The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) says it will engage the Australian government on recent statements made by its Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton that he was considering fast-tracking visa applications for white South Africans.
Dirco said in a statement on Thursday that it was surprised that the Australian government chose not to make use of diplomatic channels to raise its concern.
“The department is however engaging with the Australian Government on this matter. It must be stated again that the President Cyril Ramaphosa, Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, 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.
The Australian minister’s comments sparked outrage from a number of South Africans following the comments.
Dutton claimed the decision to fast-track visas for white South African was sparked by the “unfair” treatment of white farmers who were being murdered and faced the threat of their land being taken away.
Dirco said whites had nothing to fear in South Africa, even though many were being killed and tortured.
“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,” said Dirco.