South Africa has criticised an Australian government minister for suggesting that white South African farmers should get special visas so they can flee "horrific circumstances" in the country.
Australia's Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, who oversees immigration and has drawn international criticism for heading a tough crackdown on asylum-seekers from Asia and the Middle East, said the South Africans deserve "special attention" for acceptance on refugee or humanitarian grounds.
He cited reports of land seizures and violence targeting the minority white farmers, who control a disproportionate share of the country's land.
"If you look at the footage, you hear the stories and you read the accounts, it's a horrific circumstance that they face," Dutton told Sydney's Daily Telegraph late Wednesday.
"I've asked my department to look at options and ways in which we can provide some assistance because I do think on the information I've seen people do need help, and they need help from a civilised country like ours."...
White people still own around 72 percent of individually-owned farms, with the black majority holding just four percent, according to a Land Audit Report published in November.
The country's ruling African National Congress (ANC) has backed expropriation of land without compensation.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has vowed to escalate the pace of redistributing land from wealthy whites to poorer blacks.
Sign up for our free e-mail list to see future vaticancatholic.com videos and articles.