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Ryanair accused of discrimination for forcing Afrikaans test on South Africans

Ryanair was accused of racism for making South African nationals pass a Afrikaans general knowledge test before they were allowed to board their flights to the UK.

Afrikaans is spoken in South Africa by approximately 14% of its population.

South African tourists have reported feeling traumatized and humiliated by the experience.

Metro spoke with Dinesh Joseph who speaks English and said that the test felt like “profiling” and discrimination after he was asked to take it in order to return to London from his vacation in Lanzarote.


When he requested a form in English, he said that he was told that “this is your tongue”.

“We have a strong history. I am a person of color. He said that there is an unconscious trigger that causes it to happen.

“It is extremely insensitive and callous of them to pick one language.”

Ryanair: More

Metro spoke with Catherine Bronze, an English-speaking mother who said that Kolby, 11 years old, and Kolby, her son, were denied entry on the flight home from Essex to West Knock Airport in Ireland.

She stated that it was the first time she felt discriminated against because of something beyond her control. It was assumed that my passport was invalid.

It sounds absurd, but it was actually very traumatizing. Everyone looked at me and I wept a lot.

After her husband, who was a British passport holder, came to collect them, they finally made it home. He also travelled with them from Dublin Airport two day later.

Zinhle Novazi is a South African living in the UK and was forced to take the Afrikaans test to board a flight to Ibiza. She told the Financial Times that the test was “extremely exclusionary” given South Africa’s history as well as the language’s enforced use during apartheid.

Sky News was told by the airline that the test was meant to combat a “high prevalence of fraudulent South African passports”.

“We ask that passengers who are travelling to the UK complete an Afrikaans-language questionnaire. It stated that if they cannot complete the questionnaire they will not be allowed to travel and would receive a full refund.


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