Friday, February 26, 2010
White Zimbabwean Refugee Cornelius Van Wyk Gets U.S. Asylum With Help From Utah Lawmakers
Not every American politician is ignorant about the ethnic cleansing of Whites taking place in Zimbabwe. At least three Utah lawmakers got involved in the effort to help Cornelius Van Wyk (pictured at left) receive political asylum in the United States because both Zimbabwe and South Africa are too dangerous for him. Full story published February 25th, 2010 in the Salt Lake Tribune.
Cornelius van Wyk is a 56-year-old former African guide and rancher who claimed he was persecuted in his homeland when President Robert Mugabe's government took his land without compensation. Van Wyk, who is white, stated in his asylum application that he survived several attempts on his life in Zimbabwe, Tanzania and South Africa and believes the Zimbabwe government wants to eliminate proof of his land ownership - by eliminating him. Van Wyk claims the Mugabe government owes him $4.5 million for the land and buildings they stole from him. But the U.S. government initially refused his claim because they ruled that he had dual citizenship in South Africa because he was born there and had lived there for three months as an infant, and that he should return there to avoid persecution in Zimbabwe. But Van Wyk argued that he would not be safe in South Africa, either; as proof, he cited a February 2009 visit to his sister in Durban, South Africa when he was attacked by two men (probably Negroes). One gouged his eye with a broken bottle before he could escape, so that now he needs a cornea transplant. Visit The Death Of Durban blog to find out more about the city's decline under black rule.
A separate February 15th Tribune story provided additional details of Van Wyk's life under the Mugabe regime. Early on it looked like the Van Wyks would stay, despite a harrowing 1982 military abduction that counts as the first assassination try. His father got a friend on the regional police force to send men to demand his release. Van Wyk's father died in 1998. Later that year, Zimbabwean soldiers forced his staff from his prized game ranch just east of Hwange National Park, a haven for elephants, buffaloes, zebras, giraffes and big cats. Four years later, he said, 32 soldiers came to his cattle ranch and gave him 24 hours to pack his furniture and leave.
After a visit to Utah, three Utah lawmakers came to his rescue. Former Republican State Senator Richard Tempest, who said he witnessed one attempt to burn van Wyk's tent on safari in Tanzania, hired an immigration lawyer to appeal Van Wyk's asylum rejection. He also introduced him to his friend, Rep. Mel Brown (R-Coalville), who earlier in February asked the Utah House to stand and applaud his asylum effort. But it was Utah's U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch who closed the deal. Hatch sent a letter to asylum officials asking them to reconsider their initial rejection, and Van Wyk just recently received word from an asylum officer in Houston that he had won asylum and could seek a work permit.
Van Wyk is grateful for the intervention of the lawmakers and says he hopes to remain in Utah and find work on a ranch. With his experience in guiding and ranching, he could serve as a professional guide to those hunters seeking the trophy game.
Meanwhile, officials in Zimbabwe's embassy in Washington told the Salt Lake Tribune that they had no information at hand indicating that Cornelius van Wyk, or for that matter any white farmer, is a target of political assassination in Zimbabwe. To quote, "The land reform policy in Zimbabwe targeted excessive land holding by the then-white minority, [less than 1 percent of population] who held in excess of 80 percent of all farmland in the country," the embassy said in its e-mail. "Redressing the grotesque imbalance and racially skewed land ownership inherited from a racist government enhances human rights." The embassy also noted that other white farmers continue to live in Zimbabwe.
Of course, those are half-truths and outright lies. Mugabe is carrying on a full-blown program of ethnic cleansing of Whites as a way to get at his Black enemies as well. Yes, other white farmers "live" in Zimbabwe - but not as farmers, because Mugabe has stolen damn near all the white farms, decimating the economy and causing hyperinflation. But the Tribune swallowed the embassy's drivel hook, line, and sinker, and made no effort in this new story to inform their readership of the facts behind the spin. Jan Lamprecht has an archive of stories about Zimbabwe on AfricanCrisis which can bring you up to speed on the real situation in that country.
Posted by Anchorage Activist at 12:16 AM