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Presidency to seek clarity from U.S. embassy over Trump tweet

26 August 2018

Nauert toned down Mr. Trump's language, suggesting that massive land seizures were underway and did not repeat the president's suggestion that large numbers of white South African farmers had been killed.

South Africa's foreign ministry will seek clarification of Mr Trump's comments from the U.S. embassy in Pretoria, President Cyril Ramaphosa's spokeswoman said, adding that Mr Trump was "misinformed".

South African government officials reportedly began their land redistribution program by seizing at least two white-owned farms without agreed-upon compensation in the Limpopo province, according to local newspaper City Press.

Mr Trump's Wednesday tweet, posted on the eve of the "Land Solution" gathering, touched on the overwhelmingly white ownership of farmland in South Africa - one of the most sensitive issues in the country's post-apartheid history.

Later Thursday, South Africa's Foreign Affairs Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said it was regrettable that Trump's tweet was "based on false information", Reuters reported.

Earlier this year, Australian immigration minister Peter Dutton sparked a diplomatic row after he said that Canberra should give "special attention" to white South African farmers seeking asylum.

"President Donald Trump's unfortunate tweet shows disrespect for South Africa's sovereignty and our commitment to justice and redress".

Responding within hours, the government angrily said: "South Africa totally rejects this narrow perception which only seeks to divide our nation and reminds us of our colonial past".

The latest development came as South Africa's Parliament is accelerating a process to amend the Constitution to cater for land expropriation without compensation. It further accused Trump of attempting to divide the nation.

A spokesperson of the government told reporters that members of the diplomatic corps of the United States in Pretoria were summoned by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation to demand from them explanations on those words of Trump in his Twitter account.

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European colonists stripped most of South Africa's black natives of their right to own property under a 1913 law.

The president's tweet did find support among some South Africans, while some farmers spoke out about their security concerns.

"There's a lot going on in America, and there's a lot going on in South Africa", he said.

The New York Times continues: "The White House announced this week that Melania Trump would be traveling to several African countries in October".

"The president asked him to look at the current state of action with regard to land reform", she said, and Pompeo plans to "take a look at it".

South Africa's government reacted angrily to the tweet with officials telling their American counterparts Mr Trump's comments were "alarmist, false, inaccurate and misinformed".

AfriForum, which mostly champions white people's rights in South Africa, welcomed Trump's announcement.

Russian Federation has already agreed to take in 15,000 White South Africans-your move, Mr. President.

Claims of "genocide" against white South Africans, however, have been picked up by some white nationalists in the USA, and leaders of a right-wing South African group traveled to the May to lobby officials about the alleged targeting of white farmers.

Presidency to seek clarity from U.S. embassy over Trump tweet