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Presidency seeks clarity from US on Trump’s land, farm killings tweet

President Donald Trump has said he had asked his Secretary of State to ‘closely study the SA land and farm seizures’ and the killing of farmers.

FILE: President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

CAPE TOWN/JOHANNESBURG - The Presidency wants clarity on a perplexing tweet sent out by US President Donald Trump on South Africa’s land issue.

In a tweet, he says he has asked his Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, to closely study farm seizures and the killing of farmers. But he’s given no context or clarity.

Trump was responding to comments on Fox News’ show, Tucker Carlson Tonight, where the host claimed that President Cyril Ramaphosa has changed the Constitution to “steal land from white citizens because they have the wrong skin colour”.

Ramaphosa’s spokesperson, Khusela Diko, says: “The president [Ramaphosa] has already asked the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Lindiwe Sisulu, to get clarification from the US Embassy. And it’s only at that point where we’ll be able to further engage on the matter.”

WATCH: ‘South Africa begins seizing land from white farmers’

The tweet by Trump has sparked outrage on home soil.

The Economic Freedom Fighters’ deputy president, Floyd Shivambu, has joined many South Africans in reacting on social media.

He says citizens will never be intimidated by global racists who believe in lies.

RAMAPHOSA ACCUSED OF BEING A COWARD

Trump was responding to talk show host Carlson who called Ramaphosa a racist and a coward for expropriating land without compensation, which he labelled a human rights tragedy.

“The State Department did not mention that by following the rule of law, he has changed the Constitution to make it possible to steal land from people because they’re the wrong skin colour.”

Carlson interviewed Marian Tupy for the show, whom he introduces as a South African.

Tupy, an editor of humanprogress.org, says Ramaphosa is making a mistake.

“Barack Obama should pick up the phone, call Cyril Ramaphosa and tell him that if he wants to continue to enjoy the good press he’s been having, he needs to reverse the policy.”

The report falsely claims that the Constitution has already been changed in order to allow expropriation without compensation.

The US State Department is yet to comment on Trump’s controversial request.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)

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