Everyone’s talking about the land issue – all 55 million of the country’s citizens as well as uitlanders (outsiders) like Donald Trump.
In fact, the US president appears so agitated about the issue that he instructed his Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, to intervene and stop what he calls “land and farm seizures and expropriations and the large-scale killing of farmers” in our country.
Whatever your views, you have to admit that South Africans owe a deep debt of gratitude to Trump. I realise I may have sometimes portrayed him as a bellicose bigot, but he’s now shown he has an amazing ability to unify people.
When he sent his astonishingly intrusive late-night tweet to Pompeo, he probably did more to unite South Africans on this sensitive issue than the pope. Within minutes, there was a chorus of denunciations from political leaders of all persuasions, calling on Trump to stop stoking racial tensions here.
Quick off the mark was ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa, who assured investors: “This is no land grab, nor is it an assault on the private ownership of property”.
Instead, he assured, it is meant to enhance growth and stability and would be handled just as responsibly as apartheid was dismantled under Nelson Mandela’s leadership.
EFF leader Julius Malema was predictably a little more blunt, telling Trump to stay out of the debate because he had “caused enough problems in Africa”.
DA leader Mmusi Maimane was also not impressed, warning that “fear-mongering by international leaders adds no value”.
Can anyone tell me when last there was such consensus among our normally warring political parties?