How the world covered Trump's tweets about expropriation in South Africa


Trump rarely turns his attention to Africa - the tweet was his first since he became president to mention the continent by name - but when he does it often backfires.

"More than a quarter-century after the end of apartheid, South Africa once again becoming a place where an entire group of people is targeted for discrimination and violence on the basis of their skin color".

The rand currency dropped more than 1.5 percent against the US dollar in early trade on Thursday after Trump's tweet had circulated in South Africa, before trimming its losses.

South Africa has accused US President Donald Trump of seeking to sow division after his tweet referring to the "large-scale killing of farmers".

This tweet followed a segment on "Tucker Carlson Tonight" in which the Fox News host reported that South Africa's government had already started expropriating the land of white farmers without pay, a policy South Africa's government insists it has not implemented and which would require a constitutional amendment that is now working its way through the legal process.

On Wednesday, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa told parliament that increasing access to land for the poor would happen in an orderly fashion and would initially focus on making state property available.

Ennerdale residents illegally erecting shacks on a piece of land.

In a statement, the South African government said it "totally rejects this narrow perception which only seeks to divide our nation and reminds us of our colonial past".

Whites, who account for just 8% of South Africa's population, own 72% of the country's individually owned farm and agricultural land, according to the government's Land Audit report in November.

When Ramaphosa assumed the presidency at the end of past year, he urged consideration of expropriation without compensation, so long, he said, as the government's actions didn't threaten the economy or food security.

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The redistribution of land was a fundamental principle of the governing African National Congress (ANC) during its struggle against white-minority rule. South Africa is a strong democracy with resilient institutions, including a free press and an independent judiciary.

"I can tell you that our embassy has had meetings with the South African the last day or so".

"There is no white genocide in South Africa", Julius Malema, leader of the opposition Economic Freedom Fighters party, told reporters.

"Everyone in South Africa should hope that the pressure from the US will lead to the (ruling party) reconsidering the disastrous route that they want to take South Africa on", AfriForum's CEO Kallie Kriel said in a statement on Thursday.

He often lauds "Fox & Friends", which is a Fox News program that he had a weekly segment on called "Mondays with Trump" for several years starting in 2011. Farmer killings are actually at a 20-year low, according to statistics released in July.

Today, almost a quarter-century after the first democratic elections, black South Africans, who comprise 80 percent of the population, still own just 4 percent of the country's land, according to the government.

Progress has been slow and most South Africans believe something has to be done to accelerate change, providing it does not hurt the economy or stoke unrest.

Spokeswoman Heather Nauert said expropriating land without compensation "would risk sending South Africa down the wrong path", but she did not repeat the president's suggestion that large numbers of white South African farmers had been killed.

It was one of Trump's first tweets on Africa since he took office.

It is also important to remember that the murder rate in South Africa is exceptionally high.