A South African family is desperate to remain in the US, its members claiming they cannot return home because, as Afrikaners, they will be subject to racial discrimination.
The Voortrekker Monument, in Pretoria, a national heritage site – some asylum applicants have said they are targeted in South Africa because they are Afrikaners
The family’s legal representative has been contacting US academics in a bid to get a scholarly opinion that would bolster the asylum application.
The family, described by the law firm as “white Afrikaner farmers”, is among dozens of South Africans who, over the past decade, have applied for asylum abroad for a range of reasons, including fear of persecution and violent crime. Some of the applications have been successful.
When contacted for comment, the family’s lawyer, Rehim Babaoglu, said the family was too afraid to be identified.
“They were shocked to hear that a reporter was seeking information and they have no comment. They definitely don’t want to participate because of privacy and safety concerns,” said Babaoglu.
But Professor Mark Behr, of Rhodes College, in Memphis, Tennessee, and Dr Dennis Laumann, of the University of Memphis, have rejected requests that they help the family.
“I am not interested in assisting Afrikaners claiming discrimination in a non-racial, democratic, post-apartheid South Africa,” wrote Laumann.