Late Wednesday, after catching a segment on Fox News about the matter, Trump tweeted, saying that he would be ordering US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to keep an eye on the country.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 23, 2018
Moments after Trump fired off the tweet, Ramaphosa's spokesperson and the country's Foreign Minister indicated that Trump was issuing his orders based on "false information." The presidential spokesperson added that Trump's comments reflected a "narrow perception which only seeks to divide nations."
South Africa's policy on land expropriation from minority white farmers, who own an estimated 72 percent of farm lands, first emerged in 1994 after the end of apartheid. However, the matter was only brought into legislation when Ramaphosa took office in February 2018. In March, a new amendment was adopted by the South African parliament in which it allowed the government to seize lands from white farmers that exceeded more than 12,000 hectares of land, without compensation.
In the months that followed the amendment, a rise in violence against white farmers was reported. Some have gone to the extent of arming themselves and attending special defense classes.
Violence aside, Ramaphosa has stressed to the public that the new law would allow for improvement in food security, stimulate economic growth and create new jobs.