>> The President of the United States has directed the State Department to investigate the quote large scale killing of farmers in South Africa, and the seizure of their land without compensation, what's known as exappropriation. He appears to be responding to a Fox News commentator that claimed South Africa's president Cyril Ramaphosa had changed its constitution to allow it to evict white landowners with the purpose of redistributing it to blacks.
The reality is more nuanced. Ed Stoddard is outside the Reuter's Johannesburg bureau.>> In 2017 and 18, according to Agri Essay, a farm industry group here, 47 farmers were murdered. That may seem like a lot, and it is, but farmers were at a 20 year low. There's been absolutely no linkages with farm murders to nonexistent land seizures and there's been no evidence that they have been politically motivated.
>> The intention of this proposed amendment->> Also President Ramaphosa's party has only proposed to change the constitution but it hasn't done so yet. It needs parliamentary approval and as Ed mentioned, seizures are not underway. The party also says they want to focus on unused dormant land, but it is an emotive issue.
By some estimates, only 4% of private land in South Africa is owned by blacks. And that imbalance is a potent symbol of inequalities that persist in that society.
sparked squatters and many protests, sometimes violent. It's also not clear what defines unused land or what would happen if a farmer was targeted for eviction.
>> And the public comments that have been made about the issue have added to some of the confusion around it. The NC hasn't clearly spelled out exactly what it intends to do.>> A group that advocates for white rights in South Africa called Afroforum praised Trump's tweet, one of its members featured heavily in the Fox report.