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.