South Africa calls Trump ‘misinformed’ over land policy

August 23 , 2018

South Africa has hit back at Donald Trump who recently twitted about the country’s land reform policy and the “large-scale killing” of farmers.

On Wednesday Trump said he had asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo “to closely study the South Africa land and farm seizures and expropriations and the large scale [sic] killing of farmers.”

“The presidency has noted Trump’s tweet, which is misinformed in our view,” South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s spokeswoman Khusela Diko was quoted as saying on Thursday.

“South Africa totally rejects this narrow perception, which only seeks to divide our nation and reminds us of our colonial past,” a tweet by the president’s office said. 

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

Diko said South Africa’s foreign minister will ask the U.S. ambassador for clarification.

Land reform in South Africa has recently emerged as a dominant and potentially explosive issue.

A South African cabinet minister reportedly said Trump’s message will not affect future relations between the two countries.

“The tweet has not determined our approach to the United States on our current relationship and future relationship,” communications minister Nomvula Mokonyane told reporters.

Ramaphosa on August 1 announced the ruling African National Congress (ANC) is forging ahead with plans to change the constitution to allow the expropriation of land without compensation.

South African grower association last week called for ‘meaningful and sustainable’ land reform, while farming organization Agri SA said it was “deeply concerned” about the issue.

 

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