Nelson Mandela’s grandson criticized President Donald Trump on Thursday after the president, caught up in several domestic scandals, tweeted a white nationalist talking point about South Africa on Wednesday evening.
“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,” Trump said. “South African Government is now seizing land from white farmers.”
The tweet, and a Fox News segment it was based on, were widely criticized for being inaccurate. And on Thursday Nkozi Mandela, a member of the Pan African Parliament said in a statement, according to The Hill, that “President Donald Trump’s unfortunate tweet shows disrespect for South Africa’s sovereignty and our commitment to justice and redress. Trump once again demonstrates a total ignorance of reality. We will not be dictated to, threatened or pressured into accepting a land deal that perpetuates the injustices of the past.”
On August 1, South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa announced plans to push for a change to the constitution to allow for the expropriation of land without compensation.
“The proposals will not erode property rights, but will instead ensure that the rights of all South Africans, and not just those who currently own land, are strengthened,” he wrote in the Financial Times on Thursday.
The South African government replied to Trump on Twitter, saying that it “rejects this narrow perception which only seeks to divide our nation and reminds us of our colonial past.”
Mandela said that Trump’s tweet was “arrogant” and that he should instead worry about what is happening in his country saying that the president would “be better served by dealing with his own domestic challenges and the fundamental issues that the ‘Black Lives Matter’ campaign raises,” Time reported.
“The expropriation of land without compensation, our position is that would risk sending South Africa down the wrong path. We continue to encourage a peaceful and transparent public debate about what we consider to be a very important issue in South Africa,” Heather Nauert, a State Department spokeswoman said on Thursday, according to Reuters.