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UK blocking South Africans at airports unless they pass Afrikaans test

by Staff reporter
03 Jun 2022 at 08:57hrs | Views
Several South African passport holders who attempted to fly to and from the United Kingdom (UK) claim they had to pass a general knowledge quiz in Afrikaans before they could board their planes.

The frustrated travellers headed to Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit to share their experiences.

MyBroadband spoke to a South African expat who said she and her 11-year-old son were denied their boarding passes from Ireland West Airport Knock to the UK two weeks ago.

She got three out of the 15 questions wrong.

They were returning from a visit to her daughter in the Republic of Ireland for a weekend. She had lived in the UK with her husband for two-and-a-half years.

When arriving at the check-in counter, she was given the test — in Afrikaans.

The border control official told her that the form had been put in place by the British government.

While she had a relatively solid understanding of the language, she still asked for the test in English.

She explained that South Africa had 11 official languages and that she was not fluent in Afrikaans.

The official could not provide her with a test in another language and told the expat to do her best.

The test questions are reproduced in the table below, in the left-hand column. MyBroadband's English translations of the questions are on the right.

MyBroadband has seen several photos online from different posters that appear to show varying copies of the test.

The expat said she saw no official stamps or branding on the questionnaire to indicate it was an official document. She also did not have to write down her passport or personal details.

She suspected her test was scanned and sent somewhere for verification.

Despite providing the officials with her and her sons' biometric residence permits (BRPs), she was forced to leave the airport and return to her daughter after not getting full marks on the test.

She contacted her immigration consultant, who confirmed she had wrongly been refused the right to board as their visas and passports were valid.

Her husband then flew to Dublin to fetch them, and they managed to leave via Dublin Airport.

She suspected they managed to get through on the second attempt due to her husband's British passport.

She described the experience as "terrible" and said it felt like she had been discriminated against.

Source - mybroadband
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