SA govt criticises Australia's response to land debate

Australia is investigating what visas can be offered to white South African farmers who are facing violence and land seizures at home

Australia is investigating what visas can be offered to white South African farmers who are facing violence and land seizures at home

Australia's minister for immigration and border protection, Peter Dutton, reportedly said that his department is considering fast-tracking the visas of white South African farmers looking to emigrate to Australia, because the group deserves "special attention" owing to the "horrific circumstances" they face in South Africa.

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.

Mr Dutton has ordered his department to investigate how to bring the farmers, who he says are facing "horrific circumstances" of land seizures and violence, to Australia.

"I do think on the information that I've seen, people do need help, and they need help from a civilised country like ours", Mr Dutton said. "And I think these people deserve special attention and we're certainly applying that special attention now".

Speaking to parliament on Tuesday, Ramaphosa said South Africa was not heading down the road towards the type of violent and chaotic seizure of white-owned farms that triggered economic collapse in Zimbabwe almost 20 years ago.

South Africa's foreign ministry has dismissed Mr Dutton's comments and expressed its "regret" over the lack of diplomatic communication.

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) said on Wednesday that it was regrettable that the Australian government did not use diplomatic channels to raise its concerns.

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As Breitbart News has reported, South Africans are increasingly anxious that the government's plans to expropriate land from white farmers without compensation could destroy the economy and the country's fragile democracy.

Dirco spokesperson Ndivhuwo Mabaya said President Cyril Ramaphosa and other ministers have made it clear that the process of land redistribution will be "orderly, within South African laws, and taking into consideration both social and economic impact".

The government has been buying back land from white farmers for years but has been frustrated by slow progress in increasing the percentage of black ownership.

Farmers' group Afriforum SA has expressed gratitude to Mr Dutton for acknowledging the attacks on white farmers.

White Afrikaners are a minority in South Africa but still own upwards of 70 per cent of the country's agricultural land, as a legacy of apartheid.

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

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