The waiting is over. We are proud to announce that after extensive and lengthy liaison with kind & considerate stakeholders, South Africans will hit the skies, crossing the Mediterranean over to Mzansi Africa.
Now it’s safe to announce that Necessary approvals and permits have been issued today for a repatriation flight to depart Istanbul to OR Tambo on 22 May 2020 at 09:15.
This facilitation is another beautiful indication of strong bilateral relations and an inspiring cooperation.
Enroute to South Africa and now safe in Quarantine. Wishing the musicians and all stranded well in their future endeavors and good bonds with family. Appreciating their cooperation and understanding.
MEDIA STATEMENT By Urgent Repatriation #Turkey
To the county at large, the government and all stakeholders involved in our repatriation we would like to extend this message of thanks.
This 2 month ordeal that felt like a lifetime has surely been an experience unlike any other - from being ordinary musicians seeking employment abroad, we all morphed into a unit stranded in a foreign country and seeking the help of our fellow men. This time in our lives has certainly been a paradigm shifting realization of the importance of Ubuntu, a virtue so deeply espoused by our country. Strangers turned into family through all this and people we never thought we'd meet fought for us in unimaginable ways.
Our initial call for help dubbed #BRINGUSHOME, was on social media platforms and that catapulted our plea to the world -- media houses, celebrities and politicians all heeded our call and sprung to action. We received calls of comfort, messages of hope and monetary donations from too many people to count.
Our Embassy in Turkey, the Local Ministry in Antalya, Turkey, Ugur University (Turkish based), Arçelik (Turkish based) and Defy South Africa made sure that we
were sustained in the way of food and essentials - suddenly we didn't feel so stranded, there was a comfort in the midst of the storm but as they say "there is no place like home", therefore we remained steadfast in our goal to be repatriated. We were then in contact with Minister Nathi Mthethwa, Deputy Minister Nocawa Mafu and Minister Naledi Pandor to help fast track the process; eventually we were given a date and finally we could breathe.
On the day of the trip home we travelled firstly by bus to Istanbul International Airport using the donations we had received from the public back home, following
the very arduous 10 hour bus ride we reached the airport and thereafter prepared to take flight. Our Embassy Ambassadors, Mr. Tshepo Ranamane and Mr.
Onassis Tloubatla were there to see us off in true South African style, they thanked us for our patience and bid us farewell.
As we broke into South African airspace the view was inexplicable; the hues of the nightsky were meticulously balanced without any colour overpowering the next and as we landed we were greeted with warmth by airport staff. We're currently in quarantine under the care and supervision of very friendly staff.
Thank you again to everyone who has been supportive to our efforts, we cannot mention names of everyone individually. However, we really appreciate it.