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AfriForum to press ahead with international campaign on land issue

The decision by Australia's Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton to possibly offer white South African farmers visas to enter that country has been met with anger from South African citizens and government.

Kallie Kriel, the CEO of AfriForum. Picture: @kalliekriel/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Lobby group AfriForum says it will be pressing ahead with an international campaign to create awareness around government's move to expropriate land without compensation.

The decision by Australia's Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton to possibly offer white South African farmers visas to enter that country has been met with anger from South African citizens and government.

However, AfriForum says it will now be talking to various investors and international role players to make sure that pressure is put on government to abandon its plans.

CEO Kallie Kriel, however, insists this is not a disinvestment campaign.

“We have preventative measures. We cannot simply sit back and watch government go down this route. They’ve made their intentions clear.”

Last week, International Relations Minister Lindiwe Sisulu issued a diplomatic démarche to the Australian high commissioner to the country.

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

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

Sisulu demanded a retraction of comments made by Dutton that South African farmers require “special attention” as they’re being persecuted.

She described Dutton’s comments as misleading, alarming and harmful to South Africa's image.

However, Dutton has not met the South African government’s demand to retract his statements.

Human Rights Watch, an international non-governmental organisation, has accused 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.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)