The Nelson Mandela Foundation has “celebrated” the projected defeat of Donald Trump’s presidency and urged President-elect Joe Biden to fix the problems of “racism, sexism, xenophobia and Afrophobia”.
Trump had had a falling out with the foundation after it emerged in Michael Cohen’s latest book, Disloyal, Trump’s former personal lawyer, that the president said Mandela was “no leader.”
The comments drew angry reactions from the foundation, across Africa and the ruling ANC in South Africa.
Mandela has been widely hailed across South Africa as a symbol of peace who led the country out of apartheid in the early 1990s. Often described as the “Father of the Nation,” Mandela won the Nobel Peace Prize alongside former leader Frederik Willem de Klerk in 1993 for their work in creating a new democratic South Africa.
Reacting to Trump’s projected loss in a statement on Sunday, the foundation said, “It is with a sense of relief that we have seen President Donald Trump defeated in the US presidential election. Like many around the world, we celebrate the fact that we won’t have to watch him undermining democratic institutions and listen to him bringing the most powerful office in the world into disrepute for another four years. Now begins the daunting task for the US of undoing the Trump administration’s deepening of racism, sexism, xenophobia, Afrophobia and many other intersecting vectors of prejudice and hatred.
“We congratulate President-elect Joe Biden and Vice-President elect Kamala Harris on what has been a successful but punishing election campaign. We look forward to seeing the White House occupied by a leadership team which understands the central importance of human dignity. We take special pleasure from the fact that Mz Harris is the first woman in US history to fill the position of Vice-President.
“We wish Mr Biden and Ms Harris well in what will be a difficult transition. We call on Mr Trump to embrace the democratic process, support the transition, and begin contributing to the healing of a deeply fractured society. As Nelson Mandela often used to say, a good leader knows when to step down. And how to do so appropriately. It’s not too late for Trump to embrace dignity, for himself and for others.”
Mr Trump is yet to concede and Mr Biden’s win remains a projection.
The foundation urged Mr Trump to support what it termed a difficult transition.
African leaders have been congratulating President-elect Biden and Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris.
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