Teen football whizz George Masinki's passport was declared invalid, resulting in him missing a trip overseas. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency
Cape Town - The boy who was supposed to play at the end of September in the UK as part of his soccer tournament had his dreams crushed yet again.

George Maskini, 13, received another opportunity to play overseas, after he was stopped at the airport earlier this year on his way to play in Dubai.

It has emerged the UK embassy rejected George’s temporary passport, the so-called “Black Passport”.

“We were busy trying to apply for George’s visa, but the passport Home Affairs gave him was good for nothing because I checked with the visa agency in town they say the UK doesn’t accept the Black Passport,” his mother Bampende Maskini said.

The young boy made headlines in the past for trying to cross the border.

First, he had his dream crushed when his teacher raised funds for him to participate in a soccer tournament in Phuket, Thailand, in November last year, only to find out that he didn’t qualify for a South African passport, because both his parents were from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Then deputy minister of Home Affairs Fatima Chohan stepped in and organised what was thought to be a passport, but turned out to be travel document which showed his nationality as South African.

That conflicted with the barcode on the travel document which identified him as from the DRC. Which led to George missing the tour to Thailand.

On hearing of George’s plight, Rostoem Simons of Simsport Eagles offered him a spot in the team for a Dubai trip. His exasperated mother said the team, with George, was ready to leave when the unthinkable happened.

George’s attempt to leave the country was thwarted yet again.

He could not travel with the team to Dubai as he was advised at the airport that the latest passport he received from Chohan was cancelled and declared lost or stolen.

George has received another opportunity to play in the UK on an all-expenses paid trip.

Maskini said she doesn’t know how to tell her son that he can’t go.

“I don’t know how to tell him, I am lost for words I feel like we have become prisoners,” she said.

Home Affairs had not responded at the time of going to print.


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Cape Argus