President Trump in the Oval Office. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

US President Donald Trump says he has ordered his Secretary of State – Mike Pompeo – to “closely study” the South African government’s land expropriation, as well as the “large scale killing” of farmers.

Trump tweeted the news after watching a Fox News report, which was based on the City Press report a few days ago that the South African government has targeted its first two farms (game farms in Limpopo) for “unilateral seizure after the owners refused an offer of one-tenth of the land’s value”.

President Trump said: “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.”

Quoting Fox News host Tucker Carlson, he said: “South African Government is now seizing land from white farmers.”

White people in South Africa reportedly make up 8.9 % of the population (2011 census), but own 72 % of private farmland (2017 government statistics).

The two farms are apparently on the leaked list that AfriForum published of 190 farms allegedly targeted for Land Expropriation Without Compensation (a list which the government had denied existed)

ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa told City Press: “Over time I think the markets as well as investors will appreciate that what we are doing is creating policy certainty and creating the conditions for future investment.”

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced three weeks ago that the ANC will support an amendment to the Constitution for LEWC.

Ramaphosa has stressed the intention is “to promote, redress, advance economic development, increase agricultural productivity and food security” and that it will bring more land into full use, and enable the productive participation of millions more South Africans in the economy… which means less unemployment, which means less crime.

Earlier this week South Africa’s state-owned Land Bank warned that expropriation without compensation could trigger a R41-billion debt in default payments.