“Land is a historically fraught issue in which there are legitimate grievances by the majority. On the other hand, you have to consider security, economy, productivity, not only for South Africans but for American companies doing business there. It’s being dealt with in a transparent manner which the Administration approves of.” was said by Lana Marks, Ambassador of America in South Africa.
Who is Lana Marks and her business ? She is the American Ambassador in South Africa.
Handbag designer and fashion mogul Lana Marks has officially secured herself the position of America’s Ambassador to South Africa. Marks will be part of the Trump Administration. Lana Marks is the founder and CEO of an eponymous fashion brand that counts royalty and Hollywood celebrities among clients. Her accessories have become a favourite among royalty and celebrities such as Jennifer Aniston, Charlize Theron, Chloe Sevigny, Oprah Winfrey, and Princess Diana among others.
Her opinions on South Africa and land reform
Back in July, Lana Marks was required to speak with the Senate’s foreign relations committee. They grilled the 65-year-old about the topical matters in South Africa and asked what she could bring to the table. She played the land reform issue with a straight bat, and signalled the US’ approval of sensible redistribution:
“I speak three of the four most widely spoken South African languages, and I feel this will hold me in good stead. I’ve also served on various boards internationally. I’ve interfaced socially with media and with communications. All of these together, if confirmed, I would utilise to the best of my ability in that position.”
“Land is a historically fraught issue in which there are legitimate grievances by the majority. On the other hand, you have to consider security, economy, productivity, not only for South Africans but for American companies doing business there. It’s being dealt with in a transparent manner which the Administration approves of.”
The languages she refers to, by the way, are English, Afrikaans and Xhosa. So with the Trump Administration now keeping a closer eye on South Africa.
ATTACKS AND MURDERS AGAINST WHITES AND FARM MURDERS?
Q: WHAT WAS THE OUTCOME AFTER THEIR VISIT TO SOUTH AFRICA?
G E N O C I D E – V O L K S M O O R D
ONGOING CRIME AND KILLINGS – IS NOT NORMAL CRIME SITUATIONS AS MOST THINK IT IS, MOST OF THE KILLINGS OF WHITE PEOPLE – THE WOMEN ARE RAPING AND EXTENSIVE TORTURED UNTIL DEATH. MOST CRIMINALS ARE STILL IN THE STREETS AND NOT BEHIND BARS.
Ambassador-designate Lana Marks
Daily Maverick (Peter Fabricius)
November 14, 2019
America’s new ambassador to South Africa, Lana Marks, has ‘hit the ground running’. She has to, really. The East London-born businesswoman and Florida friend of US President Donald Trump has just arrived at her post in Pretoria. barely one year before he ends his first term. But she insists her delayed appointment will not complicate her job.
In her first interview in South Africa three days after her arrival, US ambassador to South Africa Lana Marks told Daily Maverick that US President Donald Trump had been eager for her to get to South Africa as soon as possible after he nominated her for the job in November 2016, soon after being elected. But it had taken many months for her to be formally nominated, mainly she said, because US officials had had to go to all 110 countries she had visited on business over the past 15 years to vet her before giving her security clearance.
After that, the Senate confirmation process had been relatively quick and she was delighted that the full Senate had recently confirmed her unanimously.
Asked if she thought her arrival, some 33 months after her predecessor Patrick Gaspard vacated the office, would make life difficult, she emphatically said “No”.
“I’ve hit the ground running” she said, explaining how she had spent Monday and Tuesday at the Africa Investment Forum in Sandton as this was the sort of thing she would be focusing on — promoting US investment and commerce in SA.
Her lack of government experience is not a liability either, she believes. Rather, the contrary. She says it was precisely her political greenness and business acumen which appealed to Trump — also a business person with no prior government experience.
“He felt this was positive that I hadn’t been in this (political) arena in the past.
“I feel having been a business entrepreneur and also a woman business entrepreneur holds me in good stead in our partnership between the United States and South Africa in greatly increasing trade and investment.”
She stressed that she would be promoting jobs and empowerment for women and youth.
“I’m a bottom-line person. I want to get to the bottom line as quickly as possible… being a business person, being an entrepreneur, starting up my own business from my own kitchen table, with a few little sketches.”
That business is making and selling high-fashion handbags, reportedly carried by celebrities such as her countrywoman Charlize Theron.
She explained how she had personally built her company in the US and then taken it to the world after the financial crash of 2008.
“This was held by President Trump to hold me in really good esteem as Ambassador of the United States to South Africa. “
She also insisted: “I was not a financial donor, political donor. Zero donations. President Trump appointed me on his knowledge of me. We’ve shared a nice acquaintance between him and his family over 23 years.”
