South Africa accuses Trump of stoking racial divisions after land policy tweet

South Africa’s land expropriation could trigger default warns agricultural bank

"South Africa totally rejects this narrow perception which only seeks to divide our nation and reminds us of our colonial past", said the government on an official Twitter account. "'South African Government is now seizing land from white farmers'".

South African lawmakers are now debating expropriation of some 150 farms in the country, including whether a constitutional amendment would be needed to move forward with the plan and what compensation might look like.

"The proposal on expropriation without compensation is one element of a broader programme of land reform that seeks to ensure that all citizens can have their land rights recognised, whether they live in communal areas, informal settlements or on commercial farms", Ramaphosa wrote.

South African foreign affairs minister Lindiwe Sisulu said Trump's statement "is based on false information".

There is no guarantee that expropriations will ultimately be limited to land; once momentum begins to build, it is probably inevitable that they will extend to other spheres of the economy.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on August 1 that the ruling African National Congress (ANC) plans to change the constitution to allow the expropriation of land without compensation, as whites still own most of South Africa's territory.

But plans to change the constitution have yet to be approved by parliament, and there is a vigorous debate in South Africa about how land redistribution would work - and whether seizures could be economically damaging as they were in post-independence Zimbabwe.

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President Donald Trump's announcement that he has directed his Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, to "study the South Africa land and farm seizures and expropriations and the large scale killing of farmers" is another indication of the damage that the reckless handling of South Africa's "land question" is doing.

Violent crime is a serious problem across South Africa and 47 farmers were killed in 2017-18, according to statistics from AgriSA, an association of agricultural associations.

This comes after US President Donald Trump's controversial tweet.

The new policy, Mandela said, is part of an attempt to "find a lasting and just solution and we will bring an end to land poverty just as we brought a peaceful end to apartheid".

"The US has a lot of power", he said.

Trump's tweet came days after it was announced that his wife, Melania, would travel to Africa in October for her first major solo global trip as first lady.

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