by Jean-Jacques Cornish
The diplomatic storm roiling relations between South Africa and Australia appears to have risen from a far right international media campaign followed by Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton and others in the government of Malcolm Turnbull.
Miranda Devine writing in News Corporation publications says white South African farmers are in danger of losing their land and are in grave peril from rural crime.
She adds there’s kinship between Australians and “our oppressed white, Christian, industrious, rugby and cricket-playing Commonwealth cousins”, adding that they would “integrate seamlessly”.
Dutton responded to this saying: “I think these people deserve special attention and we’re certainly applying that special attention now”. He described them as people who would easily “integrate into our society”.
Another News Corp column speaks about reverse racism and an anti white vergeance theme swirling around the Western world.
Several commentators from US-based alternative right-wing websites are calling the South African issue the flavor of the month.
Among their calls is for refugee status to be given to white South Africans.
Before Dutton remarks Australia’s, the Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said Australia’s High Commission in Pretoria has regular discussions with the South African government and urged it to ensure the security of its citizens.
She said changes to land ownership should not be disruptive to the economy nor lead to violence.
Bishop said Australia closely monitors the murder rate and was “very concerned that there were 19 000 murders reported in South Africa in 2017”.
Asked if the farmers should get special visas, Bishop said Australia had an existing offshore humanitarian visa program for which people claiming to be displaced by persecution, including in South Africa, could apply.
“All claims for humanitarian visa entry into Australia are assessed on their merits, so I’m working with the Home Affairs Minister to ascertain if any changes are needed to our existing offshore humanitarian visa program.”