WATCH | Inside the Wuhan repatriation: ‘I’m concerned about going home, I don’t know how people will react’


Amy Pittaway was on board the Airbus A340-600 carrying South Africans coming home from Wuhan, China, on Saturday. The mission saw at least 114 South Africans repatriated from the coronavirus epicentre. Pittaway takes us on her journey from Wuhan back to South Africa.

It was the voice of South African Airways pilot Captain Vusi Khumalo over the intercom welcoming his passengers on flight ZS-SND that prompted screams of euphoria throughout the aircraft.

The Airbus touched down at Polokwane International Airport at 10.45am on March 14 2020.

The passengers disembarked with help from designated staff, and boarded a bus that drove them to The Ranch Resort in Polokwane, Limpopo. They waved to people waiting to get a glimpse of them along the journey.

Pittaway said it is scary when people don’t want you to be somewhere, even if you really want to be there, but towards the end of her journey her excitement kicked in.

The bus was greeted by dancing and cheering staff at the Protea Hotels resort, welcoming all the South Africans home.