Published: Thu, March 15, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

'Australia fast-tracking visas for white SA farmers based on false information'

'Australia fast-tracking visas for white SA farmers based on false information'

Australian home affairs minister Peter Dutton is considering fast-tracking visas for white South African farmers.

"The people we're talking about want to work hard, they want to contribute to a country like Australia", he said.

Mr Dutton has ordered his department to investigate how to bring the farmers, who he says are facing "horrific circumstances" of land seizures and violence, to Australia.

"That threat does not exist", the foreign ministry said.

Thousands of people signed a petition earlier this month to allow white farmers from South Africa to emigrate to the USA after South Africa's Parliament supported a motion to that would strip farmers of their land without compensation.

"It must be stated again that the South African president, the Minister of Land Affairs, and [the] Minister of International [Relations and Cooperation] have said in a number of public platforms, and also when engaging with stakeholders, that the process of land redistribution would be orderly, within South African laws and [take] into consideration both social and economic impact", Mabaya said.

But the South African Government has dismissed fears expressed by Mr Dutton for the safety of the farmers, saying its citizens are not in danger.

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But deputy chief executive Ernst Roets said most South Africans would prefer to stay on home soil.

"I do think on the information that I've seen, people do need help, and they need help from a civilised country like ours", Mr Dutton said.

"It must be addressed from a socioeconomic position".

Dutton added that white farmers from South Africa needed assistance "from a civilized country like ours". The response came after News Corp reported on "numerous and increasing cases of rape and torture carried out on white farmers" who they alleged were being "targeted in ruthless opportunistic crimes and what appears to be an orchestrated terror campaign".

Alana Bailey, deputy chief executive of AfriForum responsible for global liaison, said Dutton clearly takes in a "serious light" issues such as the high occurrence of farm attacks, crime statistics and the government's steps to make expropriation without compensation possible, while the South African government "simply ignores or shrugs these off as unfounded fears".

However, Bailey told HuffPost that AfriForum does not encourage the emigration of farmers. "It may look like an easy alternative, but it might have harsh consequences in the future".

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