Budget airline Ryanair stops a controversial test for South African passengers, CEO Michael O’Leary has announced. The prize fighter asked travellers with a South African passport to answer a series of questions about the country in Afrikaans.
However, that language is only spoken by a small proportion of South Africans and has strong connections with apartheid.
O’Leary now indicates that Ryanair itself did not consider the test appropriate. “That’s why we stopped the African test.” According to the chief executive, his company had tried to respond to an increase in the use of false South African passports to enter the European Union. “We will be fined €2,000 for every passenger travelling from Bodrum to Dublin with a false South African passport.”
The test, which was not imposed by the government, brought Ryanair a lot of criticism. Not only did human rights organizations protest against it, but the South African government was also angry about the test. O’Leary now believes that the African country must “solve its problems”.
South Africa has eleven official languages of which Afrikaans is one. The language, which is related to Dutch, was the official language of the apartheid regime and was also used to oppress the black population. Their languages were not recognized in the country at the time.