Cape Town – The 22 South Africans who were stuck in Egypt after fleeing conflict-stricken Sudan reportedly landed back home on Thursday.
The South African nationals, who were working on a cargo ship in Sudan since September last year, were “stuck” on a cargo ship in Safaga port, Egypt since 29 April.
Dirco spokesperson, Clayson Monyela said on Tuesday that Egyptian authorities had since granted the group permission to resume their travels.
“Regarding the 22 South African nationals who were stranded at Safaga port and refused permission to disembark from their boats by the Egyptian authorities because clearances were required by authorities, we’re happy to report this morning that we have successfully intervened on their behalf,” SA News quoted Monyela as saying.
The 22 South Africans who were stuck on a cargo ship in Egypt after fleeing conflict-ridden Sudan have touched down at the Cape Town International Airport @NtuthuzeloNene pic.twitter.com/0ylxASiGbj
— EWN Reporter (@ewnreporter) May 4, 2023
According to EWN, the group touched down at the Cape Town International Airport on Thursday afternoon.
The report said it was an emotional moment, as “mothers, wives, children and colleagues gathered at the gates of the Cape Town International Airport’s international arrivals gates” waited to be reunited with their loved ones.
A wife of one of the crew members said she was in constant contact with her husband and thanked the company her husband worked for, for the treatment they received, the report said.
Ezzat Williams, director at Africa Projects Consultants said he was grateful for efforts behind the scene to get them back home, adding that Sudan was still racked with the deadly war, reported IOL.
“On Saturday, April 15, when the war started in Khartoum, we were in an area a bit further away but by the next day, on the Sunday morning, the fighting spilled over and we could hear fighter jets, bombs going off, and a lot of gunshots going off everywhere. That was when our company decided that the best thing would be to get everybody out, and chartered a ship to do this,” the report quoted Williams as saying.
The report said that the mother of one of the workers, Zubaida Karriem, had tears in her eyes as she watched the Ethiopian Airlines plane carrying her son land.
Karriem said she could not stop crying after the sleepless nights they spent worried about if and when the group would return home, the report said.
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Compiled by Olwethu Mpeshe