Trump Is a ‘Modern Leader’ of the KKK and Part of a ‘Right-Wing Lynch Mob,’ South African Politician Says

A top South African politician has accused Donald Trump of being the “modern leader of the racist Ku Klux Klan” as well as being part of a “right wing lynch mob” that protects white supremacists.

Zizi Kodwa, a member of the National Executive Committee of the African National Congress,  responded to Trump’s recent comment about South Africa in an interview with News 24 on Thursday, saying he doesn’t even think the U.S. president knows whether South Africa is a country or a continent.

“I don’t think he [Trump] knows a country called South Africa. He thinks SA is a continent.... He wants to polarize SA and reverse the gains we have made to build racial harmony, because all what he does is use fear factor,” Kodwa said.

Becoming harsher, the politician referred to Trump as a "modern leader of the racist group Ku Klux Klan.” Posting on Twitter on Thursday as well, Kodwa said the U.S. president is “an embarrassment to the American people. He is part of [a] right wing lynch mob that uses fear factor to protect status quo and white supremacist[s].” In a follow up tweet, he added: “United S[t]ates of America has a Weapon of Mass Destruction called #DonaldTrump.”

Kodwa was responding to comments made by Trump via Twitter on Wednesday, in which the president announced he had asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to “closely study the South Africa land and farm seizures and expropriations and the large scale killing of farmers.” In quotation marks, Trump added “South African Government is now seizing land from white farmers,” tagging Fox News and commentator Tucker Carlson, who had done a segment about the allegations.

In response to Trump, the African National Congress tweeted that it “totally rejects this narrow perception which only seeks to divide our nation and reminds us of our colonial past.”

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said that his U.S. counterpart was “misinformed” about the facts of the situation, a spokesperson said, Reuters reported. Ramaphosa and his government have pushed forward land reform efforts that have stagnated in the nearly 25 years since the end of Apartheid, which saw the majority-black South African population treated as second-class citizens and denied basic rights. Most land still remains within the hands of white owners, which many see as a lingering reminder of inequality in the country.

Trump’s tweet came after South African media reported that the government had begun the process of seizing two game farms from white owners, in a case for which the negotiation for compensation had stalled. Akkerland Boerdery, the company of property owners Johan Steenkamp and Arnold Cloete, demanded 200 million rand ($13.7 million) for the land, but is being offered just 20 million rand ($1.37 million).

According to Kodwa, his government’s efforts intend “to create certainty for our future, and it is tied with land ownership. If people continue to be landless, we can't talk about certainty both domestically and internationally.”

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