Richard Quest: South Africa's economy was hijacked and lost billions

Richard Quest: South Africa's economy was hijacked and lost billions

- CNN's Richard Quest gave his opinion of South Africa at the World Economic Forum in Davos

- He was critical of South Africa's investment policies

- His most scathing remarks related to how state capture affected how South Africa is perceived by the rest of the world

PAY ATTENTION: Click “See First” under the “Following” tab to see News on your News Feed! learned that Richard Quest was caught on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where he was questioned about South Africa.

He candidly replied when asked by The Money Show's Bruce Whitfield if CNN's interest in South Africa this year.

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"Brand SA have tried to put scarves around my neck on numerous occasions, they've tried to interest me in discussing things, but it has just not got the same profile as in previous years," he said.

He added that there was little point in coming to Davos and asking for investment without policies that can convince people.

"But at the end of the day there's no point in coming here to say, 'Invest, invest, invest in me if you haven't got the policies worthy of it'."

Quest was asked about the phenomenon of Ramaphoria the world leaders experienced two years ago and whether it was similar to when Nelson Mandela was in power according to

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"That was two years ago," he said. "Since then we've discovered just how awful the state-owned capture of enterprises (sic) was.
"Now this is one of those few subjects where [Public Enterprises Minister] Pravin Gordhan says, 'If you think it was bad, I'm telling you it was worse'. Now you tell me anybody who, for the last five years, ten years, has come here and said 'South Africa's good, doing really well, we've got everything under control,' suddenly turns around and says, 'Well actually, our economy was hijacked by the way, and we're terribly sorry to tell you the losses are in the billions – well actually we really don't know, possibly it's trillions, oh and by the way, even if it was bad, it was worse, and we're not even sure we've dealt with it.'"

On the topic of bringing those responsible to justice.

Quest also asked "How many people have gone to prison so far?"

The frank honesty of Quest's answer has brought the situation in South Africa into sharp contrast with how the world perceives the country.

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