As South Africa debates US President Donald Trump's comments about land expropriation, Deputy President David Mabuza took the opportunity to crush farmers' fear and apprehension.
He said: "As the leadership of the ANC and government, we are clear that the implementation of land reform measures must not result in social fractures and racial polarisation.'
He was speaking a land summit organised by Landbouweekblad and Agri SA in Bela-Bela, Limpopo. "The land reform processes that we are undertaking poses no direct threat to the agriculture sector and the economy as a whole," he added.
South Africa's second-in-command called on farmers to continue to work hard, invest in their farms and increase production, while extending a hand of collaboration to the government to ensure that more and more South Africans enter the sector through organised and systematic access to land for productive use.
"Everything we do will be done within the confines of our constitutional framework. As the ANC, we will not support 'land grab' processes intended to undermine the economy and the work of the agriculture sector."
Mabuza promised that no farms would be invaded or grabbed and that farmers did not have to fear for their well-being.
"We would like to discourage those who are using this sensitive and emotive issue of land to divide us as South Africans by distorting our land reform measures to the international community and spreading falsehoods that our 'white farmers' are facing the onslaught from their own government. This is far from the truth."
On Wednesday, Trump tweeted: "I have asked Secretary of State @SecPompeo to closely study the South Africa land and farm seizures and expropriations and the large scale killing of farmers. South African Government is now seizing land from white farmers."