SA man plans to sue UK govt after wife dies in detention
Nancy Motsamai and her husband Fusi had been in the process of renewing their visas when they were detained overnight and threatened with deportation.
JOHANNESBURG - The family of a South African woman who died in London after she was unlawfully detained by immigration officers and accused of faking an illness to avoid deportation are now planning to sue UK authorities.
Nancy Motsamai and her husband Fusi had been in the process of renewing their visas when they were detained overnight and threatened with deportation, despite trying to explain that they were in the country legally.
Motsamai died five days later because of a blood clot that had formed in her leg, and her husband is now demanding answers from the government.
Three weeks after Nancy passed away, the UK Home Office sent a text message to her phone, threatening to impose penalties if she didn’t report to the authorities.
Her widower, Fusi, says the British government has since apologised for the mistake, but he is determined to take officials to court for accusing his wife of faking illness to avoid being sent back to South Africa.
“The immigration official at the airport said to her you’re faking it because you don’t want to be deported, there’s nothing on your medical record to show that you’re not fit”.
Motsamai believes his wife would be still alive if they had not been detained.
“To them, we were just numbers, part of a statistic that would assist them in cutting migrants entering the country.”
‘I COULDN’T ATTEND MY WIFE’S FUNERAL’
Fusi has described to Eyewitness News how he lost his wife in London.
The couple had been living and working in London legally for more than a decade, but in 2017 they started experiencing difficulties with renewing their visas.
Five days after the couple’s experience of detention, separation and exhaustion Nancy died.
Fusi says his wife’s body was only repatriated last week due to problems with documentation.
“They only released the passport month after she passed away.”
Motsamai could not attend his wife’s funeral in Bothaville, Free State, as he is still in London waiting for his confiscated passport to be returned to him.
The widower says he was angry at first but now he wants to finish the fight to stay in London.
(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)