The Australian minister of home affairs, Mr. Peter Dutton, has offered a lifeline to South African farmers, suggesting they could get special refugee status. “White farmers facing violence in South Africa deserve special attention from Australia,” he said.
Mr Dutton asked his department to investigate how white farmers suffering genocidal attacks and torture in South Africa could be brought to Australia, by being granted special visas or membership of humanitarian programmes.
“People do need help and they need help from a civilised country like ours,” Mr Dutton told the global Australian media company News Corp.
“There are existing visa categories where we can accommodate people and we’re just looking at the moment as to what might be feasible. Hopefully we’ll make an announcement in due course.”
His fellow minister in the federal Cabinet, Steve Ciobo, described conditions in South Africa as “cause for concern” and supported the idea of helping South African farmers.
“Let’s be frank, if we see in this case — people who are being thrown off their land, being persecuted, I’ve read of people being shot, rapes, all sorts of different things — then I do believe that there’s a role to be played,” Ciobo told broadcaster ABC.
South Africa’s ANC regime plans to expropriate all farmland on a racial basis “without compensation”, as in Zimbabwe. On 27 February this year, the ANC passed a motion in parliament to expropriate all white-owned land without compensation, supported by the votes of the radical Afro-Marxist party, the EFF (Economic Freedom Fighters).
The ANC has reacted angrily to Australia’s offer of help to persecuted white farmers. The party’s minister of international relations and cooperation, Lindiwe Sisulu, summoned Canberra’s High Commissioner to South Africa, Adam McCarthy, to receive a démarche in which the ANC regime voiced its objection. Sisulu demanded “a retraction of the comments made by their home affairs minister Mr Peter Dutton related to the South African land redistribution process”.
She continued in a statement: “It was communicated to the High Commissioner that the South African Government is offended by the statements which have been attributed to the Australian home affairs minister and a full retraction is expected.”
However, Mr. Peter Dutton refused to retract his offer to South African farmers, and was supported by the Australian prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, who stated: “We have migrants to Australia from every part of the world… and we have a refugee programme that is non-discriminatory.
“We have a very large South African community of Australians of South African ancestry, from every background, and they make a phenomenal contribution to our very successful multicultural society.”
The country’s foreign minister, Julie Bishop, equally refused to denounce her colleague at home affairs and denied that there was a double standard in expressing concern about white South African farmers but not about Palestinian farmers persecuted by Israel, as suggested by some left-wing activists in Australia.
“I reject that,” Julie Bishop told ABC Radio. “What we do in our humanitarian visa programme is assess visas on their merits and that’s what Peter Dutton as home affairs minister does every day.”
She added that the message from Canberra to Pretoria was “that they seek to ensure the security of all their citizens”.
“We certainly urge the South African government to ensure that any changes to land ownership are not disruptive to the economy or lead to violence.”
On Netwerk24, one of South Africa’s news sites published by the left-liberal Naspers Group, a poll was held to ask readers whether they wanted to escape from South Africa to Australia. A resounding 85 percent said “yes”.