ANC responds to alleged Donald Trump attack directed at Mandela and other black leaders
Johannesburg – The ANC has lashed out at US President Donald Trump after it was reported he had made disparaging remarks about Nelson Mandela and his ability to successfully run a country.
On Tuesday the party issued a statement condemning Trump after the Washington Post reported on Saturday that Michael Cohen, US Trump's former personal lawyer, is alleging in a new book that the US leader used foul language against Mandela.
According to the American newspaper, Cohen wrote that following Mandela's death in 2013, Trump said: "Mandela f---ed the whole country up. Now it's a s---hole. F--- Mandela. He was no leader."
Cohen also alleged that Trump said: "Tell me one country run by a black person that isn't a s---hole. They are all complete f---ing toilets."
Firing back at Trump, the ANC said all freedom-loving people of the world were appalled by these insults which came from a person who, himself, was not a model of competent leadership. The party added that Trump was a divisive, misogynistic and disrespectful person ever to occupy the office of the President.
“The icon of our struggle, President Nelson Mandela stands in stark contrast to Trump. A unifying and principled leader, President Mandela reached out to the world and sought to bring peace and a just society. President Mandela also believed in good trade and sound diplomatic relations.
“He forged a strong friendship with President Bill Clinton, interacted with political leaders across the political spectrum and never let go of his principles for pragmatic short term goals,” the ANC said in a statement.
Further, the ANC said if Mandela was still around, he would have offered some leadership lessons to Trump. It added that Mandela was an international icon, a revered freedom fighter and a great leader who would be remembered and celebrated for centuries to come.
“The ANC is confident that President Mandela would have reached out to Donald Trump to teach him to understand the complex challenges of the developing world and shown him the wisdom to lift the blockade against Cuba.
“He would have invited him to visit Gaza to appreciate the pain of the Palestinian people and advised him to work with the international community to help find a lasting solution to the conflict in the Middle East. President Mandela understood the value of international friendship amongst the countries of the world. The mark of a true leader is not how many enemies you create but how many friendships you cultivate even where strong differences of opinion exist,” the party said.
While the American diplomatic mission in South Africa has stayed clear of the controversial remarks by not saying anything, White House spokesperson, Kayleigh McEnany is said to have responded to the allegations by attacking Cohen's credibility, pointing out he was a convicted liar.