Exodus: 10,000 plus South African Whites sign a petition asking Trump for asylum
At this point over 12,000 people have signed a petition asking President Trump to let white people in South Africa emigrate to the U.S. after a controversial vote from the country's parliament in favor of a motion that could see South Africa's Constitution amended to allow the government to steal land from owners without even offering any compensation.
Although the motion is still pending the approval of the South African Parliament's Constitutional Review Committee before even a draft of the amendment will be made, this situation has stoked fears among the country's white farmers of a violent and disastrous land redistribution akin to that which targeted white farmers and crippled Zimbabwe in the 2000s.
Genocide in South Africa?
The online petition demands that Trump "take the steps necessary to initiate an emergency immigration plan allowing white Boers to come to the United States." Boer is the term most commonly used to refer to South Africans of Dutch, German or Huguenot descent, although they are sometimes also called Afrikaners.
The petition also specifically recommends that Trump stop taking rerugees from Somalia and the Middle East, instead replacing them with white South Africans because Middle Easterners "cannot be properly vetted" according to the petition.
A sister petition was created which calls upon European Union President Jean-Claude Juncker, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and British Prime Minister Theresa May to also allow the Boers into their nations, and has gained nearly 17,000 signatures.
The motion for the amendment was put forward by the radical Economic Freedom Fighters and supported, but amended, by the ruling African National Congress (ANC), with the explicit goal of land reforms to help eliminate racial disparities in land ownership. The motion passed easily, 241-83.
Such a move was a key part of recently elected President Cyril Ramaphosa's platform. Ramaphosa, who claims that he has long supported Nelson Mandela's vision for South Africa, took office last month after President Jacob Zuma left office.
The newly elected President
Today in South Africa, most of the country's profitable farming land is still owned by white residents. According to a recent study, around 73 percent of the nation's profitable farming land is owned by whites.
Agri SA, who conducted the study, actually expressed concerns over the decision of parliament, saying that while it "fully understands the need for land reform and the frustration with the apparent slow process and is committed to orderly and sustainable land reform. politics and emotion dominated the debate."
Dan Kriek, Agri SA’s president, warned that the precident set by this change could endanger the rights of all property owners in South Africa. He pointed out that amending the country's constitution property clause would be a step backward into a past where the protection of property rights was not applied fairly to people of different ethnicity.
Julius Malema, the leader of the EFF opposition party, who were responsible for introducing the motion in the first place told lawmakers "we must stop being cowards. We must stop working around the white minorities who are governed by the fear of the unknown when it comes to the question of land expropriation without compensation."
He blamed the disparity in land ownership on "criminals who stole our land."
Malema added that "the time for reconciliation in South Africa "is over! Now is the time for justice! We must ensure that we restore the dignity of our people without compensating the criminals who stole our land."
Malema has been a strong supporter of confiscating land specifically from white farmers, saying in 2016 he was "not calling for the slaughter of white people–at least for now."
The South African Parliament's support for stealing land from whites comes despite the fact that Zimbabwe has recently had to form a commission to compensate those farmers whose land was stolen decades ago. According Zimbabwe's government, more than 4,000 white farmers were affected by the "land reform" program, which often resulted in violence.
It also had disastrous consequences for the country's economy, as it led to a collapse in farm production.
However, Ramaphosa has, of course, urged people in South Africa not to panic over the vote.
South Africa's government run Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Department took to twitter to reinforce this narrative. "This is a serious matter. It'll be handled through dialogue and in a stable manner. No need for beating war drums and creating an unnecessary panic! South Africa belongs to all who live in it!" they wrote.
"As we address the land issue, we'll ensure that equitable land is distributed to our poor people in a way that will ensure continued stability, "the CGTA added.
Earlier, the department had also taken time to tweet out that, "Land is our heritage, our identity and essentially our dignity. We owe it to our children to dispel the myth that Africans are not interested in commercial farming."
"We'll continue to help improve the lives of South Africans through making tough decisions. This is a moment where we all need to rise and tackle this issue and emerge victorious, "the CGTA added, along with the hashtag "#LandExpropriation."
Unconvinced by the South African government's denials, the creators of the petition point out that these policies could "dispossess whites of their history, culture, farms, property and jobs, will inevitably lead to a complete genocide of South Africa's white population" if the U.S. does not "intercede."
As recently as last October, thousands of predominantly white protesters took to the streets throughout South Africa to protest a string of deadly racially motivated attacks in rural areas of the country. Protesters pointed out that farmers were much more likely to be murdered than the average South African.
The BBC found mixed results on whether farmers were actually more likely to be killed, but they did confirm that farm murders in South Africa are at their highest level since 2010-11. The country's police service states that 74 people were murdered on farms between April 2016 and March 2017, compared with 58 in the previous year. Those numbers reflect the number of murdered farmers, farmworkers and visitors to farms regardless of race.
The Parliament's Constitutional Review Committee will have until August 30 to come to a decision regarding the validity of this measure.
Although it is unclear why a spokesperson for Change.org claimed that they were looking into whether the petitions violated any company policies and said that the website is uncertain if they will take any action. The website later added a note stating it had "received flags for some Change. org users that facts contained in this petition may be contested, "adding: "You may consider researching this issue before signing or sharing."
It is clear that certain forces wish to shut this petition down and ignore the very real concerns that there could soon be a genocide in South Africa. The following video contains more information: