Donald Trump hit again. In one of those polemical tweets that only he has the secret, the boss of the White House said he was worried about the agrarian reform announced by his South African counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa.
“I asked Secretary of State @SecPompeo to study closely land and farm seizures, expropriations and large-scale killings of farmers in South Africa,” Donald Trump wrote on his Twitter account, inspired by a program broadcast by the very conservative television channel Fox News.
Not surprisingly, the Pretoria authorities promptly responded to the presidential tweet.
“South Africa totally rejects this narrow vision of dividing the nation and reminding us of our colonial past,” his government wrote on Twitter, promising that its land reform would be “cautious and inclusive.”
On the eve of the 2019 general elections, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa wants to accelerate the reform of the land in order to “repair the serious historical injustice” committed against the black majority during the colonial period and apartheid .
South African Foreign Minister Lindiwe Sisulu lamented Donald Trump’s “unfortunate” comments, based on “false information” and asked for “clarifications” in Washington.
“Do not touch South African affairs!”, Julius Malema, Head of Fighters for Economic Freedom (EFF, radical left), told the US president. “We are not afraid of you,” he added, calling him a “pathological liar”.
The controversy affected Thursday the South African rand, which lost up to 2% in the morning against the US dollar before recovering.
Ramaphosa’s reform aims to rectify land imbalances in South Africa, where the white minority (8% of the population) owns 72% of farms compared to only 4% of blacks (80% of the population), according to the government .
To remedy this, the president has decided to expropriate large farmers without compensation and wished to amend the Constitution.
The discussion is ongoing but, contrary to what Mr. Trump has said, the project has not yet been implemented.
On Wednesday again, the South African head of state confirmed to Parliament his intention to carry out “expropriations without compensation” but rejected any nationalization and promised to “strengthen property rights”.
Many blacks welcome his reform, but whites are openly worried.
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