Some Urge Nelson Mandela Foundation to Disinvite Barack Obama
Members of South Africa's Cage Advocacy group and other South African activists are calling on the Nelson Mandela Foundation to withdraw their invitation to former President Barack Obama to speak at the Foundation's 16th annual lecture, taking place in Johannesburg on July 17. The activists released a letter claiming that Obama's presidency is remembered in Africa for its expansion of U.S. military operations, drone attacks, and special operations on the continent. They say that the invitation is not in line with Nelson Mandela’s legacy. “Giving [Barack Obama] a platform would be tantamount to condoning these actions, something that Nelson Mandela would surely have stood against,” they wrote in the seven-page letter, which then goes on to detail examples of what they view as reasons to back their request, including an “ongoing, endless war in Africa”; “Drone attacks around the world”; and “Atrocities in Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantanamo Bay.” They finish the letter by saying, “we will continue to campaign against the lecture and the presence of Obama in South Africa. It will also cast the Foundation in a highly unfavourable light both among many Muslims and other key members of our civil society.” More here.