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London Mayor Calls for Calm After Knife Attack; ANC Challenged in South Africa's Municipal Elections; U.N. Humanitarian Chief Warns of South Sudan Crisis. Aired 2-2:30p ET
Aired August 4, 2016 - 14:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:00:13] MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight on the program, a knife attack in London leaves one woman dead, five people wounded, but there is
no terror connection. And the mayor is quick to reassure the city and beyond.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SADIQ KHAN, LONDON MAYOR: London is still one of the safest capital cities in the world. I'm afraid this is a reality in 2016, especially when you
look at what's happened in Nice and Paris and Brussels and Munich and, you know, parts of America. We've always got to be vigilant and never
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: But also ahead on the program, in South Africa. The main opposition party makes significant gains in local elections dealing a blow
to the ruling ANC, which Nelson Mandela swept to power more than 20 years ago.
And news from Rio.
Russia says most of its athletes there have been cleared to compete.
Elsewhere, an airline comes to the rescue for stranded Nigerian football team. Will they get to the Games on time?
Good evening, everyone, welcome to the program.
I'm Michael Holmes in for Christiane Amanpour.
London, tonight, on a heightened state of alert after a man went on a deadly knife rampage killing a woman and wounding five other people in the
heart of the city.
Police were on the scene in Russell Square within minutes tasing and then arresting the suspect, a 19-year-old Norwegian national of Somali origin.
He's now being held in custody on suspicion of murder.
Now, despite terrorism being on many minds these days, the head of UK counterterrorism says there is no evidence the man had been radicalized,
and the investigation instead focusing on his mental health.
But the apparent randomness of the assault and the fact that it happened close to one of the 2005 suicide bombings is adding to the sense of unease
in the capital, especially coming after the recent terror attacks in Europe.
Now, earlier in the day, London's mayor Sadiq Khan announced an extra 600 armed officers were being deployed to the city streets to help counter the
growing terrorist threat.
Mayor Khan cut short his holiday to race back to London in the wake of the attack and called for calm when he gave me an update a short time ago.
HOLMES: Mayor Sadiq Khan, thanks for being with us.
This was a brutal, heinous attack, but by all accounts, a mentally-ill man with a knife. And yet you're back from holiday. It was breaking news in
the media, all because of the mere suggestion that terror was being looked at.
In the bigger picture, it just speaks to the mood in the city, the country, the continent really at the moment.
KHAN: One of the reasons why I was keen to come back to London is to reassure your viewers, not just in America, but around the world that
London is still one of the safest capital cities in the world.
I'm afraid it's a reality in 2016, especially when you look at what's happened in Nice, in Paris, in Brussels, in Munich and, you know, parts of
America. But we've always got to be vigilant and never complacent.
And, you know, within six minutes of a report being received by a police service, armed response teams were at the scene in a very popular part of
London called Russell Square where tourists often go.
I'm afraid the bad news is one of those people injured died. A 60-year-old American woman has died, I'm afraid. Five others were injured, including
an American and Australian and others from around the world. That's the nature of being in a cosmopolitan city.
But the good news, and it is good news, is that all the investigations done by the police today, that includes interviewing the man, he was tasered,
not shot dead.
A search has taken place at his home is that this man was not radicalized, nor an extremist. Not inspired by Daesh or so called ISIL. But this man
appears to have mental health issues. But, you know, it's right and proper that we are vigilant and that we ensure that we do our bit to keep our
cities and our populations safe, but also to reassure people when it is the case that these are, you know, issues and incidents caused by people with
mental health issues.
HOLMES: And of course this week we've had those warnings from top officials here in London that it's not a matter of if, but when London and
the UK will fall victim to a terror attack like the ones we've seen in Europe this year.
I'm curious what your thoughts are on the right balance of keeping people informed and alert versus risking constant fear and anxiety?
[14:05:05] KHAN: Well, let's be clear. One of the aims of the terrorists, one of the aims of the bad people is to terrorize us and to change the way
we lead our lives so we stop using public transport, we stop mingling with friends of different backgrounds. You know, people who are Muslims, or
Hindis, or Sikhs, or Buddhists, or Christians, or Jews or those members of an organized faith. They don't want us to mix and be friends and to marry
into each other's families and to work for each other.
They want us to stay home and be coward. And what's really important is we don't let them succeed. But at the same time, we've got responsibility to
keep ourselves safe. We mustn't be complacent or reckless. It is a fine line to walk.
And, you know, I joined the police commissioner in sending out the message that, you know, when you look at Nice, Paris, Brussels, Munich, other parts
of the world, Istanbul, it is a question of, I'm afraid, of when not if, because I wouldn't want anyone to think we're complacent or we're smug.
