The South African government led by the ruling African National Congress (ANC) in a landmark vote last February 20, has taken a step closer in amending the constitution to allow it to expropriate land from white land owners in favour of black farmers without compensation.
The ANC had long sought to address the issue of land inequality and promised reforms as whites continue to own most of the land in South Africa. Thus while the motion to change the constitution was initiated by the Left leaning Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), it was widely supported by the ANC.
The development has resulted in increased violence toward white farmers. Reports coming from various news media outlets in South America and the international community reveal that white farmers have become targeted and that local police authorities are not dedicating enough resources to address the situation.
It has been estimated that at least one white farmer is murdered in South Africa every week.
The situation in South Africa has necessitated action from the international community including Australia. Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said in an interview that white South African farmers “deserve special attention” considering the “horrific circumstances” they are in with indiscriminate land seizures and increased violence.
“The people we’re talking about want to work hard; they want to contribute to a country like Australia. 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.”
Among the options Dutton suggested include an in-country visa category which could bring them to Australia on the basis of humanitarian visas through referrals from others in Australia.
When asked if Australia would work with South Africa’s government to make this happen, Dutton replied:
“Australia can work with governments all around the world.”
However, South Africa has been loudly critical of Australia and Dutton’s attempts to fast track visas and offer residence to white South African farmers. In a statement, a representative for South Africa’s international relations minister, Lindiwe Sisulu said Dutton’s comments were “sad” and “regrettable”:
“There is no need to fear… we want to say to the world that we are engaged in a process of land redistribution which is very important to address the imbalances of the past. But it is going to be done legally and with due consideration of the economic impact and impact on individuals.”
Yes the government plans to do it legally by instituting a change in the constitution which will “legally” allow them to “expropriate” land without compensating the white land owner.
By definition, taking an item or an asset without compensation is called stealing. The South African government is merely using a technical term/ legal jargon; a synonym, “expropriating” to justify its plan to “legally” steal land from white landowners and give it to black farmers.
Why should we expect South Africa’s government to have “due consideration of the economic impact and impact on individuals” when it cannot address the issue of white farmers being killed every week?
The reaction of the left in Australia to Peter Dutton’s proposal have been entirely predictable. They have denied there is any danger to whites in South Africa and to letting them in is racist and would return us to the White Australia Policy.
Greens Leader Richard Di Natalie claimed Dutton’s concern for white farmers meant “There’s no debate as far as I’m concerned, the bloke is an out-and-out racist”.
All Labor leader Bill Shorten could say “There are some media reports that would indicate some farmers are experiencing difficulty” before adding “I have to say though I also read media reports that other South Africans can be the victims of crime”.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull when asked about accepting white farmers from South Africa for the first time at the ASEAN summit in Sydney was less receptive than his Home Affairs Minister to the proposal “Our program is thoroughly non-discriminatory”.
Let’s hope that Australia will adopt a plan to expedite immigrant visas for these unfairly persecuted white landowners from South Africa.
The Australian government should not follow the example of Canada which in 2017 rejected the application for asylum of a white farmer from South Africa whose family was subjected to violence in their homeland.