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Due to the xenophobic attacks on black Africans in South Africa, over 600 Nigerian nationals gathered outside the Nigerian consulate on Wednesday morning to take up the free transportation to leave South Africa.

Nigerians in the country queued for hours to take the three buses from the consulate to the airport, and the flight, which was supposed to take off at 9:10 AM, was delayed by almost 2 hours.

eNCA’s Heidi Giokos shared photos on her Twitter of the Nigerians, both at the consulate and at the airport. A woman with 3 young children told her that  she is leaving to ensure the safety of her children, as she was sleeping with an open eye.

A Nigerian man, who spoke to her at the OR Tambo International Airport, said he had no choice but to leave.

I decided to leave because I value my life, more than anything else … Here it is very hostile at the moment. It’s not safe for me.

Many of the Nigerians have, however, been unable to board the flight due to expired documents and overload of luggage per individual, although, the officials in charge tried to find a temporary solution to get the people on the plane.

Still, some of the returnees could not board the plane without proper documents for both parents and children, and some were sent back because they had no documents for their children.

Eventually, about 2/3 of the families were reported to have made their way back over a lack of proper documents.

“We understand that after an almost 6-hour delay. Passengers are boarding the plane. Still unclear as to whether or not the second plane will land tomorrow. More details will come from the Nigerian Consulate,” Heidi Giokos wrote

Check out her tweets:.

Heidi Giokos@HeidiGiokos

Nigerians have gathered outside the Nigerian consulate. They are getting into the busses so that they can be transported to the airport. First flight out of SA is at 9am. We understand over 600 Nigerians have opted to leave SA due to the recent

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterHeidi Giokos@HeidiGiokos

Nigerians have gathered outside the Nigerian consulate. They are getting into the busses so that they can be transported to the airport. First flight out of SA is at 9am. We understand over 600 Nigerians have opted to leave SA due to the recent

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter
Heidi Giokos@HeidiGiokos

Many mothers with their children are queuing to get a seat on the bus as quick as possible. Over 600 Nigerians have taken up the option to leave the country due to the recent

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One bus has already taken the first load. There are two more busses stationed outside. No one is allowed to speak to the media. A clear instruction from the consulate they say.

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Heidi Giokos@HeidiGiokos

Second bus has just left. People are still queuing to get onto the next bus.

Heidi Giokos@HeidiGiokos

We’ve spoken to some people on the side, many say a majority of Nigerians who have opted to leave haven’t been affected by the recent but are seizing the opportunity to get the first flight to go back home. “We suffering here, we would rather suffer at home”

Bus has arrived at OR Tambo Airport. Nigerians are unpacking their bags from the bus to get into the check in queue. Many of them say “It’s time to go home”
Nigerian government has offered a free flight home for those who wish to leave at the back of

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Replying to @HeidiGiokos

More busses on the way to airport Many are still queuing here before allowed through to the check in area.
We spoke to one man who told us he is a writer and he wants to go back home because he isn’t welcome in SA. He says he is hurt that “other African brothers are doing this”

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Heidi Giokos@HeidiGiokos

We just spoke a to a lady with 3 children all seem to be very young. She says she is leaving to ensure the safety of her children. She says she was sleeping with one eye open.

Heidi Giokos@HeidiGiokos
Replying to @HeidiGiokos

#NigeriansLeaveSA
There seems to be some issue around expired passports. They trying to find some kind of temporary solution to get the people on the plane. Also seems to be overload of luggage per individual. #Xenophobia

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Heidi Giokos@HeidiGiokos

More families arrive. Queue gets longer and longer.

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Heidi Giokos@HeidiGiokos

More families arrive. Queue gets longer and longer.

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Heidi Giokos@HeidiGiokos

Many families with their young ones are waiting to check in. There is a delay due to trying to sort out expired passports. Many young kids saying they want to leave SA and go back home

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130 people are talking about this

Heidi Giokos@HeidiGiokos

Live updates on at the top of 9.
We spoke to qualified mechanic. He says two of his cars were burnt last week. He says the issue isn’t South Africans, it’s the government who don’t give opportunities to its people.

Heidi Giokos@HeidiGiokos

Some have been sent back. They have travel documents for themselves but not for the children and they now need to sort that out before they can board the flight. We’ve seen about 2/3 families make their ya back.

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Heidi Giokos@HeidiGiokos

Some have been sent back. They have travel documents for themselves but not for the children and they now need to sort that out before they can board the flight. We’ve seen about 2/3 families make their ya back.

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Heidi Giokos@HeidiGiokos

More families waiting to see if they can get back to sort out documents. They can’t board the plane without proper documents for both them and children. One would imagine women & children were given first preference but we’ve been told documents are needed.

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Heidi Giokos@HeidiGiokos

The flight was supposed to take off at 9:10 to Lagos, Nigeria. It’s delayed by almost 2 hours. Some people are still checking in. The delay seems to be as a result of expired documents.

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Heidi Giokos@HeidiGiokos

It seems as though everyone has passed through the check in counter. Flight is delayed by over 2 hours.
We waiting for the Nigerian Consulate to speak to us about the exact details & it there are any more flights out.

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38 people are talking about this

Heidi Giokos@HeidiGiokos

Still waiting for the Nigerian consulate to come through and give us exact details. The board still says flight is delayed. Nigerian Nationals still need to get through immigration & there have been issue from the onset with valid passports & documents.

View image on Twitter

Heidi Giokos@HeidiGiokos

We understand that after an almost 6 hour delay. Passengers are boarding the plane. Still unclear as to whether or not the second plan will land tomorrow. More details will come from the Nigerian Consulate.

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Photo CreditHeidi Giokos


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