SA woman detained in China to appear in court next week

She was arrested for not having a work permit after her recruitment agency had promised to arrange this for her once she arrives in the country.

Tristan-Lee Niemand. Picture: Supplied

CAPE TOWN - The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) says that 48 South Africans are currently detained in China.

A distraught mother, Stacey-Lee Bridger informed Eyewitness News that her 19-year-old daughter, Tristan-Lee Niemand, has been in a detention facility since mid-November.

She was arrested for not having a work permit after her recruitment agency had promised to arrange this for her once she arrives in the country. However, this never materialised.

Dirco’s Ndivhuwo Mabaya says over 100 South Africans have been arrested for visa violations this year.

Chinese authorities have informed Dirco that Niemand will be appearing in court next week.

“The consulate says the young lady is well. She is in prison, so you can’t be well when you’re in prison. We’re engaging with authorities, so that at least when she appears in court she will be given bail. It looks like the agent misled them.”

At the same time, Dirco has expressed concern about South Africans detained abroad.

Mabaya says the 48 South Africans who are currently detained in China are part of more than 800 who are incarcerated in prisons across the world for visa-related violations, drug-related charges and various other offences.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)