The governing party of South Africa has sparked outrage by posting a tweet on its official account appearing to refer to the white population as ‘murderers’.
The African National Congress (ANC) tweeted a reaction to their plans to seize white-owned farms and re-distribute the land, stating that the ‘biggest mistake we are making is to consult murderers’.
The ANC later deleted the tweet, and explained that it had been a quote from a member of the public.
Outrage: The ANC tweeted the above comment in relation to the amendment to the constitution which will enable the government to seize white-owned land without compensation and redistribute it
It comes as 139 farms are being lined up to be seized by the government in the next few weeks, after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced he would be pushing ahead with the expropriation of privately owned land without compensation.
After deleting the tweet, the ANC posted: The tweet is a contribution/remark made by a member of the public. All tweets are a thread from the contributions made by the public, they are not the views of the ANC.’
However, this explanation was rejected by a number of Twitter users, with one person accusing the ANC of ‘cherry picking’ the views which had been racially divisive and tweeting them as their own.
Shortly after the Twitter storm, local media reported that the ANC has already lined up 139 farms which they plan on seizing without compensation to their owners ‘in the coming weeks’.
The issue of whether to take land without compensating current owners is by far the most divisive and emotive issue facing modern South Africa with critics drawing parallels with Zimbabwe’s disastrous reforms.
Until now the government has pursued a policy of ‘willing buyer, willing seller’ to enable land transfer.
But in February lawmakers voted to establish a commission charged with rewriting the constitution to allow for forcible land transfers without compensation.