About 200 South Africans protesting President Obama’s visit to their country gathered Friday a few blocks away from the Pretoria hospital that’s treating Nelson Mandela, chanting about the White House’s “arrogant, selfish and oppressive” foreign policy.
“We had expectations of America’s first black president. Knowing Africa’s history, we expected more,” said Khomotso Makola, 19, Reuters reported. “He has come as a disappointment. I think Mandela would be disappointed and feel let down.”
The protesters — mostly student activists Communist Party members and union members — are particularly upset with Mr. Obama’s use of drones for overseas military strikes, Reuters reported.
They are also angry with his failure to close Guantanamo Bay — a first-term campaign promise.
Mr. Obama is on a three-nation tour of Africa. It wasn’t clear if he would visit with Mr. Mandela, 94, who’s been recovering from a lung infection for about three weeks. White House officials said the president would defer to Mr. Mandela’s wishes, Reuters reported.
Mr. Mandela is in critical but stable condition. Doctors say his condition improved somewhat late Wednesday evening, various media reported.