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Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Des Van Rooyen. Picture Credit: Gallo Images
Van Rooyen suddenly withdraws his interdict

In another twist involving the public protector’s office‚ the Minister of Co-operative Governance an.

Obama's human after all

By unknown | Mar 10, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

A newspaper editor who could not honour an appointment with then US Senator Barack Obama during his 2006 visit to South Africa could be forgiven for his error.

The editor had no idea that the man he could not make time to meet would soon be living in the White House.

He also did not know that the man, born of a Kenyan father, would in less than three years lead the office that leads the world politically and economically.

The editor certainly did not know that the first black president of the world's most powerful nation started his political career as a student who participated in a stage act that was a campaign to bring to the world's attention the evil apartheid system in his country and the need to fight it.

All these details of how Obama, a Democrat driven by the desire to help the poor, especially African Americans, became the president of the US can be found in his biography.

In the biography - Yes We Can - Garen Thomas takes the reader through the journey of how the man born of a white American mother and a black African father had bridged the identity barrier.

Having attended a primary school where there were only two black pupils in his entire class, we learn that Obama had experienced his fair share of racism.

He had to put up with the insults of some of his classmates as they told distasteful stories about African people living in jungles.

The reader also learns that the future US president only knew his father when he was young and the rest were stories that were told to him by family members.

Though he did not get his father's mentoring, Thomas writes that Obama inherited many of his father's good qualities, which included a sharp mind.

Obama's first encounter with politics was at Occidental College in 1980, when a guest from the ANC was invited to speak to the students about the apartheid system.

Before the speaker could take the platform, Obama and his friends planned to set a scene in which Obama would address the audience, and other students would disrupt him to demonstrate that black people in South Africa did not have a voice.

The plan backfired because Obama got carried away and could not stop talking.

As he continued climbing the political ladder, the author reveals that Obama, who attended the most elite schools, easily won the hearts of his white countrymen.

Thomas also reveals how Obama had failed to honour his promise to visit the land of his father's birth and in the process missed his funeral.


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