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tv   Inside Story  LINKTV  July 23, 2021 5:30am-6:01am PDT

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♪ >> the headlines on al jazeera -- the average number of daily new infections in the u.s. has nearly tripled in the span of two weeks. the average is 37,000, up from less than 14,000 a fortnight ago. tokyo recorded a six month high of new covid-19 cases, just a day before it hosts the opening ceremony of the olympic games. almost 2000 positive tests were recorded over the past when he four hours. the highest since mid-january. japan's capital has been under a
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state of emergency for the past 11 days. june is he is military has been ordered to oversee the country's pandemic response. that's after the health minister was sacked for ordering vaccination centers to open for all adults during the holiday. this led to stampedes. south africa is struggling with a surge in infections, it remains the worst hit country in the african continent. but the vaccination drive is picking up. in germany, chancellor angela merkel says infections are rising at a worrying speed. she is calling on people to get vaccinated. >> the number of infections has been rising again for a few days now, with a clear and in my opinion worrying momentum. the whole thing is driven by the delta variant of the coronavirus. the r factor is considerably above one. that means we have expansion growth. -- exponential growth. we all want normality back, but
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we don't get that normality alone. we only get it back as a community. for this, we need significantly more vaccine protection. >> china has deployed its military to the central region, struggling with the worst flooding in recent history. at least 33 people have been killed and 200,000 people moved to safety. those are the headlines. i will have another update for you here on al jazeera after "inside story." ♪
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sami: south africa is slowly returning to normal after days of looting and violence. but what are the lessons for the anc? and what implications are there for the country? this is "inside story." ♪ hello, and welcome to the show. i'm sami zeidan. for more than a week, south africa had been beset by its worst violence since the end of apartheid. while the situation is largely calm now, the nation is still trying to come to terms with what happened. the violence killed at least 276 people and caused widespread destruction.
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hundreds of businesses were either looted or set on fire. south africa's roads, facilities, and supply lines were targeted and disrupted. the damage is estimated to run into billions of dollars. president ramaphosa has deployed 25,000 soldiers to keep order. the unrest was sparked by the jailing of former president jacob zuma, but expanded to include grievances about poverty and inequality. ramaphosa has blamed the unrest on zuma supporters, but has also acknowledged government failures. >> we are all really concerned about what happened here, but we are also saying, we have learned valuable lessons. we have learned important lessons. and the most important lesson is we must tighten up our security forces, but we must also ensure that the defense of our
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democracy is firmly in the hands of our people. we have to make sure that we gather our wits, we gather ourselves. the one thing positive i can say is that this has united us in south africa. [overlapping voices] we realize we should be careful in the future. sami: we will bring in our guests shortly. first, this update from durban. reporter: the rioting and looting here sparked by the jailing of former president jacob zuma exposed the chronic poverty and inequality that persists in south africa 27 years since the end of apartheid. yes, there's an emerging but small black middle class, but
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the ruling anc that's governed south africa since the end of apartheid has been slow to restrict you land and wealth. the current anc leadership says the last 10 years have been wasted. a judicial commission is currently sitting and looking into allegations of state capture, corruption, and fraud during the presidency of jacob zuma. half of south africa's 35 million adults are thought to still live below the poverty line, and youth unemployment is at around 50%. the pandemic has not helped, and the government has given grants to people affected by the pandemic, but they have not been able to be as generous as western countries have with their furlough schemes. the current senior leader of the anc says let us not again blame apartheid or the global economy. this, he says, was an event of our own making, and we have blood on our hands. there are local elections scheduled for october in south
