Nelson Mandela Foundation Responds to Trump's Alleged Negative Comments About South African President's Legacy

Nelson Mandela
Getty Images

The Nelson Mandela Foundation has clapped back at alleged comments made by President Donald Trump, which included allegedly slamming South Africa’s first democratically elected president and praising the apartheid regime.

The comments were said to have been made by Trump and published in his former attorney and fixer Michael Cohen’s forthcoming book, “Disloyal.” In the book, Cohen claims that Trump said apartheid-era South Africa had been "beautiful" and that Nelson Mandela had "f***** the whole country up." Trump's alleged comments were made following Mandela's death in December 2013.

Following the claims made by Cohen in his book, which were reported on by various media outlets, including NPR, the Nelson Mandela Foundation released a statement.

“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 statement 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." 

Mandela, who spent 27 years in prison as a political prisoner, was released in 1990. In 1994, he was the first democratically elected president in South Africa’s history and served one term.


They Know South Africa’s Struggle. They Say America Has a ‘Silent Apartheid.’ 

Famous Nelson Mandela Impersonator Dies of Coronavirus Day After Mandela’s 102nd Birthday

Continuing the Walk to Freedom: Nelson Mandela’s Grandson on His Quest to End AIDS and Inspire Others to Lead