Over 13,000 people and counting have signed a petition calling on President Donald Trump to let white South Africans emigrate to the U.S. amid a vote by the nation’s parliament that would strip white farmers of their land and redistribute it to Blacks.
The motion still needs the approval of the South African Parliament’s Constitutional Review Committee before an amendment can be drafted, but the move was enough to spark fears among the nation’s white farmers for what could be a disastrous land redistribution event, according to Newsweek.
The petition, which launched two years ago, is experiencing a resurgence since the votes. New signatures are being added by the minute. The petition at the time urged “President-elect Trump to take the steps necessary to initiate an emergency immigration plan allowing white Boers / [South Africans of Dutch, German or Huguenot descent] to come to the United States.”
“All U.S. intelligence agencies have confirmed that the refugees we are currently admitting from Somalia and the Middle East cannot be properly vetted; therefore, we are putting the Nation at risk by admitting them,” the online document reads. “…However, South Africans can easily be vetted and also possess skills that make them compatible with our culture and civilization.”
According to the International Business Times, a similar petition was started urging British Prime Minister Theresa May, European Union President Jean-Claude Juncker and German Chancellor Angela Merkel to “allow all white South Africans the right to return to Europe.”
South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa’s plan to correct South Africa’s “original sin” by confiscating white farmers of their land without compensation. Ramaphosa, who replaced long-time president Jacob Zuma, addressed parliament last week, announcing his plan to right the wrongs of the past by seeing “the return of the land to the people from whom it was taken … to heal divisions of the past.”
“The expropriation of land without compensation is envisaged as one of the measures that we will use to accelerate redistribution of land to Black South Africans,” he said, assuring everyone that the land re-distribution operations would be executed carefully and responsibly.
Former Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe implemented a similar land expropriation program in the late 1990’s. However, the nation’s economy suffered terribly. Many fear South Africa will face the same fate under Ramaphosa’s plan.
“No one is saying that land must be taken away from our people,” South Africa’s president said. “Rather, it’s how we can make sure that our people have equitable access to land and security of tenure.”
A recent Land Audit report showed that Black South Africans account for nearly 80 percent of the nation’s population, yet own a mere 1.2 of its rural land. Meanwhile, white South African comprise just 9 percent of the population and own 23.6 percent of its rural land.