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Trump wades into SA land debate with 'large scale killing of white farmers' tweet

23 August 2018 - 06:57 By Naledi Shange
US president Donald Trump. File photo.
US president Donald Trump. File photo.

South Africa's land expropriation debates have caught the eye of United States president Donald Trump.

On Thursday‚ Trump tweeted that he was looking into South Africa's land seizures.

"I have asked Secretary of State @SecPompeo to closely study the South Africa land and farm seizures and expropriations and the large scale killing of farmers. 'South African Government is now seizing land from white farmers' @TuckerCarlson @FoxNews‚" Trump tweeted.

This comes just hours after President Cyril Ramaphosa answered tough questions in Parliament on the issue of land expropriation.

During a question-and-answer session‚ Ramaphosa rejected a proposal that the state should be the sole owner of all land in the country.

South Africans came out guns blazing on Twitter after US president Donald Trump sent out a tweet early on Thursday August 23 2018 claiming that white farmers were being murdered for their land in South Africa.

Earlier this week while addressing black commercial and emerging farmers at a gala dinner at the Agribusiness Transformation conference‚ Ramaphosa signalled that South Africa would become unstable if the state did not speed up land reform.

“If we do not address it‚ it is going to cause instability in our country. If there is any risk‚ it will be around the land issue‚" Ramaphosa said.

“Many of you as farmers would like access to land. It is necessary that we should do this to give access to those among us that want to work the land‚ so that we can heal this festering wound of the past. The only way to heal that wound is to give land to our people‚” he said.

Even those people who have land are now beginning to realise the injustices of the past‚ he said.

“It will also bring about stability … We have embarked on a process of accelerated land reform. Some are getting terrified‚ some are even sending false messages abroad . . . It [land expropriation without compensation] has ignited a vigorous and welcomed debate.

“It has required that we confront the injustices of the past. Even those people who have land are now beginning to realise the injustices of the past.”

Ramaphosa said land expropriation without compensation was only one of the mechanisms the government was using to effect land reform.

“This whole process is but one of the mechanisms that we are going to utilise to effect land reform. The others are programmes that we have had in place for a long time . . . All South Africans want to know they have security of tenure around property rights.”

Earlier this month‚ controversy raged over an assertion that the government has already identified 139 farms which would be expropriated without compensation.