Proteas refugee case causes backlash against 'racist' Canada

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Johannesburg, Sep.2 (ANI): The African National Congress, South Africa's ruling party, has labelled Canada as "racist" for granting refugee status to a man who claimed he was persecuted in South Africa because he is white.

Brandon Huntley, a 31-year-old South African who stayed illegally in Canada in 2006, after first arriving on a work permit as a carnival attendant, was awarded refugee status after complaining that he was mugged and stabbed in seven attempted robberies in South Africa. He said he was called a "white dog" and a "settler" during these attacks, although he did not report any of the attacks to the police because he "did not trust them."

The decision by a refugee board member in Ottawa has ignited a firestorm of controversy in South Africa, damaging relations between the two countries and denting Canada's image in a country where it was once seen as a stalwart of the anti-apartheid struggle, the Globe and Mail reports.

The refugee board member, William Davis, ruled that South Africa had failed to protect its white citizens from robberies and muggings, which he described as the "persecution" of whites by "African South Africans."

Davis said in his ruling that Mr. Huntley would "stand out like a sore thumb" in any part of South Africa because of his colour. He said Huntley had given "convincing proof" of the government's "inability or unwillingness to protect him."

The ANC said: "Canada's reasoning for granting Huntley a refugee status can only serve to perpetuate racism." (ANI)

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