Home Affairs Minister, Aaron Motsoaledi, has given the assurance to Parliament that the landing of the United Arab Emirates President, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al Nahyan, at the Bulembu Airport in the Eastern Cape, did not pose any threat to the country. He appeared before Parliament’s Home Affairs Committee to shed light on the matter.
The landing caused outrage because the airport was turned into a temporary port of entry. Motsoaledi told MPs that all necessary paperwork was completed before and during the landing.
“We are not under threat. No one fills out a diplomatic note to say, I will visit your country when they are preparing to do something that is dangerous or threatening the country.”
Motsoaledi says his department always has the capacity to process tourism visas. Some MPs questioned how the perennial understaffed department could have the capacity to process the visas of over 500 people at the airport.
But Motsoaledi says capacity issues never deter his department from processing tourism applications.
“Chairperson, I want to state upfront that we have never lacked capacity to issue tourist visas. Otherwise, tourism would collapse in this country. The issue where we have backlog, I repeat, it is not tourism visas, it is spousal visas, relative visas, etc.”