More South African students arrivie home from conflict-torn Ukraine

More South African students arrivie home from conflict-torn Ukraine

Ten more South African students have arrived in the country from Hungary after fleeing Ukraine. This brings to 24 the total number of people who have returned home.

15 other students, two of whom have tested positive for COVID-19 will remain in isolation there.  The students arrived on Thursday at the OR Tambo International Airport.

It has been an agonising wait for families whose loved ones have been stranded following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Some of the students fled to neighbouring countries including Hungary, Poland and Romania.

They say it is a relief that they are now home.

SABC News Chriselda Lewis reporting from OR Tambo airport:  

While others were too overwhelmed to speak, one of the evacuated students, Vuthlari Mtonnga was happy to have made it back home safely.

Treatment of African students

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) and pharmaceutical company, Aspen, facilitated the return of the students.

The first group arrived last week after they were left stranded.

Aspen’s Stavros Nicolaou says public-private partnerships are necessary.

Dirco has again condemned the treatment of African students during this conflict, as Spokesperson Clayson Monyela elaborates, “It is very unfortunate that even in the context of a raging armed conflict we still saw Africans, in particular, being subjected to discriminatory and racist treatment. We had cases where some students were prevented from buying train tickets, from getting onto the trains. Even when they got into border areas, Africans were put in a separate line, pushed back and not given attention. We protested and reminded them that everyone has a right to cross international borders when there’s a conflict.”

The remaining students are scheduled to return to the country soon.

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