The New York Times recently ran a three-part series - titled “American nationalist” - on the Fox News host Tucker Carlsson by Nicholas Confessore. Part Two references the segment on ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight’ in May 2018 in which AfriForum’s Ernst Roets was interviewed on farm murders and the ANC’s move to Expropriation Without Compensation. Roets submitted the following opinion piece to the New York Times in response which considered it, but decided to pass on publication.
The threat to South African farmers: A problem worth discussing
Even though there is an abundance of misleading information on the plight of South African farmers, their crisis remains one that the world must in fact take seriously. In 2018 I was interviewed by Tucker Carlson about this crisis and about the South African government’s initiative to change the property rights clause in the South African Constitution to empower the government to expropriate private property without compensation.
Carlson published several other segments about the topic. This lead to a tweet by former President Donald Trump, in which he said that he had asked State Secretary Mike Pompeo “to closely study the South African land and farm seizures and expropriations and large scale killing of farmers.”
From a South African perspective all hell broke loose. During our trip to Washington – where I was interviewed by Carlson – South African President Cyril Ramaphosa called on us during a speech in Parliament to “come back home for inclusive dialogue”. Upon our return, Ramaphosa and his Minister of Foreign Affairs announced that they intend to “tell the truth” about South Africa to the world. A liaison tour occurred in September 2018, and Ramaphosa was asked about Trump’s tweet. He responded that “there is no land grab” and “there are no killings of farmers or white farmers” in South Africa.
A deluge of media attention was also given to the crisis of farm murders. Unfortunately, it seems that much of this was an attempt by specific media outlets to present the crisis in South Africa as insignificant – seemingly to discredit Trump and Carlson, whom they presumably regard as political or ideological opponents. On the other hand, a handful of extremist groups jumped on the bandwagon, proclaiming a “white genocide” in South Africa.