Omicron: Ramaphosa Accuses African Countries of Acting Like Colonisers over Travel Ban

Omicron: Ramaphosa Accuses African Countries of Acting Like Colonisers over Travel Ban

  • During his state visit to Nigeria, President Cyril Ramaphosa made a comparison between colonisers and countries that have placed travel bans on southern Africa
  • Egypt, Mauritius, Rwanda and the Seychelles have all banned travellers from southern African countries due to the Omicron variant
  • Ramaphosa hopes for a discussion with these countries where they can use scientific evidence to find a way forward that does not include travel bans

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ABUJA - President Cyril Ramaphosa is currently on a state visit to Nigeria. Speaking to reporters there, he likened the African countries that have placed travel bans on South Africa to colonisers.

Egypt, Mauritius, Rwanda and the Seychelles have implemented travel bans against South Africa, as well as neighbouring southern African countries. These travel restrictions were instituted in response to the new Omicron variant of Covid-19.

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Ramaphosa praised by tourism sector for calling out travel bans, president addresses importance of vaccines

Ramaphosa's trip will continue next week to Senegal and Ghana, where he will promote free trade and African unity, EWN reports.

Cyril Ramaphosa, President Ramaphosa, Omicron, Nigeria, travel bans, travel restrictions, South Africa
President Ramaphosa has drawn parallels between colonisers and African countries who imposed travel bans on South Africa. Image: Jeffrey Abrahams/Gallo Images via Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Ramaphosa's response to African countries banning South Africans from travel

Ramaphosa expressed that he would appreciate it if the countries who placed travel bans were willing to have a discussion with him instead of imposing restrictions without consulting him. The president likened this behaviour to colonisers, as the countries are following the lead of the UK, which formerly colonised South Africa.

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"Because I think that it's most unfortunate that they too have joined in this. We hold the view that it's unscientific, and we would have liked them to be a lot more scientific so that we are able to find solutions and answers," Ramaphosa said.

Read also

Travel ban: WHO says keep borders open, tourism industry takes a knock

According to News24, Ramaphosa feels that countries are discriminating against southern Africa because the variant was discovered by scientists in the region. He has said that he wishes the global community would show its gratitude towards the region for making them aware of the new variant, not chastising them.

South Africans react to Ramaphosa's accusations

@Sh1mz2 said:

"They are decisive unlike our government."

@CaressF1 shared:

"What is he talking about, we're forced to take the vaccine. We colonized already. We pay our dues to the queen. He's been there. And so has others before him."

@DocHassim remarked:

"We can’t implement any travel bans because we have a chicken fence as a border."

@BrownIngham believes:

"It really is upsetting that in less than a day the world turned on South Africa."

@TheirHeard asked:

"So, is travel back on or not?"

Where vaccine mandates could be adopted in SA

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Family Meeting: Ramaphosa says SA will remain on alert level 1

Yesterday Briefly News reported that Business for SA(B4SA) is a South African lobby group that has urged President Ramaphosa to make it compulsory for workplaces to allow access for vaccinated people only.

B4SA's suggestion follows the president's announcement on Sunday (28 Nov) night that vaccine mandates will soon be implemented at certain venues and for specific activities, following task team meetings.

The chair of B4SA, Martin Kingston, has said that while ventilation in transport and public spaces is necessary, the government needs to further protect its citizens from the spread of Covid-19.

Source: Briefly News

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