Australia considers fast-track visas for white South African farmers

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

South Africa rebuked an Australian government minister on Wednesday for suggesting white South African farmers needed help from a "civilised country" and should get special visas due to the "horrific circumstances" they faced at home.

According to a report in the Telegraph, Dutton cited the "horrific circumstances" of land seizures as a reason for Australia to give white SA farmers preferential treatment.

It is not clear whether Dutton was referring to farm-murder statistics, or the South African government's recent undertaking to explore land expropriation without compensation.

"It must be stated again that the South African president, the Minister of Land Affairs, and [the] Minister of International [Relations and Cooperation] have said in a number of public platforms, and also when engaging with stakeholders, that the process of land redistribution would be orderly, within South African laws and [take] into consideration both social and economic impact", Mabaya said.

"We call on organisations like AfriForum who are spreading wrong information to cause panic and fear to refrain from doing so. That threat does not exist".

But the South African Government has dismissed fears expressed by Mr Dutton for the safety of the farmers, saying its citizens are not in danger.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, who oversees immigration, said they deserve "special attention" and is examining whether they can be accepted into Australia through refugee or humanitarian visas.

But deputy chief executive Ernst Roets said most South Africans would prefer to stay on home soil. "It is unfortunate that he made such statements on the whim of his views", Masithela said.

Farm worker Mogoala Justice Ratalele (L) stand near his boss farmer Hans Bergmann (R) after an incident in which he was held at gunpoint for the theft of the chainsaw that he was working with, on November 2, 2017, in Tzaneen, South Africa.

"It must be addressed from a socioeconomic position".

Past year the October 30th #BlackMonday protests were organised after civil rights group AfriForum released figures claiming the murder rate for South African farmers was 156 per 100,000 - putting it well above the already high national average and making farming arguably the most risky occupation in the world outside a warzone.

Such is the level of violence in South Africa that thousands of mainly white, Afrikaans-speaking farmers have taken to the streets to protest and plead for help.

"We would not want our food producers to emigrate, but it is a huge decision".

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