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Zimbabwe farmers' union to white South Africans: Share land or we'll remove you

Staff Writer |
A Zimbabwean farmers' union leader warned white South African farmers they should agree a deal to share land with the black majority before they suffer the same fate as neighbours in Zimbabwe who were violently removed from their properties.

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Land redistribution is a burning political issue in South Africa and has divided the ruling African National Congress (ANC) ahead of a December conference where President Jacob Zuma's successor as party leader will be chosen.

Many Zuma supporters are demanding land expropriation from whites without compensation, while the radical Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), an increasingly popular four-year-old party, has told South Africans to occupy unused land illegally.

Although Zuma has said any land reform will be done sensibly and within the law, there are concerns that the populism in South African politics could lead to the scenes witnessed in Zimbabwe in the early-2000s.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe permitted violent land seizures from white farmers, beginning in 2000, that prompted the international community to cut off ties and sent a once-promising economy into a tailspin.

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