Local woman overjoyed after nightmare escape from Tripoli

2011-03-01 00:00

BUSISIWE Kheswa has been reunited with her family after a harrowing ride to Tripoli airport and a flight of more than 36 hours from the war-torn Libyan capital

Eleven days ago, Pietermaritzburg resident Kheswa was flying home from Dubai with her sister Hlengiwe via Tripoli. When they landed in Tripoli they found themselves stranded in a country whose citizens were revolting against the dictatorship of Muammar Gaddafi.

Kheswa told The Witness yesterday that getting to Tripoli airport was a nightmare, with soldiers assaulting people at random.

“I was more than  happy on Friday when we were informed that we were coming home.

“However, that joy was short-lived when we were stopped at three roadblocks. There were tanks everywhere from the hotel to the airport. A Namibian guy who was with us was roughed up by the soldiers at one of the roadblocks for not having his passport. All our passports were taken on our arrival at the airport and the man didn’t have the emergency passport we were issued with as his country has no embassy in Libya. It was heartbreaking to see the poor chap being roughed up like that, but that’s what others had to go through.”

She said soldiers confiscated cellphones as a way of preventing video clips being leaked to the media and outside the country.

After three hours’ waiting they left Tripoli for Cairo at 8 pm on Friday and landed at 11 pm to catch a flight to Johannesburg.

A man had to be helped on to the plane after he had been shot by the soldiers. It is not clear how serious his injuries were, Kheswa said, but he could not walk.

“On arrival in Cairo we heard that there was no flight to Johannesburg and that we had to catch one to Istanbul, Turkey.

“We arrived there at 11.30 pm on Saturday and left at midnight for Johannesburg and arrived after 9.30 am on Sunday.

“This was quite an experience, one that drains you physically and emotionally.

“I cannot thank The Witness enough because phone calls from the paper and our families kept us going.

“This whole situation reminded me of scenes during the political instability in SA.

“What’s worse in Libya is that soldiers were given orders to use brutal force against the demonstrators,” she said.

“I’m relieved to be back home although I have some flashbacks of what happened in that country.

“Tomorrow (Tuesday) I’m having a session with a psychiatrist because I need to be assisted to go through this period and experience as I have difficulties to sleep at night,” she said.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.