New York Times lambasts Trump for vile ploy on South Africa

26 August, 2018, 10:04 | Author: Edward Snyder
  • File President Donald Trump claims the US is closely monitoring the South African land reform process

Trump tweeted on Wednesday night that he had asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to look into "South Africa land and farm seizures and expropriations and the large scale killing of farmers". These policies are reflected in the extreme inequality in land ownership in South Africa today, where blacks make up 80 percent of the population but as the latest Land Audit Report shows possess title deeds to only 4 percent of all farms and agricultural holdings by individual land holders.

We have noted the tweet by President Trump and the allegations it makes against the South African government.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the United State believes that land confiscation without compensation in South Africa would take that country down the wrong path.

Racial tensions have continued to run high among South Africa's black majority and white minority since the end of apartheid in 1994, a time that many black South Africans could not own their own land.

Mr. Trump's tweet early Thursday followed a Fox News segment claiming South Africa had started seizing white-owned farms.

Earlier this year, Australian immigration minister Peter Dutton sparked a diplomatic row after he said that Canberra should give "special attention" to white South African farmers seeking asylum.

Since becoming president, Trump has largely left Africa to drift, meeting only a handful of African heads of state and leaving key diplomatic positions - the ambassador to South Africa, for one - unfilled.

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

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.

"The rand recovery has not been in isolation but rather in line with that of its emerging market peers on the back of a weakening USA dollar", IG South Africa senior market analyst Shaun Murison said.

European colonists stripped most of South Africa's black natives of their right to own property under a 1913 law.

According to Reuters, while violence has been a serious issue in the nation and 47 farmers were killed in 2017 and 2018, it actually marks a 20-year record low for farm murders.

Trump's tweet came days after it was announced that his wife, Melania, would travel to Africa in October for her first major solo worldwide trip as first lady.

AfriForum, which earlier this year lobbied in the USA against the proposed amendment of the Constitution, welcomed Trump's tweet, saying it was a victory for property owners and everyone.

In South Africa, Trump's tweet was met with mixed reactions.

"The deputy president assured farmers government isn't going to do anything reckless", said conference speaker Tshilidzi Matshidzula, 30, a dairy farmer with 1,000 cattle on his ranch in the country's Eastern Cape province.

"We have to inform him, we have to invite him to visit us", added Mr Smith, overlooking the conference venue's vehicle park, full of the white Toyota pickup trucks beloved of South African farmers.



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