South Africa: Detained South Africans to Return Home

Flags of South Africa (left) and China.
18 December 2018

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) has confirmed that Tristan-Lee Niemand and another six South Africans detained in China have been released from prison and will be deported this week.

The department in a statement said the South African mission in Shanghai has informed Minister Lindiwe Sisulu that the seven South African nationals in Jiangsu Province have completed their detention period and will be released and deported to South Africa.

"The arrangement is that the school that employed the seven as English teachers should provide the return tickets for the flight on which they are to be deported. They are expected to return to South Africa before Friday," Dirco spokesperson Ndivhuwo Mabaya said.

The Minister has also been informed that another group of eight South Africans who have been in distress in Zhejiang Province will be deported on 23 December 2018 and arrangements for their travel will be coordinated as soon as they are released.

Sisulu has appealed to South Africans planning to travel to China and other countries to ensure that they have the correct visas and required travel documents.

"I am happy that the ordeal is over for the families. Again, we urge our young people to make sure they have correct documents and to contact the Embassies to verify any information they receive from recruitment agencies," Sisulu said.

Mabaya said South African diplomats in China will continue to liaise with the schools and local authorities to ensure that all arrangements for their travel are finalised and they are on their way home as soon as possible.

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