Living in fear for South African family stuck on the farming frontline, by Andrew Burrell.
Perth woman Lisa Thompson Potgieter agonises every day over the safety of her elderly parents — both white farmers — in her native South Africa.
But she says the cost of obtaining special parent visas to enable them to join her in Australia would be $84,000 — money that Mrs Potgieter, a schoolteacher, and her husband Phillip, a mine worker, simply don’t have. Without the visas, her parents, both 75, would have to join a low-priority queue the Department of Immigration says can take 30 years to be processed.
Until last month when they moved into a retirement home, Mrs Potgieter’s parents had lived in fear on their farm near Pretoria. A neighbouring farm was recently burgled and the occupants tied up. Another neighbour, a woman in her 80s, had her finger cut off by a gang that stole her gold wedding ring. …
The Potgieters moved to Perth 11 years ago with their children, now 13 and 14. …
Among the 20 seats with the most Afrikaans speakers, six are Coalition-held seats that would be lost if an election were held now, while a seventh would be line-ball based on demographic breakdowns of Newspolls in the first three months of this year. In Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton’s seat of Dickson, held by a 1.6 per cent margin, Afrikaans is the second-most spoken language, with 726 speakers.
hat-tip Stephen Neil