SEVERE WX : Freeze Warning View Alerts

South Africa's Ramaphosa: Trump is 'ill-informed'

In an exclusive interview with CNN's David McKenzie, the South African leader criticized the US President and said South Africa needs to solve its land dilemma or face instability.

Posted: Nov 22, 2018 6:20 AM
Updated: Nov 22, 2018 6:44 AM

In an exclusive interview with CNN, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa criticized Donald Trump's views on South Africa's land debate and blamed -- in part -- "fringe groups" lobbying in the US.

"They are finding people who get some resonance with what they are saying, and these people are ill-informed about what is happening here. Just as President Trump was ill-informed about the messages that they are beaming out," said Ramaphosa.

Ramaphosa's comments come as CNN released an investigation proving ties between US and South African far-right groups and a growing belief in the myth of a white genocide of South African farmers.

CNN's investigation shows that those ideas have gained resonance far beyond ultra-right groups and have spread into the mainstream.

"Those people overseas that are taken in by this message of whites in South Africa being under threat, they are looking at South Africa through the lens of black versus white. And South Africa has long moved away from that," said Ramaphosa.

"In the main, most of them are racists. And they are not very positively disposed toward black people. Their voice, a seemingly prominent voice, is because they are talking on race issues and saying there is a racial war. There is no racial war in South Africa. White South Africans are working with us to resolve this issue," he said.

Some of these groups say that they are just fighting for the rights of minority populations -- in this case White South Africans.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, a group that tracks white supremacists, says that Trump helped legitimize the conspiracy theories.

In late August, after apparently watching a segment on Fox News, Trump tweeted a request for Secretary of State Steve Pompeo to "closely study the South African land farm seizures and expropriations and the large scale killing of farmers."

In response to queries by CNN, the US State Department didn't detail what "close study" has occurred but said Pompeo had raised the issue with his counterpart in late September.

"Expropriation of land without compensation risks sending South Africa down the wrong path. That remains the US position," said Carrie Schneider, the acting spokesperson of the US Embassy in Pretoria.

"President Ramaphosa has indicated that land reform would be undertaken without damaging the economy.

"While South Africa has the sovereign right to amend its constitution, we believe its decisions should be consistent with the rule of law and preserve the investment climate."

The African National Congress-led government is pushing forward with the controversial move by amending the constitution.

For decades under apartheid, and for centuries under colonial rule, non-whites in South Africa were forced off the majority of viable land in South Africa. With democracy, land redistribution was a major policy priority of the ANC-led government.

Still, more than 20 years on, most land is owned by whites.

Ramaphosa admitted the government's goals of land redistribution since the era of Nelson Mandela have been harmed by fraud, corruption and a lack of capacity, but maintains that things will be different during his Presidency.

South Africa's President was the lead negotiator for the ANC in the transition to democracy -- in the land question, he faces, arguably, an even more complex challenge.

Agricultural unions, opposition groups and many commercial farmers say that the expropriation without compensation is unnecessary and risks hurting agricultural production and a fragile economy.

Ramaphosa tried to allay investor fears, saying that land reform could unlock economic potential and pull people out of poverty. He said government land and land lying fallow would be the first to be targeted in an accelerated reform plan.

Ramaphosa has become one of South Africa's richest men by building up a formidable portfolio and taking advantage of his connections with business and the ruling party.

Still, he put the land issue in stark, personal terms.

"The impact of apartheid on black families was devastating. In my own family it happened twice, where land was taken, we were moved from where my parents had grown up owning land, working the land, they were moved and dropped into an arid place with no compensation whatsoever," he said. "As it is now, the poverty that we have in South Africa, in part, has been given rise to by people not having assets."

Asked if he feared failing in his mission, the former trade union negotiator was firm about his prospects.

"A lot is at stake. You could even say the stability of the country is at stake. And I am not fond of failing at anything."

