Stranded South Africans on their way home from Egypt

2011-02-01 08:56

About 40 South Africans stranded in Egypt during the current protests were due home today, after the department of international relations arranged a flight for them, spokesperson Clayson Monyela said.

“We spoke to EgyptAir and we managed to secure a flight to accommodate all the 40 South Africans via Istanbul in Turkey, so they are expected at around 9.30am,” he said.

The South African embassy had offered to help to South Africans who did not want to remain there while protests demanding president Hosni Mubarak’s resignation continued.

The department still believed there was no need for South Africans there to panic, even though the country was “tense”.

“They are not targeting foreigners,” he said.

Communication with the South African embassy was still in place, regardless of other communication breakdowns.

Egypt’s four main internet service providers – Link Egypt, Vodafone/Raya, Telecom Egypt and Etisalat Misr – reportedly cut off international access to their customers on Thursday.

Renesys, a New Hampshire-based firm that monitors internet routing data in real time, said the last remaining network, Noor, had also gone offline. Cellphone coverage has also been disrupted.

Yesterday, the South African government called on Egypt’s government and people to work towards a speedy and peaceful resolution to the crisis, to usher in a new era for the north African country.

“We want to re-emphasise the message to South Africans... There is no need to panic.

The lives of South Africans who are in Egypt are in no immediate danger,” said Monyela.

He encouraged South Africans there to make contact with the embassy for updates.

Many South Africans had chosen to remain for now. It was however not known how many were there.

The number in South Africa for information on South Africans in Cairo or planning to travel to Cairo is 012 351 1000.

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