Aussie Home Affairs minister fails to retract statement on SA farmers

Peter Dutton has come under fire after he expressed a desire to bring 'persecuted' white South African farmers to Australia on refugee visas.

Australian Minister for Immigration Peter Dutton during Question Time in the House of Representatives at Parliament House in Canberra, Thursday, 2 March 2017. Picture: AFP

PRETORIA - Australia’s Home Affairs minister Peter Dutton has not met the South African government’s demand to retract a statement about giving imperilled white South African farmers fast-track humanitarian visas.

The conservative politician has come under fire from local political opponents and NGOs.

Greens party leader Richard Di Natale says Dutton is an out and out racist.

He says if the Home Affairs Minister’s special treatment of white farmers becomes official, it will be a return to the White Australia policy.

Human Rights Watch accuses Dutton of hypocrisy after he expressed a desire to bring 'persecuted' white South African farmers to Australia on refugee visas.

The organisation’s Elaine Pearson says it’s breathtakingly hypocritical that government ministers should prioritise this group of white South African farmers over other groups that are equally, if not much more desperately, in need of assistance.