S. Africa hits back at Trump's tweet on land reform

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Johannesburg : South Africa hit back at US President Donald Trump on Thursday after he criticized the country's land reform policies in an overnight tweet.

Trump tweeted late Wednesday that he had asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to "closely study the South Africa land and farm seizures and expropriations and the large scale killing of farmers".

Trump's tweet appeared to be in response to a report on Fox News which alleged that the South African government was "seizing land from white farmers".

Responding to the tweet, the South African government said it was "based on false information" and said it would call on the US Embassy to explain the President's remarks.

"South Africa totally rejects this narrow perception which only seeks to divide our nation and reminds us of our colonial past," the government tweeted.

"South Africa will speed up the pace of land reform in a careful and inclusive manner that does not divide our nation."

Talking to CNN, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa's spokeswoman Khusela Diko said: "Hysterical comments and statements do not assist in the process... The majority of South Africans want to see land reform. The majority of our farmers, white and black want to be a part of this initiative."

In South Africa, land is a complex issue as racist policies of the past forcefully removed black and non-white South Africans from the land for white use.