Cape Town – After a three months long repatriation battle with the Chinese authority, the body of a South African teacher NomaQocwa Blackie, was reportedly finally received by her family on Wednesday last week.
Blackie from Gqeberha in the Eastern Cape was an English teacher in China since 2017, reports said.
She died of unknown causes in her Shanghai flat earlier this year.
According to Sunday World, her body was discovered when her family in South Africa and colleague Abongile Mboto could not get hold of her.
The report said that Abongile became worried when Blackie did not submit work material to the school where they both taught.
“Since Abongile had an access code to Noma’s apartment, she gave it to the police and Covid-19 volunteers who went to her flat, and this is where the shocking discovery was made,” the report quoted Blackie’s sister, Pumza Tuse.
News24 reported that the 29-year-old was discovered on the floor next to her bed by Chinese police on April 18.
Since that time, the family had been in repatriation deadlock, as the Chinese authorities demanded an unabridged certificate from Blackie’s family before releasing her body.
Her body finally arrived in the country on Wednesday and was buried on Saturday, the report said.
“It has been a long and unpleasant journey. We had been praying day and night for the repatriation. All we ever wanted was to close this chapter. We would also like to ask the media to give us space to heal from this pain in private,” the report quoted Blackie’s sister, Tuse, as saying.
Tuse ruled out public speculation on social media that Blackie could have died from starvation due to the hard lockdown in Shanghai, saying : “It was sudden death. No Covid-19, there was no illness found. She was well.”
Compiled by Olwethu Mpeshe