AFRICAN MIRROR REPORTER
THE ANC, South Africa’s governing party, has angrily dismissed US President Donald Trump as divisive, misogynistic and disrespectful in response to reports that he made disparaging remarks about Nelson Mandela.
According to a book written by Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer, titled Disloyal: A Memoir, the US president said Mandela, who led South Africa through a difficult transition from apartheid to democracy, was no leader. Trump reportedly said Mandela “f…….d the whole country up. Now that’s a s…..t hole. F….Mandela. He was no leader.”
The ANC said people from all over the world were appalled by insults from Trump, whom it described as “a person who himself is not a model of competent leadership.”
“Trump is a divisive, misogynistic and disrespectful person ever to occupy the office of the president,” the ANC said, pointing out the stark contrast between Mandela and Trump.
The ANC described Mandela as a unifying and principled leader who 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 relationship 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.
The Nelson Mandela Foundation said Trump was not in a position to speak on Mandela and offered him advice from a leader who was respected by the world. “ We don’t believe that leaders who conduct themselves in the way Trump does are in a position to offer authoritative commentary on the life and work of Madiba. Madiba once said: ‘A good leader can engage in a debate franklys and thoroughly knowing that at the end he and the other side must be closer, and thus emerge stronger. You don’t have that idea when you are arrogant, superficial and uninformed.’ We would recommend these words to Trump for consideration.”
Trump has called Cohen “a rat,” and a liar, and Cohen has said he faced repeated death threats from Trump supporters.
Trump, a Republican, is seeking re-election and will face Democrat Joe Biden at the polls on November 3. At the Republican convention in August where Trump was formally nominated to appear on the ballot, speakers defended Trump against past accusations of racism.
Cohen alleged that Trump was dismissive of minorities, and that Trump said during his 2016 presidential campaign that he would not win the Hispanic vote, the Washington Post reported. According to Cohen, Trump said: “Like the blacks, they’re too stupid to vote for Trump.”
Cohen is serving time for tax evasion, false statements and campaign finance violations, the last related to payments to silence women who alleged affairs with Trump before the 2016 presidential election.
He was released to home confinement in May given the risks of catching COVID-19 in prison but then was briefly imprisoned again in July. A federal judge then ruled Cohen had been subjected to retaliation for planning to publish his book and ordered him released again. – Thomson Reuters Foundation.