Australia’s Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton says it’s “unquestionable” some white South African farmers are being persecuted and his department is looking into specific cases.
Mr. Dutton also told Sky News Australia that no one in the government has retracted his offer to help white South African farmers who are eligible to be resettled under Australia’s refugee program, despite the South African government claiming Foreign Minister Julie Bishop had done so.
On the contrary, he maintains that his department is “looking into” specific cases and Australia will do what it can for people in “desperate” situations.
.@PeterDutton_MP: the Immigration Department is looking into ‘several cases’ of white South African farmers who claim they are being persecuted in their home country.
— Sky News Australia (@SkyNewsAust) April 3, 2018
Mr. Dutton’s comments follow weeks of debate between the Australian and South African governments over the fate of threatened farmers in South Africa.
As Breitbart News reported, Australia is ready to consider issuing special visas to mainly white, Afrikaans-speaking South African farmers due to the “horrific circumstances” of land seizures, violence and murder they face.
The announcement was made last month, with Mr. Dutton outlining that Australia has refugee, humanitarian and other visa programs which have the “potential to help some of these people”. He said he had asked his department to look at the options “because from what I have seen they do do need help from a civilised country like ours”.
South Africa immediately rejected Mr. Dutton’s concerns, demanded a retraction and called in Australia’s High Commissioner to explain.
Mr. Dutton has now disputed the South African Government’s interpretation, saying neither Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull nor Ms. Bishop has “rebutted” his comments.
Farm violence is a racially charged and sensitive political issue, particularly given Pretoria’s plans to seize land from farmers without compensation.
Neighbouring Zimbabwe witnessed a similar situation in the 2000s when Marxist dictator Robert Mugabe instituted a programme of mass land confiscation. Many were murdered as squatters seized white-owned farms and ran them into the ground, ultimately leading to a collapse in agricultural production and economic depression.
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