Setting tone for post-presidency, Obama will speak in South Africa on tolerance

The choice of Mandela and South Africa are freighted with symbolism for Mr. Obama at a time when his political legacy is being dismantled by his successor, President Trump, who crudely disparaged African countries and complained about laws that would protect immigrants from those places.

“It gives him an opportunity to lift up a message of tolerance, inclusivity and democracy at a time when there are obviously challenges to Mandela’s legacy around the world,” said Benjamin J. Rhodes, a former speechwriter for Mr. Obama who still advises him.

“Mandela,” he added, “endured far darker times than anything we’re enduring today.”