A tweet from AfriForum Deputy CEO Ernst Roets.
A tweet from AfriForum Deputy CEO Ernst Roets.

#LandExpropriation and Trump: Afriforum blamed for damaging SA's image

By Zintle Mahlati Time of article published Aug 23, 2018

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Johannesburg - Lobby group Afriforum has been blamed for damaging the country's image by spreading false information about land reform and "farm killings". 

A number of people have taken to social media calling for the group to be labelled as "white supremacists" and not a "lobby group". 

Afriforum leaders Kallie Kriel and Ernst Roest travelled to the US in May saying they were going to share issues around land expropriation without compensation and farm killings. 

They were hosted on Fox News, a US news channel that's known for its false right-wing reporting, and met with US President Donald Trump's national security advisor John Bolton. 

Some people have tweeted that it was this trip to the US that helped garner US hostility towards South Africa. 

Trump angered many South Africans when he tweeted on Thursday morning that he had told 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”. 

The government responded by labelling Trump's comments as "narrow" and divisive. 

The ANC's head of elections Fikile Mbalula said Afriforum should be held responsible for spreading "propaganda" around the world. 

"AfriForum must be held responsible for the false propaganda they are spreading across the world. It not only has reputation damage for our country but carries economic repercussions. Their misinformation campaign must be met with disdain and rejection," he said. 

Afriforum's Kallie Kriel denied that the organisation had spread lies, he said they spread facts about the ANC's plans on land reform. 

The group has been hostile to talks of land reform and has gone the extra mile in spreading its disapproval. 

It has caused a number of controversies over the years. Earlier this month, the group was called out for causing panic within the farming community after it published an unverified list of 195 properties which it says the government plans to expropriate. 

In March, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation called Afriforum out for fearmongering regarding unsupported claims of targeted killings of white farmers. 

This call followed remarks by an Australian home affairs minister who said the country would consider fast-tracking visa applications of white South Africans because of farm murders and threats of their land being seized. 

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