US President Barack Obama is currently travelling to several African states and was recently in Senegal. Before heading to his final destination of Tanzania, on his three-country visit on the continent, Obama is scheduled to arrive in South Africa on Friday afternoon. His visit to the country, however, has not been warmly received by several socio-political groups in South Africa who have highly criticized the US President’s foreign policies and attitude towards Africa.
About Obama’s visit to South Africa this weekend, the International Relations secretary of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), Mr. Bongani Masuku, has said;
“We call on all workers, communities and activists, particularly working with our alliance partners, the SACP and the ANC, as well as the various progressive civil society formations, to join the announced activities throughout the country, to demand an end to US warmongering and for a new foreign policy based on respect for human dignity and justice for the people of the world, including the people of the US itself.”
At the University of Johannesburg where President Obama is due to be awarded an Honorary Doctrate from the university, the Student Representative Council have led a week-long protest, starting on June 21st, and have circulated a petition against the university’s decision to award President Obama this honor.
In the above cartoon, renowned and controversial South African cartoonist Zapiro comments on the political baggage and highly publicized scandals that both Barack Obama and Jacob Zuma have been involved in during their presidencies.
Following his stay in Johannesburg, President Obama will make his way to Cape Town where he will host an invite-only event at the University of Cape Town’s main campus. As a result, the entire campus will be off limits which is, at the very least, a bit of an inconvenience for many of us students.