Having said that, she happily corrects herself and confirms a media report that she has in fact made one political donation, $2,000 in 2012 to the presidential election campaign, not of Trump, but of Senator Mitt Romney.
But she said that was because she had been ambushed on leaving a “spectacular’ campaign funding lunch in New York, hosted by friends, which Romney’s wife addressed.
“On the way out, everyone who attended was automatically expected to give a donation of $2,000. I’m in the line, I give my donation of $2,000.”
Marks made it very clear that commerce, perhaps because it is her main qualification, is going to be her first priority in the new job. She stressed that she would be the head of the “Deal Team” in the US embassy, bringing US and South African businesses together to boost trade and investment. She noted that creating a better climate for business in South Africa and other African countries was the aim of Washington’s new Prosper Africa initiative.
She also rejected any suggestion that her South African birth would make her job harder. Quite the contrary, she insisted. It’s generally frowned upon to appoint foreign-born diplomats to the countries of their birth for fear of creating conflicts of interest. But she says:
“I’m fully American. However, because I was born and raised in South Africa I have South Africa in my heart, and I want things to work in the most fantastic way between our two countries.”
In her Senate confirmation hearing, Marks also offered her South African background as an asset, stressing she could speak three of the country’s 11 official languages. And at her first press conference in South Africa she ventured “baie dankie,” (thanks a lot), claimed to be “heeltemal tweetalig”(completely bilingual) and also offered a greeting in isiXhosa — “Molo ninjani” (hello, how are you?) — while admitting she was “a bit rusty”.
A former US diplomat told Daily Maverick that if the US had to appoint a South African-born ambassador to Pretoria, it should have been a black person, not someone born into the apartheid-era white community.
Marks responded to this by suggesting that her own family had experienced discrimination. Her Jewish father had escaped anti-Semitism in Lithuania by emigrating to South Africa. He had become very disappointed by the “transition” into apartheid in his adopted country. And so her father and mother had both been “thrilled” when she had the opportunity to leave South Africa for the US the day after she was married on 30 May 1976.
She had become a US citizen in 1994 — the year Mandela was elected, she notes — “and was able to start living this incredible American dream… I worked hard, my husband worked hard, our kids were able to go to wonderful schools in the United States, wonderful universities.
“I was able as a woman entrepreneur to start a business from scratch and develop it into a global business. People accepted us magnificently in the US. It’s just been the most incredible ride, with the most incredible opportunities.”
And now, she said, she felt deeply honoured to have become the US ambassador to SA, to return to a democratic South Africa “and to be able to give back to my adopted country in the country of my birth”.
Marks said her three main priorities as ambassador would be trade and investment, healthcare, youth and women’s jobs, and empowerment.
She stressed that the US would continue and even expand Pepfar, the programme which she said had already provided more than R80-billion in the past 15 years to finance HIV/AIDS prevention, testing and treatment in this country. The US would spend more than $750-million this year alone, thanks to a “generous” surge of funding by the US Congress.
Marks disclosed that the Trump administration was still “watching” the situation of land expropriation without compensation and murders of white farmers.
Last year Trump sparked a storm of criticism in South Africa by Tweeting that he had instructed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to investigate land reform and farm murders.
Probed on this, Marks said the US was “very pleased that South Africa is dealing with things in a very transparent manner”.
“All murders, farm murders, are senseless, all violence is senseless. Farm murders are less than one percent of the overall murders taking place in South Africa. But they’re all unacceptable.
“It’s a horrible problem which President Ramaphosa and the South African government are doing their utmost to address at this time. To the best of my knowledge there have been no farms confiscated.”
She said, though:
“We’re interested in a very good climate for greatly increasing business between our nations. And South Africa must continue to create this really good climate so we can greatly increase business immediately.”
Daily Maverick asked her directly if Trump himself accepted that South Africa was dealing with the land issue in the right way. She said he was.
“So it’s not an issue?” “The US is watching it. Yes of course.”
“So it’s an open dossier?” “Yes, well said.”
Ramaphosa bluntly suggested to Trump that he should mind his own business when he made his infamous land tweet. The two met at the UN not long after and discovered that they had two South African acquaintances in common, the golfers Gary Player and Ernie Els.
Marks said it was “fantastic” that the two presidents were both great businessmen and golfers. Sport could achieve “magnificent diplomacy” she said, noting how “the world reveres South Africa after your latest magnificent achievement in rugby”.
She said Trump greatly admired Ramaphosa and added that nothing would please her more than if Trump paid a state visit to South Africa.
Marks also insisted that she saw no danger of South Africa being suspended or disqualified from the trade benefits of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa). In 2016 the US provisionally and temporarily suspended some SA Agoa benefits — rescinding duty-free access to the US market on wine and fruit — because of import barriers on US poultry.
