Australia's plan to save white SA farmers from 'horrific circumstances'

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The Home Affairs Minister said on Wednesday that he has directed his department to explore whether white South African farmers could be brought to Australia through refugee or humanitarian visas.

'And I think these people deserve special attention and we're certainly applying that special attention now'.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, who oversees immigration, said they deserve "special attention" and is examining whether they can be accepted into Australia through refugee or humanitarian visas.

Peter Dutton's order came after an Austrialian media house ran an explosive article alleging that white farmers in South Africa are being murdered, tortured and having their land forcibly seized.

His comments come just months after asylum-seekers and refugees held in a remote Pacific camp were awarded Aus$70 million ($56 million) for being illegally detained and treated negligently in Australia's largest human rights class action settlement. "That threat does not exist".

"There is no reason for any government in the world to suspect that a section of South Africans is [in] danger from their own democratically elected government".

"We regret that the Australian government chose not to use the available diplomatic channels available for them to raise concerns or to seek clarification".

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Alana Bailey, deputy chief executive of AfriForum responsible for worldwide liaison, said Dutton clearly takes in a "serious light" issues such as the high occurrence of farm attacks, crime statistics and the government's steps to make expropriation without compensation possible, while the South African government "simply ignores or shrugs these off as unfounded fears".

"I doubt white South African farmers will make the move to Australia".

Reuters was not able to verify the figures independently.

"We have taken a decision that all agricultural unions in South Africa meet to help farmers in the country, black and white".

Afriforum chief executive Kallie Kriel applauded Dutton for highlighting the issue but said his organisation was not advocating mass emigration. "But it's good that there's worldwide recognition that we have a problem here". The government has been buying back land from white farmers for years but has been frustrated by slow progress in increasing the percentage of black ownership.

He has also said redistribution will not jeopardise South Africa's food supply. "We cannot have a situation of anarchy when we have proper constitutional means through which we can work to give land to our people".