Australia eyes visas for SA white farmers | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 16, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, March 16, 2018

Australia eyes visas for SA white farmers

Australia's conservative government is considering fast-tracking visas for white South African farmers so they can flee their "horrific circumstances" for a "civilised country".

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.

Australia's Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, who oversees immigration and has drawn international criticism for heading a tough crackdown on asylum-seekers from Asia and the Middle East, 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.

But South African 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."

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who came to power last month, has vowed to "escalate the pace" of redistributing land from wealthy whites to poorer blacks.

White people still own around 72 percent of individually-owned farms, with the black majority holding just four percent, according to an audit cited by Ramaphosa this week. The country's ruling ANC party has backed expropriation of land without compensation.

Campaign group AfriForum, which advocates for its largely white membership, many of whom speak Afrikaans, cited dozens of murders.

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