Last week, officials at Johannesburg airport deported 125 Nigerians, saying their yellow fever vaccination certificates were fakes â the latest twist in a long-standing rivalry between the powers vying for dominance in the continent. Nigeria responded with the deportation of 84 South Africans. The South African government is not seeking an apology from Nigeria over the deportation of its citizens, Ebrahim told reporters, flanked by Nigerian diplomats.
âI understand the reaction of the Nigerians,â Ebrahim said, adding the incident would not affect bilateral relations. Cards proving vaccination against yellow fever â a deadly mosquito-borne disease â are required by most African countries for entry, but counterfeits are easy to buy from hawkers at Lagos airport. Relatively developed South Africa has better facilities to detect fakes than most countries on the continent. Ebrahim did not say that the suspect certificates had in fact turned out to be genuine, but said South African officials had acted in a way the âgovernment believes could have been handled betterâ.
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