Ramaphosa unlikely to respond directly to Trump

Cyril Ramaphosa
Image: Moeletsi Mabe

President Cyril Ramaphosa will not respond directly to US President Donald Trump's misleading tweet about the South African government's land reform programme.

Presidency insiders say instead‚ Ramaphosa has instructed his officials and ministers to intensify lobbying farmers and other interested parties.

This comes as International Relations department officials would also hold a meeting with American embassy officials to get clarity about Trumps's tweet.

On Thursday morning 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' @TuckerCarlson @FoxNews."

Insiders said Ramaphosa took the matter seriously and would also use his trip to the United Nations General Assembly in New York‚ to explain the government's approach to land reform.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo‚ who has been asked by Trump to “closely study” South Africa’s land reform programme‚ is scheduled to visit the country in October.

“We will use that opportunity to engage Pompeo. What we know is that the (US) state department does not share the same view as Trump‚” said an insider.

The insider added that they would use the UN General Assembly and other platforms to explain the government’s approach to land reform.

South Africans came out guns blazing on Twitter after US president Donald Trump sent out a tweet early on Thursday August 23 2018 claiming that white farmers were being murdered for their land in South Africa.

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