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A Canadian who chose to move to South Africa has said it was the best decision she ever made.
Environmental consultant Tinka Shapiro, 37, is one of several hundred Canadians living in Cape Town - the city where Brandon Huntley felt persecuted for being white.
"I was here for a few weeks and fell in love with the city. It took a few years and then I worked up the courage to move."
Shapiro, a former police officer from Toronto, who has lived here for nine years, said she thought Huntley was taking a chance and just using crime as an excuse.
"I don't know if he qualifies any other way," she said.
Huntley told Canada's immigration and refugee board he had been called "a white dog" and "a settler" when attacked and that he "would stand out like a 'sore thumb' due to his colour in any part of the country".
The controversial decision granting him refugee status in Canada has provoked heated debate among South Africans from one extreme to the other. Shapiro said she finds it all a bit embarrassing that the Canadian authorities "messed up".
"Crime is relative. I worked in an area in Toronto where there was a lot of urban decay and I dealt with drugs and prostitution." She said that she also felt the crime stats in Cape Town were skewed.
"The majority of crime is not even in white areas, so it ends up being fear-based because of what you read in the papers."
Not that Shapiro hasn't been a victim of crime. She was mugged at a bus stop in Kommetjie Road early one morning, but was not injured.
She also had her car broken into in her underground parking - but that was in Toronto. "There are places and back alleys I wouldn't go into in the dark in Cape Town, but I wouldn't go into places like that in Toronto either."
Shapiro said she was proud to be Canadian, but loved living in Cape Town.
"I enjoy the people and the culture, also the landscape and the environment. Nothing, not even the mugging, would make me move back to Canada."
In 2005 Canada's immigration and refugee board accepted more than 12 000 people as refugees or persons in need of protection.
The top five countries of origin for refugee protection claims were Mexico, China, Colombia, Sri Lanka and India.
Mariette du Toit-Helmbold, chief executive officer of Cape Town Tourism, said about five million foreign tourists a year visited the Western Cape, with the Canadian market growing significantly in the past two years. She said they had had no negative feedback from the Huntley affair.
Du Toit-Helmbold said there had been a call for Cape Town Tourism to bring Huntley's estranged Canadian wife, Melanie Crete-Huntley, to the city, but that the matter was being dealt with at South African government level.
"We won't take the lead on this in case it opens the floodgates for everyone who wants a lovely holiday in Cape Town."