President Trump Foolishly Acts On Another Conspiracy Theory Regarding South Africa

Image result for image of map of south africa

There is a decade’s old conspiracy theory which has been trumpeted extensively by White Nationalist groups’ members (racists) which keeps being resurrected no matter how many times it has been debunked. This conspiracy theory involves the South African government confiscation of farm land by the killing off of White farmers. And yes, it looks like the republican President Donald Trump has jumped on the band wagon of this conspiracy theory.

Here is the rest of the story…

On August 24, 2018, Salvador Rizzo of the Washington Post fact checks another “older conspiracy story” being perpetuated by President Trump via a tweet, based on something he may have gleaned from a FOX News’ report via his column, “President Trump’s false claim about murders on South African farms”

Excerpts:

Here’s the claim:

“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”

— President Trump, in a tweet, Aug. 22, 2018

SOUTH AFRICAN FARM

Analysis:

“It’s not the first time a segment on Fox News gets the president tweeting. But it’s the first time Trump claims South African farmers are being mass-murdered.”

“This myth was fueled by white supremacists for years before it surfaced in a presidential tweet.”

“More than two decades after the end of apartheid, South African farmland owners remain a predominantly white group. Fringe groups in South Africa and the United States say these white farmers are targeted and killed at disproportionately high rates. There’s no evidence for this claim, experts say, but it feeds the white-supremacist agenda by stoking racial resentment and division.”

Image result for photos s african farms

“Trump made two claims about South Africa in his tweet: that the government is seizing land from white farmers and that a “large scale killing of farmers” is underway.”

“The president’s first claim about land seizures has some merit but is mostly false. Trump’s second claim, that South African farmers are being killed on a “large scale,” is a fiction not supported by data.”

“We have no clue how this myth about farmers being killed ended up on the president’s Twitter feed. It didn’t come up on “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” the Fox News show Trump referenced in his tweet. But it has been swishing in the alt-right and white-nationalist ether for years. The Fox News segment may have jogged Trump’s memory about something he came across previously.”

Image result for photos s african farms

The Facts

“When South Africa ended apartheid rule in 1994, approximately 15 percent of the country’s agricultural land was owned by the government or by “previously disadvantaged individuals,” a term used for people of African, colored or Indian descent. The remaining 85 percent “was owned by white commercial farmers,” according to Agri SA, an industry group.”

“Fast-forward two decades. In 2016, the government and previously disadvantaged individuals owned 26.7 percent of South Africa’s agricultural land — still the smaller share, although it was up from 15 percent in 1994, according to Agri SA.”

“A land audit released in November 2017 by the South African government found that, of the farms and agricultural holdings owned by individuals (as opposed to companies or trusts), whites owned 72 percent, followed by colored (mixed-race) people at 15 percent, Indians at 5 percent, Africans at 4 percent, others at 3 percent and co-owners at 1 percent.”

Image result for PHOTOS OF President Cyril Ramaphosa and South African lawmakers
PRESIDENT CYRIL RAMAPHOSA

“President Cyril Ramaphosa and South African lawmakers have proposed plans to seize privately owned farmland and effectively redistribute it from white owners to previously disadvantaged individuals.”

“Among the greatest obstacles to growth is the severe inequality between black and white South Africans,” Ramaphosa wrote in the Financial Times. “For the South African economy to reach its full potential, it is therefore necessary to significantly narrow gaps in income, skills, assets and opportunities. One of the areas where this disparity is most devastating is in the ownership and access to land. As the World Bank has observed, ‘South Africa’s historical, highly skewed distribution of land and productive assets is a source of inequality and social fragility.’”

Image result for PHOTOS OF President Cyril Ramaphosa and South African lawmakers

“The “land question,” as Ramaphosa put it, goes back more than a century. Colonists in 1913 approved a law that restricted the African population to slightly more than 10 percent of South Africa’s land, while the white minority was entitled to the rest.”

“Patrick Gaspard, a former U.S. ambassador to South Africa under President Barack Obama, said “this is the most complicated and the most charged issue in South African politics and in the South African economy.” The country “has 9 percent of its population controlling a little bit more than 70 percent of farmland in the country,” he said. “That 9 percent is overwhelmingly white.”