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africa, if they are not delayed because of the pandemic. those local elections will be a further test of the anc's popularity. for "inside story," durban. ♪ sami: let's bring in our guests into the show now. all joining us from johannesburg in south africa, lindiwe zulu is south africa's minister of social development. william gumede is executive chairperson of democracy works foundation. and kwandiwe kondlo is professor of political economy in the department of politics and international relations at the university of johannesburg. welcome to you all. if i could start with william, are the protests, the looting, is it all over now, or just taking a break? how do you see it, william? william: it does seem that, although late, the army is there, the police is there, and
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the situation has been stabilized. but it does appear that there is still some threat circulating across the country, in groups that jacob zuma supported, they intend to try another attempt at a popular kind of uprising. but for now, it seems stabilized. the police is there. they are visible. the army is there. they are visible. and i think people feel a little bit more reassured than a couple of days ago. sami: all right, so stable for now, but zuma's forces may give it another go. lindiwe, has ramaphosa survived the challenge of some of those pro-zuma elements who wanted to keep circles of power above the rule of law and law and order? lindiwe: president cyril ramaphosa is in charge, as the president of the country, and also as the president of the african congress. president cyril ramaphosa has called his team of ministers and
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different departments that are directly dealing with the situation, as william has just said now, that it is stabilizing, because for president cyril ramaphosa and his government, the first and most important thing to do is to stabilize the country. sami: so, do you have any concerns that, as william said, maybe zuma circles will give this another go and try and bring jacob zuma above the law? lindiwe: we are not worried about that at all, because you have seen for yourselves, i'm sure you are monitoring from where you are, yes, we accepted the destruction has really, really been bad, but the bottom line is that government is in charge, the president is in charge. those departments particularly defend intelligence and others, including mine, byt --
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by the way, of social development, they have to deal with the aftermath of that from the point of view of those citizens that are struggling. we are back into -- ensuring that we stabilize the country, and the civilization of the country is beyond just people being out in the streets and looting. but you can also see that the police and the army have gone all out in full force, including looking for the perpetrators, looking for the looters, and collecting as much as they possibly can, what was already looted. i think that the security structures are really doing the best that they can. but this issue is beyond just the security. it's also about other departments that have to deal with the aftermath of that. and as i rightfully say, my department, social development, and others, are also responsible right now. sami: let's bring kwandiwe into the discussion. as lindiwe was just saying there, this is about more than simply the security situation, right?
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first of all, let me ask you, kwandiwe, have the pro-zuma elements been neutralized? are they still able to form and perhaps move again? kwandiwe: look, the difficulty first is to talk about the pro-zuma elements. as if they exist out there as a very coherent force. it is very difficult to really put a hand and a finger on what you can call -- this is a pro-zuma element in the anc. mr. zuma is a member of the anc. and definitely, as former president of the anc, he does have some anc members who are still very supportive of him. and of course, there have been tensions and squabbles within the ruling party. but it is not easy to just recuse everything to pro-zuma
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elements versus ramaphosa elements. the anc is a big organization. there are lots of ideological positions and perspectives that you find within the anc. and these perspectives sometimes are not necessarily for zuma and against ramaphosa, or for ramaphosa and against zuma. so i'm trying to say -- sami: what are some of the other major forces here at play? kwandiwe: i'm trying to say, let's avoid reductive approaches, when you look at this, because not everybody in the anc is just pro zuma, anti-ramaphosa. that is simplistic. sami: ok. perhaps we will bring william in to broaden it out then. no doubt, this is about more than simply what happens to jacob zuma or his forces. -- or his supporters. there is an element here of perhaps rebellion against the current social and economic order, right, william? william: absolutely.
