Only one registered South African not evacuated as he works in Kabul, says Dirco
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Pretoria - The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) on Thursday said there is only a single registered South African national remaining in Kabul, the capital of troubled Afghanistan.
“Thirty-five South African nationals have been assisted to leave Kabul on various evacuation flights,” said Dirco spokesperson Clayson Monyela.
“The one remaining South African is working in Kabul and will remain there for the foreseeable future.”
Monyela said there could be other South African citizens across Afghanistan but they are not known by the South African government.
“It should be noted that there could be other South Africans remaining in Afghanistan but these would be individuals who have not registered their presence with the South African High Commission in Islamabad [Pakistan] or with Dirco headquarters in Pretoria,” said Monyela.
Last month, Dirco said the South African government was in talks with other countries to give South Africans a “lift” out of Afghanistan.
“This is common diplomatic practice particularly in situations where we've got very few nationals requiring assistance,” Monyela told African News Agency (ANA).
At the time, Monyela said the South African citizens that had made contact were being assisted.
“Most employers are making arrangements for their employees to leave the country,” he said.
Monyela explained that direct evacuation of South Africans from Afghanistan can be done under circumstances where lives are under threat and that such decisions would have to be taken by the National Security Council.
Pretoria authorities said they had noted the unfolding situation in Afghanistan and urged South African nationals currently in Afghanistan and in need of assistance to make contact.
This comes after Taliban militants took control of the capital Kabul following the withdrawal of United States troops.
Last month, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, abandoning the presidential palace to Taliban fighters as Afghanistan's civilian government in Kabul fell to dreaded Taliban fighters.
African News Agency (ANA)