South Africa is planning to formally protest President Trump’s reported remarks referring to Haiti, El Salvador and some African nations as “shithole countries.”
South Africa’s government on Monday is expected to issue a diplomatic protest to the U.S. Embassy in Pretoria, CNN reported.
“The Department will provide an opportunity to the Charges de Affaires to explain the statement that African countries, alongside Haiti and El Salvador, constitute ‘shitholes’ from where migrants into the United States are undesirable,” the South African Department of International Relations said in a statement
The statement noted that Trump’s denial of the reports “was not categorical, referring only to Haiti and not addressing the entirety of the statement attributed to him.”
“South Africa aligns itself with the statements issued by the African Union and the Africa group of Ambassadors to the United Nations in New York. Africa is united in its affirmation of the dignity of the people of Africa and the African diaspora,” the statement added.
“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.”
Trump has faced widespread backlash for the comments he reportedly made during an immigration meeting with lawmakers at the White House.
The African Union previously demanded
an apology from Trump over the comments. His comments were also condemned by a group of African ambassadors to the United Nations, who demanded a retraction and an apology.
Several lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have criticized the comments, with some accusing Trump of racism.
Trump claimed Friday on Twitter he “never said anything derogatory about Haitians.”
“Never said anything derogatory about Haitians other than Haiti is, obviously, a very poor and troubled country. Never said ‘take them out,'” Trump tweeted.
“Made up by Dems. I have a wonderful relationship with Haitians. Probably should record future meetings – unfortunately, no trust!”
Trump on Sunday also pushed back
on claims that he is a racist.
“No. I’m not a racist. I’m the least racist person you will ever interview,” Trump told reporters while entering Trump International Golf Course, according to a White House pool report.