S.Africa hits back at Trump over land 'seizure' tweet

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South Africa accused U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday of stoking racial divisions in a late-night tweet in which he said he had asked U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to study South African "land and farm seizures" and the "killing of farmers".

A visibly angry Glaude was having none of it.

Also on Wednesday, far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones aired his own segment on the South African issue on his show Infowars.

It wasn't the first time the US envoy in South Africa has been summoned over Mr. Trump's words. "Here this is a morally debased man who will do anything to protect himself and to divert attention from the fact that he has been noted as a non-indicted co-conspirator in a felony".

White supremacists in the United States have made such claims for years.

AfriForum, a group that represents some white South African interests, welcomed his comments.

Many on social media said the United States president was not aware of the facts on the ground, with one tweeter poking fun at Mr Trump's apparent ignorance about African countries, when he referred to a country called Nambia past year. Earlier this year, American white nationalist leader Richard Spencer described a "war that is now being waged on South African whites". South African President Cyril Ramaphosa recently announced that his ruling African National Congress (ANC) would look into rewriting the Constitution to allow for uncompensated land seizures.

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Trump's tweet knocked the South African rand by as much as 1.9%-though it has since recovered somewhat-and earned a swift response from the ANC government.

The rand currency dropped more than 1.5 per cent against the U.S. dollar in early trade on Thursday after Mr Trump's tweet had circulated in South Africa.

While Trump deflects and sets his sights on Africa, amid a hush money scandal involving his ex- lawyer Michael Cohen, a South African cabinet minister said on Thursday that his tweet won't affect the U.S. relationship with the country. Today, whites represent about 9 percent of South Africa's population but own about 72 percent of the farmland held by individuals, according to BBC. However, farm murders are at a 20-year low.

KELEMEN: Here in the USA, though, far-right groups have been warning about what they call a white genocide in South Africa and have even gathered thousands of signatures for an online petition to encourage President Trump to allow white South Africans to emigrate here. "A racist bigot", the morning host of one of the country's most popular talk radio stations, Eusebius McKaiser, told listeners before opening the airwaves to lively debate about Trump's comments.

President Donald Trump has fallen out with South Africa after taking to Twitter to criticize the government's land reforms, prompting a sharp rebuke from Pretoria.

Right-wing and white nationalist groups, including AfriForum, a white Afrikaner rights group with 200,000 members, have pushed back against the practice and promoted a narrative of widespread "farm murders" and attacks on white farmers, many of which have not been independently verified.

KATE WILKINSON: We just can not say whether people living on farms and small holdings in South Africa face a risk that is higher than the average South African.

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