Increase in international community’s stance against expropriation without compensation
AfriForum welcomes the fact that the New South Wales Legislative Council in Australia carried a motion yesterday that strongly condemns expropriation without reasonable compensation (EWC). The motion read inter alia that the Council strongly condemned a) any call for the murder, marginalisation, prosecution, victimisation or targeting of any racial group in South Africa by any of the country’s current or previous officials, as well as b) any legislation that confiscated land from any person in an unfair manner without fair and reasonable compensation. [See extract from minutes below - PW]
According to Alana Bailey, Deputy CEO of AfriForum responsible for international liaison, the South African government should take note that this motion in Australia is but only the beginning of an intensive international battle that will be fought among international investors and governments against EWC. Bailey argues that the South African government – considering international role-players’ cognisance of the dangerous direction that the ANC government is going with its planned EWC programme – should reconsider its plans to change the South African Constitution to the detriment of property rights.
Bailey points out that, over the last four months, AfriForum paid awareness visits to numerous opinion shapers in the USA, Europe and the United Kingdom, and provided information to role-players in Australia. “AfriForum’s persistent message was that we wanted to see that South Africa continued to receive foreign investments, that the economy should grow and, as a result, also job creation and prosperity for everyone. To obtain this, however, it is necessary that foreign politicians, other opinion shapers and investors put pressure on the South African government to protect property rights,” Bailey says.
According to Bailey, the opinion shapers with whom AfriForum met, including senior politicians from mainstream parties, journalists and thinktank researchers, confirmed AfriForum’s concerns. “Not only are they upset by the possible results of any violation of property rights, but they are also extremely concerned about the effect that the process of EWC will have on political and social stability, as well as on food security in the Southern African region,” Bailey adds.
Bailey says that the motion in Australia follows soon after a warning by the credit rating agency Moody’s in reaction to South Africa’s fiscal deficit and poor economic growth, as well as the International Monetary Fund’s warning that uncertainty about property rights in South Africa poses a threat to South Africa’s economy.
“Reckless statements that show no understanding of the complex nature of 21st century farming, such as the statement this week on land ownership restrictions by the ANC Chairperson Gwede Mantashe, add to increasing foreign concern, criticism and viewpoints,” Bailey concludes.
Statement issued by Alana Bailey, Deputy CEO, AfriForum, 17 August 2018
MINUTES FROM THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL, 18 AUGUST 2018
VIOLENCE IN SOUTH AFRICA
Order of the day read for resumption of the adjourned debate of the question on the motion of Revd Mr Nile:
1. That this House notes:
(a) Articles 2 and 3 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide,
(b) a political culture of racist violence has been fostered in South Africa, which can be witnessed by:
(i) the recent revival of a revolutionary hymn to “Shoot the Boer” among the political elite,
(ii) the statement of former President Zuma that “We are going to shoot them with machine guns … shoot the Boer, we are going to hit them, they are going to run,”
(iii) the statement of Julius Malema that “We are not calling for the slaughter of white people, at least for now” and more recently that “the time for reconciliation is over” and furthermore that “go after the white man. If you cut a white man they feel terrible pain,”
(iv) whites, who make up under ten percent of the national population and who have been farming the land for over 350 years, are routinely referred to as “settlers” by government officials,
(v) the South African Parliament under President Cyril Ramaphosa recently voted in support of a motion to accelerate the expropriation of white owned and cultivated farm land without compensation to the owners, and
(c) this dehumanisation and targeting of an ethnic minority has created an environment where:
(i) white farmers are allegedly five times more likely to be murdered than the general population of South Africa, with an estimated four thousand already killed since the ANC came to power,
(ii) farm attacks are often characterised by extreme brutality, which includes the physical dismemberment, torture, and rape of the victims, and also involves the killing of children and infants in horrendous ways that suggest hate is a motivating factor,
(iii) there is a view that authorities are not treating the farm attack phenomena with the urgency it deserves.
