Mzansi crowns Patrice Motsepe our 'unofficial president' after Mandela lecture

Barack Obama

While delivering a lecture in Johannesburg in South Africa on Tuesday, July 17, former US president Barack Obama urged governments, especially in Africa, to embrace inclusive capitalism.

On climate change, he said: "You have to believe in facts; without facts there is no basis for co-operation".

Obama pointed out that he was standing at this podium, more than a quarter century after Mandela walked out of prison, to say that "we are all human".

The celebrations of Mandela came as South Africa is still reeling from a corruption scandal that saw former President Jacob Zuma, of Mandela's African National Congress (ANC) party, resign in disgrace in favor of Cyril Ramaphosa.

One of the world's most admired former presidents Barack Obama has acknowledged that racism still exists in the United States and in South Africa.

I am not being alarmist, I'm simply stating the facts. "Look around", he said, during the event marking the 100th anniversary of the anti-apartheid revolutionary's birth.

But Obama reminded the crowd that "we've been through darker times".

Barack Obama
Obama to make rare high-profile speech on Mandela's legacy

"Just by standing on the stage honoring Nelson Mandela, Obama is delivering an eloquent rebuke to Trump", said John Stremlau, professor of worldwide relations at Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg, who called the timing auspicious as the commitments that defined Mandela's life are "under assault" in the USA and elsewhere.

This a direct rebuke of the notion that only people who are oppressed for some reason-because of their race, gender, sexuality, disability status, size, etc. -should be allowed to speak on issues relating to said difficulties. "It's on the move at a pace that would have seemed unimaginable only a few years ago".

South Africans are being encouraged to do a good deed for at least 67 minutes today or contribute financially to a good cause in honour of former President Nelson Mandela.

"It should make us hopeful‚ but if we can't deny the real strides our world has made since that moment when Madiba took steps out of confinement‚ we have to recognise ways in which the global order has fallen short of its promises".

"Politicians have always lied, but it used to be if you caught them lying, they'd be like, 'oh man!' Now they just keep on lying", he said to laughs from the crowd. "We see the utter loss of shame among political leaders where they're caught in a lie, and they just double-down, and they lie some more".

Without ever using his name, Obama delivered a repudiation of many tenets of President Donald Trump's regime, pillorying a politics of fear and hate in favor of one built on inclusion and acceptance. This year's theme is titled "Renewing the Mandela Legacy & Promoting Active Citizenship in a Changing World", more than 4,000 people are expected to attend. We have to figure out how to close the widening gap of wealth and opportunity, both within countries and between them. "The man went to prison for nearly three decades". After becoming president he sent a copy of the photo to Mandela, who kept it in his office.

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