S.Africa hits back at Trump over land 'seizure' tweet

Donald Trump tweets on South Africa land invasions; White farmer killings.. SA is turning into Zim?

Public hearings are now underway to gauge support for a policy proposal by the ruling African National Congress (ANC) to change the constitution to allow for land to be expropriated without compensation for redistribution to poor blacks.

The tweet referred to the policy proposed by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who took office in February.

On 1 August, Ramaphosa announced that the ruling African National Congress (ANC) would move forward with plans to change the constitution to allow the expropriation of land without compensation, a motion passed by parliament in February.

"Trump's announcement follows only three months after AfriForum sent a delegation to the United States of America to inform the Cato Institute (a prominent American think tank), Tucker Carlson (presenter of Fox News) and various other institutions and politicians of the situation in this regard in South Africa", it said in a statement.

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"The expropriation of land without compensation is envisaged as one of the measures that we will use to accelerate redistribution of land to Black South Africans", Ramaphosa said.

The U.S State Department says President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have discussed South Africa's land reform.

"Not surprisingly, South Africa reacted angrily to Mr. Trump's tweet, saying it reflected a 'narrow perception which only seeks to divide our nation and reminds us of our colonial past.' Sadly, it probably reflects even less than that - a clueless grasp at a racially tinged political diversion".

At the State Department, spokesperson Heather Nauert confirmed that meeting. So, facing pressure from rivals in the far-left Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party, the ruling African National Congress (ANC) recently made a decision to move towards claiming white-owned farmland without payment. She added that the USA has encouraged a "peaceful and transparent debate" about land rights in South Africa, adding "that seems to be happening right now".

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Mmusi Maimane, the leader of the main opposition Democratic Alliance party which opposes forced expropriation but backs land reform, said "fear mongering by worldwide leaders adds no value".

The current land expropriation effort dates back to the Native Land Act of 1913, which limited South African land ownership by Africans to 7 percent and was eventually nudged up to 13 percent. "Second, there is no "large scale killing of farmers" going on in South Africa", Flake tweeted.

Earlier this year, Australia's home affairs minister Peter Dutton prompted a diplomatic row with Pretoria. About 8 percent of South Africans are white.

The murders on farms are proportionately higher than South Africa's overall murder rate because farms are generally more remote and exposed, Newham said. "We have not seen that happen in South Africa", she said. Trump's domestic critics accused him of racism, and spreading fake news. It echoed a tweet from 2013: "I really like Nelson Mandela but South Africa is a crime ridden mess that is just waiting to explode - not a good situation for the people!"

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Turning to the media and the backlash after Trump's tweet, Carlson next panned the "media luminaries" who "suggested it was somehow racist to oppose the racist policies of the South African government".

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