Tuesday, 20 March 2012

South Africans fleeing the black-on-white genocide in their homeland are being denied asylum in Western countries because of the colour of their skin.
The latest case comes from Memphis, Tennessee, where an Afrikaner family are desperate to remain in the United States after suffering racial discrimination in their native country.
The family’s legal representative has been contacting US academics in a bid to get a scholarly opinion that would bolster their asylum application.
The family, described by the law firm as ‘white Afrikaner farmers’, are among dozens of South Africans who, over the past decade, have applied for asylum abroad for a range of reasons, including fear of persecution and violent crime. Some of the applications have been successful.
When contacted for comment, the family’s lawyer, Rehim Babaoglu, said the family was too afraid to be identified.
‘They were shocked to hear that a reporter was seeking information and they have no comment. They definitely don’t want to participate because of privacy and safety concerns,’ said Babaoglu.
But Professor Mark Behr, of Rhodes College, in Memphis, Tennessee, and Dr Dennis Laumann, of the University of Memphis, have rejected requests that they help the family.
‘I am not interested in assisting Afrikaners claiming discrimination in a non-racial, democratic, post-apartheid South Africa,’ wrote Laumann.
‘In my scholarly opinion, there is absolutely no basis for their allegation – whatever evidence they may present.’
Behr – who is an award-winning South African author – said he did not believe the law firm would find ‘any fair-minded scholar’ to support the family.
‘If the people your firm seeks to represent are in any way victims of racism, it is, sadly, only a racism of their own making, in their own minds.

‘Let me add, too, that I speak as a white Afrikaner, from a family of farmers, people who themselves lost farms they owned in Africa, and with my own profound empathy for all people who live off the land in South Africa,’ replied Behr.
 
Graves of white farmers killed by racist blacks in South Africa
Russell Kaplan, the lawyer for South African Brandon Huntley, who is still fighting for refugee status in Canada, said the trend was growing.
‘My office is involved in other South African claims – I prefer not to say how many – and I continue to speak to many white South Africans every month who report increasing fear for themselves and their families,’ Kaplan said.
Adriana Stuijt, a retired Dutch-born journalist who worked in South Africa, estimates that there are almost 800 South Africans living as refugees around the world.
Stuijt has a blog that monitors the number of refugees and is a member of the Afrikaner Rescue Action Fund, which was started in the Netherlands to help poor Afrikaner communities.
‘The latest case, a South African Afrikaans-speaking man of German descent, is in north Germany. He applied three months ago. He fled because of many violent incidents and threats to his life,’ said Stuijt.
‘The latest group of asylum-seekers, from 2011 and 2012, I find are often Afrikaner individuals or families, most of them from farming regions.
‘Some are sponsored by US families and religious communities and are still in the asylum process in several states.’
AfriForum’s deputy CEO, Ernst Roets, said that though the organisation did not encourage South Africans to leave the country, the crisis on the farms has left many with no alternative.
Roets explained that white farmers in South Africa are subjected to the highest murder rate in the world.
‘In South Africa, to be a farmer, the murder rate is more than 300 per 100,000, according to criminologists,’ said Roets. That’s almost double the rate in Pedro Sula, Honduras, the murder capital of the world, where there are 159 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants.
‘What encourages people to ask for refugee status is the fact that our government is not taking real steps to address the issue,’ Roets said.
Just last month, a dairy farmer was killed and his wife badly injured in Buffelshoek, North West.
Roets travelled to Geneva in December to address the UN Human Rights Council on the crisis on South African farms. He said the biggest concern was that a minority group was being targeted.
His intention, he said, was to create awareness and put pressure on the government to ‘take this more seriously’.
More than 3,000 white farmers have been murdered in South Africa since 1994. Brutal torture and rape is common, and not even the young or elderly are spared.
Of course, it is allowed to continue, and there is no international outcry, for one simple reason – they’re white.


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