Lawyer agrees white refugee’s case is real

2009-09-08 13:17

THE lawyer representing South African refugee Brandon Huntley

insists his client’s story is real and was not only based on crime but also

discriminatory policies.

In a statement, South African-born and Canada immigration lawyer

Russell Kaplan said Huntley’s case was also based on Black Economic Empowerment,

Affirmative Action policies and the general atmosphere of insecurity in South

Africa felt by the whites.

Kaplan said support for Huntley had been unbelievable since the

story made international headlines last week.

“Personal stories of fear by white South Africans and of atrocities

suffered by them and their families and friends because they are white keep

streaming in,” Kaplan said.

Huntley was granted refugee status two weeks ago after showing

“clear and convincing proof of South Africa’s inability or unwillingness to

protect him” as a white South African, adding that those who had shared their

stories had left the country while others still remained.

Kaplan described comments that there was no racial motivation in

Huntley’s alleged incidents as “naivety of the highest degree”.

He added that this was specially so in a “country which for decades

was mired in apartheid, resulting in thousands if not millions of marginalised

and disenfranchised African South Africans”.

“This is not to say that we do not acknowledge that there are many

incidents that occur without any racial motivation,” he said.

Kaplan said Huntley’s case provided an evidentiary foundation

(through testimony determined credible by refugee tribunal chairperson William

Davis and documentary evidence) to prove otherwise.

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