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South African Government Slams Trump for Remark on Land Reform in Country

CC BY 2.0 / South African Tourism / Farmhouse, Free State - South Africa
Farmhouse, Free State - South Africa - Sputnik International
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - US President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he had ordered Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to probe alleged land grabs from white farmers in South Africa.

"I have asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to closely study the South Africa land and farm seizures and expropriations and the large scale killing of farmers," he tweeted.

A man holds an African National Congress flag as South African ruling party African National Congress supporters gather to listen to President Jacob Zuma delivering a speech during an Election campaign rally at Umasizakhe stadium in the Eastern Cape city of Graaf-Reinet on April 10, 2014 - Sputnik International
South Africa Vows to Avoid Zimbabwe-Style Land Grabs Targeting White Farmers
Trump said he had requested the investigation after a Fox News report on seizures of land belonging to white farmers by the South African government.

The South African president’s office will seek an explanation from the US Embassy about President Donald Trump's tweet on land reform, the state broadcaster SABS reported.

"The presidency has noted Trump's tweet, which is misinformed in our view. We will take up the matter through diplomatic channels," President Cyril Ramaphosa's spokeswoman said.

A similar stance has been voiced by South African Foreign Affairs Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, who noted that it was unfortunate that Trump's tweet on land issues in her country was "based on false information."

"It is regrettable that the tweet is based on false information. The Minister has thus instructed the Department to meet with the US Embassy in Pretoria to seek clarification on the matter today, 23 August 2018," the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry emphasized that Foreign Minister Lindiwe Sisulu would also communicate with US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo through diplomatic channels.

A news channel reported that South African President Cyril Ramaphosa had begun seizing land purely due to skin color and without offering any compensation.

READ MORE: System of 'Ethnic Domination' in South Africa Has to be Changed — Activist

The outlet said it had obtained a comment from the State Department, downplaying the events as a "difficult issue of land reform" and pointed to Ramaphosa’s pledge to follow the rule of law.

Early this month, the South African government announced that the constitution would be amended to allow for the expropriation of land without compensation. The move led to fears that the country would erupt in violence.

In December, the African National Congress (ANC), South Africa's ruling party, adopted a resolution providing for the redistribution of land in favor of black South Africans without compensation. Since then the country's authorities have been engaged in discussions with the aim of deciding on measures to help implement the plan.

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