Lance for Life
Lance for Life

Lance refused entry into SA

2010-03-08 23:31
Lance Armstrong (AFP)
Kobus Pretorius

Cape Town - Legendary American cyclist Lance Armstrong's first visit to Cape Town started off on a sour note on Monday night because of bureaucratic red tape.

On Monday at about 21:00 Armstrong wrote on Twitter that he'd landed at the Cape Town International Airport but was refused entry to the country because his passport was full.

It's Armstrong's first visit to the Mother City. He will be taking part in the Cape Argus Pick 'n Pay cycle tour on Sunday.

"Well, made it to Cape Town but can't get in the country since my passport is full and there's no room to stamp it. So...stuck," he tweeted.

Fortunately a short while later, Armstrong tweeted that he had finally been allowed to enter South Africa.

"Well, made it in to SA. Not the friendliest welcome I've ever received but we've all seen immigration officers like that."

Siobhan McCarthy, chief director of communication at home affairs, said visitors travelling to South Africa need to have at least two blank pages in their passport in order to be allowed entry to the country.

"Airlines are supposed to check people's passports before they leave for another country."

When asked what would happen if a person didn't have the required blank pages in their passport, McCarthy said that person would be refused entry to the country and would have to return to the country they came from.

She couldn't comment on Armstrong's case and said the procedure for celebrities entering the country might be different.

Participants in the cycle tour can look forward to significantly cooler weather than has been experienced lately. However, a temperature of 28° C and a south-easterly wind of 45 knots have been predicted.

Should conditions become truly dangerous, the tour will be stopped, said David Bellairs, co-director of the Cape Cycle Tour Trust.

"Although there will be more resources on standby such as water, cooldrink and ice, the number of water points - 17 - will remain the same."


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Lance Armstrong has entered this year's Argus Cycle Tour. How's this affected your preparations?


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