US President Donald Trump appears to be paying close personal attention to the land expropriation issue in South Africa, saying that he is looking to “closely study” the situation.
“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. South African Government is now seizing land from white farmers,” Trump said in a tweet.
Trump’s concern over the land issue in South Africa appears to be motivated by a report on Fox News by Tucker Carlson. According to Washington Post reporter John Hudson, Carlson’s clip took Mike Pompeo to task for not criticising SA’s land reform policies.
The Tucker Carlson clip, which some have said creates alarm around the issue of land reform in South Africa, can be seen here:
Afrikaans rights group Afriforum – which has previously declared that apartheid was not a crime against humanity – travelled to the United States in May to lobby international investors to divest in South Africa if the government went ahead with land expropriation without compensation.
Afriforum has also been very vocal about the killings of white farmers in South Africa, even inviting British controversial TV personality Katie Hopkins to South Africa to report on farm murders, which she claimed were a result of ethnic cleansing.
Meanwhile, the Constitutional Review Committee of Parliament said on Wednesday that it was considering a preliminary report on written submissions, and an initial report on the nationwide public hearings conducted over the past two months on the proposal to amend section 25 of the Constitution to allow for expropriation of land without compensation.
Replying to questions in the National Assembly on Wednesday President Cyril Ramaphosa urged members of Parliament to focus on stability in the country and on the achievement of development through transformation.
He said a programme of land redistribution was required to heal the historical “festering wound” of land dispossession and enable the transformation and development without which South Africa will experience instability.
Ramaphosa said the government was working with its social partners to address the immediate economic challenges and to affect far-reaching reforms, that will place the economy on a new path of inclusive growth and job creation.