UK visas: threat of Muslim extremists dismissed

2009-02-11 00:00

Cape Town — The British High Commissioner to South Africa has dismissed speculation that a new visa regime for South Africans visiting the United Kingdom has been implemented to protect the country from Muslim extremists.

In a statement yesterday, Paul Boateng said reports that the new system is a response to a perceived threat from the Islamic world does not come from any official source. “It bears no relation to the criteria applied under the visa waiver test which SA proved unable to satisfy,” he said.

Earlier this week, British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith announced that South Africans, will, from next month, have to apply for visas to enter Britain.

Boateng yesterday described Britain as a “diverse and welcoming multi-faith society’’.

“South African Muslims, like every other section of South African society, will find a ready welcome in Britain …’’ he said.

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