News24 Wire
Wire Service
3 minute read
25 Jan 2020
11:54 am

Motsepe’s ‘Africa loves Trump’ statement an insult – EFF

News24 Wire

The party said Motsepe's remarks were made 'in an attempt to pursue his selfish business interests'.

South African billionaire mining businessman, Patrice Tlhopane Motsepe (C) and Global Citizen CEO Hugh Evans at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, 30 November 2018, during the Global Citizen Festival Mandela 100 - inmate Conversation ahead of the 2018 Global Citizen Festival. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

The EFF has lambasted Patrice Motsepe for telling Donald Trump that “Africa loves him”, saying the statement was “selfish, false, driven by greed and utterly regrettable”.

Motsepe was caught on camera addressing Trump at the World Economic Forum in Davos this week.

“Africa loves America. Africa loves you. It’s very, very important. We want America to do well. We want you to do well. The success of America is the success of the rest of the world,” Motsepe told Trump.

Trump thanked Motsepe and said that he did a great job.

“These remarks are a gross misrepresentation made in an attempt to pursue his selfish business interests,” the party said in a statement.

The EFF added that “Trump’s anti-black racism is well known” and that he ran an “openly racist campaign against President Obama regarding his birthplace”.

The party also referenced the case of the Central Park Five, five teenagers wrongfully convicted of raping a jogger, saying that Trump had been at the forefront of the “modern day lynching” of the accused.

“Motsepe’s statement is an insult to the African-Americans who have been directly affected by Trump’s racism … Motsepe has no business whatsoever talking about the continent’s love to a racist. His remarks must be dismissed with contempt,” the EFF’s statement said.

Trump’s views on Africa came into the spotlight in January last year, when it was reported that during a meeting with lawmakers who had raised the issue of protections for immigrants from African nations, Haiti and El Salvador, the president reportedly demanded to know why the United States should accept immigrants from “shithole countries” rather than – for instance – wealthy and overwhelmingly white Norway.

Trump’s comments sparked outrage which he tried to quell, by claiming he had not used such strong words.

“The language used by me… was tough, but this was not the language used,” Associated Press reported at the time.

This was, however, in contrast with what Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, the only Democrat at the meeting, had described Trump as having said. Durbin said Trump’s remarks on the matter were “vile, hate-filled and clearly racial in their content”. He said Trump used the most vulgar term “more than once”.

Trump then penned a letter to the African Union, explaining how much the United States respected the continent.

“I want to underscore that the United States deeply respects the people of Africa, and my commitment to strong and respectful relationships with African nations as sovereign nations is firm,” Trump wrote in the letter.

“Our soldiers are fighting side-by-side to defeat terrorists and we are working together to increase free, fair and reciprocal trade,” he said.

The letter was not made public, but its existence was confirmed by Chris Meade, a diplomat with the US delegation to the AU, AFP reported at the time. Meade declined to comment on its contents, but an AU source confirmed to AFP the accuracy of the text of the letter circulating on social media.

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