Image result for photos of Patrick Gaspard

“Carlson and his guest on Fox News, researcher Marian L. Tupy of the libertarian Cato Institute, criticized Ramaphosa’s plan during the segment that piqued Trump’s interest. They warned it could lead South Africa down the same destabilizing path that Zimbabwe took in 2000, when it began to seize farmland owned by whites without compensation.”

But there was no talk whatsoever on Fox News about any farmers being killed.

“The president of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, has begun, and you may have seen this in the press, seizing land from his own citizens without compensation, because they are the wrong skin color,” Carlson said, adding later that Ramaphosa “has changed the country’s constitution to make it possible to steal land from people.”

Image result for PHOTOS OF President Cyril Ramaphosa and South African lawmakers
SOUTH AFRICAN CYRIL RAMAPHOSA

The South African government is considering a constitutional amendment to expropriate farmland, but that plan has not been finalized, so it’s premature to say that Ramaphosa has “changed the country’s constitution.” The government is also weighing whether it can redistribute farmland under current laws.

Carlson complained that Ramaphosa was “seizing land from his own citizens without compensation.” But Ramaphosa outlined a plan for farmland seizures “in the public interest subject to just and equitable compensation,” according to his op-ed in the Financial Times.

The South African parliament, he added, may decide that farmland seizures without compensation are justified in some cases. As possible examples, Ramaphosa mentioned “unused land, derelict buildings, purely speculative land holdings, or circumstances where occupiers have strong historical rights and title holders do not occupy or use their land.”

Link to entire report: President Trump’s false claim about murders on South African farms

12 comments

  1. Gronda, quite simply, the man in the White House would not know what is true if he tripped over it. Truth is a commodity to only be used when it helps his messaging. Otherwise, don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story. Keith

    Liked by 3 people

    • Dear Keith,

      It’s what the president wants to be true and how it makes him look, that counts in his book. What’s real. true, decent, righteous are not to be considered. Just like you said, he can’t let the facts get in the way of a good story.

      Hugs, Gronda

      Liked by 1 person

      • Gronda, the one thing he gets some kudos for – the economy – overstates his role. He sold his followers and others that the economy was abysmal with very high unemployment. And, that he turned it all around. While he has abetted the economy some with reducing some regulations and with his tax cut in 2018, the economy would still be percolating along. We both remind folks that we are in our 111th consecutive month of economic growth (over nine years) and the stock market has been in a bull market since March of 2009. Trump has only been President for 1 1/2 years.

        He said if he was impeached, the stock market will fall. Actually what is going to provide headwinds are his tariffs and restrictive immigration and travel. Keith

        Liked by 1 person

        • Dear Keith,

          After so many months of the US stock market on the rise, we both know that a correction is inevitable. This is cyclical and has nothing to do with the president’s actions with the exceptions of the economic drags of tariffs, cutting back on legal immigration and the increase in the US deficit. But we both know that when the correction happens, there is one person we can count on, to NOT accept responsibility.

          Hugs, Gronda

          Liked by 1 person

        • Gronda, a very astute investor by the name of Warren Buffett said the President should not take credit for the stock market, as the role has limited impact. He noted, if you take credit on the way up, you need to accept blame on the way down. David Brooks said it well. The President’s role in the economy is overstated, but does provides headwinds or tailwinds. For those who are celebrating his role, they should then celebrate Obama’s role because of the elongated success. Keith

          Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Usfman,

      Geography is not one of the president’s interests. What troubles me is that not only has President Trump never met a conspiracy theory that he didn’t buy into, he would also base his policy decisions on them.

      Hugs, Gronda

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m glad more people are exposing the lies about South Africa’s situation. There has been no evidence of white farmers getting killed, but the alt-wrong fears any kind of potential black retribution after the Reclamation Without Compensation legislation became a topic in that country.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A lot of this news has been reinterpreted by propagandist news sites and the truth twisted on all sides.

    What I wonder, is what business is it of Donald Trump’s or America’s to investigate this? I suspect Trump may have a personal stake… ‘ Blood Diamonds’ comes to mind.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dear Colettebytes,

    The president’s interest in this “fake new”/ conspiracy theory was not intended to be used in a positive way. Anything he does or says or tweets is suspect to where it has to be fact checked.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 1 person

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