South African party leaders slam Trump statement as racist

Published on
12.01.2018 à 21h21
APA News

South Africa’s political leaders have expressed disgust with US President Donald Trump’s description of Africa as a “shithole” during a meeting on immigrants with fellow politicians at the White House earlier in the week.Trump, considered by many observers as the first openly racist US president with German roots from his immigrant father’s side, made his controversial “shithole” statement when he met US legislators who came to see him about a bipartisan – meaning supported by Democrats and Republicans – bill on immigration, which he rejected.

During the meeting he asked why the US had to accept immigrants from “shithole” countries like El Salvador, Haiti and in Africa.

He said he preferred immigrants from Norway because they were white and had blonde hair, according to press reports, quoting sources who attended the meeting.

The United Nations has since condemned Trump’s comments as “racist.”

In South Africa, addressing the media ahead of the ruling African National Congress’s 8 January statement in East London on Saturday, ANC deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte described Trump’s comments as “unfortunate.”

She said the ANC was not in a position to stop any president from any country from saying anything they wished.

“Developing countries do have difficulties, these difficulties are not small things,” she said, adding that the United States also faced difficulties, like unemployment and inequality.

“We would not deign to make comments as derogatory about any country facing such difficulties,” Duarte said.

Opposition Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane described Trump’s comments as “abhorrent.”

“He [Trump] confirms a patronising view of Africa and promotes a racist agenda. Africa-US relations will take a strain from this, from a leader who has failed to reconcile humanity.

“Trump’s hatred of (President Barack) Obama’s roots now extends to an entire continent,” Maimane tweeted.

This was in apparent reference to the current US leader’s eight-year racist rants and claims against Obama, the first black person to hold the presidency, that he was not born in the US, and therefore not fit to be that country’s leader.