Johannesburg - Barack Obama, the first black president of the United States, opened his speech honouring South Africa's first black president Nelson Mandela by saying that "each day's news cycle is bringing more head-spinning and disturbing headlines."
"Strongman politics are ascendant, whereby elections and some pretence of democracy are maintained while those in power seek to undermine every institution or norm that give democracy meaning," Obama said, just a day after a controversial summit between US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Obama said "those in power seek to undermine every institution ... that gives democracy meaning."
"It is in part because of the failure of governments and elites," Obama said, adding that "we are now returning to a more dangerous way of doing business."
Obama said politicians pushing "politics of fear, resentment, retrenchment" are on the move "at a pace unimaginable just a few years ago."