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Jubilation as Zimbabweans help South Africans stranded in China to go home

by Mandla Ndlovu
29 Jul 2020 at 11:41hrs | Views
A South African national Khomotso Mokgadi Ramalepe has taken to Facebook to thank the people of Zimbabwe for assisting her and other South Africans who were stranded in China from June 23 to July 27.

According to Ramalepe, the South African Embassy and the South African Department of International Relations literally dumped them when they tried to reach out to ask for help to be repatriated.  

She reveals that after one week of stay at a hotel they ran out money and were about to sleep stay at the airport for many weeks before Zimbabwean Nationals took them into the hotel where they were booked in and accommodated them.

She narrated how they stayed with Zimbabweans until Air Zimbabwe evacuated them and took them to OR Tambo where they landed on the 29th of July in the early hours of the morning.

The incident happens amidst calls by some South Africans, who are led by former Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba, to deport Zimbabweans and other foreigners whom they accuse of taking job opportunities that should be given to South Africans.

Read the full unedited testimony below:

When our own embassy said it's impossible, This man Tertius Myburgh of Maple Aviation Charter Private Company said I will get you guys out of China. For me, the Journey started On March 27 when my father passed on from that moment I WANTED NOTHING BUT TO COME HOME.

For Many other South Africans, It all started on June 17th when SAA cancelled a flight without any reasons and technically most SAcans got stuck officially from that day

Fast forward June 23, some of us who desperately wanted to go home took a risk to get out of China and was still denied access to board our flight to Kuala Lumpur. THE HORRENDOUS NIGHTMARE STARTED.

Maple Aviation started process to come repatriate us out of China, Authorities got involved with this Man doing everything on his own

Where is SA Embassy at the time? AWOL

Where is Department of International relations? AWOL

The fight to get home started, we lived in a hotel from that day waiting on Maple Aviation company to get landing rights in China, it wasn't easy as China do things by the book and has difficult laws

A flight got scheduled for July 4, then it got postponed to July 8 because China had a holiday and Authorities didn't want foreign airline while they are on holiday OKAY we waited.

July 7 we left Guangzhou to Wuhan to get a scheduled flight the next day( 8 July) on our way the flight got delayed by a day meaning July 9. We booked yet again in another hotel for 2 days, With Maple Aviation now paying for our stay

July 9 we woke up excited finally we going home only to get to Airport and find the flight is cancelled Because it had Engine faults.

Now it was not just us. There was also A group of Zimbabweans Nationals who were also booked on this flight, then we are all now stuck at Airport AGAIN

ZIMBABWEAN EMBASSY sent their representative (Councillor of Zimbabwe in China) He came for Zimbabweans and started looking after them.WHERE IS OUR EMBASSY??? (DOLOLO) we called wrote emails but still nothing.

The Zimbabweans are now booked in a hotel and will wait until then. WE SOUTH AFRICANS dont have money to book another week, Luckily Zimbabwe and Maple Aviation agreed to make arrangements for us (The orphans of SA) that's how we got accommodated further.

The Engine took 2 weeks to be shipped to where the flight was, wee waited and waited and waited. It finally arrived and was fixed now we are ready to go home China come up with many more other processes for this flight to land in China. Now another delay as Maple Aviation apply these ridiculous processes.

July 27 the flight is fixed and ready to fly just waiting paperwork, We sleep at Airport again, no one wants to miss this flight We sleep there and wait for one night, It finally arrived in Guangzhou first bringing Chinese Nationals and Picking up South Africans to take them to KL. Then flew back to Wuhan to get us and back to KL.

From KL to Johannesburg we start the journey. It felt surreal, we were on a flight but still not believing that we are finally coming back home.

July 29 We landed at OR Tambo 03 am. Modimo we are finally home UNBELIEVABLE.

RE LEBOGA MMUĊ O WA ZIMBABWE for not excluding us for not discriminating us and taking care of us in a foreign country.

Maple Aviation wow words cannot express how much I'm grateful for this man who looked after us as if we are his children. He could have chosen to refund us and left us but He didn't he said with his mouth I will come for you all and HE DID  HE CAME WITH ZIMBABWE AIRLINES TO DO WHAT SOUTH AFRICA AIRLINE SAID ITS "IMPOSSIBLE "

Zimbabwe did for us what our government would NEVER do for them. They took us in as AFRICAN CHILDREN, I cannot thank them enough.

As for our Embassy, In China specifically, we are not represented AT ALL, I was ashamed to be abandoned by our own Embassy in a foreign country but anyway.


Source - Khomotso Mokgadi Ramalepe