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South Africa rebukes Australian minister for white farmer comments

15 March 2018

Peter Dutton, Australia's home affairs minister, told the Sydney Daily Telegraph on Wednesday his department was examining a range of methods to smooth their path to Australia on humanitarian or other visa programs. "There is no reason for any government in the world to suspect that a section of South Africans is under danger from their own democratically elected government".

Australia is considering fast-tracking visas for white South African farmers so they can flee their "horrific circumstances" for a "civilised country".

"We would like to solve the problem in South Africa".

As Breitbart News has reported, South Africans are increasingly anxious that the government's plans to expropriate land from white farmers without compensation could destroy the economy and the country's fragile democracy.

Mr Dutton said the farmers could make a contribution to Australian life.

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The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) said on Wednesday that it was regrettable that the Australian government did not use diplomatic channels to raise its concerns.

At the same time, the number of slain farmers, farm workers, and family members - a lot of them white - had hit 71, surpassing the estimated death toll for 2016.

Mr Dutton said he believed the farmers deserve "special attention" because they faced violence and land seizures.

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

Dutton's comments come just months after asylum-seekers and refugees held in a remote Pacific camp were awarded $56 million for being illegally detained and treated negligently in Australia's largest human rights class action settlement.

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"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.

He indicated that those wanting to leave may be able apply under an "in-country persecution" visa category, or through a refugee-humanitarian programme.

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.

Speaking to parliament on Tuesday, Ramaphosa said South Africa was not heading down the road towards the type of violent and chaotic seizure of white-owned farms that triggered economic collapse in Zimbabwe almost 20 years ago.

He said the home affairs department was looking at ways to help "some of these horrific cases" and suggested an announcement could be made shortly. The farmers fear fatal violence following calls to transfer land ownership from black to white farmers.

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South Africa rebukes Australian minister for white farmer comments