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Delegates of AfriForum flew to the United States of America (USA) this week as part of AfriForum’s campaign to garner support and promote awareness abroad regarding expropriation without compensation, and the prioritisation of farm murders. Among the delegates are Ernst Roets, Deputy CEO at AfriForum, Marina Wiese, Communications Manager, and Mariandra Heunis, a farm attack victim herself, who represents other victims.

“This campaign is particularly important in light of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s recent statements in the US, denying the reality of farm murders and land grabs. AfriForum’s awareness tour consists of a series of appointments to follow up on last year’s US tour. We will be visiting research and media institutions, politicians and other interested parties in Washington and New York,” says Roets.

The USA’s agreement with South Africa in terms of the Africa Growth and Opportunities Act (Agoa) is also a point of interest. AfriForum is in favour of this agreement and sees it as beneficial to South Africa. The civil rights organisation is therefore not in the USA to encourage withdrawal from the agreement, but rather to act preventively to avoid such a crisis. “That is why AfriForum will do everything in our power to ensure that South Africa adheres to the terms of Agoa, such as the protection of private property rights,” Roets adds.

Talk of expropriation without compensation by the South African government, however, compelled President Trump to ask Mike Pompeo, his Secretary of State, to monitor land and farm grabs, expropriation and the large-scale killing of farmers. AfriForum is concerned that, should the South African government continue its plan to expropriate property without compensation, it will violate the Agoa agreement. This poses the danger that South Africa will be excluded from the agreement. If the South African government violates property rights, the US president is obliged under that country’s legislation to revoke South Africa’s benefits in terms of Agoa. This will have extremely negative consequences for the South African economy.

“AfriForum does not expect the USA to solve South Africa’s problems on our behalf, but we do intend to garner support and get foreign influencers to publicly take a stand against injustices currently taking place in South Africa, thereby putting pressure on the South African government,” concludes Roets.

AfriForum will give continuous feedback on the progress of the tour. Foreigners who want to show their support can join AfriForum at www.friendsofafriforum.com.

For more information visit www.afriforum.co.za/afriforum-voice-aboard/.

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