Mandela foundation responds to Trump’s alleged remarks on Madiba’s legacy

US President Donald Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen in his book – ‘Disloyal, a Memoir: The True Story of the Former Personal Attorney to President Donald J Trump’ – wrote that Trump praised the apartheid era rule in South Africa.

US President Donald Trump speaks during the daily briefing on the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, at the White House on 19 March 2020, in Washington, DC. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG – The Nelson Mandela Foundation has criticised US President Donald Trump for allegedly making disparaging remarks about South Africa’s first democratically elected president.

Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen in his book – Disloyal, a Memoir: The True Story of the Former Personal Attorney to President Donald J Trump – wrote that Trump praised the apartheid era rule in South Africa, and apparently said that Mandela had messed up a whole country and was no leader.

In a statement on Monday, the foundation said that leaders who conducted themselves in the way that Trump does were not “in a position to offer authoritative commentary on the life and work of Madiba.”

“The Nelson Mandela Foundation has noted the statements attributed to the US President Donald Trump about African leaders in general and Nelson Mandela in particular, in a book by Michael Cohen titled: ‘Disloyal’.

“We do not believe that leaders who conduct themselves in the way Mr Trump does are in a position to offer authoritative commentary on the life and work of Madiba,” the foundation said.

“Reflecting on leadership, Madiba once said: ‘A good leader can engage in a debate frankly 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 Mr Trump for consideration.”

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