Madagascar bars ousted president

2011-02-19 12:05

Johannesburg - Former Madagascan president Marc Ravalomanana was blocked from leaving South Africa on Saturday, after SAA refused to give him a boarding pass citing a letter from the Madagascan civil aviation authority.

"I am going to Madagascar for peace not war, why are they stopping me here now," a visibly irate Ravolomanana told journalists at the OR Tambo Airport after an Airlink flight staff member told him she could not issue him with a boarding pass.

Ravolomana was shown a letter from the Madagascan civil aviation authority which read: "Mr Ravolmanana Marc and company are non grata persons in Madagascar. So to preserve public order don't take them aboard."

The letter was signed by Ratsirahonana Wilfrid Mamonjisoa, acting director general of Madagascar’s civil aviation authority.

Accompanied by his wife, three sons, daughter and his staff he arrived at the airport two hours before his flight scheduled to take off at 08:00 GMT, to check in.

However after he presented his passport, the flight staff told him to wait as she was awaiting permission from her manager.

"I can't check you at the moment, I am waiting for an update from my manager, please wait a few minutes sir."

After asking several times what was happening, Ravolomanana's co-ordinator Jens Thorsen showed him the letter from the Madagascar civil aviation authority.

"Many people in Madagascar are waiting for me at the airport but I am still here. Now I just received this note now only here....I am very, very upset."

Ravalomanana has spent the past two years in exile, mainly in South Africa and announced on Thursday that he would return to his homeland on Saturday, insisting he was still the island's rightful leader.

  • 50something - 2011-02-19 12:44

    Mmmm sounds fishy - surely the Madagascar government can refuse him entry into Madagascar, but refusing him to board a SAA plane? Doesn't sound right.

      Mikemcc - 2011-02-19 13:03

      If an airline allows a passenger to board and that passenger is refused entry into the destination country the airline is fined heavily and has to carry the cost of repatriation. How a Madagascan citizen is refused right of entry to their home country is another matter all together.

      50something - 2011-02-19 13:09

      Mike - thanks for clearing that up - guess if he is persona non grata that can happen.

      jmd0263 - 2011-02-19 14:40

      see my comment below

  • briansmith702 - 2011-02-19 12:48

    Typical of black Africa. A bunch of criminals supported by the ANC.

      senku - 2011-02-19 14:01

      are u saying black africans are criminals?

      Pieter4SA - 2011-02-19 14:23

      Senku he must change his mame to brainless

      Robnob - 2011-02-19 16:21

      The statistics never lie...unfortunately the majority of all criminals are black. Go have a look at every country's most wanted list...

  • Ross - 2011-02-19 13:23

    I sincerely hope that this guy is NOT bankrolled by the SA taxpayer.

      Nico - 2011-02-19 13:51

      Sory to burst your bubblr ..... he is...... :-(

      Nico - 2011-02-19 13:52

      Sorry and bubble (keyboard got stuck)

  • John - 2011-02-19 14:06

    bannana republic just like all of africa !!!!!

  • jmd0263 - 2011-02-19 14:33

    Ratsirahonana Wilfrid Mamonjisoa, acting director general of Madagascar’s civil aviation authority, this guy is per interim and has not the power to sign such letter... For ICAO mr Clarisse Douan is the Civil Aviation managing Director. So without having any opinion on this people no airlines can act following this illegal letter...

      Mikemcc - 2011-02-19 17:30

      @jmd0263, useful information. However, I can only imagine that the airline staff this side were not prepared to take the chance of having to explain to their directors why they allowed him to board against the request from the CAA in Madagascar. I know for certain that I would rather have the inconvenience of apologising to the individual if it was found that he was blocked unnecessarily than face the sanction that would follow incurring the costs of repatriation.

  • pages:
  • 1