DIRCO dismisses reports that government is repatriating ex-ISIS fighters to SA

The department's Clayson Monyela says the reports are false, but acknowledges they are repatriating women and children from Syria.


CAPE TOWN - The Department of International Relations and Cooperative Governance has dismissed media reports that ex-ISIS soldiers from Syria have been getting assistance from government to be repatriated to South Africa.

Instead, it says the department says it helps distressed citizens abroad with transportation back to South Africa.

Various media reports have indicated that government has been assisting groups South Africans and their families in Syria to return to the country.

It's been reported that these people are part of groups that have for several years fought and assisted the Islamic State in Syria.

The department's Clayson Monyela has described the reports as irresponsible.

"It is important to know that DIRCO is entrusted with the responsibility of providing consular services to any South African in distress abroad. In a transparent manner, within the framework of the South African and international law. The newspaper reports alleging that DIRCO has facilitated the repatriation of hundreds of ISIS fighters are devoid of any truth and violate the press code", says Monyela.

Monyela has acknowledged that the department is currently assisting sixteen women and children to return, however their identities and nationality is still being verified.