Unpacking South Africa’s fraught and complex land debate | News

Johannesburg, South Africa – Last week, US President Donald Trump ignited a firestorm when he decided to wade into the sensitive land debate in South Africa.

Trump wrote in a tweet that he had asked Mike Pompeo, the US secretary of state, to look into “land and farm seizures” and “large scale killings of white farmers”.

Trump’s comment came after he watched a six-minute segment on the issue on Fox News, a conservative US broadcaster. The president was immediately condemned by the South African government and his comments raised the ire of many South Africans, a majority of whom, 24 years after the end of apartheid, are still waiting for land reform to take place.

The question of land remains among the most sensitive and divisive in the country.

Apartheid was, at its core, a system of…

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