Faced with a rising tide of brutal violence, more than 200 South African farmers are in the process of applying for humanitarian visas to allow them to enter Australia on the grounds that they and their families are being persecuted.
There are a total of 89 applications relating to 213 people, a Senate committee has been told.
‘The type of criteria they of course have to meet – or the key one – is evidence of persecution, so that’s exactly what we will be looking at,’ Home Affairs deputy secretary Malisa Golightly said in Canberra on Tuesday.
The applications come after Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said persecuted South African farmers are ‘not too far off’ from being fast-tracked into Australia.
‘There’s a bit of time involved in going through and checking the bonafides of individual cases, because we want to make sure we’re bringing the right people, the most deserving people, and we’ll do that,’ he told the columnist.
‘But I don’t think it’ll be too far off in terms of the first places that we’re able to offer.’
In February, the South African parliament voted to begin the process of amending the country’s constitution to allow for confiscation of white-owned land without compensation.
The policy was a main plank in new president Cyril Ramaphosa’s platform after he took over from Jacob Zuma in February.
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