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it's a combination of things. we know the rebellion by the broad zuma supporters, they found almost fertile ground. we've been under lockdown in south africa, in one of the world's strictest lockdowns. you know, so there's the idea of a cabin fever, once you've been in these kinds of lockdowns. not only south africa, but also elsewhere, people are restless, they are anxious. and there's almost no getting out of it. -- it is almost getting out of it, going out in the streets. south africa's economy has been really devastated by covid-19 and also by the lockdowns. so we've seen high levels of unemployment, businesses close, and so on, and just a hit after locked down. our economy struggled, compared compared to our emerging-market peers. the presidency of jacob zuma
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destroyed a lot of value and a lot of business in south africa, so that sort of low growth proceeded the covid period. -- preceded the covid period. we've had a history the last couple of years of looting at a high level, at the state level, with impunity, where people haven't been prosecuted. so i think you also have to contrast people seeing that, that looting of the state, without any prosecution. and then you have to juxtapose it to looting in the streets. sami: right. ok, that transitioned nicely to the point which i was going to raise, whether most of this even can be put down to covid cabin fever, because if we look at some of the figures for the economic situation since the end of apartheid, where you will find, for example, the unemployment rate has remained around 30% since 1994. but youth joblessness has increased to up to 74%. by the late 1950's, more than
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80% of south africa's land was owned by whites. now, the world bank says the richest 20% of south africans control nearly 70% of all resources. a higher proportion of black south africans have historically lived in poverty, but the government suggests the proportion of black and mixed-race people living in poverty increased between 2011 and 2015. this begs the question, does it not, has the government, has the anc, and successive anc governments really failed to make sufficient progress in addressing the inequalities of the apartheid era? lindiwe: well, if i am to compare, which i don't normally like doing in a situation of ourselves, as the government of the african national congress, i always say, people have to judge us for what we have said we are going to do, but if you have to make comparisons, you can't run away from the fact that the
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impact of apartheid, the impact on the economy, and the impact on the demographics of our people, the impact of poverty, unemployment, inequality, and i am thanking my countrymen, because they are telling it like it is. it was never going to be easy for the government to have reversed all that in a period of 27 years. however -- sami: it's not just reversing, forgive me jumping in, some of the figures seem to be getting worse. lindiwe: well, of course, you must also consider the fact that we came out of apartheid, and we inherited a bankrupt government. we inherited systems that were systematically created to make it difficult for people to live. so, we had to first and foremost integrate that. secondly, we had to start building institutions of government, which institutions were going to be the recourse
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for our people. it's not to say that in the building of those institutions, there hasn't been mistakes. we accept the mistakes that have been made, particularly in strengthening the institutions, because if you don't strengthen the institutions of government, what william is talking about now, in terms of the looting from people, contractors who are not supposed to get the contract, yes, that is true, but what is good about it is the fact that we have entered -- we have institutions that have been given the responsibility to do just that, bring people to book. sami: kwandiwe, the majorities won by the anc party in elections have been decreasing, right? does this latest bout of violence and protests show the anc's grip on power weakening further? kwandiwe: yes, what is happening is that in the arena of politics, of popular support,
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the anc really needs to roll up their sleeves. because, as you can see, the graph -- the tendency that emerges when you analyze election results, from 2009 right up-to-date, we see this slow, slow, steady decrease in percentage, in popular support that the anc gets during elections. and this could be a result of a number of other reasons, people just deciding not to go and vote, and also the growth of -- we have a youthful opposition party in south africa. it is attractive to some of the youth, but it's not growing at a rate we initially expected it to grow.
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the challenge is of government, that the anc as a governance party phases, are also contributing to all these issues. it's not easy to be a ruling party in any country, especially in a country which has a burden of historical baggage, like we have in south africa. sami: i want to take that thought back to lindiwe quickly for a quick thought and ask this question -- the baggage, the challenges, which kwandiwe mentioned, lindiwe, does that mean the anc is heading towards greater division? especially if president ramaphosa might have to confront some forces that will get us back into the division between pro and anti-jacob zuma elements? but if there are some elements that the president feels he will need to now confront in order to show he is concerned with good governance and fighting corruption, does that mean more split, more division within the anc? lindiwe: as far as the african
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national congress is concerned, if you go back to the conference itself, where president ramaphosa was elected, it was a call for unity. but i also want to make it clear that any liberation movement that comes back into a country and takes over, it has to go through the internal dynamics in the -- dynamics and the challenges of contestation within the african congress itself. what is important for us is about leadership and how leadership takes that into consideration and makes sure that between the anc as an organization, and the anc and the anc and government, there's got to be synergy between the two. so that individual interest that sometimes tends to move the anc to what a direction that it cannot be on principled needs to be dealt with. so we have our own internal dynamics, and i think we are not thinking that those internal
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dynamics can be wished away. those dynamics must be worked on by the members of the african congress and understand the reason why they are members of the anc, what is expected of them, as members of the anc. if you need to be tough on members who lose sight of that, so be it. sami: that's a good point. let me ticket to william and say, perhaps jumping on some of the words that lindiwe use, the -- that lindiwe used, the need to be tough on members of the and see, increasing intensity of contest between some elements of the anc, what does that mean, for south africa, as a country? the anc has been the dominant ruling party for so long. william: you know, as it is, there have been two parties, essentially, turned into one. president ramaphosa has been trying to hold the two parties together in his unity policy.
