South Africa has protested to the US embassy in Pretoria about reported remarks by US President Donald Trump that some immigrants from Africa and Haiti come from “shithole” countries.
South Africa’s foreign ministry called the remarks, which sources said Trump made earlier this week during a meeting on immigration legislation, “crude and offensive” and said Trump’s subsequent denial was not categorical.
“Relations between South Africa and the United States, and between the rest of Africa and the United States, must be based on mutual respect and understanding,” the foreign ministry said in a statement on Sunday.
It said it would ask the second-in-charge of the US embassy to explain Trump’s comments on Monday.
Trump was widely condemned by many African countries and by international rights organisations for the comments.
Botswana’s foreign ministry earlier summoned the US ambassador in protest.
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana, also tweeted saying the language of Trump that the African continent, Haiti and El Salvador are “shithole countries” is extremely unfortunate.
“We are certainly not a “shithole country”. We will not accept such insults, even from a leader of a friendly country, no matter how powerful,” Nana said.
The African Union Mission in Washington DC also condemned Donald Trump’s derogatory statements allegedly made about Africa and Haiti.
In a statement released on Friday, the mission expressed its disappointment in the president of the United States and demanded a retraction of the comment and an apology to Africans.
The African Union Mission condemns the comments in the strongest terms and demands a retraction of the comment as well as an apology to not only the Africans but to all people of African descent around the globe said the statement.
Ebba Kalondo, spokeswoman for AU Chairperson Moussa Faki, earlier told AFP that Trump’s statement truly flies in the face of accepted behaviour and practice.
According to the statement, the African Union strongly believes there is a huge misunderstanding of the African continent and its people by the current administration and that there is a serious need for dialogue between the US administration and African countries.
President Trump is reported to have called African countries and Haiti shithole countries while discussing immigration with a bipartisan group of senators at the White House.