South African lady Tristan-Lee Niemand who was detained in China for wrong papers, narrated her ugly experience at OR Tambo International Airport on Saturday said she alongside the other ladies were treated like prisoners in China.

According to Niemand, who  further recalled how she found herself detained after working as a teacher in Nanjing, China, for three weeks.

Niemand and six other South Africans working as teachers in Nanjing were detained after it emerged that they didn’t have the proper work permits to teach in the country. They only had student visas and they were promised to be provided with work permits by the school that employed them.

Niemand vowed to never leave South Africa to work in another country.

“I arrived in China on October 10 and started my teaching job seven days later. Three weeks on the job in China, while we were in the house we were sharing, Chinese police [arrived] knocking on the door.

“They ordered us to hand over our passports and phones. We were then taken to a police station and questioned for five hours before we were released,” she said.

The following day, police arrived again and told them to go with them to file some papers.

On November 16, they were then taken to a hospital for check-ups and later taken to a detention house where they were detained.

“At that detention house, we were treated like prisoners. They didn’t care about us.”

She said there were five South African nationals, four Thailand citizens, three Russians and one person from an African country in that detention house, which Niemand could not remember.