US President Donald Trump has asked his secretary of state, Mike Pompeo to "closely study the South African land and farm seizures and expropriations and the large scale killing of farmers".

In a tweet, Trump included the sentence "South African Government is now seizing land from white farmers".

Trump appeared to be reacting to this Fox News report on land seizures in SA:

Ramaphosa’s spokeswoman, Khusela Diko, told Reuters on Thursday morning: “The presidency has noted Trump’s tweet, which is misinformed in our view. We will take up the matter through diplomatic channels.”

Trump's tweet comes after US think-tank the Cato Institute published an editorial calling on his administration to act against SA, possibly by removing it from the Agoa trade deal, which allows favourable South African exports to the US.

An editorial on the think-tank's web site by Marian Tupy says: 

"According to press reports, SA’s government has begun expropriating privately owned farmland without financial compensation, thereby ignoring the post-apartheid political settlement, which allows for land redistribution in the country on a “willing buyer, willing seller” basis.

"Eighteen years ago, Zimbabwe embraced a similar policy. As a consequence, SA’s northern neighbour’s economy collapsed and the country descended into penury and political violence. This scenario is likely to repeat itself in SA. An attack on property rights will result in the destruction of SA’s farming community, dramatic reduction in agricultural productivity and mass unemployment. It could also lead to a collapse of the banking sector (which depends on land as collateral for loan-making) and the local currency, hyperinflation and even bloodshed."

EFF leader Julius Malema addressed the media in Johannesburg on August 23 2018 on his response to US President Donald Trump’s tweet on land expropriation. Subscribe to TimesLIVE here: https://www.youtube.com/user/TimesLive