Oct 1, 2018

Relief then recession in South Africa

Dave Lawler, author of World

Photo: Ramaphosa, with Mandela looking on (in mural form). Photo: Rajesh Jantilal/AFP

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa's efforts to revive Africa's second-largest economy aren't off to a propitious start.

The latest: The country has now entered into recession for the first time in nearly a decade, and Ramaphosa's remedies are limited by the fact that his fantastically corrupt predecessor left a bare cupboard behind. Emigration is on the rise. Foreign investment isn't.

  • Ramaphosa's message since taking office in February has been that the bad old days are over. However, no corrupt officials have been jailed, and many remain in government.

Asked about that last week by Foreign Policy's Jonathan Tepperman, Ramaphosa said prosecutions "will definitely come." He asked for patience and added, "Because we’re not on a slide downward; we’re on a climb upward."

  • On land redistribution, a topic which sparked a recent feud with President Trump, Ramaphosa said South Africa had learned from Zimbabwe's example: "First, we’re not going to allow land grabs. Second, we’re not going to allow land to be redistributed to elites, to party hacks."
  • On the South Africa-U.S. relationship he said: "Despite what has been tweeted in the past, the relationship has not been negatively affected. But we would like to have it strengthened."
  • Ramaphosa rejected the idea that China's investments in Africa represented "a new colonialism," adding: "I come from the school that says you should be able to use other people’s money to make money. But you should also know that it doesn’t come for free."

Go deeper (NYT): South Africa’s Leaders Are Killing One Another.

Go deeper

Zuckerberg says Trump’s “shooting” tweet didn’t violate Facebook’s rules

Mark Zuckerberg at the 56th Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany on February 15. Photo: Abdulhamid Hosbas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Facebook did not remove President Trump's threat to send the National Guard to Minneapolis because the company's policy on inciting violence allows discussion on state use of force, CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained in a post on Friday.

The big picture: Zuckerberg's statement comes on the heels of leaked internal criticism from Facebook employees over how the company handled Trump's posts about the Minneapolis protests and his unsubstantiated claims on mail-in ballots — both of which Twitter has now taken action on.

Updated 37 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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  6. 1 sports thing: NCAA outlines plan to get athletes back to campus.

Trump says he spoke with George Floyd's family

President Trump in the Rose Garden on May 29. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

President Trump told reporters on Friday that he had spoken with the family of George Floyd, a black resident of Minneapolis who died after a police officer knelt on his neck on Monday.

Driving the news: Former Vice President Joe Biden said via livestream a few hours earlier that he, too, had spoken with Floyd's family. The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee implored white Americans to consider systemic injustices against African Americans more broadly, Axios' Alexi McCammond reports.