“South Africa’s entire economy was hijacked. How many people have gone to prison so far?”
This is the question which CNN’s Richard Quest asked The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield when he was interviewed at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos.
While South Africa has a delegation at the event, Quest said the country does not have the same profile as previous years.
He said while there can be many reasons for the lower profile, there is no value in coming to Davos to court investors if the policies are not there to make it attractive.
President Cyril Ramaphosa may have made a good impression at Davos two years ago, but the true impact and scale of state capture has now come to light – and the world has seen the impact.
“Since then we have discovered just how awful the state capture was,” Quest said in his interview.
“This is one of those few subjects where Pravin Gordhan said ‘if you think it was bad, I am telling you it is worse’.”
Quest said people who have been coming to Davos for the past five years used to hear “it is going really well” and “we have got everything under control” from South Africans.
The country has now turned around and informed investors that “actually, the whole economy was hijacked, and the losses are actually much bigger than what we thought”.
“And by the way, it you think it was bad it was actually much worse, and we are not even sure we have dealt with it”.
Asked the question as to what must be done to change South Africa’s tarnished image, Quest answered: “How many people have gone to prison so far?”