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South Africa’s ruling party blasts Trump over alleged Mandela ‘insults’

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South Africa’s ruling party on Tuesday condemned “disparaging remarks” attributed to US President Donald Trump about the country’s late first black president Nelson Mandela.

In a memoir to be released this week, Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen accused the president of making racist comments about black leaders — including his predecessor Barack Obama and South African anti-apartheid icon Mandela.

The alleged racism was reported by The Washington Post over the weekend after it obtained a copy of the book ahead of publication.

According to the Post, Cohen quotes Trump saying he did not consider Mandela a “real leader” and praising white-minority rule in apartheid South Africa.

The country’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) party on Tuesday expressed outrage over Trump’s alleged “disparaging remarks”.

“All freedom-loving people of the world are appalled by these insults… from a person who, himself, is not a model of competent leadership,” the ANC said in a statement.

“Trump is a divisive, misogynistic and disrespectful person,” it added, noting that Mandela stood in “stark contrast to Trump” and “understood the value of international friendship”.

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The Nelson Mandela Foundation has meanwhile “noted” the comments attributed to the US president.

In a statement on Monday, the Foundation said “leaders who conduct themselves in the way Mr Trump does” were not well-placed to offer “authoritative commentary” on Mandela’s life and work.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany responded by describing Cohen as a “disgraced felon” and “disbarred lawyer”.

“He has lost all credibility, and it’s unsurprising to see his latest attempt to profit off of lies,” McEnany said in a statement emailed to AFP on Tuesday in reaction to the ANC’s comments.

Mandela was elected in 1994 after almost three decades in jail for leading a political struggle against the apartheid regime, which officially ended that year.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner is widely hailed as a hero of South Africa’s liberation movement.

Mandela stepped down after five years in office and later retired from political life.

He died in December 2013 aged 95.


Vanguard News Nigeria.

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