‘Thank you for fetching us,’ writes South African repatriated from China

A total of 146 South Africans were repatriated from Wuhan in China on Saturday after being stranded in the coronavirus-hit city.
A total of 146 South Africans were repatriated from Wuhan in China on Saturday after being stranded in the coronavirus-hit city.
Image: Graeme Hosken

“On behalf of the evacuees, [I] can’t thank you enough for taking this beautiful huge risk. I’m sure some of your families disagreed with your decision but regardless of that you came to fetch us.”

This was one of the lines from a note written by one of the South Africans repatriated from China to the team that brought them home.

The National Health Insurance's Twitter account shared the heartfelt handwritten letter on Sunday.

“I personally don’t have words to thank all of you. We may not be able to pay you back for this but there is someone above us who sees our work and bless [sic] us abundantly. We are really happy to be home.  

“Thank you for taking care of us. Your names will always be part of our history. May God bless you and your family,” it said.

A SAA cabin crew, along with a medical team, had volunteered  for the military-led mission to coronavirus-hit Wuhan in China earlier this week and returned to SA with the group of stranded locals on Saturday.

All of those who were brought back to SA were believed to be coronavirus-free.

The 146 people who were aboard the plane are now in quarantine at the Ranch Resort outside Polokwane.

The return of the group had been met with some controversy after some members of the ANC Youth League in Limpopo had erupted in protest, expressing their displeasure at the group of repatriated nationals being kept in their province. The group argued that having them there posed a danger to locals and threatened the livelihood of those employed at the resort.

A family member of one of the military workers also took to social media to express her pride at the SA team who embarked on this mission.

A relative of one of the military personnel who embarked on a repatriation mission to Wuhan in China took to Facebook to express her pride at the team.
A relative of one of the military personnel who embarked on a repatriation mission to Wuhan in China took to Facebook to express her pride at the team.
Image: Facebook / Antoinette Nkhensani Chauke

“My younger brother Dr Ludrish Nganakani Shikwambani is one of the team [members] that went to repatriate our stranded South African brothers and sisters in Wuhan,” wrote Antoinette Chauke.

“This is more than just courage but a call greater than themselves, let's continue to pray and support these patriots as they serve their people with pride,” she added.

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