Recently the threat has re-surfaced as the US trade representative announced in October 2019 a new review of South Africa’s Agoa benefits in response to a petition filed by the International Intellectual Property Alliance about South Africa’s poor protection and enforcement of copyrights.
The IIPA — which represents the Motion Picture Association of America and other entertainment, software and publishing groups — has been reported in trade media as saying it had numerous concerns about South Africa’s copyright protection and enforcement regime.
“No, it’s not a danger at all,” Marks said about the apparent threat of South Africa losing Agoa benefits.
“I just don’t see that happening with the current robust relationship, working so closely together. All our agencies working together in such a positive way. I just don’t see that being a problem at all.”
Since mid-morning on the Muslim day of prayers, loudspeakers blasted “No, no America!” at a central square in the Iraqi capital. A child held up a poster reading, “Death to America. Death to Israel”.
‘No, no America!’ as Baghdad protesters demand US troops quit Iraq
AFTER THE IRAQ BOMBS
Members of the South African Communist Party (SACP), an alliance partner of the governing African National Congress (ANC), have gathered outside the United States (US) embassy, in Pretoria, to protest against US President Donald Trump’s treatment of Iran. Asked why they were picketing outside the US Embassy, the group claimed that this was a way of standing in solidarity with the Iranian people, following the assassination of the Middle East’s most revered military veteran, General Qasem Soleimani.
Chant – One American One Bullet – One Settler One Bullet
President Trump van Amerika het sy keuse vir nominasie gemaak vir Ambassadeur in Suid-Afrika. Lana Marks is ‘n eks Suid-Afrikaner met Afrikaans en Xhosa sprekend. Sy is ‘n besigheidsvrou van handsakke ontwerp, maar sy is ook lid van sy privaat klub Mar-a-Lago wat ‘n duur en eksklusiewe klub is, wat nie vir die gewone man op straat is nie. Dus ‘n ware rykmanslewe. Dit gaan nie oor die pos as sulks nie maar oor ‘n groter prentjie. Haar handsakke is baie duur en ook bekend aan die “elites” en “royals”. Sover bekend was die pos van Ambassadeur vir 2 jaar vakant. Daar is ook vasgestel dat sy van Joodse afkoms is.
Parliament, Thursday, 5 December 2019 – The Ad Hoc Committee to Initiate and Introduce Legislation Amending Section 25 of the Constitution today agreed to have the draft Constitution Eighteenth Amendment Bill which aims to amend the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa of 1996 so as to provide that where land and any improvements thereon are expropriated for the purposes of land reform, the amount of compensation payable may be nil, be Gazetted. (Note: land included all properties, vehicles, shares, etc.)
Very interesting how many of those white members in parliament today, were part of the Kodesa negotiations and took part in the “socalled democratic (communist) constitution” of 1996. What has been changed since? ANC control everything and there is a lot of corruption, rapes, killings and attacks.
Government bought more than 5000 farms, not only for themselves, but for whom, but use tax money for that purpose. Those farms were all productive in food producing.
They also have this so-called landclaims schemes and legislations (only for coloureds and blacks). Thousands of them claimed land, coloured, khoisan and blacks, they all received finances from government (our tax money), if you read Hansards of Parliament.
There is also the old Kwazulu homeland, they call it today Ingonyama trustland, that is ONLY (still as in the past) for the Zulu people. That was negotiated during Kodesa.
A white paper explained that most (30 million plus) of those tribal people are still living on the old homelands and there are 8840 traditional leaders.
There are also more than 7.5 million blacks that bought properties and have a title dead but they claimed that they are landless – how is that possible? Where do they live then. There are blacks that have a CPA property in those rural areas (old homelands) as well as a registered property with title deed inhand.
Kgalema Motlanthe criticised Parliament’s response to the report, which he said explained that the Constitution was clear on the expropriation of land without compensation.
They want to expropriate all
if you are white and you own a property, a business, a company, a tour agency, engineering, farming, shares in any company, vehicles used for your businesses, it is included to expropriate – read it with their ANC constitution. That want to expropriate without compensation and change the so-called democratic constitution.
WHO ARE REALLY LANDLESS?
South Africa’s residential property market forms the largest component of the South African property market, comprising most of the property assets within the country. By the end of 2017, the South African deeds registry had 7.2 million properties, worth R6.8 trillion (US$472 billion). Of this, about R5.1 trillion (US$354 billion) is in the residential sector, involving approximately 6.37 million registered properties. Just over half (57 percent) of the total formal residential property market is found in the eight metropolitan municipalities.