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The Department of Home Affairs turned away about 6,400 visitors who did not have the travel documents needed to enter the country during the December period, Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba said. Among them was a member of the Islamic State terrorist organisation, he said on Wednesday. A Syrian national with Syrian and Uruguayan passports was refused entry at OR Tambo International Airport and had to return to Syria. Gigaba said the arrival of 5.5-million travellers to the country’s ports of entry in the festive season was a sign that SA was a safe and trusted destination. Previous home affairs data show more than 1.5-million visitors came to SA in December 2015 and January 2016. Gigaba contrasted the latest arrival figures with suggestions that the department’s onerous requirements, which are aimed at reducing human trafficking, were hurting tourism. Among others things, the department had a hard time enforcing new travel requirements such as unabridged birth certificates, in-p...

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