2. That this House calls on the Government to:
a. as a matter of principle, strongly condemn:
(i) any and all calls for the killing, marginalisation, persecution, victimisation and targeting of any racial minority group in the Republic of South Africa by any of its officials, past or present,
(ii) Any law that unjustly expropriates land from any individual without fair, just and equitable compensation,
b. call upon the foreign mission of the Republic of South Africa to confirm the veracity of the factual statements listed in point 1 above,
c. call upon the Commonwealth government to raise the issue of the alleged racial targeting of farmers in the Republic of South Africa, and to do so in the appropriate international forum, and
d. investigate what New South Wales can do to assist the victims of any racist violence committed against the Boer and white farming community, including investigating the possibility of offering to resettle victims here, or assisting their resettlement in another appropriate jurisdiction.
Mr Harwin moved: That the question be amended by:
1. omitting all words after “Genocide” in paragraph 1.
2. omitting all words after “That this House” in paragraph 2 and inserting instead: “strongly condemns:
(a) any and all calls for the killing, marginalisation, persecution, victimisation and targeting of any racial minority group in the Republic of South Africa by any of its officials, past or present, and
(b) any law that unjustly expropriates land from any individual without fair, just and equitable compensation.”
Mr Franklin moved: That the amendment of Mr Harwin be amended by omitting the word “minority” from paragraph 2(a).
Question: That the amendment of Mr Franklin to Mr Harwin’s amendment be agreed to—put and passed. Question: That the amendment of Mr Harwin, as amended, be agreed to—put and passed.
Original question, as amended: That this House notes:
1. Articles 2 and 3 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.
2. That this House strongly condemns:
(a) any and all calls for the killing, marginalisation, persecution, victimisation and targeting of any racial group in the Republic of South Africa by any of its officials, past or present, and
(b) any law that unjustly expropriates land from any individual without fair, just and equitable compensation.—put and passed.
HANSARD TRANSCRIPT OF DEBATE
SOUTH AFRICA RACIST VIOLENCE
Debate resumed from 17 May 2018.
The Hon. DON HARWIN (Minister for Resources, Minister for Energy and Utilities, and Minister for the Arts) (12:24): The Legislative Council has always had a wide remit. It has always adopted views principally on matters to do with the public affairs of New South Wales but occasionally, particularly during private member's business, it has considered issues of wider significance. The motion of Reverend the Hon. Fred Nile is an example of this. It deals with a matter of great concern to some Australians. I have always taken the view when the Legislative Council considers issues of wider international significance that, as far as possible, it is able to do so with broad consensus in the House. I propose to move an amendment to the motion, but before doing so I indicate to the House that I have consulted with the Opposition about it. I have also given notice to Reverend the Hon. Fred Nile, and no doubt he will address that in his reply. I move:
That the motion be amended by:
1.Omitting all words after "Genocide" in paragraph (1).
2.Omitting all words after "That this House" in paragraph (2) and inserting instead:
(a)any and all calls for the killing, marginalisation, persecution, victimisation and targeting of any racial minority group in the Republic of South Africa by any of its officials, past or present, and
(b)any law that unjustly expropriates land from any individual without fair, just and equitable compensation."
The amendment will best accord with the traditional approach that we have taken to try to gain broad consensus. I commend the amendment to the House.
The Hon. LYNDA VOLTZ (12:26): I have significant concerns about the motion. It cites some figures that have not been backed up with any substantiated data. For example, I am concerned about the reference to the murder rate in the farming community as a whole compared with the general population in South Africa. Each day in South Africa three women are killed—in other words, every eight hours a women is killed. The woman is usually a black person and she is usually killed by someone known to her—namely, she is a victim of domestic violence. I suggest that murder rates for the killing of women and children in South Africa should be the priority of a member who moves a motion about what is happening in that country.
It is terrible for anyone to be killed because of their race. We should all be concerned about the murder rates among the Rohingya people in Myanmar, the Hazaras in Afghanistan and the Romani people in Europe. They are all persecuted minorities who have come under severe attack. More importantly, we should stand up for those nations that protect the rights of women who are repressed. I note that recently the Canadian Prime Minister stood up against the imprisonment of women in Saudi Arabia. The Canadians have fought side by side with us in every international conflict, including in the Battle of Polygon Wood at Passchendaele. When the Australian and New Zealand soldiers were completely done in, the Canadians came to our rescue.
