Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa on Sunday withdrew his response to comments over land expropriation allegedly made by the British government, after discovering it was “fake news”.
“It has now been officially communicated to me that the reported allegation is in fact ‘fake news’, and that the British government has not expressed any misgivings in respect of South Africa’s stance on the expropriation of land without compensation,” Mthethwa said in a statement.
“Accordingly, I hereby revoke and recant the assertions made in this regard.”
Mthethwa said he did so “in full recognition and appreciation of the excellent relations and deep bonds of friendship that exist between Britain and our republic”.
The statement said that in March this year, Mthethwa read media reports on online platforms about the alleged statements of the British government.
Subsequently, at a Human Rights Day commemoration, Mthethwa “repudiated this alleged stance of the British government, asserting South Africa’s inalienable right to self-determination as a sovereign state”, said his ministry.
The British government subsequently issued an “official communication” indicating it did not hold the views indicated in the reports.
As such, Mthethwa had chosen to “unreservedly withdraw” his response.