A group of Mpumalanga students who were granted bursaries to study in Russia say they are living in fear after some students tested positive for coronavirus.
They claim that three students from other countries were diagnosed with the virus a few days ago.
The students accuse the government of not doing enough to repatriate them or to provide them with safe accommodation in Russia.
“There have been three confirmed cases in this hostel and now this hostel is under full lockdown. No one is allowed to go out and at the moment, some of us don’t have food in our rooms. They just implemented this full lockdown without letting us know first. Now they locked us here to fight this invisible enemy on our own,” says one of the students.
“So it is difficult especially because hey, just found three guys, three rooms away from my room that were confirmed to the coronavirus and still we haven’t been tested or anything like that, it’s just a waiting game,” says another student.
In this video, hundreds of South Africans are said to be stranded from various foreign countries
Threats of bursaries being terminated
Meanwhile, parents of the students claim that their children have received threats that their bursaries will be terminated if they continue demanding to be repatriated.
They say: “There were some rumours that if you register your name to the list of the people who want to come back home, your bursary will be terminated. You need to stay until they say you need to come back home.”
“Instead of attending to this problem, these guys are threatening our children with terminating their contracts and all that which is not right during this …where we are faced with this pandemic.”
The South African government also repatriated its citizens from countries such as Brazil, United States and the United Arab Emirates in March and April.