Kenya, SA lock horns in diplomatic spat

2014-10-17 11:10
Westgate Mall in Kenya. (File, AFP)

Westgate Mall in Kenya. (File, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town – Diplomatic tensions between South Africa and Kenya have hit an all time low, mainly due to SA’s new immigration system.

According to a Mail and Guardian report, officials in Nairobi are perturbed over South Africa’s inability to regulate its immigration policies. In the past year, two accused terrorists, were known to have both used South African travel documents.


Samantha Lewthwaite, who is suspected of being involved in the planning of the Westgate Mall attack in Nairobi in 2013 and Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, an al-Qaeda leader in East Africa, who was apparently behind the bombing of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, both used SA travel documents to evade authorities.

Lewthwaite, known as the "White Widow" has not been seen since she gave Kenyan police the slip in 2011, reportedly using her false South African passport.

Additionally, President Uhuru Kenyatta’s visit to Johannesburg this year was also marred by controversy when airport security forced them to apparently return to Waterkloof airport as the plane manifest had irregularities.

The main issue of contention between the two governments it seems is South Africa’s recent outsourcing of its visa application process to a private firm, VFS Global.

The Mail and Guardian report, that the implementation of the new visa system means that there will be more fees when Kenyans choose to visit SA.

Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba recently said that SA’s new visa regulations were part of the ministry's new protocols to help improve client services.

The main reason the process has been outsourced is to reduce long queues and ensure that people don’t have to wait an exorbitant amount of time to finally receive their visas, Gigaba said at a media brief.

It seems that Kenya tried to hit back with its own restrictive visa regulations that was supposed to take effect from 1 September but was apparently stalled after outcries from tourism officials both in SA and in Kenya.

Earlier this year News24 reported that South African passport holders were now required to apply for a visa prior to travelling or transiting through Kenya.

The Kenyan High Commission announced in July that South Africans are required to pay a R750 visa fee and visas will no longer be issued on arrival in Kenya.

All applicants will be required to produce the following documents:

1. Return Air Ticket
2. Invitation letter from the host in the Republic of Kenya
3. Letter from employer/Institution/College/School
4. Proof of funds (bank statement)
5. Applicants must appear in Person for Biometrics
6. 2 Passport Photographs

Read more on:    kenya

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.


Man scores date with tennis superstar after Twitter bet

It’s a modern day Cinderella story, but one American man took ‘shoot your shot’ seriously in 2017.


You won't want to miss...

Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.