Nyaniso and Yana Dzedze

Nyaniso and Yana Dzedze. Image via Instagram

Actor Nyaniso Dzedze reunited with wife after COVID-19 detention ordeal

The South African actor detailed the horrific conditions of the Johannesburg centre where his wife was detained.

Nyaniso and Yana Dzedze

Nyaniso and Yana Dzedze. Image via Instagram

A week after sharing his desperate pleas on his social media accounts, begging the Department of Home Affairs to release his wife from a detention centre, Nyaniso Dzedze has been reunited with Yana. 

The couple shared their joy and relief on Dzedze’s Instagram account, where he posted a letter of gratitude to thank the people who had assisted him in his plight to have Yana released. 

Letter of gratitude

“I cannot thank my incredible, never-say-die lawyer, brother and gladiator Mokgatle Mokgatle enough. What a king. Not to mention Nombikazi, his fire wife, who was the wind beneath his wings.

“We thank God. We thank every one of the figures of influence who opened up their hearts to the situation and heard our pleas. There was so much growth in this for all of us…We learnt,” he wrote on Instagram. 

Travel ban nightmare

The Dzedze’s ordeal began when they landed at the OR Tambo International Airport almost two weeks ago. Their arrival coincided with President Cyril Ramaphosa’s address in which a travel ban on European and Asian countries that have been hard-hit by the COVID-19 crisis, were announced.

While they were travelling from Kigali in Rwanda where they had spent six days, Yana was detained and told she could not enter the country as she held a German passport. 

She was placed in a detention centre and offered the option to return to Germany despite informing authorities that she hasn’t been to the country since she was 16 and had last seen her mother in the United Kingdom (UK) in August 2019. 


Sanitary standards, paying for detention

“They locked up my wife and all the other people were detained there in isolated rooms and they only let them out to eat. This detention is not living up to the sanitary standards of the World Health Organisation. There are no hand sanitisers, no hand wash, no gloves or face masks.

“On top of it all, we are informed that the people being detained are going to be financially accountable for their detention. So they’re paying to be there as though they have a choice. They won’t let us remove our wives to put at least in transit hotels,” Dzedze said. 

Home Affairs residency debacle

He elaborated that for the past seven years he and Yana were given the run around by Home Affairs.

“It definitely was a concern of ours to get her a residency here. You might think that’s enough time but if you understand the home affairs system and how it is laboured, delayed, slow and sometimes confused.

“My wife has been going in and out of the country to get a three-month visa to stay. So she has to go out of the country for at least a week and come back again. It’s been expensive for us, but we had to do it,” he said.