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Dad describes son's 'fantastic treatment' while stuck in Qatar airport lockdown

30 March 2020 1:30 PM
Tags:
Qatar
Doha
airlines
COVID-19
#21dayLockdown

International Relations spokesperson Lunga Ngqengelele says he hopes for a decision by Wednesday about South Africans abroad.

Clifford Hanks Snr describes how despite hastily moving their son's flight home from Melbourne last week to Wednesday through Doha to Johannesburg, after President Ramaphosa's announcement, his son is now stuck in Qatar's airport.

When the minister announced on Wednesday that all flights were cancelled on Thursday, many airlines including Qatar grounded their flights to South Africa.

Many were able to be stopped before boarding but those like my sone were already in the air.

Clifford Hanks Snr, Father of South African stranded in Doha's airport

After an initial chaotic 48 hour sleeping on the floor, Hanks Snr says his son Clifford and seven other South Africans in the same boat have been receiving much kindness and assistance.

But I must admit they are really the fortunate guys. The Doha South African ambassador and his wife have been absolutely fantastic. They've been there every day since then. They organised pillows and South Africans there have pulled together and sent them packs of stuff.

Clifford Hanks Snr, Father of South African stranded in Doha's airport

He says the Qatari government and Qatar airline have been very helpful as well.

They have been rotating them in and out of the business class lounge as much as they could.

Clifford Hanks Snr, Father of South African stranded in Doha's airport

At 2' o clock they were woken up and booked into a hotel.

Clifford Hanks Snr, Father of South African stranded in Doha's airport

But they desperately want to get home.

Clifford Hanks Snr, Father of South African stranded in Doha's airport

International Relations spokesperson Lunga Ngqengelele says the minister has asked embassies to provide exact numbers of South Africans stranded overseas and in which countries.

We have asked embassies to focus on the exact numbers...so that we are able to make a decision.

Lunga Ngqengelele, Spokesperson - International Relations Department

At this stage, no decision has been taken regarding bringing them home.

Lunga Ngqengelele, Spokesperson - International Relations Department

He says the process is under discussion and he hopes International Relations Minister Naledi Pandor will make an announcement by Wednesday.

Listen to the interviews below:


30 March 2020 1:30 PM
Tags:
Qatar
Doha
airlines
COVID-19
#21dayLockdown

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