China arrests: 5 South Africans to return home today

The five were part of a group of 20 arrested and detained in Inner Mongolia a week ago.

Ordos Ejin Horo Airport in Inner Mongolia. Picture: Mongolia Tourism.

JOHANNESBURG - The families of five South Africans held in Inner Mongolia are now preparing to welcome their loved ones back home after a week of detention in China.

Twenty people, including British and Indian nationals, were arrested in that country exactly a week ago.

On Thursday, the Gift of the Givers Foundation said it received confirmation that the group had boarded a flight back to South Africa, and that they were confident that they would arrive safely.

Today marks exactly one week since a total 10 South Africans were arrested in China.

This morning, five families are expected to be reunited loved ones, but Gift of the Givers head Imtiaz Sooliman has asked that the situation be handled sensitively.

LISTEN: Vodacom CEO Shameel Joosub has several family members who are being held in custody in China.

While the fate of five other South Africans hangs in the balance, Sooliman said it would be dangerous to divulge too much information.

"We mustn't be prudent, to discuss everything openly as to what went on there for the sake of the five that are still held there, for their security and safety"

There's still no clarity on the charges facing the remaining five in China.

LISTEN: Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa raises the detention of South Africans in China on an official visit to that country.