ON THE WATER
NEELS BLOM: Outback could soon be a maize field, but a barbie is not a braai
For some South African farmers the arid Outback poses the threat of losing their lives
Certain South African farmers, specifically those upon whom the primitive racial epithet of whiteness is still being foisted, might have been feeling so chuffed at being in demand by politicians that they would have thrown an extra coil of boerie on the coals. Which should give them cause to pause before firing off that e-mail to Australia’s minister in charge of immigration, Peter Dutton, to claim a fast-tracked humanitarian visa; a barbie is not a braai. Still, there might be other considerations that have less to do with the attractions of life in the arid Outback, such as being afraid for their lives. The trouble, as usual, is race. Dutton pressed everyone’s button when he said "persecuted white farmers" should be accommodated as refugees. If he had left out "white" all would have been well, and there might even have been a chorus of black farmers agreeing with the persecution part. Instead, he got Australia’s Greens party leader Richard Di Natale calling him "an out-and-out rac...