I acknowledge that the amendment moved by the Hon. Don Harwin makes the motion more palatable, but to highlight the plight of white South Africans on the farms of South Africa while completely ignoring the plight of women and children in South Africa is a terrible thing. It does not reflect the concerns of this House.
The Hon. PAUL GREEN (12:29): On behalf of the Christian Democratic Party, I support my colleague's motion, to which the Government has moved an amendment. The Hon. Lynda Voltz made a poignant comment that across the world there are civil wars and injustices occurring throughout all sorts of communities and involving all sorts of races and religion. These types of global events should receive fair and equitable coverage in our television media rather than incidents that are politically expedient. In this Chamber, members have different passions and causes that we follow and support. This is one cause that my colleague supports, and I know other members in the House support other important causes.
I support the motion moved by my colleague Reverend the Hon. Fred Nile regarding violence in South Africa. The motion asks the South African ambassador to confirm whether allegations of systemic racist violence are true and calls on the Federal Government to respond. The recent unrest 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. There are no official figures of the number of deaths. However, 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.
In the Daily Telegraph on 13 May 2018, Carolyn Marcus reported that Johann and Mariandra Heunis's small chicken farm outside Pretoria was the target of a farm attack in September 2016. Their young daughter desperately pleaded with the assailants to take her piggy bank and leave her dad and heavily pregnant mum alone. The assailants ignored her and shot Johann five times in front of his children. Liberal Democratic Senator David Leyonhjelm asked Australia to picture our farmers being butchered like this. He tweeted:
Just imagine if 400 of them were being murdered each year—the entire country would be galvanised into action. But because it's white farmers in black South Africa, I doubt much will be done.
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. The Federal Government and Federal Opposition have stated that people who are facing persecution, regardless of where they are from or the colour of their skin, are able to apply to Australia's humanitarian visa program and their application will be assessed on merit. InThe Australian on 9 May 2018, Sue Neales reported:
Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has asked his department to look at how persecuted white South African farmers might meet strict eligibility requirements and migrate to Australia. His comment that farmers should be fast-tracked under the humanitarian program following reports of murders of white farmers caused controversy in South Africa, where the government accused him of tarnishing the country's reputation.
I encourage anyone facing persecution to look at these humanitarian visas. I conclude with a quote from a phenomenal leader, Nelson Mandela, who 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.
I encourage members of this House to support the motion. I commend that motion to the House.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT (The Hon. Trevor Khan): I inform the House that as an amendment has been moved to the motion, members are entitled to speak to the amendment for a period of 15 minutes. Therefore, Reverend the Hon. Fred Nile can speak in reply for a period of five minutes and he can speak to the amendment for a period of 15 minutes.
The Hon. PAUL GREEN: I indicate that Reverend the Hon. Fred Nile is keen to conclude the motion this morning.
The Hon. BEN FRANKLIN (12:36): I move an amendment to the amendment moved by the Hon. Don Harwin as follows:
That the word "minority" in paragraph (2) (a) be deleted.
I move that amendment because there have been incidents in Africa where the majority racial group has been targeted. My amendment ensures that any group that is being victimised, persecuted, marginalised or targeted in any way is included in the motion.
Reverend the Hon. FRED NILE (12:37): In reply: I speak in reply and to the amendments. I thank the Hon. Don Harwin and the Hon. Adam Searle for their advice in relation to changes to be made to the original motion. Paragraph (2) of the motion will now read:
(2)That this House calls on the Government to:
(a)as a matter of principle, strongly condemn:
(i)any and all calls for the killing, marginalisation, persecution, victimisation and targeting of any racial group in the Republic of South Africa by any of its officials, past or present,
(ii)any law that unjustly expropriates land from any individual without fair, just and equitable compensation.
I acknowledge also the contribution made by the Hon. Lynda Voltz. I fully support her concerns and I will support any motion she may move in that regard. I raised this issue first in a speech during the adjournment debate on 15 March and then when moving the motion before the House on 17 May 2018. I noted reports of the worsening situation in South Africa and referred to mainstream media accounts published both here and overseas and printed online. I cited information from journalists and organisations. I acknowledge that the exact data about the number of victims and their identities is difficult to ascertain.
