Staff, 2022-11-01 10:40:05,
Today is November 1, 2022. I have just returned from the South African visa processing centre in Accra – managed by VFS Global, a company that handles visa application processes for some countries around the world.
In my hands is my passport – with a visa to South Africa meant for a trip scheduled for October 29, but issued on October 31. These dates printed on the visa are saying a lot – loudly about the consular office of the High Commission.
The High Commission says it processes visas in 10 working days. But it’s a well-known fact of life that visas can be given within a day or two. And it’s also a known reality that due to some unforeseen circumstances, applicants might not fall within the 10 working day period and the consular staff would be expected to exercise their discretion, but in the most efficient way, so as not to scuttle important trips by applicants. But that’s exactly what happened in my case.
I was scheduled to speak at the ongoing African Investigative Journalism Conference in Johannesburg. My trip to Johannesburg was scheduled to start on Saturday October 29 form Accra through Addis Ababa. But I received my invitation letters, tickets and hotel bookings on Sunday October 23. And I could only get a slot to book an appointment to submit my application on Tuesday October 25, and I did.
Considering that the…
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