China detainees: Six British citizens arrive home

Six British citizens arrived in London after being detained along with 10 South Africans in China.

FILE: The group appears to have been accused of watching propaganda videos or being linked to terror organisations. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - The first six people arrested in China have returned to Britain as five South Africans prepare to begin the same journey on Thursday evening.

Earlier, the six arrived in London after being detained along with 10 South Africans in Inner Mongolia, China, on Friday.

The group appears to have been accused of watching propaganda videos or being linked to terror organisations.

The claims were dismissed by their families.

Vodacom CEO Shameel Joosub, who had four family members caught up in the saga, said those who had returned to London had given some first-hand accounts of what happened.

"They were at the airport when they were taken to an area, then to a detention centre where they were all questioned."

Joosub said there was also more information about why they were arrested.

"They said it had to do with a video and the only video they were watching was western, One Night and they also watched a documentary."

There's still no official word on what will happen to the five South Africans who are still in custody.

LISTEN: Ramaphosa discusses SA detainees in China

CALLS FOR MORE PRESSURE ON CHINA

As Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa stepped in to assist, the family of three South Africans called on authorities to put more pressure on the Chinese government.

Eyewitness News earlier this week revealed that a group of people, including South Africans, were detained on terror-related charges, which in turn had been described as "bizarre".

Twenty people, including British and Indian nationals, were arrested on Friday.

Ramaphosa on an official state visit to Beijing on Wednesday said the saga was being handled on an "active, hour-by-hour basis".

He said they're doing what they can to bring everyone home.

"The Chinese officials as well as our Department of International Relations are dealing with the matter actively."