20 May 2019

South Africa: Mayor Gumede Wishes Durbanites Injured in Egypt Bus Blast a Speedy Recovery

Photo: Al Jazeera English/YouTube
Egyptian officials say a roadside bomb hit a tourist bus near Egypt's world-famous Giza Pyramids.

eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede has wished fellow Durbanites, who were injured over the weekend in a bus explosion at the Giza Pyramids in Egypt, a speedy recovery.

In a statement released by the municipality, Gumede said: "We have learnt about this sad incident that involves a large delegation of our Durbanites, who were on a pilgrimage. We pray for a speedy recovery from this traumatic experience."

The group was made up of worshippers from Catholic churches in Wentworth, Bluff, Amanzimtoti and Benoni. They were taking part in an annual pilgrimage to the holy lands with a local priest, Father Mike Folley.

"We appreciate the responsiveness of Minister Lindiwe Sisulu and our South African Ambassador to Egypt, Ambassador Vusi Mavimbela, in dealing with the situation. We are also happy to learn that arrangements have been made for 23 of the injured to be returned to South Africa, while three will remain behind due to the extent of their injuries. We sympathise with the affected families and are available to offer assistance where required," said Gumede.

News24 earlier reported that seven people - three of them South Africans - were injured in the attack.

Department of International Relations and Cooperation spokesperson Ndivhuwo Mabaya told News24 on Monday that 24 of the 28 tourists had arrived back at OR Tambo International Airport on Monday morning.

"Four have remained behind in Egypt. Three are being treated in hospital, while one lady remained behind to assist her [injured] husband," Mabaya said.

Eric Apelgren, head of international relations at the eThekwini municipality, said no one had been seriously injured, according to Daily News.

Among the injured was Foley, the spiritual director of St Francis Xavier Catholic parish in The Bluff. The parish had organised the trip to Egypt. About 14 people from the parish were on board the bus. It was their last day on the tour, the Daily News reported.

"Seven people were injured. Thank God we did not lose anyone. People's prayers and thoughts are with them," Apelgren told the Daily News.

Aubrey Snyman, eThekwini ward councillor for Wentworth, said some members of the group were from Christ the King Roman Catholic Church in Cycas Road.

He reportedly said that they had been escorted by Egyptian security forces to the airport, and from what had he heard, two of them had suffered injuries to their eyes.

The community was in shock and the victims were quite traumatised, Snyman added.

Source: News24

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