Obama made no direct reference to his successor but warned that “politics of fear and resentment” were spreading, driven by leaders who scorned facts and told lies with an “utter loss of shame”. He also blasted climate-change denial, race-based migration policies, unbridled capitalism and “strongman politics” — stances often cited as the hallmarks of Trump’s controversial presidency.
Obama spoke to a crowd of more than 10,000 people at a cricket stadium in Johannesburg in the centrepiece event of celebrations 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 threatening to return to an older, more dangerous, more brutal way of doing business,” Obama said.
On migration, he appeared to take a sharp jab at Trump saying “it is not wrong to insist that national borders matter … but that can’t be an excuse for immigration policies based on race or ethnicity or religion.” On climate change, he attacked the entrenched scepticism shown by Trump and others American conservatives in the face of scientific evidence. “You have to believe in facts, without facts there is no basis for cooperation,” he said.