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President Trump Sent Officials to Investigate Land Expropriation in South Africa

There was consensus that there has been considerable misinformation about land expropriation without compensation.

President Donald Trump sent a number of his officials to formally investigate the process of land expropriation without compensation in South Africa in addition to rampant claims of a 'white genocide'.


Land expropriation without compensation is part of a land reform process in South Africa that seeks to address the injustices of the country's past that resulted in land being stolen from Black people. It has caused, and understandably so, much debate among South Africans but more so White South African land owners who fear a similar outcome to that of Zimbabwe's land reform.

In addition, misinformation and false narratives around the targeting of White farmers in a so-called 'white genocide' have been peddled abroad by racist lobby groups such as AfriForum.

The visit by American officials comes after Trump asked his Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, to monitor land reform in South Africa back in 2018.

The American delegation, which included including Deputy Secretary of State, John Sullivan, and the US Deputy Ambassador to South Africa, Jessye Lapenn, met with key stakeholders such as AgriSA, Grain SA and several officials from the ruling African National Congress (ANC). Their discussions were aimed at ensuring that the land reform process is transparent and does not adversely affect South Africa's economy. The often exaggerated murder rate of White farmers was discussed along with the dangerous possibility of illegal land grabs.

Speaking in a press briefing following the meeting, Sullivan said:

"Land reform has received significant attention – but there is a lot of misinformation in the US. I don't think it has translated well across the ocean and been covered with the depth and perspective that is necessary."

READ: There is No 'White Genocide' Happening in South Africa, So Why is the American Right So Obsessed?

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Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Hugh Masekela's New York City Legacy

A look back at the South African legend's time in New York City and his enduring presence in the Big Apple.

In Questlove's magnificent documentary, Summer of Soul, he captures a forgotten part of Black American music history. But in telling the tale of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, the longtime musician and first-time filmmaker also captures a part of lost South African music history too.

Among the line-up of blossoming all-stars who played the Harlem festival, from a 19-year-old Stevie Wonder to a transcendent Mavis Staples, was a young Hugh Masekela. 30 years old at the time, he was riding the wave of success that came from releasing Grazing in the Grass the year before. To watch Masekela in that moment on that stage is to see him at the height of his time in New York City — a firecracker musician who entertained his audiences as much as he educated them about the political situation in his home country of South Africa.

The legacy Masekela sowed in New York City during the 1960s remains in the walls of the venues where he played, and in the dust of those that are no longer standing. It's in the records he made in studios and jazz clubs, and on the Manhattan streets where he once posed with a giant stuffed zebra for an album cover. It's a legacy that still lives on in tangible form, too, in the Hugh Masekela Heritage Scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music.

The school is the place where Masekela received his education and met some of the people that would go on to be life-long bandmates and friends, from Larry Willis (who, as the story goes, Masekela convinced to give up opera for piano) to Morris Goldberg, Herbie Hancock and Stewart Levine, "his brother and musical compadre," as Mabusha Masekela, Bra Hugh's nephew says.

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