The Ministry of Foreign Affairs gave the update to journalists on Wednesday in Abuja saying that out of the 313 Nigerians confirmed form the first batch for evacuation, 84 of them have been so far cleared and are expected to arrive the country at 2pm local time.
Although the Air Peace flight MEN2759, was expected to leave the OR Tambo International Airport at 9am, but as at 2pm local time, immigration capturing processes were still ongoing.
“The Air peace aircraft which was scheduled to take off at 9. a.m local time was delayed due to the fact that check-in and clearance procedures by immigration are very slow.
“There are complains of system failure and out of the 313 confirmed for first batch of evacuation today, only 84 are cleared so far.
“The more the Aircraft waits for the passengers, the higher the amount the Aircraft will pay for Parking,” the ministry stated.
Some of the evacuees also had issues of documentation, immigration records and inadequate documents to travel out of the country with children.
Many of those who are voluntarily returning to Nigeria following the xenophobic attacks in the past few weeks came out in large numbers as early as 4am outside the missions to join the buses ferrying them to the airport.
According to the ministry, 640 Nigerians have indicated the desire to return from South Africa and have registered to do so.
However, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs added that the second batch of evacuees would depart Johannesburg for Nigeria on Friday.
Upon their arrival, they will be received by senior officials of the Ministry.