Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Canadian Government Tribunal: South African government shows "indifference and inability or unwillingness" to protect "white South Africans from persecution by African South Africans".

(Social Justice South Africa; c.f. News 24 (Secular; Independent; South African) 31 / 08 / 2009; Page on Brandon Huntly; The Telegraph (United kingdom based / British; Independent; Secular) 31 / 08 | August / 2009 ; Dispatch.co.za (Secular; independent; South African) 01 / 09 | September / 2009 )

[Voir en français ; Kyk na hierdie artikel in Afrikaans]

Article by Marc Aupiais

Representing the South African High Commission in Ottawa, Canada, a Anesh Maistry, according to News 24: has noted a ruling granting a white (Ethnic European / Caucasian) South African refugee status in Canada. The panel chair (William Davis) of the Canadian tribunal (Canadian immigration and refugee board panel) which granted refugee status to a Caucasian South African, claimed that the evidence presented by the claimant: "Brandon Huntley", a 31 year old South African who had been living illegally in Canada :

""showed a picture of indifference and inability or unwillingness""
( News 24 (Secular; Independent; South African) 31 / 08 / 2009)

on behalf of of the government of the Republic of South Africa to protect:

""white South Africans from persecution by African South Africans""
( News 24 (Secular; Independent; South African) 31 / 08 / 2009).

According to the UK Telegraph, the tribunal's chair even went as far as to claim that this alleged discrimination was occurring across South Africa: saying:

"I find that the claimant would stand out like a 'sore thumb' due to his colour in any part of the country,"
( The Telegraph (United kingdom based / British; Independent; Secular) 31 / 08 | August / 2009)

Ronnie Mamoepa, spokesperson for South Africa's Department of Home Affairs, informed News 24 of his "disgust" over what he termed as the :

"baseless allegations against our [note the word "our", in as far as it relates to the alleged attacks, the choice of words here is interesting] people and our country"
( News 24 (Secular; Independent; South African) 31 / 08 / 2009)

which were put forward by the Canadian tribunal.

He Further claimed that:

"It would have been courteous for the Canadian government to allow the South African government to respond to the allegations".
( News 24 (Secular; Independent; South African) 31 / 08 / 2009)

The High Commission representative, contrary to the Department of Home Affairs spokesperson, however claimed that the granting of refugee status was a Canadian decision, of a sovereign state.

The claimant- Huntly, reportedly was raised in Cape town, South Africa and claimed that he has been attacked 7 times, of which 3 were allegedly stabbings, all allegedly by black South Africans, adding that he had been called slurs such as "white dog" and "settler". He is further alleged to have said that "There's a hatred of what [Huntly reportedly used the word "we"] did to them and it's all about the colour of your skin,"

As the majority of South Africans are Ethnic Africans, it is statistically not unlikely that the majority of criminals would by Ethnic Africans, just as the majority of criminals in a European country will likely be Ethnically European, of course factoring in poverty levels, how stable families are in general and other factors. As to whether or not the specific alleged attacks were racially motivated as a percentage of local crime is, and whether or not race played a role in police handling of these specific incidents is uncertain to our service at present. The alleged slurs do seem to center on the man's race, however, these could be incidental insults, based on attempting to downgrade the dignity of a specific individual, by stereotyping his Ethnicity.

Huntly had been illegally residing in Canada, having previously had a stay in Canada on a work permit. He requested refugee status in April 2008.

Current legal fashion in interpreting the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 reads it as allowing the specific discrimination against Caucasian South Africans, so far as economic, educational, and government related business is concerned, this does not extend to personal or physical descrimination of the type alleged by the claimant. The Legislative and Administrative schemes such as BEE (Black Economic Empowerment) and AA (Affirmative Action), ask that larger companies have a certain portion of non-white ownership, and that a large portion of general and management positions in companies over a legislated size be non-white. Companies which do not comply with BEE are fined. Universities are also encouraged to choose non-white students over white students.

The result is that companies often pay for the education of black students in order to employ them later, and black persons can receive much higher pay than white persons in fields where there are not many Ethnically non-white skilled workers. Advertisements for job applications can contain wording which informs the applicant that only "previously disadvantaged" (Those whose Ethnicity [whether or not the individual was alive or not during this period] would have "previously disadvantaged" under Apartheid) South Africans should apply for a job.

There have been publically made accusations, that those most benefitting from BEE, are persons affiliated with the ruling African National Congress (ANC), and that average black South Africans have not benefitted. Those who have become known for profiting from BEE deals include Cyril Ramaposa, and Tokyo Sexwale, both of whom have had strong ties with the ANC. The DA (Democratic Alliance), the Official Opposition in the Republic of South Africa, has alleged that the attempts to change the racial makeup of the judiciary (what the government terms "transformation"), via discriminating against white judges, are politically motivated.

To our service's knowledge: there is a scale as regards these economic discriminations, and different races are viewed slightly differently. Government companies are encouraged to do business with blacker contractors over those with more white staff, or owners. Companies which are best suited to benefit from BEE legislation are known as Blackchip companies.

The current President of the Republic of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, has been reported in the news as claiming that those Caucasian South Africans, who are not Afrikaans, are not true South Africans, his justification of this statement was that many English speaking Caucasian South Africans are in his opinion: dual-citizens in other countries, while Afrikaans Caucasians, according to the President: often are only South African citizens. Mention of Ethnic Africans with dual citizenship was not made. He had also claimed that Afrikaaners were in his opinion: the only truly African "white" "tribe". This was seen as a claim that English speaking Caucasians were not true Africans, some saw it as the equivalent of the slur in which white South Africans are sometimes called "settlers".

Claims that the South African government refuses to or can't protect white South Africans from racially motivated violence, are not often made in the public space or endorsed by state institutions of other countries, making this case of note. A percentage of violent crime against White South Africans, has been seen as racially motivated. Many Caucasian and non-Caucasian South Africans have left the country looking for work, or safety from crime and political uncertainty which is not as prevailant elsewhere.

This article does not constitute legal advice, and should not be taken as legal advice, facts or information are here: presented purely to contextualize the situation for informative purposes, and this is not to be taken as legal advice.

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