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what has happened the last two weeks is, they cannot hold the two groups together anymore. it is a rubicon for the anc. so i think even the jacob zuma group, whatever you want to call them, it will be very difficult for them now to return back to accept the anc. sami: so will there be more of a split, do you think? william: i think we are going to see a split. it is now inevitable. and it's been pushed further and further. it was supposed to happen perhaps before. because the thing about the liberation movements, what makes it effective, what makes it a successful liberation movement is that it was a broad coalition, ranging from marxists to capitalists to traditionalists. now, when you get into government, you have to have a set of policies, otherwise, you are going to be in perpetual paralysis, which is what's happened with the anc.
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to become an effective modern political party to govern over democracy, you have to become internally democratic and you have to have one set of policies. it means you might have to kick out some of the people that were part of it, and it hasn't happened before. now is the moment. sami: let me quickly -- i want to get lindiwe's reaction to that, very briefly, do you agree with that prognosis going forward, there's going to be a split, perhaps some members break away from the anc now? this is the rubicon being crossed? lindiwe: there isn't going to be a split in the african national congress. and i am happy that william is here, because he is the one that spoke about the fighting further soul of the african national congress. it is 109, 110 years old. and the congress, within that period of that time, has had challenges that has made it strong. i think that there is going to be a split. -- there isn't going to be a split.
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but those who can't agree with the principal, what the founding documents of the national african congress, they might decide to go somewhere else, but this congress has survived those that decided that they don't want to [indiscernible] sami: to every different reactions to what happens going forward. whatever the degree of intensity that emerges now, whether it finalizes in a split within the anc or not, has the violence demonstrated how entrenched some of the elements which are not entirely happy with anc policy, how well entrenched are they in the state? and any intensification of the contest, shall we say, is going to impact on the state's performance and unity itself? kwandiwe: i think the first
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point, i am also of the view that i do not see the anc splitting. one of the inheritances of exile is loyalty to the party. and with a group which has doubted the pro-zuma group, whenever they appear, they emphasize their loyalty to the african national congress. but with the violence we saw happening, what we saw happening is so multifaceted. there was a political element. there was also opportunism. sami: does the whole approach to ending the apartheid era now need an overhaul? lindiwe: absolutely. this is one of the lessons we have learned. that's why i was saying we need to strengthen our institutions so that we are able to also pick up things when they develop.
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my final point is this, when in south africa all the issues are spoken about, unemployment, inequality, we need to focus on those issues, so that even anyone who wants to mobilize communities, communities can be the ones to say, you are not going to mobilize us for this, because we are fine. but when you have a spec and people who have got very little to lose and they go out and do what we saw, we have trouble, that's why we need to focus on fixing what's wrong. sami: i promise i would give 30 seconds to william, do you agree with that prognosis? william: i think this has been the rupture of south africa's politics. dependence politics. it's very likely that the anc will decline, in terms of voter appeal.
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we may see the beginning of a couple of splits going forward. with the trajectory of other liberation movements. sami: and on that note, we will have to end it here, because we are running out of time. let's thank the guests, minister lindiwe zulu, william gumede, and kwandiwe kondlo. and thank you, too, for watching. you can see the show again anytime by visiting our website, aljazeera.com. for further discussion, head over to our facebook page, that's facebook.com/ajinsidestory. you can also join the conversation on twitter. our handle is @ajinsidestory. from me, sami zeidan, and the entire team here, for now, it's goodbye. ñññ■oñúúxll9 ♪
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