Post title says it all.
According to the news report the appeal challenge by the government is a "rare" move in refugee cases. I don't know how rare it is but I can tell you one thing. If a federal riding or two can be swung by an expat white South African voting block Ottawa wouldn't be appealing the file at all. There isn't an expat Czech or Mexican voting block that can swing the vote in any federal electoral riding so it was safe to slap Czech Republic and Mexico with visa restrictions. Sri Lankan Tamils can swing the vote in as few as six electoral ridings compelling Ottawa to stall on labelling the LTTE as a terrorist organization even though the LTTE used child soldiers and pioneered the use of suicide bombs. The immigration system is more about politics than anything.
Which brings me to the white South African's asylum claim. I don't know how real his claims are and I doubt the individual who handled his case does either. This is the problem of allowing inland refugee claims. Those hearing the cases are estranged from the circumstances that bring individuals to Canada's borders to seek asylum and so can be easily lied to by people trying to capitalize on Canada's naiveté and ignorance (we call it compassion). If Canada vetted its refugees abroad we would be in a better position to weed out the liars but the problem here is that you will end up cutting out the lawyers and consultants and we can't have that now can we? Someone needs to make money from the refugee system and who's more deserving than lawyers and consultants?
I have heard commentators say crime does not discriminate in South Africa and that is true. African South Africans are more likely to be victims of crime than whites. But being white does single you out as being a "have" in a nation where the majority are "have nots" even though being white does not necessarily mean you are economically well off. Thus being white does make you a target of sorts but I wouldn't consider the attacks as being racially motivated. It's like asking a bank robber why he robs banks. It's where the money is. So, can this be considered persecution due to the colour of one's skin? And if the local police force and the South African government are incapable or unwilling (or both) of protecting Mr. Huntley and other white South Africans from targeted attacks does he (and they) have a legitimate claim?
Ironically, the negative press Mr. Huntley has received back in South Africa may actually strengthen his asylum claim since he has been labelled a fraud and an insult to South Africa. This may subject him to persecution by all South Africans, black and white, if he is forced to return.
But my gut feeling is that the decision to appeal is political. South Africa needs to save face and prove that the Rainbow Nation is working and Canada needs to convince itself that another multicultural social experiment isn’t failing.
It will be interesting to see if the appeal succeeds. But if Mr. Huntley is lying then kick him out.