UK govt overturns decision to deport SA widow

Myrtle Cothill suffers from heart problems & relies on the care of her daughter who lives in England.

FILE: Myrtle Cothill, whose father fought for Britain in the First and Second World War, suffers from heart problems and relies on the care of her 66-year-old daughter who lives in England. Picture: AFP.

LONDON - The British government has overturned a decision to deport a 92-year-old widow to South Africa, so she can stay with her only child.

Myrtle Cothill, whose father fought for Britain in the First and Second World War, suffers from heart problems and relies on the care of her 66-year-old daughter who lives in England.

She was due to be deported this week because her two-year visa has expired but her situation is now being reviewed.

Cothill was ordered to leave the United Kingdom and booked on a flight back to Johannesburg.

However, after another medical assessment and a 54,000 signature petition, the Home Office has now overturned the decision and granted her leave to stay in the UK, pending a further review.

The pensioner has no close family in her home country and her daughter claims the move would kill her mother, who depends on her for her personal care, cooking and shopping.

Cothill's daughter says she can't become resident in South Africa and there's no-one to look after her mother there.

The Home Office review is likely to take several months.