WORLD Ramaphosa dismisses talk of US sanctions over land reform


Ramaphosa dismisses talk of US sanctions over land reform


02:22, September 13, 2018


(Photo: CGTN)

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday brushed aside the possibility of US-imposed sanctions over South Africa's land reform efforts.

"There is no reason to believe any country will impose sanctions on South Africa for any actions that we take, actions that are constitutional, that are lawful and consistent with international law," Ramaphosa said while answering questions in the National Council of Provinces.

He was referring to speculations that the US might impose sanctions on South Africa's land reform. "Let's face it, what we are going through has evoked a lot of questions," Ramaphosa said.

Related story: President Ramaphosa: Black S. Africans can successfully own and manage land

In a tweet posted on August 22, US President Donald Trump criticized the South African government for "seizing land from white farmers." 

Trump said he had asked his Secretary of State Michael Pompeo to closely study the South African land seizures and expropriation, and the large-scale killing of farmers. Trump's remarks sparked a diplomatic spat between the two countries.

South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Lindiwe Sisulu met with the American charge d'affaires in Pretoria and was also in contact with Pompeo over the matter, according to Ramaphosa.

Ramaphosa said his office had not received any communication from the US on the matter.

He said the government was ready to discuss its land reform plans with any country.

Ramaphosa pointed to "increasing consensus" at home and abroad that the accelerated land reform was essential for South Africa's well-being.

British Prime Minister Theresa May and Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Didier Reynders voiced support for and understanding of South Africa's land reform when they visited the country recently, said Ramaphosa.

Ramaphosa reiterated that his government would carry out the land reform in light with the Constitution and rule of law, in a way that will strengthen the property rights of all South Africans and not detrimental to the economy.

Illegal land grabs would not be tolerated, he said.

He also refuted the notion that blacks can't till the land and that South Africa would become another Zimbabwe or Venezuela where land reforms have failed.

Ramaphosa voiced confidence that South Africa would find solutions to its problems. "A lot of people bring good solutions that we should not reject out of hand," he said.

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