After Turkey, it seems that President Trump is after South Africa. In a single Tweets about the South African Farm Reform based on a based-on Fox News segment where host Tucker Carlson discussed the seizures of lands owned by White South African, made the Rand, the South African Currency, slips 1.5%.
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
5:28 AM – Aug 23, 2018”
This single Tweet, like those made on Turkey and led the Turkish Lira to slide further and lose 40% of its value since the beginning of 2018.
This Tweets was very unnerved for some investors who are already concerned about South Africa’s weak economic growth. This has led Standard Bank’s chief trader Warrick Butler to comment:
“Mr Trump’s tweet last night about South Africa land redistribution, (and) a …stronger dollar combined with domestic concerns will not be considered all that fantastic for local financial markets.”
This has prompted a reply from the Government via Reuters:
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump is misinformed about South Africa’s planned land reforms, President Cyril Ramaphosa’s spokeswoman said on Thursday, after Trump tweeted that land was being seized by government from white farmers.
“The presidency has noted Trump’s tweet, which is misinformed in our view,” Khusela Diko said. “We will take up the matter through diplomatic channels.”
We have discussed in a previous article Trump the possible motivation of the President to create a distraction. Instead of going to war or conduct a strike like some of his predecessors have done. He probably has been advised that a full fledge war invasion to Iran like Grenada during Reagan presidency or even a strike like that of Clinton in Sudan might be very risky. He relied on Tweeter as an alternative. The percussion that has created could have been avoided by diplomacy or better by a small historical lesson.
It has been almost 25 years after the end of apartheid, still the land distribution is very unequal and made South Africa and the most unequal countries in the world. The land ownership of 72% is still controlled by white farmers even though white people are 8% of South Africa’s population. All major political parties have agreed that a major reform is overdue. The president has forged a reconciliation to pass the law. In parliament on Wednesday, Ramaphosa said the question of land was not going to go away and an answer was required to heal the historical “festering wound” of dispossession.
This historical “festering wound” of dispossession has started almost 50 years before the end of the Apartheid in 1994. In the late 1940s, the South African Black majority has been subject to racial segregation by the white European minority who ruled the country. They were barred from their basic right operating businesses or owning lands that were strictly in the hand of the white population. This discrimination has been going hundreds of years before it was made into an official policy.
President Trump Tweet came without any historical perspective on South African history and how much Black Africans have suffered to reach where they are right now. A brief history of Nelson Mandela should be enough.