Previous US president Barack Obama on Tuesday used a compliment to Nelson Mandela to warn that the world had rushed into “strange and indefinite times”, in what is likely to be seen as a veiled attack on Donald Trump.
Obama made no direct reference to his successor but warned that “politics of fear and dislike” were scattering, driven by leaders who scorned facts and told lies with an “utter loss of shame.”
He also blasted climate-change denial, race-based immigration policies, unbridled capitalism and “strongman politics” — stances often cited as the hallmarks of Trump´s contentious position.
“Given the strange and unclear times we are in, each day´s news cycles transports more head-spinning and troubling headlines, I thought maybe it would be useful to step back for a moment and get some perception,” Obama said at the start of his speech.
Obama spoke to a horde of more than 10,000 people at a cricket stadium in Johannesburg in the centrepiece event of festivities 100 years since Nelson Mandela´s birth.
“It is in part because of the failures of governments and powerful elites… that we now see much of the world intimidating to return to an older, more dangerous, more brutal way of doing business,” Obama said.
On immigration, he looked to take a sharp jab at Trump saying “it is not incorrect to insist that national borders matter… but that can´t be an reason for immigration policies based on race or ethnicity or religion.”.
On environment change, he attacked the engrained scepticism shown by Trump and others American traditionalists in the face of logical evidence.