“The government has been very clear and transparent on a land reform process. All stakeholders will be consulted and they are also encouraged to engage with Parliament. There is no reason for any government anywhere in the world to suspect that any South African is in danger from their own democratically elected government. That threat simply does not exist.” This statement was made by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) in response to a statement made recently by the Australian Minister of Home Affairs Peter Dutton, in which he indicated that his department was going to fast track visas for white South African farmers.
Responding to what he called “unfair treatment” that was being meted out on white farmers in South Africa, who are reportedly being killed and were also facing the prospect of their land being taken away, Dutton said that his government had mooted plans to find ways in which they could ensure that the white South African farmers were “brought to a civilised country like ours” to escape the persecution that they were going through in their original country. Speaking on Sydney’s 2GB radio on Thursday, Dutton added that he had directed his department to find out if the farmers could not be brought into Australia under refugee, humanitarian or other visas, adding that “They contribute and make us a better country. They’re the sorts of migrants that we want to bring into our country.”
Responding to these statements, Dirco said that the call by the Australian lawmaker had come as a surprise to the department as it felt that if they had an issue about the happenings in the farming community in South Africa, the Australian government could have used the proper diplomatic channels to voice their concerns. “The department is however engaging with the Australian Government on this matter. It must be stated again that President Cyril Ramaphosa, Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Lindiwe Sisulu have said on a number of public platforms and also when engaging with different stakeholders that the process of land redistribution would be orderly, within South African laws and taking into consideration both the social and economic impact,” said the department.
Dirco further added that unsupported claims of violence against white farmers were fueling a reaction like the one from the Australian government. The Dirco representative further dissuaded Afrikaner organisations like Afriforum from making statements that served to spread fear among the white farming community. Dirco reiterated that the South African government had been clear and transparent on how the land reform process would unfold, adding that all stakeholders would be consulted and had been encouraged to engage with parliament on the issue of land reform. He added that he believed that, “there is no reason for any government anywhere in the world to suspect that any South African is in danger from their own democratically elected government. That threat simply does not exist.”