The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) has disputed reports alleging that the department has facilitated the repatriation of hundreds of ISIS fighters.
This follows media reports indicating that hundreds of former ISIS fighters have been repatriated to South Africa through a “secret operation” carried out since 2019.
DIRCO spokesperson, Clayson Monyela, said the reports have no factual basis.
Monyela said the South African Embassy in Syria is monitoring the situation of 16 women and children who are in Syria, to confirm their South African citizenship and provide assistance.
“Consultations with Syrian authorities are ongoing in this regard. It is important to note that DIRCO is entrusted with the responsibility of providing consular services to any South African in distress abroad, in a transparent manner and 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,” Monyela said.