ramaphosa Is right in saying that. This has exposed again the massive wealth gap in this country. I mean as a journalist. We traveled to all these regions frequently. Tell the stories of all south africans and across the continent but many south africans both black and white these days. Don't really spend necessarily a lotta time in these areas where you can witness the level of poverty. Desperation in this country where many many millions of people depend on social grants from the government to survive. I think would this is open. The is again of generally south africans to how desperate many people but also help fragile democracy. Is i think it took a few days of chaos. Really expose that a lot needs to be done to rebuild this country in a way that more people feel that they are benefiting from this democracy and also that business and the middle class and the the huge commercial interest in this country that are up and criticized. Do you have an Practically in just making this country would that large corporations will actually change the way. They're the operator will exercise pressure on the south african giant government to to introduce some element of rebalanced society in the economy. Were the two things going on. What is just the security of the transport. The food lion at the food systems all of that has taken a lot of pressure. I mean just over the weekend there was already fuel shortages just after a few days of this chaos part of it linked to panic buying but also just food getting onto the shelves becomes challenging when trucks move across the country. It's almost like choking off the entire konami or at least the pot of the economy because of this chaos. That shocked a lot people. What else has shocked. People was that ordinary citizens were standing there. They pick up trucks and sometimes with with weapons in the kind of entrances to the neighborhoods the weekend because they didn't trust the police even the military to a less extent to protect them. I think while these malls these these businesses will likely rebuild. There's a huge loss of trust in the government Right now by many quarters because at feel that copycat saying david thank you so much for joining us. That was david mckenzie from cnn. In johannesburg you're listening to the globalist on monocle. Twenty four to lebanon which plunged into further political crisis on friday. When the country's prime minister site hariri resigned again. Happy butter is an.