- The Department of International Relations and Cooperation has blasted statements made by Australia’s Minister of Immigration
- Peter Dutton reportedly said his department was looking into fast-tracking visas of white South African farmers
- The Australian minister said white South African farmers deserved special attention because of the horrific circumstances they face
The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) has blasted statements made by a controversial Australian politician, who said his country would look at fast-tracking visas applications by white South African farmers.
Australian Minister of Immigration and border protection, Peter Dutton, reportedly said his department was looking into fast-tracking the visa applications of white South African farmers looking to immigrate to Australia.
Dutton said white South African farmers deserved special attention because of the horrific circumstance they face in South Africa. It remains unclear whether Dutton was referring to farm-murder statistics or the government’s undertaking to expropriate land without compensation.
Briefly.co.za discovered that Dutton was quoted as saying: “If you look at the footage and read the stories, you hear the accounts, it's a horrific circumstance they (white farmers) ... from what I have seen they do need help from a civilised country like ours".
Dirco spokesperson Ndivhuwo Mabaya said President Ramaphosa had made it clear that the process of land expropriation would be undertaken with great care and the entire process would proceed orderly and according to South African laws to minimise the impact on the economy.
Mabaya said there was no reason for any government in the world to suspect that a particular section of the population in South Africa was in danger from their own government.
"We call on organisations like AfriForum who are spreading wrong information to cause panic and fear to refrain from doing so. The South African government has been very clear; the matter is now before Parliament and all stakeholders [will] be consulted – and they can also engage with Parliament," Mabaya said.
African Farmers Association CEO Neo Masithela said Dutton’s comments were ludicrous.
Masithela said all agricultural unions in South Africa were actually banding together to help black and white farmers in the country understand the parliamentary process of land expropriation.
He said it was deeply concerning that certain politicians and groups were trying to address land expropriation from a racial point of view. Masithela said: "It must be addressed from a socioeconomic position. I doubt white South African farmers will make the move to Australia."
AfriForum said it had taken note of Dutton’s statement which made it clear that he viewed challenges faced by farmers as serious, unlike the government which shrugged off concerns from farmers.
Afriforum said it does not encourage the emigration of farmers.
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