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QUEST MEANS BUSINESS
South African President Jacob Zuma Steps Down; Deadly School Shooting in Florida. Aired 4-4:15p ET
Aired February 14, 2018 - 16:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN HOST: And good evening to you. I have got two breaking news stories to bring to you in this hour. In South Africa, we have just
heard President Jacob Zuma speaking to the nation where for most of the speech, it wasn't clear what he was saying other than that he would follow
the constitutional requirements where he has the party now just announced his resignation.
And in Florida, the other breaking news that we are watching, there are reports of multiple injuries at a school shooting. You can see the scene
that is in Parkland in Florida, which is in Southern Florida, in Broward County where we are following both stories closely over the course of the
hour and with the Florida shooting, let me show you, at the moment, we believe that there may be injuries. The numbers may range anywhere up to
20, but we don't know any more than that.
So, while we wait for some hard facts out of Florida about what is happening, whether the shooter is still at large, how many injuries there
are and what severity, speculation is pointless with Florida, so we will begin in South Africa where President Zuma says he has come to a decision
Mr. Zuma said he does not fear vote of no confidence. His own party was set to join the opposition and not vote tomorrow. Now, Zuma has said, with
respect to results and the Constitution, if rule makers voted him out of office. CNN's David McKenzie is in Johannesburg.
David, I was listening to the President's earlier comment or the comment. They were long and rambling, but right at the end, he said what?
MCKENZIE: Well, that is right. Right at the end, he said, he would resign with immediate effect and as we were crossing over to your show, Richard,
for a long time in that speech, he was being defined as usual saying that in fact that it would be the Constitution that would guide him, that it
would come down to the no confidence vote and that again, he would really respect the Constitution and questioning at least some of the decisions
obliquely of the party and then right at the end, as we were switching over to your show, Richard, he said, "I will resign."
So, leaving the main event right at the end there, Jacob Zuma has resigned as the President of South Africa. Capping off an extraordinary 10 days or
so of back and forth of negotiating with the new ANC President, Cyril Ramaphosa of refusing to resign several times despite this marathon closed
And then finally, the President of almost a decade here in South Africa falling on his sword, avoiding this no confidence motion that would have
been triggered in Parliament which would have been a very dramatic and perhaps, catastrophic moment for the ANC, but now, he has officially
resigned with immediate effect. That means Cyril Ramaphosa automatically now leads this country.
QUEST: The reality is though, the allegations against Jacob Zuma have been around for years. The corruption allegations, the questions of the Guptas,
the Indian family that are believed to have been almost running the puppet, pulling the strings of the puppet regime that Zuma led and the Supreme
Court in South Africa which ruled that he had broken the Constitution on several occasions.
So, why now, David? What happened that forced the ANC to turn on its own President when for so long they have been blinded to the allegations?
MCKENZIE: That's a very good point and the ethics of the ANC is not necessarily what led them to finally put so much pressure and officially
recall him from the party with all of those allegations of corruption, they did nothing and he survived multiple no confidence votes in Parliament
because the ANC backed him wholeheartedly, even the Deputy President, now the leader of this country, Cyril Ramaphosa stood mostly silently by for
But I think, the egregious nature of these allegations and the fact mostly and perhaps most importantly that the ANC faces a general election next
year where Zuma would be a huge liability. They decided of course that enough was enough. With Cyril Ramaphosa being nominated as the head of the
ANC that became the critical moment that started this ball rolling, which - - that culminated here tonight.
QUEST: Cyril Ramaphosa is respected. He is certainly very experienced both in the machinations of ANC politics and in government, but does he not
suffer the same problem that was sought to a greater extent in Zimbabwe? He has been at the top with Zuma through all the allegations?
MCKENZIE: Well, that's right and he has mostly stayed silent until relatively recently in political terms. He was the leader of government as
the Deputy President and he is tainted by association. But many people still remember Cyril Ramaphosa as the negotiator -- the chief negotiator in
the transfer to democracy in South Africa. He is well liked as you say by investors and business, but he has also seemingly managed to negotiate his
biggest negotiating yet since the start of democracy here, at least because he got Zuma out without having to get to Parliament and to fight it out in
QUEST: David, this is a very arguably cynical move by the ANC, which I mean, I don't know why I say that with any great surprise of any political
party, that's what they are there for is try to and get reelected, but by creating this change at the top among the margins, of some of the more
respected ministers may return, maybe Pravin Gordhan, for example, may come back. The ANC does go into the general election with a strength -- a much
strength in hand.
