Dirco says it’s not true they’ve abandoned 73-year-old woman stuck in Germany

Colleen Crossley from Cape Town was found wandering Germany’s Frankfurt airport without possessions or identifying documents.

The department of international relations and cooperation (Dirco) said on Wednesday it had made contact with a South African citizen who was reportedly in distress in Germany, adding that reports that it had not attended to the complaint were misleading.

Johannesburg-based SA Police Services reservist Seth Baise alleged that Dirco had taken more than three days to respond to his request for help to get his mother, who initially went missing in Germany, back home.

“Dirco is aware of the case of a distressed citizen reported by Mr Baise on Sunday, 12 August 2018. By Monday, 13 August 2018, our Embassy in Berlin made direct contact with him. The news report gives the impression that Dirco has not attended to the matter,” Dirco said in a statement Wednesday.

“The statement by Mr Baise published by Traveller24 is misleading as it implies that Dirco has not attended to the complaint. Consular Services is fully aware of the tragic incident and immediately assisted Mr Baise when the matter came to our attention.”

Baise said his mother had now suffered a mental breakdown and he was left with an emotional roller-coaster of trying to get doctors’ reports and insurance authorisations in order to arrange her return trip home.

His 73-year-old mother, Colleen Crossley, who lives in Somerset West in Cape Town, was found wandering Germany’s Frankfurt Airport without her possessions or identifying documents. She had been due to go on a two-week European vacation.

Dirco said Baise had been in direct contact with the Consular Services and the Embassy in Berlin since Monday, and that the embassy was in contact with the local hospital.

“Once Ms Crossley is fit to travel, the Embassy will assist with the issuance of emergency travel documents,” Dirco added.

– African News Agency (ANA)

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