I announced with the commissioner this week the good news, that it is good news, that there will be more armed response teams in London, making sure
they're working with many, many, many unarmed officers to keep us safe.
But, you know, we police by consent. The police service in London, the security services can only do their job if the public has confidence to
come forward and report things. That's why it's really important and I'm here reassuring your viewers who may be tourists wanting to come to London
or business people wanting to come and do business in London or students, that we are still one of the safest cities in the world.
HOLMES: And we did see the new police setup, the new kit they've got, their quick reaction. They are tooled up like you never see police in a
place like London.
But when we saw this attack last night, which was not a terror attack, that I suppose that just went to show it's so difficult to stop an attack like
that despite the quick response, isn't it? It's a low-tech sort of tactic.
KHAN: Well, you know, just like the terrorists, the bad guys are evolving in what they do in relation to causing terror. We've got to evolve in
relation to keeping ourselves safe.
So the phone call is made about a man brandishing a knife and was going berserk. We've got to assume the worst. That's why it's right and proper
our response teams were at the scene as soon as possible.
They are armed, as the name suggests, but also they've got the facilities to use taser guns or other options up their sleeves as well.
We want the bad people to know there are response teams across London. We want Londoners to know and tourists to know and business to know that there
are these people in London to keep us all safe.
But, you know, I'm afraid the reality in 2016 is that the job of people like me, as the mayor and politician, is to work with the police services
and the security services, work with them as the public to do our bit to keep our cities and our people safe.
But also to send a message loud and clear to anybody wishing to cause terror, and maybe in our cities, to try to sow division, to try to sow the
seeds of hatred amongst different communities, we won't let you.
HOLMES: And I suppose, you know, when it does come to walking that line as we were discussing before, what do you say to the media and its role? How
do you see that?
In this type of attack, the police are always going to rightly say that they're looking at all possible motives, including terror, but that's short
of saying that terror is the main avenue of inquiry.
Do you think the media needs to be a bit more measured, circumspect, when things like this happen?
KHAN: Over the last 24 hours, I must have been impressed. The police services, security service, portion of the vast majority of the media,
they're talking about the fact that the assistant commissioner Mark Rowley made the point early on, all options are open.
That made the point early on, they've done the inquiries that this man appears to have mental health issues. But it's not improper to ask the
obvious questions that you're asking.
The reason why you're asking the questions is because members of the public are asking these questions. We can't have either politicians or the media
with heads in the sands. And I think responsible reporting is very important.
We need to show the terrorists that we're not going to change an open press, but secondly to make sure that we are held to account. I'm all
about being held to account as the mayor of London.
one of the reasons why, you know, I came back to London was to reassure Londoners, to reassure them that, you know, security is very important to
me, but also to make sure that police and security services know that I'm supporting them and Londoners and those visiting us should know, we'll do
all that we can to keep you safe.
But the commissioner has said, because it's a fact of life, I'm afraid, it's a question of when, not if. We're going to do our bit to not be
We're going to do our bit to make sure we use our intelligence, we use the tools we've got in a proportionate manner to try and keep us as safe as we
HOLMES: Mayor Sadiq Khan, thanks so much for being with us.
KHAN: My pleasure.
HOLMES: And when we come back on the program, South Africa's local elections, the results are coming in and they could deal a blow to the
dominant African National Congress.
We're live in Johannesburg after this.
[14:11:47 HOLMES: And welcome back to the program.
A seismic shift may be under way in South African politics as voters in local elections slowly chip away at the African National Congress' grip on
The ANC has ruled South Africa since the end of apartheid. And to be sure they are still hugely popular. But early election results show that for
the first time another party, the Democratic Alliance, is making significant gains, particularly in major urban areas, the cities.
Well, here to break it all down is political analyst and broadcaster Eusebius McKaiser joining us now from Johannesburg.
And thanks for doing so.
You know, this is looking like the worst performance since, what, '94 or something like that. But is victory enough for the ANC or does a drop in
popularity as we seem to be seeing going to hurt the party and the president?
Good evening, Michael.
EUSEBIUS MCKAISER, AUTHOR, "A BANTU IN MY BATHROOM": Yes, that's a very important question. I'm afraid victory for the ANC is not enough because
the electoral gains of the ANC over the years have always been a rather -- the electoral victory margins have always been so massive that obviously
the African National Congress will come out with a bigger slice of the vote nationally. That is a stat that doesn't make sense because, obviously,
these are about local councils.
They will still dominate and control the majority of municipalities, but here's the Nexus question, Michael. Has the ANC got to answer for the
declining percentage of wins, even in the councils where it comes out on top? And the answer is yes.
If we had to dip into the numbers and they're not yet final, but in big metropolitan areas like Tshwan, the capital; Johannesburg where I'm
currently at or even in other parts of the country like Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape, the spiritual home of the African National Congress.
