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Group of 8 Saffas stuck at Doha airport, Minister to decide on course of action

30 March 2020 2:14 PM
Tags:
Dirco
Qatar Airways
International Relations Minister Naledi Pandor
Doha International Airport
South Africans stranded abroad
transit airport

International Relations Minister Naledi Pandor is expected to make a decision this week regarding South Africans trapped abroad.

Many South Africans have been stuck in other countries due to the lockdown that was implemented on Thursday.

Several airlines cancelled their flights into the country on the eve of the lockdown, leaving many South African stuck in transit lounges at various international airports.

Some who had started making their way home last week have been stuck at airports after various airlines cancelled their flights into the country.

Port Elizabeth resident Clifford Hanks Jnr started making is way back to South Africa last week Wednesday.

According to his father, Hanks Jnr departed from Melbourne, Australia on a 2pm flight on Wednesday last week bound for Johannesburg, South Africa via Doha, Qatar.

He found himself stuck at Doha International Airport, unable to set a foot outside or to fly home, after Qatar Airways cancelled his connecting flight to SA.

He and seven other South Africans spent the first two nights sleeping on the floor of the Doha airport.

South Africa's embassy in Doha helped organise some supplies for the stranded group who were later given access to the airport's business class lounge.

On Sunday night, Hanks Jnr and the group were apparently booked in at the Doha airport hotel.

They are among many more South Africans stuck at transit airports worldwide, hoping to be evacuated by government authorities.

All flights were confirmed. We were working on the basis of the President's clear television statement that all South African citizens would be allowed to return.

Clifford Hanks senior, father to Clifford Hanks junior

However, when the Transport Minister announced that all flights would be cancelled on Thursday, Qatar Airways and many others grounded their flights to South Africa.

Clifford Hanks senior, father to Clifford Hanks junior

We brought his flight forward as much as we possibly could.

Clifford Hanks senior, father to Clifford Hanks junior

Meanwhile, the Department of International Relations and Co-operation (Dirco) is working to establish the number of South Africans stranded across the world.

Dirco spokesperson Lunga Ngqengelele says International Relations Minister Naledi Pandor will make an announcement in the next two days on how her department plans to respond.

The minister has asked the embassies to focus on getting how many South Africans are across the globe are stranded, so that we can be able to take a decision.

 Lunga Ngqengelele, Spokesperson - Department of International Relations and Co-operation

Listen to the discussion on The Midday Report:


30 March 2020 2:14 PM
Tags:
Dirco
Qatar Airways
International Relations Minister Naledi Pandor
Doha International Airport
South Africans stranded abroad
transit airport

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