South Africans stuck in China barred from boarding connecting flight home
More than 20 desperate South Africans who have been stranded in China due to Covid-19 travel restrictions were meant to arrive back in the country today.
However, they were left abandoned at Guangzhou Airport in China on Wednesday, after being refused entry on a flight to Malaysia from where they would've boarded a flight home.
Despite having all the necessary legal documents from the South African Embassy in China, the group was barred from boarding the connecting Air Asia flight to Kuala Lumpur.
Images circulating on Facebook showed many of them sleeping on the floor at Guangzhou Airport after being left out in the cold.
Most of them had spent their last money on the repatriation flight.
Thanks to a plea for public donations on social media, the group was able to book themselves into a hotel while they wait for an intervention from the South African authorities.
Among the group of 23 South Africans are a baby, two pregnant women, and many people with chronic health conditions.
Cape Town-bound teacher Thandokazi Mayo, who spoke to CapeTalk earlier this month, is also among the stranded group.
Initially, Mayo couldn't afford a ticket home, but she managed to secure her repatriation flight after her friends launched a crowd-funding campaign to pay for the steep costs.
Two weeks ago, on Tuesday 9 June, she opened up to CapeTalk host Pippa Hudson about her battle to get home and lamented the lack of support from the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO).
Listen to that interview here:
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