The South African government is probably not going to be sitting down for a braai with its Australian counterpart anytime soon. But maybe the country’s white farmers will?
The animosity comes after Australian Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Peter Dutton, called for white South African farmers to have their visas to Australia fast-tracked.
Dutton said that the “persecuted” farmers deserve special attention from the Australian government.
“If you look at the footage and read the stories, you hear the accounts, it’s a horrific circumstance they face” he said last week.
“From what I have seen, they [white South African farmers] need help from a civilised country like ours.”
“We want people who want to come here, abide by our laws, integrate into our society, work hard, not lead a life on welfare. And I think these people deserve special attention and we’re certainly applying that special attention now.”
With the issue of expropriation without compensation getting more international attention, the South African government hit back in a matter of hours.
HuffPostSA spoke to the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) who slammed Dutton’s comments.
Spokesperson Ndivhuwo Mabaya stressed that President Ramaphosa has repeatedly emphasised that the land redistribution process will be within the law. Mabaya even had a message for local organisations too.
“We call on organisations like AfriForum who are spreading wrong information to cause panic and fear to refrain from doing so”, Mabaya said.
“The South African government has been very clear; the matter is now before Parliament and all stakeholders [will] be consulted – and they can also engage with Parliament.
“There is no reason for any government in the world to suspect that a section of South Africans is [in] danger from their own democratically elected government. That threat does not exist.”
With so much to still figure out regarding land redistribution, South Africans may be looking at further confusion and uncertainty.
TOP IMAGE: South African farmer. (By Yorkeysa (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons)