An Indonesian officer greets the South African delegation from Gift of the Givers at the Jakarta International Airport. Picture: Sihle Mlambo

Jakarta - The Gift of the Givers have landed in Indonesia, ahead of the non-profit organisation's 10-day relief mission on the island of Sulawesi, Palu.

The team, which is made up of about 25 search and rescue personnel landed on Thursday night. They are set to fly to Palu on Saturday morning.

The Gift of the Givers are also accompanied by 5 South African journalists, with Independent Media also represented in the delegation.

Briefing the team on Friday morning, Ahmed Bahm, the team leader for the Indonesian relief mission, told volunteers that crucial rescue equipment which was being cargoed from Johannesburg was expected to arrive in South East Asia later on Saturday after being held by customs at OR Tambo International.

He told the team thousands of bodies were yet to be recovered in Palu after a fierce earthquake and tsunami hit the island last week. The delegation was set to leave for Palu on Saturday morning at about 5am.

Video: Sihle Mlambo


Meanwhile, an Indonesian national thanked the delegation from South Africa for helping the people of Palu.

Ita Nelwan, who saw the team at a supermarket in Jakarta, said: “God bless you all, South Africa thank you so much”.

The mood in Jakarta, the Indonesian capital, appeared normal with locals going on about their lives in the city centre.

Daily News