"I've asked my department to look at options and ways in which we can provide some assistance because I do think on the information I've seen people do need help, and they need help from a civilised country like ours".
South Africa has expressed its "regret" over Home Affairs minister Peter Dutton asking his department to consider reaching out to the country's white farmers and giving them "special" consideration for refugee resettlement in Australia.
It is not clear whether Dutton was referring to farm-murder statistics, or the South African government's recent undertaking to explore land expropriation without compensation.
Those remarks were swiftly rebuked by the South African government, which accused Mr Dutton of shunning diplomatic channels and fabricating the threat against white farmers.
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Mabaya said the South African government was clear that the matter was before Parliament for it to engage on it.
The home affairs minister noted Australia has refugee, humanitarian and other visa programs which have the "potential to help some of these people".
AfriForum's point of view remains that solutions for the problems that Afrikaners and other minorities experience in South Africa must be found and that a future must be created at the southernmost tip of Africa wherein Afrikaners and other minorities can continually exist as free, safe and prosperous. "And I think these people deserve special attention and we're certainly applying that special attention now".
The decision comes in the wake of newly-elected South African President Cyril Ramaphosa's apparent plan to appropriate white-owned South African farms and redistribute the land to black South Africans.
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Alana Bailey, deputy chief executive of AfriForum responsible for worldwide liaison, said Dutton clearly takes in a "serious light" issues such as the high occurrence of farm attacks, crime statistics and the government's steps to make expropriation without compensation possible, while the South African government "simply ignores or shrugs these off as unfounded fears".
But the South African Government has dismissed fears expressed by Mr Dutton for the safety of the farmers, saying its citizens are not in danger.
Land ownership is a sensitive subject in South Africa, 24 years after the end of apartheid rule.
Such is the level of violence in South Africa that thousands of mainly white, Afrikaans-speaking farmers have taken to the streets to protest and plead for help.
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