U.S. president, Donald Trump has tweeted the word ‘Africa’ for the first time as president and it is in defence of whites in South Africa.
Trump is currently having a fallout with South Africans after stating in a tweet that he has directed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to “closely study the South Africa land and farm seizures”.
I have asked Secretary of State @SecPompeo 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.” @TuckerCarlson @FoxNews
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— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 23, 2018
His tweet, which comes on the back of his wife’s announcement to travel solo to Africa, seems to be a response to a news report by Fox that centred on South Africa’s land issue and murders of white farmers.
Here’s the Fox News report that Donald Trump watched before he tweeted that he’s looking at:
“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.” pic.twitter.com/2KogSb3bVj
— Facts About Africa (@OnlyAfricaFacts) August 23, 2018
AfriForum, an organization that mostly represents white South Africans who have described land expropriation as “catastrophic,” travelled to the United States earlier this year to lobby the Senate and other officials, news site VIA reports.
The South African president, Cyril Ramaphosa, last month indicated that his government would go ahead with plans to amend the constitution, allowing land to be expropriated without compensation.
The governing African National Congress’ principle, since its struggle against apartheid, has been on the redistribution of land.
It’s been 24 years since apartheid ended but white people, who make up just 9% of the population, own 72% of the farmland held by individuals, according to government statistics.
Clearly, Trump’s tweet shows that the president seems to be having a “narrow perception” about the situation in South Africa, according to a statement from the South African presidency.
“The presidency has noted Trump’s tweet, which is misinformed in our view,” President Ramaphosa’s spokeswoman Khusela Diko said on Thursday.
“South Africa totally rejects this narrow perception, which only seeks to divide our nation and reminds us of our colonial past.
“South Africa will speed up the pace of land reform in a careful and inclusive manner that does not divide our nation.”
— South African Government (@GovernmentZA) August 23, 2018
The statement added that South Africa’s foreign minister will ask the US ambassador for clarification about the tweet.
But even before that, South Africans are already fuming over Trump’s comments.
Yes! Thank for responding to Trump’s bullsh*t, @GovernmentZA.
He’s being fed lies by @afriforum and the US media in general.
— David Anderson (@MrD_Anderson) August 23, 2018
More than half of the US doesn’t agree with Trump lmao plus he’s facing corruption charges and his associates about to spill the beans with Omarosa about to kick his ass lmfao so this is gonna be entertaining
— 🔥 (@ifrisky_Malik73) August 23, 2018
Please invite President Trump to Alexander township & let him sleep there in a shack only for a night. Also remind him how brutal was apartheid regime when they forced black people out of their prime lands through forced relocation. program. THIS MUST CHANGE & NOW.
— Luka Khaile (@AzielKhaile) August 23, 2018
We can’t allow Trump to destroy us, he doesn’t go to sleep with empty stomach, his kids are not attending public schools. So we do what’s best for SA.
— #Leadership® (@Bucsworldwide) August 23, 2018
He’s desperately trying to distract the attention from his own sh*t 🤔 Not fooling anybody anymore.
— Ellen 🌷❌🌍♊🇪🇺🇳🇱🌈 #FBPE (@CleoMatra) August 23, 2018
Amazing. So @realDonaldTrump is a campaigner against racism? 1984 over and over again.
— Brazilian pedigree (@mlamliroji) August 23, 2018
His tweet is totally unacceptable and the same goes for @FoxNews news for reporting fake news.
— thabiso mashishi (@thabisomashish1) August 23, 2018
We have been divided for too far long and now it is time for the South Africans to share the wealth with equal status. Nor race must be treated better than any other.
— Xolani.W.Sibisi (@XolaniWonderboy) August 23, 2018
Perhaps, this is the time for Trump to start thinking about solving his own internal problems, particularly, as talks about his impeachment take centre stage in the U.S.
Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, on Tuesday, pleaded guilty in a New York court to violating campaign finance laws.
According to him, he had done so at the direction of Trump, for the “principal purpose of influencing [the] election,” news agency BBC reported.
The admission was related to hush money paid to women with whom Trump allegedly had affairs.
On the same day, a jury in Alexandria, Virginia, convicted former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort of bank and tax fraud charges.
These developments have raised assumptions that the president may face legal proceedings.
Since there is a legal debate about the prohibition on indicting a sitting president, the only likely threat Trump faces now is the possibility of him being impeached, meaning charges will be brought against him in Congress which will form the basis of a trial.
The US constitution states a president “shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes or misdemeanours”.
The call for his impeachment has been growing, according to media reports, as people are pushing for the Democrats to make this a central campaign matter ahead of the 2018 midterm elections, which is just about 75 days away.
This period of political storm and other pressing matters of social and economic concern should be the priority of the U.S. president than matters of South Africa, which he is even yet to get an in-depth knowledge about.