Australia considers visas for 'persecuted' white South African farmers

Australia considers visas for 'persecuted' white South African farmers

Australia's home affairs minister Peter Dutton was quoted saying that the farmers "deserve special attention" from Australia, due to the "horrific circumstances" of land redistribution and violence.

The spokesperson did not specify which minority groups, but white people only make up about 10 per cent of the population in South Africa.

The senior Turnbull government minister, who still oversees immigration in his expanded Home Affairs portfolio, credited stories in News Corp publications for bringing the matter to his attention.

Mr Roets said the Australian Government should engage with South African officials.

The department of global relations and cooperation (Dirco) has slammed statements made by an Australian politician, who says his country is examining the fast-tracking of visas for white South African farmers because of the dangers they apparently face in South Africa.

He declared: "We have the potential to help some of these people that are being persecuted" and said he wanted to explore whether the farmers could access visas or humanitarian programs.

"I think in this circumstance we do need to look at the persecution that's taking place", he said.

Dutton suggested an announcement could be made soon.

South Africa's foreign ministry has dismissed Mr Dutton's comments and expressed its "regret" over the lack of diplomatic communication. "That threat does not exist", he said.

Asked if this could be achieved with the South African government's cooperation, Dutton replied Australia "can work with governments all around the world".

The decision comes in the wake of newly-elected South African President Cyril Ramaphosa's apparent plan to appropriate white-owned South African farms and redistribute the land to black South Africans.

Although violent crime is a serious issue across South African society, killings on farms, the vast majority of which are white-owned, has become a particularly racially charged issue.

"Further he also seemingly admits that the concern of white South Africans is just as valid as that of any other citizen, while the South African authorities are only too glad to hold the community as scapegoats for problems in the country and treat them as second class citizens", says Bailey. "I doubt white South African farmers will make the move to Australia".

"Our future is in Africa, not elsewhere", chief executive Kallie Kriel said.

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