South Africa lashes Trump over land ‘seizures’ tweet

South Africa lashes Trump over land ‘seizures’ tweet

South Africa lashes Trump over land ‘seizures’ tweet

Residents erect shacks during an illegal land occupation in Khayelitsha township, Cape Town, South Africa, April 7, 2015.

Carlson, who enjoys the coveted 8 p.m. time slot on Fox, said the South African president was "seizing land from his own citizens without compensation because they are the wrong skin color".

Mr. Trump's tweet on the issue cited a report that night by the Fox News host Tucker Carlson. Activists like Ramaphosa push land expropriation to fix that "imbalance."

Britain's public broadcaster the BBC reported that no farms have been seized since the ANC came into power in 1994.

"There is no white genocide in South Africa", Julius Malema, leader of the opposition Economic Freedom Fighters party, told reporters.

"South Africa totally rejects this narrow perception which only seeks to divide our nation and reminds us of our colonial past", the South African Foreign Ministry said in a statement Wednesday.

"This conference has resolved that the expropriation of land without compensation should be among the mechanisms available to government to give effect to land reform and redistribution", he said in a closing address at his party's conference.

When Ramaphosa assumed the presidency at the end of a year ago, he urged consideration of expropriation without compensation, so long, he said, as the government's actions didn't threaten the economy or food security.

The alleged plight of white South Africans is a major rallying cry of far-right movements across North America, Europe and Australia.

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The ANC has long had a strained relationship with the U.S. Republican administration, mainly over United States support for Israel.

Senator Cory Booker, the top Democrat on the Africa subcommittee, said Trump's tweet showed a "painful ignorance". "You have caused enough problems in Africa", he told journalists.

"Everyone in South Africa should ... hope that the pressure from the U.S. will lead to the (ruling party) reconsidering the disastrous route that they want to take South Africa on", AfriForum CEO Kallie Kriel said in a statement Thursday. Prior to this initiative, white landowners were able to sell their land back to the government so it could be redistributed to black South Africans.

Agricultural organization AgriSA said earlier this year that farm murders were at a twenty-year low, with 47 murders over a one-year period in 2017-18.

Progress has been slow and most South Africans believe something has to be done to accelerate change, providing it does not hurt the economy or stoke unrest.

The South African government insists that its land redistribution measures are not about invading and seizing land but about expanding opportunities for black South Africans to take over agricultural land that is now lying fallow.

To AfriForum Deputy CEO Ernst Roets, Trump's interest in South Africa's land distribution policies is evidence that his group's messaging is working.

"That there will be instability and worries about property rights is inevitable, but we don't expect that the government will act in a way that radically destabilises investor security".

"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". "There is a black genocide here in South Africa; just recently a farmer was convicted for the murder of a black farmer".

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