South Africa says Australia retracted claim of ‘Persecuted’ White farmers


South Africa’s foreign minister said Monday that the Australian government had retracted comments by its home affairs minister suggesting that South Africa was not a “civilized country” because of its treatment of white farmers. In March, the minister, Peter Dutton, said that “persecuted” South African farmers deserved the protection of a “civilized country” – alluding to Australia – and said he would explore the possibility of fast-tracking refugee visas for them. The South African government has been considering a constitutional amendment to expropriate farmland without compensation to its owners to address racial disparities in the country. Mr. Dutton’s comments, as well as his suggestion that the farmers faced a “horrific circumstance,” drew fury in Pretoria, where government officials quickly demanded a retraction.