A large crowd gathered in the Brisbane CBD on Sunday for a march to thank the Australian government and specifically Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton for offering shelter to "persecuted" white farmers.
While many South Africans are still fuming over Australia's move to offer refuge to white South African farmers wishing to flee the "horrific circumstances" they face in their home country for a "civilised country", South African expats living in Australia have rallied in support of the offer.
The march was organised by the Brisbane South African community and backed by two local politicians, according to news.com.au. A number of speakers shared their concerns
Liberal politician Andrew Laming praised Dutton's offer which has been roundly criticised by many Australians as well as the South African government.
Dutton cited the "horrific circumstances" of land seizures as a reason for Australia to give white SA farmers preferential treatment for immigration.
“We appreciate the Australian government’s recognition of the plight of farmers in South Africa,” said Brisbane mum Roz Potgieter, who has been campaigning to bring her two adult children to the country," said Brisbane resident Roz Potgieter.
“The current farm murders are racially oriented and white farmers, in particular, are facing persecution. The current political environment and statements such as ‘Kill the Boer, kill the farmer’ from prominent government officials and parliamentarians have left many South Africans, and in particular the white minority, fearing for their lives.”
Potgieter, who has been campaigning for her two adult children living in South Africa to join her, called for the government's offer to be extended to include non-farmers as well.
“We remain painfully aware that many of our family members who are not farmers remain exposed to unacceptable levels of violence,” she said. “We would therefore also like to discuss the current family member visa scheme and its design,” said Potgieter .