The Belgian newspaper De Standaard reports that the the Chairman of the Belgian Socialist Party, John Crombez, his partner Vivi Lombaerts and their nine-year-old daughter, Babette, were told by Turkish Airlines staff that they did not have the correct and necessary documents to allow them to travel as a family to South Africa.
Babette was in possession of a ‘kiddies’ passport issued by Belgian authorities, an international passport, an international birth certificate as well as sworn affidavits from both parents.
TourismUpdate.co.za quotes The Daily Maverick who reports that Crombez and Lombaerts had already booked and paid for a week-long holiday in Cape Town as well as paid for tickets for various activities they had planned with friends.
Another family, Barbara Defour, her husband and two children, were also barred from boarding the flight to South Africa. A spokesperson for Turkish Airlines told De Standaard that the carrier turned away families travelling to South Africa daily.
A couple who were also set to travel with Crombez, told De Standaard that the family’s three seats (which had been booked alongside the couple) were occupied by other passengers who said these had been allocated to them.
Aviation, Tourism and Conservation (ATC) News’s Wolfgang H. Thome reports on his daily newsletter and website that South African Home Affairs Minister, Malusi Gigaba, has been nicknamed internationally as “The Tourism Terminator” because of his Visa fumbles, which include the UBC requirements as well as his recent new visa requirement for travellers from New Zealand.
According to new visa requirements all New Zealanders must go to the SA mission in Wellington to apply in person for a visa. Less than 10% of New Zealanders live in Wellington, which is an eight hour drive from the most populous region, Auckland.