The South Afrian government indulged Wednesday in what we South Afrians love the most – abusing the Aussies. The row was sparked by suggestions that our white farmers are an oppressed group, and should be offered sanctuary in the land of convict colonialism.
Australia’s minister for immigration and border protection, Peter Dutton, had reportedly triggered the row by suggesting that SA farmers should jump the immigration queue because they face “horrific circumstances”.
Certainly, farm murders and attacks in SA are a major concern, and if it could be proven that these barbaric acts are race-based, the Aussies would have a point.
The Aussies may also have been referring to the threat of government land-grabs without compensation, but this policy intention is being carefully nuanced by President Cyril Ramaphosa, as was seen in his recent remarks in Parliament.
The foreign affairs department (DIRCO) decided to quell the Aussie angst with a starkly-worded despatch – delivered in diplomatic phrases, but with all the menace of a charging rhino.
“We regret that the Australian Government chose not to use the available diplomatic channels to raise concerns or to seek clarification on the land redistribution process in South Africa,” said Minister Lindiwe Sisulu. This was the diplomatic equivalent of a carefully applied boot to Dutton’s most cherished possessions.
“Those channels remain open and available for all Governments to engage with the South African Government,” she continued.
“The Department of International Relations and Cooperation is however engaging with the Australian Government on this matter.
“It must be stated again that the South African President, HE President Cyril Ramaphosa, the Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Lindiwe Sisulu, have said on a number of public platforms, and also when engaging with different stakeholders, that the process of land redistribution would be orderly, within South African laws and taking into consideration both the social and economic impact.
“We call on organizations such as AfriForum that are spreading incorrect information, sowing panic and fear to refrain from doing so,” she pleaded, in a clear attempt to deflect the blame for the whole mess towards the civil rights group.
“The South African Government has been very clear and transparent on a land reform process and the matter is now before Parliament,” said Sisulu.
“All stakeholders will be consulted, and they are also encouraged to engage with Parliament. There is no reason for any Government anywhere in the world to suspect that any South African is in danger from their own democratically elected Government. That threat simply does not exist.”
Not quite as dramatic as Britain’s announcement it is to boot a bunch of Russian officials back home for the way in which their assassins had been wandering around the green and pleasant land. killing dissidents with nerve gas.
But annoyed, even so.
In the meantime, it might be worth keeping an eye on the trend in visa applications at the Australian consulate from SA’s fleeing farmers.
The door is now open, you probably can’t receive ANN7 there; and there are ever so many sheep who need (slighty less intimate) care and attention.