Prominent South African businessman and founder of African Rainbow Minerals, Patrice Motsepe, has been appointed to the board of trustees of the World Economic Forum.
The announcement comes amid a social media uproar over a video in which Motsepe can be seen telling US President Donald Trump that Africa loved him and America.
Social media is divided with some expressing their dismay at the mining mogul’s display of affection and speaking on behalf of the continent, while others have praised him for his business acumen.
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Earlier on Friday, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni said remarks by Motsepe to US President Donald Trump were not representative of the South African government. Mboweni said that Motsepe as an individual has the right to share his opinion and feelings with anyone.
“I think he was well within his rights to express his views. He was very clear that he wasn’t speaking on behalf of the South African government. He doesn’t have the kind of arrogance to speak on behalf of the SA government. And he was in a private meeting and they were having a private conversation and it is perfectly in his own right. People must leave him alone okay.”
WATCH: Motsepe interacts with US President Donald Trump
Motsepe at a Donald Trump engagement. When you sit with the leader of the most powerful nation on earth you don’t need any further validation do you? pic.twitter.com/xPx2qQL2Nt
— Sure Kamhunga (@SKamhunga) January 24, 2020