2016-11-10 09:53
Donald Trump supporters (top) celebrate his U.S. presidential election victory on Wednesday, while supporters of his rival Hillary Clinton (above) are glum after her defeat.

Donald Trump supporters (top) celebrate his U.S. presidential election victory on Wednesday, while supporters of his rival Hillary Clinton (above) are glum after her defeat. (Reuters)

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Locals have voiced their shock and disappointment after hearing the news that Donald Trump is the United States’ president elect.

Many have said their dismay was attributed to the comments Trump made during his campaign about women, Muslims, foreigners and the LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transvestite, intersex) communities.

Most local groups said they believed Trump’s reign as president would bring with it racial tensions and an increase in economic and social inequality.

Director for the local Gay and Lesbian Network Anthony Waldhausen said they were stunned and still are coming to terms with “what the U.S. people have voted in”.

“His anti-LGBTI remarks have been documented in the run-up to the elections and he wants to revoke progressive laws in the U.S. states that protect LGBTI people or recognise gay marriages,” Waldhausen said.

He said Trump’s poor treatment of women in general and anti-Muslim comments don’t bode well for these communities as well.

Waldhausen said the Gay and Lesbian Network’s concern was Trump’s shift in foreign policy to not fund many organisations from outside the U.S. and who depend on foreign funding.

These include the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (Pepfar) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAid) that the Obama administration championed.

“Also another concern is, will he uphold many international human rights instruments that the U.S. is part of?” Waldhausen said.

Local Islamic academic and teacher Mohamed Saeed expressed his disappointment and shock at the election of the man he dubbed “Islamophobic Donald Trump” as president.

“I pray for my Muslim brothers and sisters in faith and also for Americans in general for their well-being and protection from this gross travesty of justice and democracy,” Saeed said.

Saeed said he believed Trump’s rhetoric against Muslims and vulnerable groups won him his votes. “His presidency will be a tragedy for immigrants, women, human rights and the rule of law,” he said.

Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business CEO Melanie Veness said she was personally “profoundly” disappointed that so many Americans supported Trump. She described Trump as a man who appeared to have no tolerance for diversity “and who holds such bigoted and misogynistic views”. “From a business perspective, I think we can be grateful that our trade agreements with the U.S. are in place. Hopefully the somewhat panicky market response, which has caused volatility in the rand, will be short-lived,” Veness said.

Northdale resident Rachel Soobiah said a Republican win was not good for South Africa, but she believes not much would change as South Africa has a strategic importance in terms of mineral resources. Blackridge resident Alleyn Diesel said Trump’s brand of hatred would continue to spread throughout the world with damaging effects on the well-being of all humanity.

Read more on:    donald trump  |  pietermaritzburg

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