Donald Trump land reform tweet sparks angry South African reaction

24 August, 2018, 04:44 | Author: Angel Logan
  • Trump asks Pompeo to 'study South Africa farm seizures'

Posted at just past 10 p.m., the tweet credited Fox News host and commentator Tucker Carlson - who had presented a piece about South African farmers earlier that evening.

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

The Natives Land Act of 1913 prohibited Blacks from buying or renting land in "white South Africa" and led to the white government taking land from Black South Africans.

"South Africa totally rejects this narrow perception which only seeks to divide our nation and reminds us of our colonial past", the government wrote on Twitter.

Doing so would require a change to South Africa's still-young constitution, and the government's plans-still light on detail-have kicked up enormous controversy in the country.

The conspiracy theory originally sprouted from a plan by the South African government to amend the country's constitution to allow the government to seize land without compensation. Land expropriations with compensation at market rates have been going on for decades, but have so far done little to shift the balance of land ownership and economic power in the nation.

Trump's tweet appeared just days after first lady Melania Trump took a very different approach to Africa, announcing she would be visiting several countries on the continent in October in her first big solo global trip. The restriction tightened during the apartheid era, as the governing National Party created desolate "homelands" for black people.

However, the South Africa president said it would be done in an ordered manner and there would be no land grabbing.

"It is becoming more important than ever, that the ANC and government move to clarify how the land reform programme will be carried out", Rand Merchant Bank analyst Mpho Tsebe said. Outraged countries swiftly summoned US ambassadors to explain the comment - much as South Africa on Thursday was reaching out to the US Embassy to clarify the latest remarks.

Whites, who account for just 8% of South Africa's population, own 72% of the country's individually owned farm and agricultural land, according to the government's Land Audit report in November.

What is the reaction in South Africa?

"We would hope that the President would try to understand the facts and realities of the situation in South Africa, rather than repeat disturbing, racially divisive talking points used most frequently by white supremacists".

No. The constitution has not yet been changed and since 1994 the ANC has been following a willing-buyer-willing-seller module to redistribute land.

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

South Africa's has long attempted to right the wrongs of apartheid in its country, owning up to its racist past.

Proponents of South Africa's policy, including Ramaphosa, say it is necessary to address historic injustices and can be done in a way that is lawful and will not compromise the beleaguered economy or food security. Trump tagged Carlson in his tweet.

It took a year and a half to name the top Africa diplomat in the State Department.



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