MCKENZIE: Well, yes, they will and certainly, they will hope that the population in South Africa will forget the recent past. That also depends
on how Cyril Ramaphosa deals with the allegations of corruption swirling around his immediate predecessor, now Jacob Zuma, you had the elite forces
of the Hawks, the special investigative units moving on various locations today and arresting people linked to Zuma's family.
So, if he continues with that, and he pushes to show they want to make a clean slate, people might forgive him. This is a headache for the
opposition of course, but it's been a turbulent time for the ANC and a great deal of damage has been done to the country during Zuma's tenure.
QUEAST: Stay with me, David McKenzie. Let's listen to what Jacob Zuma, former President of South Africa said just a short while ago, seven minutes
ago as he resigned.
JACOB ZUMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF SOUTH AFRICA: I must accept that if my party and my compatriots wish that I be removed from office, they must
exercise that right and do so in the manner prescribed by the Constitution.
I fear no motion of no confidence or impeachment for they are the lawful mechanisms for the people of this beautiful country to remove their
QUEST: We can post mortem the legacy of Jacob Zuma all we like, but the stark reality is now, David McKenzie that the last two ANC President, well,
there have only been three, the last two have both been removed by the party, called on to resign before the end of their terms -- Mbeki and Zuma.
MCKENZIE: Well, that's right, Richard and certainly, it shows the struggles of the ruling party. You had Nelson Mandela leave after just one
term and then you had the party and Jacob Zuma moving against Mbeki to get him out and now, the same thing has happened with different circumstances,
but the same thing has happened to President Zuma.
This is a deeply divided party that has lost a lot of electoral ground in South Africa and a lot of confidence among the people. They will be hoping
that by pushing Jacob Zuma out quite so dramatically that they might be able to reset how they are seen in the country, but many people I speak to
say that it's not just about Jacob Zuma leaving. There is a general right in the ruling party that he has presided over and it needs to be a much
bigger (inaudible) that rub out if the ANC is trying to renew its mandate.
QUEST: David, I am going to let you go and you've got some phone calls to make to find out the reaction of the leaders of the Democratic Alliance and
please come back when there is the moment where there is more to report on this important story tonight.
We will continue the reports of injuries following the school shooting in Florida. Now, this is breaking news. We beware. We've seen pictures of
students leaving the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.
In a statement Broward Country Public Schools says it is receiving reports of multiple injuries. The Sheriff's Office says, the shooter remains at
large. I am joined by Steven Moore, CNN, law enforcement contributor, a retired special agent of the FBI. We don't know many more details, Steven,
do we of what's happening at the moment?
STEVEN MOORE, LAW ENFORCEMENT CONTRIBUTOR, CNN: No. The shooter and I assume it's a male just statistically and because of what we have heard,
the shooter is at large right now.
QUEST: The pictures are -- I mean, the terrifying -- anybody watching, even more so, I am watching and I don't know whether you can see our
international feed, but I am watching pictures of students coming out, their arms out forward or hands on head with a police officer or some form
of military officer with a gun. Doesn't look it is pointing, but it is ready, which obviously is the right thing to do in this situation.
But man, goodness, what a business.
MOORE: Yes, Richard, you are absolutely right. It's one of the things that must be done, but after these kids have been through whatever went on
in that school, now, they have to be confronted by officers who have guns and telling them put their hands on their heads, and you know, to explain
to the audience, the reason for this is, we believe or we even if we don't believe, we assume that the shooter could be another student and that
student after shooting several people could simply pretend, drop the gun and pretend like they too were a victim and come out with their hands up.
Or worse, put the gun in their waistband and come out and try to...
QUEST: Steven, let me -- forgive me. The Senator, Bill Nelson is speaking. I do want to hear what he has to say. Let's go to that.
(BREAKING NEWS - Simulcast with CNN US)