Peter Dutton Is Suddenly Very Worried About “Persecuted” Africans, But Only The White Ones

"I think these people deserve special attention."

peter dutton

Want more Junkee in your life? Sign up to our newsletter, and follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook so you always know where to find us.

Peter Dutton wants the Australian government to give “special attention” to potential African migrants facing persecution in their home country. If that doesn’t sound like the Peter Dutton you’re familiar with, just read on, because it will all make sense in a moment.

The Home Affairs Minister said on Wednesday that he has directed his department to explore whether white South African farmers could be brought to Australia through refugee or humanitarian visas. The response came after News Corp reported on “numerous and increasing cases of rape and torture carried out on white farmers” who they alleged were being “targeted in ruthless opportunistic crimes and what appears to be an orchestrated terror campaign“.

“If you look at the footage and read the stories, you hear the accounts, it’s a horrific circumstance they face,” Dutton told The Daily Telegraph columnist Miranda Devine on her podcast, Miranda Live. “We want people who want to come here, abide by our laws, integrate into our society, work hard, not lead a life on welfare. And I think these people deserve special attention and we’re certainly applying that special attention now.”

“From what I have seen they do need help from a civilised country like ours,” he added.

But many in Australia have taken issue with the fact that Dutton seems more concerned about white African farmers than, say, the hundreds of non-white refugees locked up in Australian detention centres.

Dutton’s remarks seemed particularly galling in light of his department’s heavy-handed treatment of a family of Tamil asylum seekers, who were last week removed from their Queensland home by Australian Border Force officers at the crack of dawn after being denied refugee status. The move sent shockwaves through the local community, who are calling on the government to let the family stay.

The South African foreign ministry has also hit out at Dutton, insisting that “there is no reason for any government in the world to suspect that a section of South Africans is under danger from their own democratically elected government”.

“We regret that the Australian government chose not to use the available diplomatic channels available for them to raise concerns or to seek clarification.”

The South African parliament recently pass legislation allowing the government to reposses land taken under colonialism and apartheid without compensating the current owners. According to the country’s most recent land audit report, white South Africans own 72 percent of the agricultural land, despite making up just eight percent of the population.

The extent to which white farmers are facing violent persecution in South Africa has also been contested. Recent reports by both the BBC and Africa Check concluded that it is almost impossible to determine the murder rate on South African farms because the data is too unreliable.