Ryanair has been criticized as racist for supplying South Africa with Africans

Ryanair has been criticized as racist for supplying South Africa with Africans

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Ryanair, Europe’s largest airline, is facing racist allegations that it asked South African customers to prove their citizenship through a test written in the African language, a Dutch derivative developed by European colonizers.

Officials at the Dublin-based airline say they are using the test to avoid sending passengers to the UK with fake passports. But some South Africans have criticized the policy as racist, saying the nation officially recognizes 11 languages ​​and that many in the country do not speak African. United Kingdom High Commission in South Africa Tweet on Twitter On Friday, the test was not “a request of the UK government”.

The testing policy sparked outrage among passengers as reports circulated online. As the referendum was denounced by the South African language authorities.

Ryanair says African testing helps the company protect itself from transporting people with fake passports. The airline does not operate flights to South Africa. The policy applies to South African nationals traveling within Europe.

In a statement sent by email, the budget airline said: “The South African government has already warned travelers (and airlines) of the dangers of unions selling fake South African passports, which has dramatically increased the incidence of using fake South African passports to enter the kingdom. To reduce the risk of using a fake passport, Ryanair requires passengers with a South African passport to complete a simple questionnaire in the African language. “

The statement said that if passengers are unable to complete it, they will not be allowed to travel and their money will be returned to them.

Ryanair said airlines that allow passengers to travel on fraudulent visas are expected to pay a $ 2,500 fine to violators. “It is for this reason that Ryanair must ensure that all passengers (especially South Africans) traveling on a valid South African passport / visa are required to do so by UK immigration,” the statement said.

Andrew W .. Coetzee, professor of linguistics and director of the Center for African Studies at the University of Michigan, said Africans have strong ties to South Africa’s colonial history and apartheid. White Institutional Superiority.

Most South Africans do not speak African, Coetzee said, “so it makes no sense to use it as a gauge of whether or not you are South African.” In the 2011 census data from Partner in Statistics South Africa, 13.5 percent of the population said their first language was the first language, after Izulu (22.7 percent) and Isikusa (16 percent) in that number. viti.

Coetzee said that in 1925 the South African government made the African language an official language and it became primarily the language of politics, a status that was reinforced after apartheid became the country’s “official political system” in 1948. He said that language was previously required In schools, most students learning the language now are those who speak it at home or those of European descent who speak English at home.

“If you were a colored South African who came of age and went to school after 1994, you probably do not know African because you do not need to know African,” Coetzee said. He described Ryanair’s policies as “colonial, discriminatory and simply unjustified”.

Coetzee noted that there are two ethnic social types of Africans and that about half of the African-speaking population is not white.

“It would be incorrect to say that only whites speak the language,” he said.but “What would be correct is to say that 80 percent of the population does not speak African, and that 80 percent are actually all non-white.”

“I think there is a language policy here and the policy of that language is not sensitive to what is in it,” said Ann-Maria Miholo, associate professor of cultural anthropology and African-American studies at Duke University. “Fundamental, that is, racial politics.”

His jump added to the fact that even the Zulus spoke more, the state also stressing the consequences of the test. “There is a basic assumption about what represents the authenticity of South Africa,” she said.

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