Trump wants Pompeo to study South African land seizures, farm killings
Advertisement

Trump wants Pompeo to study South African land seizures, farm killings

Washington: US President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he had asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to "closely study the South Africa land and farm seizures" and the killing of farmers there.

"I have asked Secretary of State @SecPompeo to closely study the South Africa land and farm seizures and expropriations and large scale killing of farmers," Trump said in a post on Twitter.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on August 1 that the ruling African National Congress (ANC) was forging ahead with plans to change the constitution to allow the expropriation of land without compensation, as whites still own most of South Africa's land more than two decades after the end of apartheid.

Trump's tweet appeared to be a response to a Fox News report on Wednesday that focused on South Africa's land issue and murders of white farmers.

Advertisement

The State Department has not commented on Ramaphosa's announcement. It was not immediately available for comment on Trump's tweet.

Since the end of apartheid in 1994, the ANC has followed a "willing-seller, willing-buyer" model under which the government buys white-owned farms for redistribution to blacks. Progress has been slow.

US President Donald Trump and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa. Photos: Bloomberg, AP

US President Donald Trump and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa. Photos: Bloomberg, APCredit:

South Africa's state-owned Land Bank said on Monday a plan to allow the state to seize land without compensation could trigger defaults that could cost the government 41 billion rand ($3.9 billion) if the bank's rights as a creditor were not protected.

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

In January, South Africa protested to the US embassy in Pretoria about reported remarks by Trump that some immigrants from Africa and Haiti come from "shithole" countries.

South Africa's foreign ministry called the remarks, which sources said Trump made during a meeting on immigration legislation, "crude and offensive" and said Trump’s subsequent denial was not categorical.

In May, then Australian home affairs minister Peter Dutton asked his department to look into a special refugee intake of white South African farmers subject to violence, murder and persecution in their homeland.

This raised the ire of the South African government.

Reuters, Fairfax Media