South Africa calls Trump 'misinformed' over land policy

Sunday, 26 Aug, 2018

Trump's tweet appeared to be a response to a Fox News report that focused on South Africa's land issue and murders of white farmers.

South African lawmakers are now debating expropriation of some 150 farms in the country, including whether a constitutional amendment would be needed to move forward with the plan and what compensation might look like.

Trump was apparently responding to a Fox News report on Wednesday.

Mabuza assured the farmers that there would be no aggressive land grabs and that they were not in danger of being pounced on for their land.

There is no evidence that this is happening.

Even though apartheid ended in 1994, the white community that makes up 8 per cent of the population "possess 72 per cent of farms" compared to "only 4 per cent" in the hands of black people who make up four-fifths of the population, Mr Ramaphosa said. Of these, 59 victims were white farmers.

"In other words, 'nothing to see here, ' says Mike Pompeo's State Department", the host said. Instead, it documents several instances of discrimination against black South Africans.

"I have asked Secretary of State @SecPompeo to closely study the South Africa land and farm seizures and expropriations and the large-scale killing of farmers".

She also said expropriation without compensation "would risk sending South Africa down the wrong path".

Claims of "genocide" against white South Africans, however, have been picked up by some white nationalists in the USA, and leaders of a right-wing South African group traveled to the U.S.in May to lobby officials about the alleged targeting of white farmers. They also did an interview with Carlson at the time.

Many South Africans were stunned.

In this regard, President Cyril Ramaphosa has directly addressed investors and agricultural associations and will continue this process of engagement and consultation with all stakeholders to find solutions that are in the best interest of the country, the economy and the people of South Africa.

"Is white genocide about to enter mainstream discourse?"

United States diplomatic representatives have also been told of Pretoria's disappointment with "Washington's failure to use available diplomatic channels", a reference to Trump's use of social media.

Still, Trump's tweet Wednesday was met with anger from the South African government, which characterized his unsubstantiated claim as "misinformed".

Today, almost a quarter-century after the first democratic elections, black South Africans comprise 80 percent of the population but own just 4 percent of the country's land, according to the government. "We are making progress", Roets wrote, retweeting Trump. We have a democratic government.

Fierce opposition to the plan-and the notion that white farmers have been subjected to "large scale killing" as mentioned by Trump-is a frequent subject of discussion in the corners of the internet inhabited by white supremacists and white nationalists, Reveal journalist Aaron Sankin noted. The goal of the organizers, which included representatives from major neo-Nazi, racist skinhead, "traditional white supremacist", Christian Identity groups, as well as racist prison gangs, was to stop the alleged "genocide of Whites" in South Africa.