South Africa has officially issued protests against the low cost Ryanair, which imposes an Afrikaans language test on its South African passengers to prove that they are indeed South Africans.
“Who is the current South African president? “What is the international dialing code for South Africa?” » »… are the test questions in Afrikaans. Ryanair acknowledges having required South Africans wishing to travel to Britain to answer a short questionnaire before the flight “due to the high proportion of fraudulent South African passports”. Travelers unable to respond are denied boarding and get a full refund of their ticket.
The Irish carrier specializing in low-cost flights explains this by recalling that any airline disembarking a passenger with a false passport in the United Kingdom incurs a fine of 2,000 pounds: “This is why Ryanair must ensure that all passengers (especially South African citizens) travel with a valid South African passport/visa, as required by UK immigration”.
A language of the descendants of Dutch-born settlers, Afrikaans is one of eleven official languages of South Africa, but it is spoken by only around 13% of the population and remains deeply associated with the memory of apartheid.