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Brandon Carl Huntley is a South African who stirred up controversy[1] after applying for refugee status in Canada claiming he was being persecuted in South Africa due to his race[2].

Huntley, a Capetonian, claims to have been attacked seven times and called a 'white dog' and a 'settler'[3] he also added that he would 'stick out like a sore thumb' in his homeland. The Canadian immigration board judged that he presented sufficient evidence to demonstrate that the government was unable or unwilling to protect white South Africans. The South African government has rubbished these allegations[4], and it has been joined by a group of 133 academics from 13 South African and 6 overseas universities who have penned an open letter to Canada's chargé d’affaires in Pretoria, Jeff White, distancing themselves from Huntley’s views. Meanwhile the Canadian Department of Citizenship and Immigration has applied for leave to appeal the immigration board's ruling in the Federal Court[5] and Huntley quite possibly faces deportation back to South Africa.

Huntley's lawyers have condemned the Department of Citizenship and Immigration's challenging of his refugee status as an "abuse of process" and a "politically abusive application" founded on concerns about opening floodgates to white South Africans[6], while the South African government has welcomed the move with Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma saying that "The South African government ... supports the recommendation by Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenney to the Federal Court to review the immigration and refugee board's decision to grant Huntley refugee status based on his race. The government appreciates the finding by the Canadian government that Huntley's claims were not supported by credible evidence"[7]. Additionally it has emerged that his estranged wife, Melanie Crete-Huntley, is 'livid' with him, saying she was aware that he was going to apply for refugee status but never expected him to be so 'disrespectful' towards his own country[8].

On November 26, 2010, it emerged that Huntley's refugee status had been overturned by Canada's Federal Court[9][10] with judge James Russell saying "I have serious reservations about why this particular white South African came to Canada and, after a considerable delay, opted to claim refugee status"[11]. Instead of immediately claiming refugee status as would be typical, Huntley had gotten a job and contributed for society.

See also


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