Australia's offer to S.A. Farmers

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mark.miller
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Australia's offer to S.A. Farmers

Post by mark.miller » Thu Mar 15, 2018 10:26 am

JOHANNESBURG - The Department of International Relations said groups like AfriForum must stop stoking panic on land reform.

That's after Australia announced it will consider fast-tracking visa applications of white South African farmers.

The offer was swiftly rebuffed by South Africa, with a government spokesman saying that no section of the country's population was in any danger.

Government spokesman Ndivhuwo Mabaya told the BBC that there was "no need for anyone to be scared or to fear anything".

"The land redistribution programme will be done according to the law," he said, adding: "We remain a united nation here in South Africa -- both black and white."

Australia's Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said the South Africans deserve "special attention" for acceptance on refugee or humanitarian grounds.

He cited reports of land seizures and violence targeting the white farmers.

"If you look at the footage, you hear the stories and you read the accounts, it's a horrific circumstance that they face," Dutton told Sydney's Daily Telegraph on Wednesday.

Dutton suggested an announcement could be made soon.

"We're just looking at the moment at what might be feasible and hopefully we'll make an announcement in due course," he said.

AfriForum deputy chief executive Alana Bailey said on the group's website that Dutton's remarks should serve as a wake-up call for the South African government.

"It must serve as a warning that South Africa runs the risk to lose even more productive, loyal citizens should their concerns about issues such as property rights not be listened to in earnest," Bailey said.

International Relations Minister Lindiwe Sisulu says channels remain open for international governments to engage on land reform.

Sisulu insists the process is being done within a legal framework.



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