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South Africa: Trump Is Right, We’re Coming For White Farmers

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South African MP Julius Malema has confirmed that his government are targeting white farmers and taking away their land without compensation, reported Your News Wire (US).

The radical politician boasted to reporters that President Trump’s concerns about farm seizures and the slaughter of white farmers were correct. “Through land expropriation, we are forcing white people to share the land which was gained through a crime against the humanity of black and African people,” Malema said in a press conference.

President Donald Trump’s tweeted that he had directed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo “to closely study the South Africa land and farm seizures and expropriations and the large scale killing of farmers.”

He appeared to be reacting to a segment on Tucker Carlson’s show on Fox News that evening, during which Carlson highlighted a State Department statement on South Africa’s proposed land reforms that seemed to defend the South African government’s approach and downplay criticisms.

The South African government reacted angrily: “South Africa totally rejects this narrow perception which only seeks to divide our nation and reminds us of our colonial past.” Trump’s domestic critics accused him of racism, and spreading fake news.

But South African critics of the proposed land reform policy applauded Trump for speaking out, and the most radical supporters of the policy — like Malema — confirmed the racial motivations behind the new policy, while daring the United States to do anything about it.

“We must put it on record, unequivocally, that Donald ‘the pathological liar’ Trump, we are not scared of you and your USA or Western imperialist forces,” said Malema, the leader of the small but vocal Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) opposition party.

“We are not the generation that is going to kneel at the statue of Western imperialism and accept to live in the indignity of black landlessnes.”

“Stay out of South Africa’s domestic affairs,” Malema also said, echoing a demand once made by the apartheid regime.

The South African government, which is run by the African National Congress (ANC), has been at pains to calm the fears of land-owners and investors, while at the same time appeasing populists in its own ranks and in the EFF with promises of redistribution.

While not the “white genocide” claimed by some on the American right, the situation has provoked many South Africans — black and white — to worry that the ANC could soon emulate neighboring Zimbabwe, where farm seizures led to economic collapse.

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South Africa began implementing its controversial policy to appropriate large-scale white-owned farms, which critics claim is a land seizure while supporters see it as economic justice, reported Sputnik News (Russia).

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced his intent to go forward with this move earlier this year, which was originally proposed by Julius Malema of the Economic Freedom Fighters radical opposition party, and the state just started to take property from white owners without compensation in the cases where negotiations between the two parties failed. This was in response to two game famers in Limpopo province refusing to part with their land after the government only offered them 10% of the value that they were asking for.

It also comes after South African media circulated what they claimed was a leaked list of the 195 farms on the expropriation list, which reportedly caused some of these land owners to panic and unsuccessfully try to sell their property.

The issue of land reform has long been a very contentious one in post-Apartheid South Africa because the white minority still owns the vast majority of the country's farmland, which they assert has rightfully been theirs for generations while their opponents believe that it was acquired as part of a racist colonial-era land grab that needs to be reversed as soon as possible. Something similar happened in neighboring Zimbabwe at the turn of the century, but it disastrously contributed to that nation's economic collapse and attracted strong international condemnation from the West, with the new government of President Mnangagwa actually trying to entice these same farmers to return.

South Africa's white farmers warn that their country is about to make a similar mistake but that the stakes are much higher in this economically dynamic nation of 55 million than the smaller one to the north that's nearly a third of the size and has a stagnant economy.

The farmers also fear for their lives because they believe that they've been targeted for decades by criminals and that the government is now complicit in committing crimes against them on a national level. So scared are some of these individuals that a few of them have visited Russia and discussed relocating there en mass in the event that the state went forward with its land appropriation plans, as it's evidently begun to do. Still, some observers are skeptical that the farmers will migrate, let alone to Russia, even if their land is taken from them, though it remains to be seen how they'll react once this policy enters into full swing.

Andrew Korybko is joined by Brett Macdonald, businessman who facilitates trade between South Africa and Russia and Kwanele Mkheswa, Johannesburg-based financial consultant and political commentator from Nkayi, Southern Zimbabwe.

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