Ramaphosa tells CNN what led to Trump’s ‘ill-informed’ views on SA

While he didn't mention them by name in a CNN interview, the president was clearly referring to AfriForum.

President Cyril Ramaphosa slammed US President Donald Trump’s take on the South African land situation in an exclusive interview with CNN on Wednesday.

According to Ramaphosa, “fringe groups” lobbying in the US have led to Trump’s views on the topic, which the South African president called “ill-informed.”

While Ramaphosa did not mention AfriForum by name, he is probably referring to them as the organisation toured the US with the overt intention of influencing the country and its government’s position on the South African land debate.

Far right extremist group Suidlanders’ Simon Roche also spent six months touring the US, attending several “alt-right” conferences.

When Trump tweeted that he had told his secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, to monitor the situation in South Africa due to what he described as “land and farm seizures … and the large-scale killing of farmers”, AfriForum’s deputy CEO Ernst Roets told the Sunday Times that he believed the organisation had “played a role” in influencing the US president on the matter.

READ MORE: We ‘played a role’ in Trump’s tweet, says AfriForum’s Roets

This followed the lobby group’s trip to the country in May. Their adventures included an interview on Fox News and bumping into US national security adviser and highly conservative Republican John Bolton, whom they posted pics with.

Ramaphosa told CNN: “Those people overseas that are taken in by this message of whites in South Africa being under threat, they are looking at South Africa through the lens of black versus white. And South Africa has long moved away from that.

“In the main, most of them are racists. And they are not very positively disposed towards black people. Their voice, a seemingly prominent voice, is because they are talking on race issues and saying there is a racial war. There is no racial war in South Africa. White South Africans are working with us to resolve this issue.”

The full interview can be watched here.

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.

Read more on these topics

AfriForum Cyril Ramaphosa Donald Trump land race

Access premium news and stories

Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits