Trump Tangles with South Africa on Confiscation of White Farmers' Land

Aug 25, 2018, 22:04
Trump Tangles with South Africa on Confiscation of White Farmers' Land

Trump tweeted that he had asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to look into the controversial policy of the South African government to accelerate a program taking land from mostly white-owned landowners to be given to the country's large black majority - in some cases without compensation to owners. "The expropriation of land without compensation", Nauert told reporters, "would risk sending South Africa down the wrong path".

A visibly angry Glaude was having none of it. "That's far more racist than anything Donald Trump has ever done, of course, but elites in America barely even care". "Here this is a morally debased man who will do anything to protect himself and to divert attention from the fact that he has been noted as a non-indicted co-conspirator in a felony".

The Anti-Defamation League issued a statement criticizing Trump's missive, saying that it echoed white supremacists.

But black and white South Africans alike are worrying that the plan could lead to an economic collapse, just as it did in Zimbabwe.

His spokeswoman said Trump was "misinformed" and the foreign ministry would seek clarification from the U.S. Embassy in Pretoria.

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Since 1994, the government has offered compensation to willing sellers of farmland in order to promote fair distribution, but the slow pace of land reforms led to a proposal of direct action a year ago.

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.

Trump made the announcement via Twitter late Wednesday in the wake of a highly contentious plan by the South African government that would allow for the expropriation of land without compensation.

The rand currency fell more than 1.5% against the dollar after Mr Trump's tweet on concerns economic sanctions could be imposed.

The director-general said the future of agriculture in South Africa is white and black farmers working together, funded by government.

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Stremlau said the controversy caused by Trump's tweet was not good for race relations in either the US or South Africa.

Trump's tweet touched on the overwhelmingly white ownership of farmland in South Africa. In May, its leaders went to the U.S.to lobby officials and institutions about Ramaphosa's proposal to expropriate land and the alleged targeting of white farmers.

The new policy, Mandela said, is part of an attempt to "find a lasting and just solution and we will bring an end to land poverty just as we brought a peaceful end to apartheid".

Diko said the South Africa's foreign minister will ask the USA ambassador for clarification. For example, South Africa reported a murder rate of almost 34 people per 100,000 in 2016, compared to 5.35 per 100,000 in the United States in the same year.

Right-wing and white nationalist groups, including AfriForum, a white Afrikaner rights group with 200,000 members, have pushed back against the practice and promoted a narrative of widespread "farm murders" and attacks on white farmers, many of which have not been independently verified. We opposed that obviously, it was wrong 25 years ago and it is wrong now.

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