Marizka Coetzer
2 minute read
1 Apr 2021
5:34 am

All SA citizens in Mozambique successfully evacuated

Marizka Coetzer

Department of international relations and cooperation official Clayson Monyela said the department was not aware of other missing South Africans in Mozambique.

Mozambique flag. Picture: iStock.

All the South Africans in Mozambique have been safely returned home as help starts to enter the country to pick up the pieces after deadly terrorist attacks last week.

Deputy director-general for public diplomacy, department of international relations and cooperation Clayson Monyela said the department was not aware of other missing South Africans in Mozambique.

“The ones we were alerted to were all accounted for,” he said.

Doctors Without Borders (DWB) teams arrived in the Afungi peninsula, about 25 kilometres from Palma, where some of the injured have started to arrive following the attacks.

Sylvie Kaczmarczyk, DWB emergency coordinator in Cabo Delgado, said since the attacks, hundreds of people had arrived at Afungi in search of safety, with most after fleeing by foot and hiding in the bush for days.

“We hear repeatedly that all they want is to leave. They are terrified,” Kaczmarczyk said.

“Most are in shock and are dehydrated and hungry. We have seen everything: people with minor to moderate injuries, as well as in critical condition with serious, life-threatening injuries.

“We have cared for one baby with a bullet wound. Pregnant women … one woman, who appeared to be seven months’ pregnant had intense bleeding; her baby had already died. Mothers arrived with their newborns, some only a day old, delivered in very difficult conditions.”

He said most mothers seen by the team were in shock, dehydrated and hadn’t eaten for hours, therefore, they were not able to feed their babies.

“It is a heartbreaking situation,” Kaczmarczyk said. Monyela said the military aircraft that landed on Tuesday was primarily going to fetch the remains of a South African who was among the casualties.

“The group of six consisted of family members of the mortal remains.”

Francois van Niekerk and his father were among them.

Monyela added the bulk of the South Africans had already returned with Tuesday’s flight bring back the last few people.

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