JOHANNESBURG — Several prominent world leaders are under fire after photos were released of them drunk and unruly at a private after-party in Johannesburg, just hours after having attended a sombre memorial for Nelson Mandela.
British Prime Minister David Cameron was photographed taking a self-shot — a so-called “selfie” — while U.S. President Barack Obama and Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt danced in the background.
A spokesperson for Cameron said the photograph was “taken out of context” and that the Prime Minister “has the utmost respect for South Africa in its time of mourning — it was just that [Venezuelan President] Nicolas Maduro had challenged him to a rum-drinking contest, and things got fuzzy afterwards.”
British newspapers immediately condemned the behaviour, with the Daily Mirror’s Wednesday headline saying, “Drunk Cameron shames UK with ancient iPhone 3G.”
The White House released a statement saying that although President Obama regretted having stayed out so late, he had a really good night and enjoyed playing beer pong with Cuban President Raul Castro.
“President Obama is pretty good at dealing with hangovers,” the statement said, “and he was up at 7 a.m. to go jogging.”
One notable absence at the after-party was South African President Jacob Zuma. Sources say he spent the evening alone, smoking filterless cigarettes and insisting the booing he faced when he spoke at the memorial was barely audible over the thunderous cheers.