Sierra Leone’s Minister of Health of Sanitation, Austin Demby, and some other African health ministers from other countries were denied entry into South Africa on Saturday.
It was learnt that Ministers were returning from the Seventy-third session of the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Committee for Africa held at Gaborone, Botswana before the incident.
According to Demby, Ministers who had a valid diplomatic passport were denied entry because they did not have a VISA. However, United States and European passport holders were allowed entry without VISA.
According to VSF Global, Sierra Leone is not among the countries where diplomatic passport holders are not required to hold a visa when reporting to an immigration officer for an examination at a South African port of entry.
Demby questioned the rationale behind the decision of the South African immigration, describing it as “misplaced priorities.”
“What’s up with South Africa. Health Ministers returning from the WHO Reg. meeting are refused entry, even with diplomatic passport, if they did not have a visa. Yet with an American or European passport anyone is granted entry, no questions asked. Misplaced priorities!”, He wrote on Twitter.