President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday told his embattled US counterpart Donald Trump that his tweet charging that South Africa was grabbing land from white farmers and allegedly killing them was “fake news”.
Pretoria said that it had noted Trump’s tweet‚ “which is misinformed in our view”‚ but the matter would be taken up through diplomatic channels.
“To this end the presidency will request the minister of International Relations and Co-operation to obtain clarification from the US ambassador here‚” Presidential spokeswoman Khusela Diko said on Thursday.
Lindiwe Sisulu is the current minister of international relations and co-operation.
Political analyst- and Professor Somadoda Fikeni on Thursday applauded Pretoria’s reaction to the Trump tweet‚ saying it was the “most mature response.
“When you are dealing with sensitive matters you don’t want to inflame them. Stick to facts and pretend there was a misunderstanding” Fikeni said.
The analyst added:“The other side might say it was misunderstood and it works to your favour if you are a country which seems to be measured and understand the policy issues‚ and the timing‚ therefore”.
He added that Trump’s antics were aimed at deflecting attention from his own internal woes in light of the scandals that have characterised his presidency.
On Tuesday‚ Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort was convicted on eight bank and tax fraud charges at the same time his long-time lawyer and advisor Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to eight felonies, after implicating Trump for directing him to pay off two women to silence him from revealing their sexual liaisons with then presidential candidate Trump.
However‚ the deflection attempts did not make Trump’s commentary on the land issues in South Africa any less dangerous‚ according to Fikeni.
The US is South Africa’s third largest trading partner after China and Germany.
This article provided by NewsEdge.