Ramaphosa securing SA tourists’ release on China visit

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. (Photo: GCIS)

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. (Photo: GCIS)

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is using his official visit to China to secure the release of around five South Africans still detained in that country,” International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said on Wednesday.

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“We can confirm that our deputy president who is in China, not on a state visit, but an official visit to China, has taken the opportunity of his presence there to also raise this matter,” Nkoana-Mashabane told reporters in Pretoria at a briefing that is focused on discussing the country’s role in recent international meetings, and how these developments affect the country.

Ramaphosa arrived in Beijing on Monday. Nkoana-Mashabane said of the ten South Africans who were initially detained in China, that around five were now awaiting a flight back to Pretoria.

The South Africans are part of a tour group who were detained by the Chinese authorities last week, reportedly on suspicion of being associated with a terror group or banned organisation.

According to earlier reports from the Gift of the Givers organisation, one of the arrested South Africans was a veteran of the African National Congress’ armed wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe, and three are related to Vodacom chief executive’s Shameel Joosub.

The statement indicated that a tour group of 20 tourists, consisting of 10 South Africans, nine Britons, and one Indian were arrested in Edros, Inner Mongolia, and detained without charge, ending a tour of ancient China.

Read more: China detained SA ‘terrorists’ without charge – Sooliman


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