Ryanair forces South Africans to prove nationality with Afrikaans test

Ryanair forces South Africans to prove nationality with Afrikaans test

Ryanair forces South Africans to prove nationality with Afrikaans test

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Ryanair (RYA.I) is forcing South African passengers to prove their citizenship before flying by taking an Afrikaans language test, a language spoken by only 12% of the population and historically associated with apartheid and the white minority.

Due to a high frequency of counterfeit South African passports, Europe’s largest airline by passenger counts, which does not operate flights to and from South Africa, claimed it needed all UK-bound passengers from the nation to fill out a “short questionnaire.”

 

“If they are unable to answer this questionnaire, they will be denied travel and a full refund will be granted,” an Irish airline official stated.

 

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South Africa’s Home Affairs department, which has warned about counterfeit passport syndicates, has issued a statement.

The Ryanair test is not a British government requirement for entry into the United Kingdom, according to the UK High Commission in South Africa on Twitter. A request for comment from the Irish High Commission was not immediately returned.

The test would apply to any South African passport holder flying to Britain from another area of Europe on the low-cost carrier, according to the low-cost carrier. When asked why it would apply to certain journeys, the airline did not immediately comment, despite the fact that Britain claims it is not a requirement.

 

The test, which is now underway, has sparked outrage among South Africans in Johannesburg.

 

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“To a whole host of South Africans who don’t know Afrikaans, it’s highly discriminating,” Siphiwe Gwala told Reuters.

When questioned if this was the correct approach to determine if the passengers were actually South African, Conrad Steenkamp, the chief executive officer of the Afrikaans Language Council, remarked, “They’re employing this (exam) in a manner that is totally ludicrous.”

Afrikaans is the third most widely spoken of South Africa’s 11 official languages, with 12 percent of the country’s 58 million people speaking it. It was the official language until 1994, when apartheid came to an end.

The language arose from Dutch colonisation of South Africa in the 17th century, and it has long been associated with racial categorisation and apartheid ideology, which was predominantly imposed by the white minority National Party beginning in 1948.

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