South African billionaire businessman Patrice Motsepe has sparked social media debate after telling US President Donald Trump that “Africa loves you.”
Motsepe, the founder and chairman of African Rainbow Minerals, made the comment during a dinner with Trump and top CEOs at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Thursday.
He said, “All we wanted to say is that Africa loves America; Africa loves you. We want Americans to do well. We want you to do well. The success of America is the success of the world.”
‘Which Africa is he talking about?’
Twitter user Ndisha Makhari shared a video of Motsepe making his comments and ignited debate among South Africans on Twitter.
Some questioned why Motsepe was speaking on behalf of all Africans, with Twitter user Dallas Maloka asking, “Which Africa is he talking about?”
“For sure when Patrice Motsepe said Africa loves Donald Trump he was referring to Africa Rainbow Minerals (ARM), not my mother continent,” argued @SAYoungLion.
Patrick Sindane added, “It was wrong for Patrice Motsepe to sing for his supper and commit the entire African continent. It was wrong to express love for Donald Trump on behalf of the continent. He could have simply said, “Trump I love you,” and not say, “Africa loves you.”
‘You love America and Americans’
However, some South Africans came to Motsepe’s defence, arguing that many Africans love American celebrities and other public figures.
Others argued that the businessman, who one of the richest in South Africa, was simply looking out for his interests as an entrepreneur.
Ndzavi Derrick tweeted, “Listening to Motsepe introduce himself and tell Trump he is one of Forbes 100 greatest business minds and is doing business in 50 countries, what came to mind is that as [an] entrepreneur there is no end to introducing yourself and pitching to those with influence no matter how rich.”
“Patrice Motsepe is very intelligent and knows why he said what he said as a businessman, so liberals and commi bandits must just sit down,” added @CiroDavid.
According to Forbes’ latest ranking of billionaires in January 2020, Motsepe is the third richest South African with a net worth of $2.6 billion (about R37 billion).
He became a billionaire in 2008 and besides mining, he has interests in financial services, technology, and sports (owns Mamelodi Sundowns football club and a substantial stake in the Blue Bulls rugby team).