The Chinese government on Monday refuted widespread allegations that South African student Alfa Mpetsheni had gone missing in the vast Asian country.
The Chinese government on Monday refuted widespread allegations that South African student Alfa Mpetsheni had gone missing in the vast Asian country.

China dismisses allegations of missing SA student Alfa Mpetsheni

By Jonisayi Maromo Time of article published Feb 10, 2020

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PRETORIA -  The Chinese government on Monday refuted widespread allegations that South African student Alfa Mpetsheni had gone missing in the vast Asian country. 

Media reports in South Africa claimed that Mpetsheni was doing his final year BCom in international trade at Zhejiang Gongshang University in Hangzhou.

He reportedly disappeared three weeks ago, and his vanishing has been confirmed by his father Thulani Mpetsheni. 

But the Chinese embassy in South Africa said that media claims and social media posts were untrue.

“An investigation by the Chinese embassy in South Africa has found that Alfa Mpetsheni, once a student at Zhejiang Gongshang University in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, graduated in June 2019. According to the latest records of China’s entry-exit administration, the student flew from Shanghai to Bangkok, Thailand on January 26, 2020,” said the embassy in a statement. 

China's Ambassador in South Africa Lin Songtian addressing media at the embassy in Pretoria. Photo: Jonisayi Maromo / ANA

There are thousands of South African students studying at numerous Chinese universities. 

Last year, the Chinese ambassador in South Africa, Lin Songtian, in conjunction with the then department of higher education, science and technology hosted send-off ceremonies for hundreds of South African students who had received bursaries from the embassy in Pretoria. 

The students had been awarded a 2019-2020 scholarship to study in China. The scholarships cover the students’ tuition fees, accommodation and medical expenses.

South Africa's international relations department said on Monday: "We are working with the Chinese to investigate the matter and will comment at a later stage."

African News Agency

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