SA president Cyril Ramaphosa chides African states for Covid travel bans

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has lashed out at African countries that have followed western countries in restricting travel to and from southern African states.

He said it was unfortunate, and that he would have preferred if they did not react like their former colonisers over the discovery of the new coronavirus variant Omicron.

“I am concerned and of course out of respect to them, I mean they have their reasons. But we would like to have a discussion with them in a way where we would prefer that they do not react like our former colonisers, who are very quick to close Africa down,” he told journalists ahead of his visit to West Africa.

Rwanda, The Seychelles, Mauritius, Egypt and Angola are some of the African countries that closed their borders soon after the discovery of the new variant.

The Omicron variant was first reported to the World Health Organization from South Africa on 24 November, and has since been identified in other countries.

South Africa has been condemning travel bans imposed against it and neighbouring countries as unjustified and not based on science.