Sisulu issues diplomatic démarche to Australia over white SA farmers’ visas

Australian Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton white farmers should receive fast-tracked humanitarian visas from a “civilized country” like Australia.

FILE: International Relations Minister Lindiwe Sisulu. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Relations between South Africa and Australia could sour somewhat after International Relations Minister Lindiwe Sisulu issued a diplomatic démarche to the Australian high commissioner to the country.

Governments use démarches to protest or object to actions by a foreign government.

Sisulu is demanding a retraction of comments made by Australia’s Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton that South African farmers require “special attention” as they’re being persecuted.

His comments have seemingly angered the South African government.

Canberra’s High Commissioner to South Africa Adam McArthy was summoned to the Department of International Relations and Cooperation to receive the démarche.

McCarthy has passed Pretoria’s questions on to his capital and chosen, for now, not to comment on the démarche.

Sisulu issued an initial statement saying South Africa’s land redistribution would be handled in terms of its Constitution.

Her hand has clearly been forced by public reaction to Dutton saying privately that he was considering fast tracking visa applications from white South African farmer who, he says, are in peril of attack and losing their land.

LISTEN: #AustraliaVisas: ‘SA white farmers not refugees’