Farmers, land activists urged not to entertain Peter Dutton’s comments

Land Reform Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane says the government has important things to focus on instead of arguing with its Australian counterpart.

FILE: Land Reform Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - Land Reform Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane has called on farmers and land activists not to entertain comments made by Australia’s home affairs minister on fast-tracking visa applications of South African farmers.

Peter Dutton made the announcement earlier in March after hearing about government’s plans to expropriate land without compensation.

Nkoana-Mashabane is speaking at a land discussion in Illovo, attended by agriculture groups, land activists and the government.

The minister says the government has important things to focus on instead of arguing with its Australian counterpart.

“We have enough on our plates… we [the government] have never implied that we’ll expropriate land because it’s in the Constitution.”

Meanwhile, Dutton is not backing down on his plans to fast-track visas for white South African farmers.

Dutton has been labelled a racist after he said white farmers “require special attention” as they’re being “persecuted”.

He also said white farmers need protection from a civilised country like Australia.

Despite criticism, Dutton on Thursday told Sydney radio show 2GB that he won’t back down. The minister added that he is “completely blind to somebody’s skin colour”.

Additional reporting by Shimoney Regter.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)