IN TWEETS: Donald Trump loves to hate (South) Africa
US President Donald Trump has once again managed to stir up a media storm and spark contentious debate, after tweeting about land expropriation and farm murders in South Africa.
After apparently watching a Fox News report on Wednesday night, in which conservative US television host Tucker Carlson offered his views on the topic, Trump tweeted that he had asked his secretary of state to "closely study the South Africa land farm seizures and expropriations and the large scale killing of farmers".
"South African government is now seizing land from white farmers," Trump exclaimed, paraphrasing Carlson.
According to the Washington Post, Toronto Star correspondent Daniel Dale noted that the tweet in question marked the first time Trump had used the word "Africa" on Twitter, "to express support for white people", Dale said, "on the recommendation" of white nationalists.
An archive of Trump's tweets reveals as much – the tweet was the first to include the word "Africa" since he ascended to the US presidency.
Trump had, however, tweeted about South Africa, and Africa, before becoming president.
In 2013, he objected to then US president Barack Obama providing financial support to Africa.
Every penny of the $7 billion going to Africa as per Obama will be stolen - corruption is rampant!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 1, 2013
Also in 2013, he took the time to tweet about the Thamsanqa Jantjie debacle, after the fake sign language interpreter caused a scene at former president Nelson Mandela's memorial service.
Can you believe that the corrupt and pathetic South Africa police force has yet to arrest the sign language guy. Such danger-give 10 years!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 13, 2013
Not too long afterwards, Trump also offered more views on the "crime ridden mess" of South Africa.
I really like Nelson Mandela but South Africa is a crime ridden mess that is just waiting to explode-not a good situation for the people!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 13, 2013
Fast-forward to 2015, and Trump once again offered his opinion on the "very dangerous" mess on the tip of the African continent.
As I have long been saying, South Africa is a total - and very dangerous - mess. Just watch the evening news (when not talking weather).— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 20, 2015
And while not specifically mentioning South Africa, in 2014, Trump referenced an event that grabbed the world's attention and shone a spotlight on SA – the trial and sentencing of disgraced Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius.
Oscar Pistorius only gets five years in prison for killing his girlfriend. Ridiculous decision! Judge couldn't even read her own writings.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 21, 2014
Trump couldn't resist the urge to take another swipe at the presiding judge in the Pistorius trial, Thokozile Masipa.
Oscar Pistorious will likely only serve 10 months for the cold blooded murder of his girlfriend. Another O.J. travesty.The judge is a moron!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 21, 2014
But South Africa is not the only country on the continent Trump has an acrimonious relationship with. Last year, he insulted Namibia by dismissively mispronouncing the country's name as "Nambia" during a UN General Assembly address, with African leaders present.
The President of the United States just made up an African country while speaking to African leaders pic.twitter.com/GBY56lYP5f— NowThis (@nowthisnews) September 20, 2017
"I'm greatly honoured to host this lunch, to be joined by the leaders of Cote d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Nambia (sic)…" he said at the time.
He repeated the faux pas during the same address, saying "Nambia's (sic) health system is increasingly self-sufficient", before seemingly going off script, adding: "I have so many friends going to your countries trying to get rich. I congratulate you, they're spending a lot of money."
Then of course, there was Trump's "shithole" countries remark earlier this year, when he bemoaned immigrants entering the US from El Salvador, Haiti, and countries on the African continent.
"Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?" Trump reportedly asked during a meeting with Congress members at the White House.
While no outright apology was forthcoming from Trump or his camp following the incident, US ambassador Nikki Haley did say that "Africa is very important for the United States".
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