Huntley and Canada deserve each other

2009-09-03 15:41

SOUTH Africa was this week ­vilified by Brandon Huntley who ­applied for and was granted refugee status by the Canadian government on the basis that his life as a white South African was under threat from black South Africans.

Cry the vilified country, a country that is just barely recovering from 46?years of brutal apartheid rule, student and activist massacres, forced removals and theft of natural resource wealth, farm slavery and slave wages.

Crime must be the thorniest issue in SA after HIV/Aids. Surprisingly, studies reveal that violent crime ­affects black South Africans more than it does whites. Huntley claims to have been attacked seven times by “black people” and feels the government is not protecting him, yet an investigation by The Star newspaper found that he never once reported being attacked to the police.

Huntley’s actions, and the Canadian government’s reaction, mirror a continued asinine white fear of “die swart gevaar” (the black threat). This “gevaar” (threat) did not explode in 1994 as anticipated, nor when Jacob Zuma became ­president, yet some white South Africans continue to fear that the high electrified walls to their suburban mansions, built with thousands of rands in spare change and patrolled by highly-paid armed guards, will not be enough to protect them from an ensuing black onslaught.

All this leaves me, a black South African, wondering: would the ­Canadian government grant refugee status as easily to a black farm labourer if he explained how he worked all his life for slave wages, that he was never allowed off work to vote, that his family was forcefully removed from the only farm they ever called home, that his brother was shot dead by a white farmer who thought he looked like a baboon, that his other brother was tied and dragged till he was half-dead behind a bakkie by a white farmer, and that his father was ­brutally assaulted by a white farmer and fed to a pride of lions?

I say to Huntley “Stay there. You and Canada deserve each other”.Eddie Carrel GaffaneMidrand


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