CAPE TOWN, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) -- A senior official of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) on Friday rebuked U.S. President Donald Trump's "shithole" remarks about developing countries.
Trump was "extremely offensive" when he used the term "shithole countries" to describe developing countries, ANC Deputy General Secretary Jessie Duarte told reporters in East London, Eastern Cape Province, where the ANC is to hold its 106th anniversary celebration on Saturday.
The U.S. leader has been under fire at home and abroad after he reportedly referred to Haiti and African nations as "shithole countries" during a meeting on an immigration deal with a group of bipartisan lawmakers at the White House on Thursday. But Trump later denied calling countries in Africa and elsewhere "shithole countries," saying he used tough language but not the pejorative expression attributed to him.
Trump's denial, however, failed to alleviate outrage among developing countries.
Developing countries do have difficulties, but they are not "shithole countries," Duarte said, while calling Trump's remarks as "unfortunate."
"Ours is not a shithole country, neither is Haiti or any other country in distress," said Duarte.
The United States itself has its own problems such as unemployment among millions of people, inequality and non-access to healthcare for many poor people, Duarte said.
The ANC, Duarte said, will not deign to make comments as derogatory as Trump's to describe the United States.
The ANC is not in a position to stop any president from any country from saying anything they wish, she said.
South Africans went on the social media to vent their outrage over Trump's remarks.
Opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane tweeted that Trump's "abhorrent" remarks confirm his patronizing view of Africa and promote a racist agenda.
"Africa/U.S. relations will take strain from this, with a leader who has failed to reconcile humanity," Maimane said.
"The most disturbing thing about Trump's 'shithole' remarks is the way in which his White House encourages assimilation. If that's not a mark of white supremacy, I don't know what is," reads another tweet.