President Donald Trump Picture: Andrew Harnik/AP/African News Agency (ANA)

Johannesburg - The government says it rejects US President Donald Trump’s assertions that it is seizing land that belongs to white people. 

The government tweeted on Thursday morning that Trump’s tweets were a “narrow perception” that seeks to divide the country. 

“South Africa totally rejects this narrow perception which only seeks to divide our nation and reminds us of our colonial past.”

“South Africa will speed up the pace of land reform in a careful and inclusive manner that does not divide our nation,” said the government. 

The government’s response follows Trump sensational tweets on Thursday morning where he said he had instructed his Secretary of State Mark Pompeo to study “South Africa’s land and farm seizures and expropriations and the large-scale killing of white farmers”. 

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Khusela Diko said the President has asked the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Lindiwe Sisulu to engage diplomatically with the US on Trump’s comments. 

“We have chosen not to respond to President Trump in tweets. The presidency has asked the minister of international relations to engage with the US on statements made by Trump,” said Diko. 

The EFF’s deputy president Floyd Shivambu, whose party has been the strongest supporter of land reform, called Trump’s tweets “madness”. 

Ramaphosa reiterated his support for land reform in Parliament on Wednesday during a question and answer session. 

However, he said it would be done in an orderly manner in line with the Constitution. 

Early this month Ramaphosa announced that ANC would support amending the Constitution to allow for land expropriation without compensation.