PRETORIA, South Africa
The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, has instructed the department to work with the Chinese authorities to release passports of South African Citizens who are stranded in China as as result of a Visa Scam so that they can come back to South Africa as soon as possible.
According to SA Embassy in Beijing fifty one (51) young South Africans were enticed by an agent to travel to China on a study visa while planning to work as English teachers. The promise was that they would get their work visas upon arrival in the country which never materialized. While in China on study visas they started working which was in contravention of the immigration laws of the Republic of China.
“Our Embassy in Beijing is liaising with the Chinese authorities in addressing this matter. We are also in touch with the Chinese Ambassador to South Africa to have their passports released. The Chinese Ambassador to South Africa has made an undertaking that he will expedite the matter”, said Minister Sisulu. adding “We are very much aware that the Chinese authorities will follow their own legal process when such a violation occurs and deal with the matter accordingly.”
The Minister has called on all South Africans to be cautious of these scams and to check with the relevant authorities before travelling to other countries. She said the DIRCO will continue to provide consular assistance to those South Africans in distress and also to keep those affected families informed of the latest developments
Minister Sisulu will engage Ministers of Police and Home Affairs about these scams so that individuals involved are taken to task.
It is a priority of the Minister that all 51 currently stranded young South Africans in China return back home as soon as possible.