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Was it right to grant refugee status to white South African?

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Canada’s decision to grant refugee status to white South African Brandon Huntley has drawn anger from the ruling African National Congress, which described it as racist, and has again stirred the race debate in South Africa 14 years after the end of apartheid.

Huntley had cited persecution by black South Africans as the reason why he could not return to the country of his birth. The chair of the Canadian panel that granted his request said he had shown evidence “of indifference and inability or unwillingness” of South Africa’s government to protect white South Africans from “persecution by African South Africans”.

“I find that the claimant would stand out like a ‘sore thumb’ due to his colour in any part of the country,” the chair of the tribunal panel, William Davis, was quoted as saying.

In his application for asylum, Huntley said he had been a victim of multiple crimes by black South Africans and added that white South Africans were a target.

Back to Africa?

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Members of Sierra Leone's U15 football team FC Johansen pose for a team photo in Freetown

Earlier this month, players in a Sierra Leonean football team were hailed as heroes when they returned from Sweden – because they all came home.

In the past, they might have been more likely to scarper and seek asylum while they had the chance.

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