Foreign Minister Julie Bishop denounced Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton’s claims that white farmers in South Africa deserved special visa considerations in light over alleged persecution in their home country.
During an interview, Bishop saw no need to give South Africa white farmers preferential treatment in visa application over others that fall under Australian humanitarian visa program:
“Australia does monitor the rate of violent crime in South Africa. Last year there were about 19,000 murders in South Africa and that’s a very high number for a country of that size.
“We do have a humanitarian visa program if any person feels they are persecuted, then they can apply to Australia for a humanitarian visa, and that would be considered on its merits, and I believe that’s what Peter Dutton is referring to.”
The South African government plans to implement its land redistribution program. It is estimated that 70% of land is owned by white Afrikaners while black South Africans are believed to hold fewer than 10% of the country’s agricultural land.
Gareth Newham from South Africa’s Institute for Social Studies disclosed their findings that young, black males living in poor urban areas were murdered at a rate of 200 and 300 per 100,000 people.
As for farm murders, Newham estimated that the highest average was recorded at 133 per 100,000 people.
However, Queensland Senator Fraser Anning threw his weight of support behind Dutton and called the growing violence toward white South African farmers as an act of genocide:
“This is the start of a genocide as far as I’m concerned, and it’s only going to get worse because the genocide has just started. Anyone who would boil a child in a bath, rape his mother and slaughter people the way they are slaughtering them now are subhuman.”
Liberal MP Andrew Laming likewise supported Dutton’s call for greater attention to the plight of white South African farmers:
“We need a South African government that starts counting the toll. We need a South African government that doesn’t paper over reality.”
Anning expressed doubt on the ability of black South Africans to till the land:
“These people when they do take over the farms as we’ve seen in Rhodesia, the farms will run into ruin. Within a few more years they’ll be asking, demanding our support and you can be sure that the United Nations will be demanding that we support these people with foreign aid.”
Anning echoed Dutton’s proposal to give the white farmers special visa privileges:
“South Africans are industrious, they’re hardworking; they have the same Christian values as opposed to some of the other people we’ve been bringing into the country who are intent on tearing our country apart.”