The United States says it believes that land expropriation without compensation would send South Africa down the wrong path. The US State Department has expressed this view during a briefing after a news report on a right-wing news channel that prompted President Donald Trump to tweet about the issue.

This has caused an outcry in South Africa. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, at Trump’s direction, will now focus on the issue of South Africa’s evolving land policy, as State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert told the briefing:

Nauert said, “The President and the Secretary certainly discussed it, the President asked the Secretary to look at the current state of action in SA related to land reform. This is something that has been going on for many decades, the conversation and debate about land reform there. I should mention that the expropriation without compensation – our position is that that would send South Africa down the wrong path. We continue to encourage a peaceful and transparent public debate about what we continue to consider an important issue and the South Africans certainly do as well.”