Terre Haute
Cloudy
46° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 41°
Robinson
Cloudy
49° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 45°
Indianapolis/Eagle Creek
Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 44° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 40°
Paris
Cloudy
41° wxIcon
Hi: 44° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 34°
Mattoon/Charleston
Cloudy
38° wxIcon
Hi: 44° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 27°
Terre Haute
Cloudy
46° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 41°
Terre Haute
Cloudy
46° wxIcon
Hi: 45° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 41°
Colder today! Rain turns to Snow!
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

Latest Video

Image

CCTV shows the moment a railroad worker snatched a child from the path of a train

Image

Monday: Mostly sunny, warm. High: 67

Image

Sunday Evening Forecast

Image

weather explainer

Image

mural painting

Image

house fire contained

Image

sullivan co drug arrest

Image

stand against suicide

Image

Sunday Morning Forecast Update

Image

12 points revitalization

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Cases: 1304111

Reported Deaths: 23976
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook5225529835
DuPage865471253
Will71908965
Lake64628965
Kane55689753
Winnebago31173459
Madison29860514
St. Clair27165503
McHenry27059278
Peoria21319283
Champaign19785137
Sangamon17788230
McLean16948169
Tazewell15966256
Rock Island14277303
Kankakee13523196
Kendall1234890
LaSalle11786232
Macon10243190
DeKalb9314118
Vermilion9071127
Adams8195117
Williamson7212126
Whiteside6866163
Boone639571
Ogle576378
Clinton570390
Grundy561271
Coles553094
Knox5320137
Jackson485663
Henry471663
Effingham468071
Livingston459683
Macoupin459681
Stephenson452880
Marion4409115
Woodford440662
Franklin433370
Monroe431290
Jefferson4158119
Randolph409284
Lee397051
Morgan376479
Logan364256
Montgomery364273
Fulton363250
Bureau353881
Christian351472
Fayette313654
Perry312959
Iroquois290764
Jersey262749
McDonough259843
Douglas254635
Saline250553
Lawrence239125
Shelby224737
Union222940
Crawford208925
Bond197524
Cass194824
Pike176851
Jo Daviess176524
Clark176132
Warren173846
Wayne173151
Hancock172730
Carroll171336
Richland171340
Ford170146
Edgar166639
White166426
Washington162725
Moultrie157126
Clay147343
Greene142432
Mason141942
Piatt141714
Johnson139214
De Witt139023
Mercer135433
Wabash134112
Massac131139
Cumberland128119
Menard118712
Jasper114317
Marshall99117
Hamilton82215
Schuyler7005
Brown6886
Pulaski6807
Stark61023
Edwards55412
Henderson52114
Calhoun5092
Scott4671
Alexander46211
Gallatin4534
Putnam4473
Hardin36612
Pope3063
Out of IL20
Unassigned02291

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Cases: 708779

Reported Deaths: 13226
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion966191721
Lake51761946
Allen39224672
Hamilton34549405
St. Joseph34157541
Elkhart27356432
Vanderburgh22081394
Tippecanoe21853212
Porter17935299
Johnson17544374
Hendricks16822310
Clark12697190
Madison12353337
Vigo12219244
Monroe11469166
LaPorte11162204
Delaware10366184
Howard9664211
Kosciusko9134114
Hancock7990139
Bartholomew7893155
Warrick7691155
Floyd7563176
Wayne6906198
Grant6844171
Boone6556100
Morgan6405138
Dubois6085117
Marshall5786108
Dearborn570376
Cass5685102
Henry5579101
Noble542683
Jackson493569
Shelby479495
Lawrence4342118
Gibson429089
Harrison428570
Clinton419753
Montgomery418086
DeKalb411184
Whitley380239
Huntington379880
Miami372865
Knox366689
Steuben365757
Putnam353160
Jasper350946
Wabash347878
Adams338052
Ripley334668
Jefferson313180
White308454
Daviess289499
Wells286481
Decatur279092
Fayette277262
Greene270785
Posey268833
Scott261153
LaGrange253670
Clay253544
Randolph235680
Washington231031
Spencer228031
Jennings225047
Fountain208845
Sullivan207942
Starke204752
Owen192356
Fulton192039
Jay186429
Carroll185920
Perry180736
Orange177853
Rush170724
Vermillion166043
Franklin165635
Tipton161043
Parke144616
Blackford133831
Pike130334
Pulaski113845
Newton104234
Brown100140
Crawford97614
Benton97113
Martin82915
Warren79715
Switzerland7698
Union69910
Ohio55811
Unassigned0408