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Australian Minister of Home Affairs Peter Dutton on Wednesday said his department is looking into methods that would facilitate the fast-tracking of visas for white South African farmers who want to relocate to Australia, according to reports.
Dutton, who also holds the ministerial post for immigration and border protection, told the Daily Telegraph that white South African farmers “deserve special attention” because of the “horrific circumstances” of land seizures and violence in the country.
Calls for land expropriation without compensation to redress the imbalances of South Africa’s past have been intensifying since President Cyril Ramaphosa took office, and the EFF tabled a motion in Parliament for a constitutional amendment to allow expropriation.
The motion was supported by the majority of MPs from a number of political parties in the National Assembly, including the ANC. It was however rejected by the DA, Cope, ACDP and FF Plus.
‘Civilised country like ours’
News of these developments reached international shores and led to a number of reports, including in the Australian media, which prompted Dutton’s comments.
“If you look at the footage and read the stories, you hear the accounts, it’s a horrific circumstance they face,” Dutton said, according to The Guardian.
Dutton said Australia has visa, refugee and humanitarian programmes which have the “potential to help some of these people” and his department is looking into it “because from what I have seen they do need help from a civilised country like ours”.
“The people we’re talking about want to work hard, they want to contribute to a country like Australia,” Dutton said.
According to lobby group AfriForum’s business wing, AfriBusiness, land expropriation is “not just a threat to whites”, but to “7.5m black homeowners too”.