It is very clear that there is a decline in support for the African National Congress. So I'm sure the ANC spin doctors will say, you know
what, the point of an election is to win the majority, but the bottom line is that they are indeed declining in terms of their influence and power
HOLMES: And that indeed could be a pointer to the next general election, which I think is 2019.
I'm curious whether you think or what people who talk to you on your show, whether they express any concern that the ANC is perhaps, I don't know,
living in the past a little bit. Leaning a little too heavily on the legacy of Nelson Mandela and not being attuned to what the people want. I
mean, things aren't great there economically.
MCKAISER: To some extent that's one factor. But I would rather draw attention to two factors that I think explain why the African National
Congress brand and political fortunes are not that great at the moment, Michael.
The first is dull but very important. It is technocratic. The quality of services at local government in particular are far from desirable. We have
entrenched inequalities in our city.
We have a legacy of apartheid spatial geography in our cities. We've got poverty levels that really are inexcusable after 22 years. So it's not so
much of the ANC is living in the past, so much as a poor bureaucracy that is unable to deliver on its promises. That's a very important factor.
[14:15:00] And, obviously, we cannot have this conversation, Michael, without the reality that although we don't do good exit polling, we don't
do exit polling at all in South Africa, I think it is extremely hard to deny that these elections, although they're not national elections, have
partly turned on the basis of some national questions because we tend to conflate them locally in the media and as voters.
And here's the problem for the ANC, President Jacob Zuma. To some extent, I think we can say these elections in part are a referendum on his
incredibly ruinous leadership.
HOLMES: Yes, and a lot of people saying that. I'm curious whether you think these results and increasing popularity of the opposition, the
Democratic Alliance or whether it's more an anti-ANC vote. And is this going to lead perhaps to an era of coalition in South African politics?
MCKAISER: Oh, absolutely. A delicious hybrid set of questions there, Michael.
I'll answer it this way quite quickly.
Firstly, yes, indeed. We are about to enter an era of coalition politics in South Africa. We don't have the final numbers like I've said in the
major areas, but in a place like Port Elizabeth, in the Eastern Cape Province, it is very likely that none of the parties might end up with 50
plus to be able to call that council their own and be able to govern quite easily.
And I think there's going to be a lot of horse trading over the next week. And that's quite exciting. That means greater responsiveness, greater
accountability and that's a mark of a maturing voter that is able to think in a sophisticated way about their voting choices.
But if we throw forward to the future, Michael, the reality is that these elections are not just about choosing new local councils, they are also a
proxy playing field through which the factual battles of the political parties are playing out.
One of the key things to look out for if you are a political animal and looking at the South African story is to see how those internal battles in
the ANC emerge in the weeks and months ahead, because remember next year, they go to an elective conference.
And in many ways it will be hard for those folks who are alike to President Jacob Zuma to say that they are the ones who should continue the legacy of
Nelson Mandela if they are unable to deliver good, credible and very, very exciting results for the ANC in these elections.
So these elections are exciting in terms of local governance. But absolutely make no mistake, the results will be used by factions as the
basis for their strategies going into the ANC elective conference next year.
HOLMES: Interesting political days ahead.
Eusebius McKaiser as always, our thanks.
Well, now from South Africa to South Sudan.
There were high expectations for South Sudan when it became the world's newest country in 2011. That hope soon faded when fighting erupted.
Thousands have been displaced, left without food or shelter. And now the country even deeper in crisis.
The U.N.'s humanitarian chief, Stephen O'Brien, has just returned from a three-day visit to South Sudan. He joined me earlier from Nairobi.
HOLMES: Stephen O'Brien, thanks so much for being with us.
Now, we've got this renewed fighting going on in South Sudan. You've got 300 people dead. The U.N. says 60,000 have fled, 5 million are hungry.
How much worse can it get?
STEPHEN O'BRIEN, U.N. HUMANITARIAN CHIEF: It's a very dire situation. I've just completed three days in South Sudan. I've been in Juba, where a
fighting broke out in early July and where there's a huge amount of tension and insecurity.
This is a country which has had to face ever since it was born in 2011 very grave difficulties, both chronic. but also since 2013 repeated outbreaks
of violence and war.
And I was also able to get up to Warrap and to Aweil, which is in northern Bahr el Ghazai, which is up in the northwest parts of South Sudan. So much
of the fighting has now extended beyond some of the areas which has been common place in the past.
So you have a new set of fears and flight taking place across the country. So the command center needs are growing somewhat exponentially. Already an
enormous amount of humanitarian need, life-saving, whether it's food, water, shelter, medical care, education for children, but also very much
recognizing there's a massive protection issue, particularly for women, girls, boys, for the elderly, for the sick.
