South Africa 28.8.2018 11:04 am

SA asks to meet US officials over Trump’s tweet

US President Donald Trump arrives for a ceremony to present Valerie Nessel, widow of Air Force Tech Sgt. John Chapman, with his Medal of Honor in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC on August 22, 2018.                
Chapman was killed on March 4, 2002, while trying to save fellow service members on a mountain in Afghanistan.
 / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN

US President Donald Trump arrives for a ceremony to present Valerie Nessel, widow of Air Force Tech Sgt. John Chapman, with his Medal of Honor in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC on August 22, 2018. Chapman was killed on March 4, 2002, while trying to save fellow service members on a mountain in Afghanistan. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN

Dirco Minister Lindiwe Sisulu says the department is waiting for the arrival of the ambassador of the US so that South Africa’s policies can be correctly conveyed to Trump.

South Africa’s Department of International Relations (Dirco) has asked to meet with United States (US) officials following that country’s president Donald Trump’s recent tweet about “land and farm seizures… and the large-scale killing of farmers”. In the tweet, Trump requested Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to monitor the situation in South Africa.

EWN reports that the department has indicated its displeasure over Trump’s statement, and said the matter will be prioritised. Dirco has contacted the deputy ambassador of the US to discuss the matter.

Meanwhile, Dirco Minister Lindiwe Sisulu speaking on the SABC on Monday night clarified that South Africa is not doing anything inappropriate with its land reform programme.

Commenting on British Prime Minister Theresa May’s visit on Tuesday, Sisulu said Dirco has made it a point to explain the nuances of South Africa’s land reform policy to Britain, as they are South Africa’s strongest trading partner,

“The UK has a very vibrant High Commission here, which is able to explain to them what it is we are doing. We have been extremely transparent,” Sisulu said.

The minister further said land reform should have been done shortly after the dawn of democracy.

“We took time because we wanted to make sure that we get everybody on board, and that we’re not seen in the light is now currently being painted. It would seem our magnanimity was our downfall,” Sisulu said.

She said the department eagerly awaits the appointment of an official ambassador from the US in South Africa to ensure the country’s issues, and incidents are conveyed correctly to Trump.

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