The recent unrest in South Africa has resulted from the current President, Cyril Ramaphosa, speaking in favour of a law to expropriate white-owned farmlands without compensation.
First and foremost, we have no excuse to ignore the plight of persecuted minorities. The killing, marginalisation, persecution, victimisation and targeting of any racial group is deplorable and unacceptable.
Land ownership has long been a tense issue in South Africa. Seventy-two per cent of arable land is in the hands of white people, who make up less than 9 per cent of the population of 56.5 million. Attacks on farm owners are characterised by extreme brutality and include the physical dismemberment, torture and rape of victims and the killing of children and infants in horrendous ways.
It has been reported that about 400 white farmers were killed last year. Civil rights group AfriForum suggests that there are, on average, 680 farm attacks and 94 farm murders in South Africa every year.
While there are no official figures of the number of deaths, we are all too aware of the shameful apartheid in South Africa's history, which has contributed to the world turning its back on the country's white minority. However, innocent victims should not be held responsible for the sins of their forefathers.
In 1988, South Africa ratified the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination which calls on national governments to take steps to eliminate racial discrimination and prohibit discrimination under law and to guard against discrimination arising as a result of law.
We do not need to remind South Africa of its international human rights due diligence responsibilities.
Nelson Mandela once said, “For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”
A motion put forward by my colleague The Rev. The Hon. Fred Nile MLC calls on the South African ambassador to confirm whether allegations of systemic racist violence are true and calls on the Federal Government to respond.