Following recent comments by Australia’s Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton that he plans to fast-track the visa processes for white South African farmers, the nation’s attorney-general has also now joined the bandwagon.
The Australian Associated Press reported yesterday that “Christian Porter has put out the welcome mat for South African farmers, pledging to help people applying for Australian visas based on persecution”.
The news agency reported: “Mr Porter’s Perth electorate of Pearce had more than 5 000 South African-born residents at the last census, which recorded 2 656 Afrikaans speakers living in the seat.”
He is quoted as saying that more than any other place in Australia, “South Africans have made their home in the north coast of WA [Western Australia]”.
“They are hardworking and make a huge contribution to our local community,” he said. “I have always thought that, given their contribution, the more South Africans in our local community the better.”
He added: “If anyone in Pearce needs any assistance with relatives back in South Africa who are potential candidates for visa classes based on any form of persecution or any other visa class for that matter, please contact my office and we will continue to provide every assistance.”
Earlier this month, International Relations and Cooperation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu welcomed Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop’s retraction of the comments made by Dutton.
“We must emphasise, as we have stated before, that no one is being persecuted in South Africa, including white farmers,” Sisulu said.
“We call upon all nongovernmental organisations to desist from spreading untruths and misleading information.”