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Plains Producer, Thursday April 24, 2014
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WHAT do you get when you
have two South Africans, one
Zimbabwean and a SaudiArabian?
The de Wet family!
Celebrating their citizenship on
March 21 were the geographically
diverse family of four; Anita, 39
and Anton, 43; and their children
Keyan, 9 and Ruan, 6.
They were included in a huge
group of 11 from District Council
of Mallala who were naturalised
last month (see seperate story).
Originally from Zimbabwe,
Anton moved to South Africa with
his family when he was just 13.
“My parents decided for my
sake that it was better to move,”
he said. Growing up in Zimbabwe
in the early 1980’s meant everyone
usually had automatic weapons
“I remember as a kid, instead of
listening to the service in church, I
just played under the benches and
there were all automatic weapons
lying under them,” Anton said.
“That was the lifestyle – you
always had a weapon with you.”
Moving to South Africa meant
true love for Anton as it was where
he met his wife, Anita.
The couple eventually moved to
Saudi Arabia after deciding South
Africa was not a safe place to live
“The violent crime is the main
problem – that’s the reason we
actually left,” Anita said.
Anton said when living in one
place for so long, it’s difficult to
see how bad it actually is.
“It’s like the story of the frog
in hot water – it doesn’t know it’s
getting boiled,” he said.
Anton worked as a diesel
mechanic for a couple of years in
Saudi Arabia, but when they had
their first child, Keyan, they flew
back to have him in South Africa.
“Being the first grandchild of
the family, we wanted to have him
back home,” Anita said.
As for their second child, Ruan
he was born in Saudi Arabia,
simply because it was cheaper and
easier. “You know, life can still go
on normally,” Anita said.
Influenced by their life in Saudi
Arabia and South Africa, Anita and
Anton decided they wanted to give
their children the best opportunities
ONE of the largest new
citizenship ceremonies for
the district in almost 30 years
was held at Mallala on Friday,
The District Council of Mal-
lala ceremony, conducted by
mayor Duncan Kennington,
saw 11 people sworn in as
new Australian citizens.
According to DCM com-
munity development officer,
Lynette Seccafien, it was the
largest group of new citizens
at one time for the council area
in almost 30 years.
“Generally we average
around 12 new citizens each
year,” Lynette said.
“Today (March 21) was 11
in one day!
“According to my records,
the largest ceremony we have
had is 11 on Australia Day in
Ten local residents, hail-
ing from around the globe,
including the Ukraine, South
Africa, Iran and the United
Kingdom, all made the pledge
and became official Australian
One Salisbury resident was
also conferred as a new citizen
at the ceremony.
in life and move to Australia.
“The main reason we are here now is
for the kids and their future,” Anton said.
Anton had only just turned down a job
opportunity from Kazakhstan when a
day later, one popped up from Australia.
“That would have been our first
priority, moving to Australia – and it
was meant to be,” Anton said.
After living in Australia for several
years, the de Wet family finally moved
to Lewiston last September, sending
the kids to Two Wells Primary School.
Now working mostly as a full-time
mum, Anita is also studying for her
Certificate IV inAccounting withAnton
working as a training instructor in diesel
To Anita and Anton, South Aus-
tralia’s culture is just like South Africa
with BBQ, sports and fishing. As for
the people, however, everything isn’t
“It’s different with smaller com-
munities – they ask how you are, what
you’re doing and how’s your day, but
everyone keeps to themselves in South
Africa,” Anita said.
Having asked them both about what
they thought it means to be Australian,
they responded with great appreciation.
Anton said the kindness in South
Australia is unlike anything he has seen
in his life.
“The different nationalities, different
backgrounds – Australians have a huge
amount of respect for other people and
it’s something you don’t always see in
other parts of the world,” Anton said.
“And as a mum, what Australia
means to me is safety,” Anita added.
Diverse family calls Oz home
CITIZEN: Balaklava GP, Dr Imran Gul, and wife Hajrah, also had their
citizenship ceremony at the Wakefield Regional Council office last
month. The couple is pictured with mayor, James Maitland.
CEREMONY: DCM mayor, Duncan Kennington (third from left back row) with new Australian citizens, from front left, Tamara Hutiuk, Justin
Galin, Roberto Marquez, Liam Heeley, Keyan de Wet, Ruan De Wet (back) Elena Quattrocchi, Jerald Galin, Mohammad Saadat Marasht,
Anita de Wet, and Anton de Wet.
One of the biggest
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