On Thursday, South Africa's Foreign Ministry fired back, characterizing the remarks made by Peter Dutton, Australia's home affairs minister, as regrettable. White farmers are not at risk, the ministry said.
"There is no reason for any government anywhere in the world to suspect that any South African is in danger from their own democratically elected government," Ndivhuwo Mabaya, a spokesman for South Africa's Foreign Ministry, said in a statement. "That threat simply does not exist."
South Africa's governing party, the African National Congress, has proposed a constitutional amendment to expropriate land without paying the landowners. The majority of South African farmland remains under white ownership more than 25 years after apartheid ended.