In a meeting with the United States of America’s Embassy in Pretoria, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) Minister, Lindiwe Sisulu, conveyed the unhappiness of the people and the government of South Africa – following a tweet by President Donald J. Trump.
“The US Charge d’Affaires was informed to convey to Washington that Pretoria is disappointed about Washington’s failure to use the available diplomatic channels,” said DIRCO.
On Wednesday night, Trump tweeted: “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.”
Sisulu said Trump’s tweet was “based on false information and lobbying by certain South African lobby groups that seek to derail and frustrate the land redistribution programme”.
SA’s PR department, SAnews.co.za, reports that DIRCO urged the Charge d’Affaires to indicate to Washington that the people of South Africa, of all races, are working together through Parliament and other legal platforms to find a solution to this historic challenge and that President Trump’s tweet serves only to polarize debate on this sensitive and crucial matter.
According to DIRCO, at the end of the meeting, the Charge d’Affaires committed to convey the Minister’s message to Washington immediately.
DIRCO listed key factors for consideration by the US and the international community at large regarding South Africa’s land redistribution:
That it is following a consultative process in addressing the issue of land and agrarian reform and that it will not allow land grabs and anarchy in the process of finding a solution to the land issue. In this regard, President Cyril Ramaphosa has directly addressed investors and agricultural associations and will continue this process of engagement and consultation with all stakeholders to find solutions that are in the best interest of the country, the economy and the people of South Africa.
President Ramaphosa has also consistently indicated that this process will be undertaken within the confines of the Constitution and in a manner that grows the economy, ensures food security, and increases agricultural production. He has also, in Parliament, underlined that the Government would not support calls for the nationalisation of land.
“The government of South Africa wishes to caution against alarmist, false, inaccurate and misinformed, as well as – in some cases – politically-motivated statements that do not reflect the policies and intentions of the South African government,” said DIRCO.