The scene of a home invasion on a small land holding outside of Pretoria, South Africa, in the early hours of Friday 9th February 2018. Picture: Gary Ramage
The scene of a home invasion on a small land holding outside of Pretoria, South Africa, in the early hours of Friday 9th February 2018. Picture: Gary Ramage

South African man’s emotional plea to Peter Dutton

PETER Dutton has received an emotional letter from a South African man whose parents were tied up and tortured urging him to fast-track humanitarian visas for thousands of persecuted farmers.

The letter, written on behalf of South Africans living in Australia, also urged the Home Affairs Minister to overhaul existing visa rules to allow Australian residents to bring family members here from overseas if their lives are in danger, The Australian reports.

It comes as a group of Coalition backbenchers are reportedly pushing for the government to pledge to take between 5000 and 10,000 persecuted South African farmers in a special humanitarian intake akin to the one granted to Syrian refugees.

The push comes after News Corp last month revealed the persecution white South African farmers were facing - including rape, murder and torture - amid struggles for land.

MORE: Inside South Africa's silent slaughter

In his letter to the Australian government this week, community spokesman Arno Nel described how his parents had been brutally attacked in their home in Pretoria five years ago.

He said his father, Louis, died at the weekend from a rare brain disease that was a consequence of the assault.

"My parents were attacked in their house," Mr Nel said.

"They were not farmers. They were pensioners. They were renting a house. They were tortured for three hours in their own home.

"These people came into their house. They brutally attacked my dad. My dad said 'Take my car and take whatever money I have and leave us alone'.

"They proceeded to torture them. They stripped him naked and put a pistol to his head and three times they pulled the trigger and three times the pistol misfired.

"They then tied them up on the floor with a telephone cord. He chewed through this cord eventually. He untied my mum. He couldn't get up because he was hit over his head with a metal pipe.''

The Australian reports the letter was read aloud at a march in Perth at the weekend in support of the South African farmers.

Berdus Henrico 39, and his fiance were attacked inside a game park in the Limpopo Province. Berdus fought with two men who attacked with a knife and screwdriver, after which a third man came in to their remote farmhouse with a handgun and shot him three times. Picture: Gary Ramage
Berdus Henrico 39, and his fiance were attacked inside a game park in the Limpopo Province. Berdus fought with two men who attacked with a knife and screwdriver, after which a third man came in to their remote farmhouse with a handgun and shot him three times. Picture: Gary Ramage

It also highlighted that South African families in Australia had shown "self-sufficiency, low maintenance and ­remarkable integration."

"The Australian government should be aware that many Australian citizens with South African heritage have families that are in constant danger," the letter said.

"We hope that Australia will extend the privilege of living in Australia to those families of Australian citizens who are facing this danger, by creating a family visa that is low-cost and not subject to age and other conditions.

"We cannot be prescriptive to the Australian government about the type and measure of assistance that should be offered, and we understand that treatment should be fair.

"However, it is worth pointing out that South African families in Australia have shown self-sufficiency, low maintenance and ­remarkable integration."

WA Liberal MP Andrew Hastie has now forwarded the letter to Mr Dutton.

Turnbull Government minister Alan Tudge this morning confirmed a number of South Africans had applied for asylum under Australia's existing humanitarian visa program.

He told Sky News he expected to receive "many more applications" but said the government was not contemplating a special intake.

Any requests would be considered under the current visa program, he said.

The scene of a violent home invasion on a small land holding outside of Pretoria, South Africa, in the early hours of Friday 9th February 2018. Picture: Gary Ramage
The scene of a violent home invasion on a small land holding outside of Pretoria, South Africa, in the early hours of Friday 9th February 2018. Picture: Gary Ramage


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