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Durban dad, stranded in Afghanistan, looking forward to coming home

Kerwin van der Merwe is one of hundreds of locals stranded in Afghanistan in the wake of an insurgence by the Taliban. Picture: FACEBOOK

Kerwin van der Merwe is one of hundreds of locals stranded in Afghanistan in the wake of an insurgence by the Taliban. Picture: FACEBOOK

Published Aug 18, 2021

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DURBAN - A KwaZulu-Natal family is looking forward to being reunited with their relative in the next 24-48 hours.

Kerwin van der Merwe is one of hundreds of locals stranded in Afghanistan in the wake of an insurgence by the Taliban.

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The Taliban seized power in Afghanistan just two weeks before the completion of the withdrawal of US troops.

The militant group has since taken control of major Afghan cities.

Van der Merwe is a fire safety officer based at an airport in Kabul. With years of experience from working at airports across the world, he is just hoping to board a plane and be reunited with his wife and family.

Speaking to ECRs Mike V, he said he was safe.

“The military has the base secured. We are safe and secure. Aircrafts are in and out at the moment. The military has also provided food and one of he dining halls is still open,” he said.

Regarding his plan to return home, he said a military flight has been secured and the soldiers are trying to take out as many people as possible.

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His wife, Martine, said they are remaining strong at home.

“It is a worry and a stress but we are keeping strong and having faith. He should be leaving by Thursday or Friday to go to Durban and then will wait on tickets to fly home,” she said.

According to the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, the South African High Commission in Islamabad, Pakistan, has reported very restricted data and internet service in Pakistan from August 18 to 19, 2021.

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“Cell phone communications to the high commission over these two days are likely to be extremely limited,” Dirco warned.

Picture: DIRCO

South African Nationals in need of assistance in Pakistan, and especially those seeking assistance in Afghanistan, should (also) contact the High Commission via email – [email protected] – or DIRCO Consular Section at Head Office on (+27) 012 351 1000 or email: [email protected]

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