Trump in no position to comment on Madiba: Nelson Mandela Foundation

The Nelson Mandela Foundation has responded to reports that US President Donald Trump made disparaging remarks about Madiba. File photo.
The Nelson Mandela Foundation has responded to reports that US President Donald Trump made disparaging remarks about Madiba. File photo.
Image: Reuters

The Nelson Mandela Foundation says US President Donald Trump is not in a position to offer “authoritative commentary” about former president Nelson Mandela.

The comment follows revelations in a book written by Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen saying the US leader made disparaging remarks about Mandela, as well as US minorities.

Cohen wrote that after Mandela's death in 2013, Trump said: “Mandela f---ed the whole country up. Now it's a s---hole. F--- Mandela. He was no leader.”

The Washington Post, which reported that it had obtained a copy of the book, added that Trump said he did not think Mandela “was a real leader — not the kind he respected”.

“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 in a statement.

“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,” it added.

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