Cyril Ramaphosa thegrio.com
(Photo by Michelly Rall/Getty Images for TIME/FORTUNE/CNN)

South Africa’s new president, Cyril Ramaphosa, wants to address the legacy of colonization in his country by taking land from white farmers and giving it to the Black citizens.

Ramaphosa said in an address to South Africa’s parliament in Cape Town that the “original sin” of the country was the European colonizers taking land from the tribal people in the 1600s. 

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The president of South Africa said that he wanted to see “the return of the land to the people from whom it was taken… to heal the 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,” Ramaphosa said.

He went on to promise, “We will handle it in a way that is not going to damage our economy.”

Needless to say that didn’t sit well with white farmers in South Africa.

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More than 10,500 people have reportedly signed a petition calling for President Donald Trump to allow white South African landowners, who have their land stripped as a result of the country’s exapropriation vote, to immigrate to the United States.

White South African farmers believe they are being pushed out of the country and stripped of their land without compensation, according to news.com.au.

The petition calls on Donald Trump to “take the steps necessary to initiate an emergency immigration plan allowing white Boers to come to the United States.” Boer is the term used to describe South Africans of Dutch, German or Huguenot descent, and who are also commonly referred to as Afrikaners.

And now, the NY Times is reporting that an Australian official has asked for farmers from South Africa to be granted emergency visas, should they seek protection in a “civilized country.” 

South Africa’s Foreign Ministry reportedly fired back on Thursday, stating that white farmers are not at risk of violence or ill treatment.

“There is no reason for any government anywhere in the world to suspect that any South African is in danger from their own democratically elected government,” said spokesman, Ndivhuwo Mabaya, in a statement. “That threat simply does not exist.”