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Ministers will explain UAE president's landing at airport in Eastern Cape - Ramaphosa

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Ministers will explain UAE president's landing at airport in Eastern Cape - Ramaphosa

President Cyril Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa

26th April 2023

By: News24Wire

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President Cyril Ramaphosa says ministers will brief the nation soon on the processes followed to facilitate United Arab Emirates (UAE) President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and his family's landing in the Eastern Cape.

TimesLIVE reported that Ramaphosa assured the nation due process was followed to facilitate Al Nahyan's visit. Ramaphosa was responding to questions from the media after talks with Finland's President Sauli Väinämö Niinistö at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Tuesday.

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Ramaphosa said the relevant ministers owed an explanation to the people of South Africa on the permission given to facilitate the UAE presidential visit.

The wealthy ruler landed at Bulembu Airport in the Eastern Cape last week, along with an entourage of 500, including other members of the UAE royal family, staff and top artists, for Ramadaan celebrations.

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The royal family and their guests reportedly brought their own furniture, cars and gym equipment for their two-week stay in the Eastern Cape.

Highly placed sources told News24 that Al Nahyan would spend two weeks at a private game resort he built from scratch earlier this year, after buying a big piece of land two years ago.

Bulembu Airport, which was the only airport of the Ciskei homeland, was decommissioned in the 1990s. It was the only airport in the province with the potential for improvements to meet the standards of the UAE planes.

For the runway to accommodate the planes, the UAE president pumped millions into the extension of the runway and renovations at the airport, which is occupied by the SA military's airborne infantry unit and the SAPS Airwing.

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