State Dept warns South Africa of ‘wrong path’ amid land expropriation row

US President Donald

US President Donald

He fired off a tweet after the network's host Tucker Carlson accused Ramaphosa, in a segment Wednesday, of seizing white farmers' land without compensation.

Trump wrote overnight: "I have asked Secretary of State (Mike)..."

The government earlier tweeted that it "totally rejects this narrow perception which only seeks to divide our nation". On Thursday‚ Trump tweeted that he was looking into South Africa's land seizures.

Despite doubling the number of working of people in South Africa since 1994, the unemployment rate remained stubbornly high and that is due to a growing population and the increasing number of people who enter the workforce, while the country failed to create enough jobs to keep up, the president said. The conspiracy theory is based on the very real - and very controversial - issue of post-Apartheid land reform in South Africa.

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. The Natives Land Act of 1913 restricted black people from buying or renting land in "white South Africa", leading to the forced removals of black people.

Trump's tweet appeared just days after first lady Melania Trump took a very different approach to Africa, announcing she would be visiting several countries on the continent in October in her first big solo worldwide trip. "There is black genocide in the United States of America; black people are killed every day". "Only solutions of land reform that are South African will work in South Africa".

Since 1994, the government has offered compensation to willing sellers of farmland in order to promote fair distribution, but the slow pace of land reforms led to a proposal of direct action previous year.

It's not clear what the Trump administration could, or would, do to get involved in South Africa's land controversy - especially considering that the US has not had an ambassador to the country since December 2016 because Trump has not yet appointed anyone to the post.

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It was not immediately available for comment on Trump's tweet.

An online petition titled "Genocide of whites in South Africa", which calls on Trump to allow "white Boers to come to the United States", has garnered almost 23,000 signatures.

"The constitution has not yet been changed and ... the ANC has been following a willing-buyer-willing-seller module to redistribute land".

It quickly posed a challenge for the State Department's new top diplomat on Africa, Tibor Nagy, who took up the position of assistant secretary of state for African affairs several weeks ago after it had sat empty since Trump entered the White House. "Trump's tweet on the land issue has been negative for the rand but we have to wait and see what comes out from that".

NAN reports that US.

Critics of expropriation without compensation have pointed to neighbouring Zimbabwe, which saw some violent attacks on white farmers, alongside the seizure of their land, which has been widely blamed for the the country's economic collapse.

In this photo from October 30, 2017, people place white crosses, representing farmers killed in the country, at a ceremony at the Vorrtrekker Monument in Pretoria, South Africa.

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