In this week's UpFront, we ask San Juan's mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz about the ongoing crisis in Puerto Rico after hurricanes Maria and Irma, and whether her war of words with United States President Donald Trump helps or hurts the recovery.

And in a special interview, we ask South Africa's former public protector Thuli Madonsela (the so-called the anti-corruption tsar), about scandals within the African National Congress (ANC) and her investigations into former President Jacob Zuma

Also, in our Reality Check, we shed light on how consumers are more complicit in modern-day slavery than many realise.

Headliner: Did Donald Trump abandon Puerto Rico?

Almost six months after hurricanes Maria and Irma devastated Puerto Rico, the United States territory is struggling to recover. Carmen Yulin Cruz, mayor of the capital San Juan, blames President Donald Trump and his administration for a slow and inefficient relief effort.

"The aftermath of Maria, if I had to summarise it, has contributed to a social meltdown," says Cruz. "Suicide rates have gone up ... Still about 30 percent of the population does not have electricity."

When Cruz began to speak out against the Trump administration in the wake of Hurricane Maria, Trump called her, and other critics, "politically motivated ingrates" with "poor leadership". She responded by saying the president was "unfit to lead".

Cruz continues her sharp criticism of the president and his government's actions.

"The US government response has been inadequate, has been inefficient, and has been inappropriate," says Cruz. She alleges that Puerto Ricans have yet to see any of the $4.9bn loan approved by the federal government in November.

"It could be affected by racism; it could be affected by ignorance," she says. "There's no sense of urgency there."

Before the hurricane hit, Puerto Rico was already $73bn in debt and bankrupt. Hurricane Maria made the situation worse and, according to Cruz, a third of the population has since left the island.

When asked if she plans to run for the Puerto Rican governorship in 2020, Cruz says "this is not a time for political calculations, this is a time for human calculations."

Special Interview: Can South Africa stop cycles of corruption?

Thuli Madonsela was South Africa's public protector from 2009 to 2016 [Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko]

After countless corruption scandals, South Africa's President Jacob Zuma resigned from office last month. Zuma's former deputy Cyril Ramaphosa has since taken over as interim president and pledged to clean up the country's politics.

"It is in the interest of the nation that [Jacob Zuma] is answerable for any wrongdoing he is alleged to have committed," says Thuli Madonsela, who served as South Africa's public protector from 2009-2016.

In this role, Madonsela investigated Zuma and is credited for exposing his abuse of public funds.

She also spoke about the ANC, the party that has ruled post-apartheid South Africa since its first democratic elections in 1994.

"If you don't fear losing power," says Madonsela, herself a former member of the ANC, "you have no reason to do your best."

Madonsela says for the country to avoid continued political dysfunction as seen under Zuma, there "has to be some introspection and looking at what is it within the governing party and within our own national, ethical framework that allowed what happened to happen."  

Madonsela's comments come as South Africa's National Prosecuting Authority plans to announce if they will pursue the 18 charges for more than 700 counts of corruption, money laundering, fraud and racketeering against former president Zuma.

Reality Check: Modern slavery: Are we all to blame?

In November 2017, video emerged showing African refugees and migrants being sold in open slave markets in Libya.

Although the video's horrific images provoked a global outcry, modern-day slavery is not a rare occurrence.

There are more than 40 million modern-day slaves around the world today, many of whom are victims of human trafficking, debt bondage or forced labour, according to Australian rights group, the Walk Free Foundation.

In this Reality Check, we shed light on how most consumers are more complicit in modern-day slavery than we realise.

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Source: Al Jazeera News