Sisulu welcomes Australia's retraction of visas for farmers comment

2018-04-02 15:04
Lindiwe Sisulu. (File, Beeld)

Lindiwe Sisulu. (File, Beeld)

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Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Lindiwe Sisulu has welcomed the retraction of a statement made by an Australian minister last month about granting visas to white South African farmers.

Australian Minister of Home Affairs Peter Dutton controversially said white South African farmers "deserve special attention" and he would prioritise visas.

"I think these people deserve special attention and we're certainly applying that special attention now," he said.

Dutton’s comments caused a diplomatic spat between the two countries which saw Sisulu issuing a diplomatic demarche – or course of action – to the Australian High Commissioner in South Africa, Adam McCarthy, to demand a retraction of the comments by Dutton.

Australia's prime minister Malcolm Turnbull and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has since retracted the comments made by Dutton.

In a statement, Sisulu said South Africa’s diplomatic channels remained open to those who wished to seek clarity on South Africa’s policy positions.

"We welcome the assurance by the Australian government as reported in the media that the comments made by their home affairs minister are not in line with Australian immigration policy," Sisulu said.

"We also welcome Australia's condemnation of the unfortunate comments by South African and other international organisations and leaders." 

"We must emphasise, as we have stated before, that no one is being persecuted in South Africa, including white farmers. We call upon all non-governmental organisations to desist from spreading untruths and misleading information," she said.

Read more on:    lindiwe sisulu  |  australia  |  land

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