South Africa accuses Trump of stoking racial divisions after land policy tweet

South Africa accuses Trump of stoking racial divisions after land policy tweet

South Africa accuses Trump of stoking racial divisions after land policy tweet

South Africa has described a tweet by Donald Trump ordering his secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, to look into the alleged seizure of farms and "large-scale killing of farmers" as polarising and based on false information and lobbying, as the furore over the president's comments continues.

"(The) South African Government is now seizing land from white farmers", Trump tweeted.

In the invitation, President Cyril Ramaphosa said, "the proposed amendment would need to reinforce the fundamental principles of the property clause, which among other things, prohibits the arbitrary deprivation of property and holds that expropriation is possible in the public interest subject to just and equitable compensation".

Later Thursday, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the administration's position was that land expropriation without compensation "would risk sending South Africa down the wrong path".

Trump's tweet touched on the overwhelmingly white ownership of farmland in South Africa - one of the most sensitive issues in the country's post-apartheid history.

"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", the ADL concluded.

"Reforming the land distribution and ownership will be good for South Africa", said independent political analyst Nic Borain.

Some say Trump's tweet may be aimed at white voters in the United States ahead of the U.S. midterm elections in November.

The latest development came as South Africa's Parliament is accelerating a process to amend the Constitution to cater for land expropriation without compensation.

Trump rarely turns his attention to Africa - the tweet was his first since he became president to mention the continent by name - but when he does it often backfires.

The deputy president said the expropriation of land would be done in a manner which does not prove to be detrimental to the economy and agriculture.

The stark disparity stems from purchases and seizures during the colonial era that were then enshrined in law during apartheid.

As with most of Trump's tweets, it is far from the truth and neglects the decades of apartheid and racism in South Africa.

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.

South Africa's national discussion on land reform has been open and transparent since it began 24 years ago. We know the US, Britain and the European Union will come for us After the Donald Trump tweet we are more determined to expropriate our land. "Second, there is no "large scale killing of farmers" going on in South Africa", Flake tweeted.

The ADL explained how Trump's claims are actually part of a long-standing effort by white supremacists to falsely paint white people as victims of genocide.

The South African government was quick to respond Thursday.

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