Fraser Anning claims that South African farmers are at risk of genocide
The Queensland senator Fraser Anning has described people attacking South African farmers as “subhuman” and claimed that events in the country were “the start of a genocide”.
Speaking to supporters of the farmers outside Queensland’s parliament in Brisbane on Sunday, the former One Nation senator, now an independent, said of the situation in South Africa: “This is the start of a genocide as far as I’m concerned, and it’s only going to get worse because the genocide has just started.”
Without referring to any specific case, Anning said: “Anyone who would boil a child in a bath, rape his mother and slaughter people the way they are slaughtering them now are subhuman.”
In a Facebook video of the speech (beginning at 27 minutes), Anning cast doubt on the ability of black South Africans to work the land. “These people, when they do take over the farms, as we’ve seen in Rhodesia [Zimbabwe], the farms will run into ruin.
“Within a few more years they’ll be asking, demanding our support, and you can be sure that the United Nations will be demanding that we support these people with foreign aid.”
Anning supported Peter Dutton’s proposal to grant the farmers refugee status. He disparaged migrants from other destinations, saying South Africans were “industrious, they’re hardworking, they have the same Christian values, as opposed to some of the other people we’ve been bringing into the country”, who, he said, were “intent on tearing our country apart”.
Independent analysis has found it is all but impossible to accurately estimate the number of white farmers who have been murdered or attacked in South Africa in recent years, but figures suggest the murder rate for young black men in urban areas is considerably higher. Police statistics publicised by a South African MP, Pieter Groenewald, of the Freedom Front Plus party, show there were 638 attacks on farms and 74 murders in 2016-17, a rise on the previous year, but fewer than in many years during the past two decades. The figures are not broken down by race.
In earlier remarks at the Brisbane event, the Liberal MP Andrew Laming said attacks on white farmers in South Africa were sending them the message to “effectively, get out of our country”.
Laming said he had learned about the issue from a widely shared Facebook post purporting to show an elderly farmer who had been beaten, which he reposted on Sunday night.
He praised his “great colleague Peter Dutton”, saying “he could have ignored [farmers] completely, and hid behind PC departments, who continue to say the murder rate here is no different from the murder rate down the road”.
Laming cast doubt on the South African government’s willingness to tell the truth about attacks on farmers. “We need a South African government that starts counting the toll,” he said. “We need a South African government that doesn’t paper over reality.”
He emphasised the kinship between Australia and South Africa, saying: “We have two great frontier countries, with a great history.”
The speeches were cheered by hundreds of people who had earlier marched down Roma Street chanting slogans including “Save our farmers”, and “Thank you Mr Dutton”.
The march was organised by Brisbane’s South African community in support of proposals floated by Dutton to grant a special immigration status to white South African farmers.
The foreign affairs minister, Julie Bishop, rejected Dutton’s comments last week, saying Australia had no plans to make special visa considerations for white South Africans. The South African government criticised his comments as “sad” and “regrettable”.