Since I last spoke on this issue, a report in The Australian, dated 16 April, sourced figures from Africa Check stating that the number of farmland victims is somewhere between 156 per 100,000 on the high end and 34 per 100,000 on the low end. Whatever the exact figures may be, it is beyond doubt that there is a serious problem of racial violence in South Africa. My research, as summarised in this House on 17 May, suggests that this crisis has been promoted by irresponsible rhetoric from malicious elements who foster a culture of hatred and fear.
The important key principles of international law, which the Christian Democratic Party supports, must be upheld. I thank the Hon. Don Harwin and the Hon. Paul Green for their contributions to the debate and the Hon. Adam Searle for his advice. The Hon. David Clarke, who is absent from the Chamber as he is attending a funeral, conveyed to me his support for the motion and his concern about the strife occurring in the Boer community. I acknowledge my chief of staff Edwin Dyga for researching and preparing the motion.
I commend him for his interest in this human rights issue. I am surprised that there has been silence on this issue within the European Union and the United Nations. It should be emphasised that this issue resonates with the Australian community. On 6 March a well-attended rally took place in Queensland in support of the victimised Boer and white farmers of South Africa. On 8 April another rally took place in Perth. It was reported inThe Australian by Victoria Laurie that 2,000 people attended the rally. She wrote:
... protesters held white crosses, some bearing the names of relatives who died on their farms, and placards such as "Save my farming grandparents".
On 16 April Ian Burrel reported inThe Australian that there was a noticeable influx of frightened white South Africans immigrating to Perth. He reported that the Coetzee family escaped South Africa after their home was invaded by armed, balaclava‑clad militants. Nicolene Coetzee is reported as saying, "We would never go back to living in that house". Her family is "just thankful to be in Australia now." On 2 AugustThe Australian reported that the President of South Africa intends to press ahead with changes to the constitution that will allow the land expropriation law to take effect—in other words, land can be expropriated without compensation.
On 9 May, Sue Neale, the national rural reporter forThe Australian, wrote that many victimised South Africans are looking toward our nation to relocate and continue their lives in peace. In her article, Ms Neale illustrated the case of the Greyling family who arrived in Moree, New South Wales, and now help manage a local citrus farm. The common theme in the articles is that people feel they have no voice and that the world has forgotten them. That is the reason I moved this motion. Australia has not forgotten or ignored them, nor have we forgotten minority groups who are suffering in other nations. I acknowledge Sonia Hruska from the United Liberty Alliance who has provided a detailed and referenced report dated 13 June 2018 titled, "A risk analysis of the forthcoming political and social instability in South Africa and the imminent threat to minorities".
As Australians, we are pleased to have the opportunity to help those overseas who are in need. New South Wales is a generous State and we are a compassionate people. Because of the broad cultural similarities between the victims and our nation, the South African people who seek refuge here will find it relatively easy to assimilate into our community. By many accounts, this successful assimilation has already begun in Perth. I submit that there is an urgency for this issue to be raised in the international arena. I urge my colleagues to press upon their Federal counterparts to do so, and to do so soon. I again thank members who have spoken to this motion. I commend the motion to the House.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT (The Hon. Trevor Khan): Reverend the Hon. Fred Nile has moved a motion relating to violence in South Africa. The Leader of the Government, the Hon. Don Harwin, moved an amendment to the motion by omitting all words after "genocide" in paragraph (1) and omitting all words after "that this House" in paragraph (2) and inserting "strongly condemns: (a) any and all calls for the killing, marginalisation, persecution, victimisation and targeting of any racial minority group in the Republic of South Africa by any of its officials past or present, and (b) any law that unjustly expropriates land from any individual without fair, just and equitable compensation." The Hon. Ben Franklin has moved that the amendment be amended by omitting the word "minority" in paragraph (2) (a).
The question is that the amendment as moved by the Hon. Don Harwin be agreed to.
Amendment agreed to.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT (The Hon. Trevor Khan): The question is that the amendment to the amendment as moved by the Hon. Ben Franklin be agreed to.
Amendment, as amended, agreed to.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT (The Hon. Trevor Khan): The question is that the motion, as amended, be agreed to.
Motion, as amended, agreed to.