In this file photo, President Donald Trump walks on the South Lawn after arriving on Marine One at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)
In this file photo, President Donald Trump walks on the South Lawn after arriving on Marine One at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

LETTER: Donald Trump and PW Botha have much in common

By Paks Pakiriy Time of article published Jun 29, 2020

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OPINION - I often compare PW Botha’s character to that of President Donald Trump.

Both men struggle with the reality of their respective situations, Botha knowing full well that apartheid was falling apart and doomed, while Trump’s dream of a second term is also waning.

Both men lashed out at their critics. The press was lambasted and made into an enemy, becoming an easy scapegoat.

Both men showed bombastic, petulant and narcissist traits, short tempers and were virulently opposed to any reasoning. Botha frightened members of his cabinet with his finger-pointing and temper tantrums.

Trump spews lies at an alarming rate and has spoken over 19 000 untruths.

Botha had his diehard supporters, just like Trump. They saw no evil in Botha’s erratic behaviour.

Botha and his white supporters needed apartheid for their survival.

The black majority was a threat to white civilisation and communists were under every bed.

Botha’s most disastrous speech was made at the Durban city hall, where he failed to cross the Rubicon.

The rand fell to its lowest the next day, touching 19 cents to the dollar and thereafter the bottom fell off the economy.

Similarly, Trump has been upended by all the bad news in the US. The pandemic is growing in leaps and bounds, and his control over matters is fast draining away.

John Bolton’s book has shed more light on Trump’s erratic behaviour and his critics say he is unhinged.

Trump’s Tulsa rally, which was to be a triumphant return, became a damp squib.

Botha eventually had a stroke and faded away, and FW de Klerk took over the mantle of leadership and gave the February 2 speech wherein he crossed the Rubicon.

Paks Pakiriy Durban North

Daily News

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