South Africa’s government accused Donald Trump of hysteria on Thursday after he questioned its plans to seize white-owned agricultural land and asserted that white farmers were being murdered on a “large scale”.
Stirred into action after watching a television programme on land reform in South Africa, the US president instructed his secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, to study both the killing of farmers and “farm seizures and expropriations”.
Mr Trump did not disclose what action he might take should the State Department report negatively. His comments prompted a fall in South Africa’s currency, the rand.
The instruction, made on Twitter rather than through a formal channel, came after Fox News, the cable television channel, incorrectly reported that white-owned farmland had already been seized, an error the president repeated.
However, Cyril Ramaphosa, the South African president, is introducing legislation that would allow agricultural land to be taken from white farmers without compensation.
The president’s tweet was strongly condemned by politicians in South Africa, while the government — which said it would issue a protest “through diplomatic channels” — said it could undermine confidence in the land reforms.
Source : News Online