South Africa hits back at Trump over land seizure tweet

24 August, 2018, 04:46 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
  • US President Donald

His tweet followed a piece on Fox News about South Africa's planned land reforms - and he tagged Fox News host Tucker Carlson.

She said that she would communicate with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo through diplomatic channels.

Though there appears to be resistance from government to Trump's comments on land reform, relations between South Africa and the U.S. are set to continue as normal according to communications minister Nomvula Mokonyane.

"South Africa will speed up the pace of land reform in a careful and inclusive manner that does not divide our nation".

Today, almost a quarter-century after the first democratic elections, black South Africans, who comprise 80 percent of the population, still own just 4 percent of the country's land, according to the government.

Kriek said all the presidents of the major organised agriculture organisations in South Africa would sign a declaration of intent to take responsibility for land reform on 27 August. The restriction tightened during the apartheid era, as the governing National Party created desolate "homelands" for black people.

While the ANC first agreed in December that the constitution be changed, the populist Economic Freedom Fighters, which has won support from young voters in impoverished townships by vowing to nationalize everything from land to banks, tabled a motion proposing the amendment in parliament in February.

Ramaphosa said that creating employment, in particular for young people and women, is the most urgent and critical priority for the government.

The US State Department on Thursday said it believed expropriation without compensation "would risk sending South Africa down the wrong path". "We must ensure ownership of land for all South Africans", he tweeted.

The idea that South Africa is being racist against white farmers has been percolating online, and finally worked its way up to one of Trump's favorite pundits.

The website of the U.S. embassy in South Africa was unavailable as of 9:30 pm local time, showing only the notification it was "experiencing technical difficulties".

"South Africa totally rejects this narrow perception which only seeks to divide our nation and reminds us of our colonial past", the country's government tweeted back at Trump. Though the government is likely to change its constitution, it has not done so yet. Opponents say it is a threat to food security and the economy.

Critics point to the controversial land reform programme in neighbouring Zimbabwe that led to the violent eviction of white farmers and dramatic falls in agricultural output.

"This is huge", wrote Lauren Southern, who traveled to a white part of South Africa to create a "documentary" praising the concept of a white ethno-state and warning of white genocide in South Africa.

It quickly posed a challenge for the State Department's new top diplomat on Africa, Tibor Nagy, who took up the position of assistant secretary of state for African affairs several weeks ago after it had sat empty since Trump entered the White House.

Trump's tweet did find some supporters. "There is a black genocide here in South Africa; just recently a farmer was convicted for the murder of a black farmer".


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