White Farmers in South Africa Should Flee to 'Racist' Australia, Far-Left Politician Says

A far-left South African politician told white farmers "if they want to go, they must go" at a rally Wednesday, adding fuel to a politically charged fire surrounding land rights in the county.

Led by recently elected President Cyril Ramaphosa, the South African government is exploring changing the constitution to allow farmland owned by the white minority in the country to be expropriated to black farmers without compensation. The country's Parliament passed a motion to begin the process of amending the constitution last month, and the move is currently under constitutional review.

The motion, coupled with claims that white farmers are being murdered and attacked at disproportionate rates, prompted Australian Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton to suggest bringing white farmers to Australia and expediting their visas.

"If you look at the footage and read the stories, you hear the accounts, it's a horrific circumstance they face," Dutton told Australia's The Daily Telegraph. "I do think on the information that I've seen, people do need help, and they need help from a civilized country like ours."

Dutton could not immediately be reached for comment.

Dutton's words sparked bombastic comments from Julius Malema, leader of South Africa's radical left Economic Freedom Fighter party, which supported the constitutional motion.

"They must leave the keys to their tractors because we want to work the land, they must leave the keys to their houses because we want to stay in those houses. They must leave everything they did not come here with in South Africa and go to Australia," Malema said at a Human Rights Day rally Wednesday calling Australia a "racist country."

Malema also addressed claims of white farmers being killed in South Africa.

"We want Africa back. Africa belongs to our people," said Malema. "We are saying that which our people were killed for...has not been achieved, and therefore we will continue with that struggle. When we say so, they say we are racist, they say we want to kill white people. Why would we kill white people?"

Malema is no stranger to controversial comments. He described removing a white mayor earlier this month as "cutting the throat of whiteness."

The Economic Freedom Fighter party could not immediately be reached for comment.

South Africa has asked Dutton to retract his comments. Speaking to the BBC, South African government spokesperson Ndivhuwo Mabaya said there was no need to fear that any person in the country will be mistreated.

"The land redistribution program will be done according to the law. We want to say to our friends across the world that there's no need to panic," said Mabaya.

An online petition has also called for the U.S. to bring over South African white farmers.

A worker collects apples on a fruit farm in Piket Bo-berg, Piketberg, north of Cape Town, South Africa, on March 7. A South African radical leftist leader told white farmers if they want to leave the country to “leave the keys to their tractors because we want to work the land.” Wikus De Wet/AFP/GETTY