We need to put the pressure on the authorities in South Sudan for them to really forge a path for peace ahead. That's the best opportunity for the
people of South Sudan not to suffer so badly.
HOLMES: Well, that is really the nub of it. I mean, we're talking about the humanitarian situation. It obviously is dire. There's great need.
But it all comes back to the politics, doesn't it. The warring parties.
[14:20:08] I mean, how are you going to bring this nation that was founded on such optimism back in 2011.
How are we going to get this back to a situation where there is political stability which will then of course flow onto the humanitarian side?
O'BRIEN: And let's be absolutely clear. There is no military solution to all the disputes and the craving for power that is driving this terrible
dispute. It is only a political solution. That is why we have to get behind as best we can, what is a very fragile peace process.
And at the same time, the immediate needs, the emergency needs of people caught up in this crisis, they simply have to be met.
HOLMES: What pressure can be applied? What encouragement given?
President Salva Kiir and his vice president, who is now his sort of sworn enemy at the moment, Riek Machar, these men do not get along. This is
clear. This political marriage, if you like, seems to be over.
Are the tribal differences, the political differences, just too great?
O'BRIEN: Well, the peace process, that's the regional powers have tried to push forward recognizes that there are very large and disputing
constituencies. So we need to find a way of giving those who claim to represent large sways of the South Sudanese people the confidence that they
can come together.
Now, of course, this is obviously very, very difficult. But that is the peace process that we must seek to pursue. I had time yesterday with
President Salva Kiir. I've also met the newly-appointed first vice president and some of the other senior members of the South Sudanese
government, where they have massive capacity issues about what they can do to deliver for their people and they give assurances, but we need to make
sure that it's genuinely translated to the people on the ground instead of the intimidation and the practices which are completely unacceptable.
HOLMES: It's often been called a forgotten war, a forgotten conflict. I want to get your thoughts now on a conflict very much at the forefront and
that is Syria.
This week alone on the program, we've spoken to the ICRC. We spoke to Jan Egeland on the program as well. And they've been painting a uniformly
bleak picture of what is going on, particularly in Aleppo.
I mean, a comparison is being made with Srebrenica during the Bosnian War.
Do you have any sense of optimism that there can be some resolution, particularly for the people in Aleppo at the moment?
O'BRIEN: We have to work to find a way forward, even in this most dire of circumstances. We've seen a proposal very recently for some so-called
humanitarian corridors. So we are looking with those who have proposed these corridors, whether they can meet the minimum conditions that will
give us that chance for that impartial free voluntary supply and movement.
HOLMES: We've also -- when we spoke to Mr. Egeland, we talked about the medical facilities and the belief that they are being targeted deliberately
during this war, which is an unconscionable thing and defies all military norms, if you like.
What's your reaction to this targeting of these facilities?
O'BRIEN: Oh, let's be absolutely clear. That's a war crime. It's against all international acceptable laws, international humanitarian law and all
the laws of war.
You do not attack medical facilities, medical personnel, the means by which you can access medical care, ambulances or the routes to clinics and
And so you'll have noted that the United Nations did actually pass at the security council a resolution the other day to reaffirm and to put in place
a complete commitment to the sanctity of medical facilities, and that there should be no impunity and that we should hold people to account, have the
evidence and make sure that it's presented appropriately to hold people into account, who perpetrate such heinous act.
HOLMES: Stephen O'Brien, thanks so much for being with us on the program.
O'BRIEN: Thank you.
HOLMES: And coming up, Russia says it believes up to 270 athletes will be allowed to compete in the Rio Olympics, despite an IOC investigation into
But imagine a world where one of the most storied Olympic football teams in Africa had to hitch a ride in order to make kick-off.
Find out more when we come back.
[14:25:55] HOLMES: And finally tonight, any moment now, the Nigerian football team will land in Rio, going for Olympic gold. Breathing a sigh
of relief. And imaging a world where they didn't make it on time because that is what almost happened.
Nigerian football flew to Atlanta last month to train with more memories of the city, where at the 1996 Olympics they took home the gold for football,
beating Argentina, if you recall, in a thrilling final.
Well, the current team was supposed to fly out to brazil last Friday, but instead was stranded in Atlanta's airport when it turned out their
chartered flight had not been paid for.
Well, luckily Atlanta-based Delta Airlines picked up the tab for the team, making it possible for them to arrive literally as we speak mere hours
before their first-round game against Japan in Minas.
Travel weariness can't be ruled out, but hopefully they won't be caught napping when it comes to getting to their games in the future.
Good luck to them.
That is our program for tonight
Remember, you can listen to our podcast. See us online at Amanpour.com. Follow us on Facebook. And follow me on twitter @HolmesCNN.
Thanks for watching. Good-bye from London.