White SA refugee: Govt disgusted

2009-08-31 19:17

Johannesburg - The South African government expressed disgust on Monday at a ruling by Canadian authorities to grant a white South African man refugee status.

The man claimed he would be persecuted if he returned home to South Africa.

Home Affairs spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa said the department had heard about the "baseless allegations against our people and our country".

The Ottawa Sun on Friday reported that Brandon Huntley, 31, presented "clear and convincing proof of the state's inability or unwillingness to protect him", the Canadian immigration and refugee board panel ruled last Thursday.

'Should have allowed SA to respond'

Tribunal panel chair William Davis said the evidence of Huntley "showed a picture of indifference and inability or unwillingness" of the SA government to protect "white South Africans from persecution by African South Africans".

"It would have been courteous for the Canadian government to allow the South African government to respond to the allegations," Mamoepa told News24.

This is the first time a white South African has been granted refugee status in Canada claiming persecution from black South Africans.

Called a 'white dog'

The Canadian newspaper reported that Huntley - who grew up in Mowbray, Cape Town - claimed he had been attacked seven times by black South Africans.

He said he was called a "white dog" and a "settler".
 
"There's a hatred of what we did to them and it's all about the colour of your skin," Huntley reportedly said.

"His claims would have been preposterous and laughable, had they not been so serious," said Mamoepa, who was previously spokesperson for the then-named department of foreign affairs.

Huntley first went to Canada on a six-month work permit in 2004, and returned in 2005. He stayed on illegally and made a refugee claim in April 2008, the Ottawa Sun reported.
 

Read more on:    brandon huntley  |  canada  |  refugee
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