“I am going to Madagascar for peace not war, why are they stopping me here now,” a visibly irate Ravolomanana told journalists at the OR Tambo Airport after an Airlink flight staff member told him she could not issue him with a boarding pass.
Ravolomana was shown a letter from the Madagascan civil aviation authority which read: “Mr Ravolmanana Marc and company are non grata persons in Madagascar. So to preserve public order don’t take them aboard.”
The letter was signed by Ratsirahonana Wilfrid Mamonjisoa, acting director general of Madagascar’s civil aviation authority.
Accompanied by his wife, three sons, daughter and his staff he arrived at the airport two hours before his flight scheduled to take off at 08:00 GMT, to check in.However after he presented his passport, the flight staff told him to wait as she was awaiting permission from her manager.
“I can’t check you at the moment, I am waiting for an update from my manager, please wait a few minutes sir.”
After asking several times what was happening, Ravolomanana’s co-ordinator Jens Thorsen showed him the letter from the Madagascar civil aviation authority.
“Many people in Madagascar are waiting for me at the airport but I am still here. Now I just received this note now only here….I am very, very upset.”
Ravalomanana has spent the past two years in exile, mainly in South Africa and announced on Thursday that he would return to his homeland on Saturday, insisting he was still the island’s rightful leader.