World Media

SA govt criticises Australia's response to land debate

SA govt criticises Australia's response to land debate

According to a report in the Telegraph, Dutton cited the "horrific circumstances" of land seizures as a reason for Australia to give white SA farmers preferential treatment.

Australia's minister for immigration and border protection, Peter Dutton, reportedly said that his department is considering fast-tracking the visas of white South African farmers looking to emigrate to Australia, because the group deserves "special attention" owing to the "horrific circumstances" they face in South Africa.

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. "We want people who want to come here, abide by our laws, integrate into our society, work hard, not lead a life on welfare".

The South African parliament recently pass legislation allowing the government to reposses land taken under colonialism and apartheid without compensating the current owners.

President Ramaphosa, who replaced Jacob Zuma after years of corruption scandals finally forced the 75-year-old from office, was cheered in the South African parliament as he pledged to "accelerate our land distribution programme ... to redress a grave historical injustice [and] make more land available to our people for cultivation".

"Dirco is engaging with the Australian government on this matter".

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The home affairs minister noted Australia has refugee, humanitarian and other visa programs which have the "potential to help some of these people".

His comments come just months after asylum-seekers and refugees held in a remote Pacific camp were awarded Aus$70 million ($56 million) for being illegally detained and treated negligently in Australia's largest human rights class action settlement.

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

'It's very interesting that Peter Dutton talks about the white South African deserve special attention no one care about your statements while you have such a barbaric policy on Manus and Nauru.

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.

Dutton added that white farmers from South Africa needed assistance "from a civilized country like ours". Recent reports by both the BBC and Africa Check concluded that it is nearly impossible to determine the murder rate on South African farms because the data is too unreliable.


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