Elderly SA woman spared deportation from UK

The British govt has now formally dropped its plans to deport Myrtle Cothill back to South Africa.

The Union flag flying above the Houses of Parliament in central London on 26 September, 2014. Picture: AFP.

LONDON - The daughter of a South African woman who's been spared deportation from the UK says the order was a death sentence that's now been lifted.

Ninety-two-year-old Myrtle Cothill is being cared for by her daughter in England but authorities had ordered her to return to this country because her visa has expired.

But the British government has now formally dropped its plans to deport the frail widow back to South Africa.

People power won an important victory for Cothill when faced with returning to Johannesburg without any near relatives or friends to care for her.

An online petition was started urging the British government to reconsider their deportation order.

At least 150,000 people supported the move and the home office has reviewed its decision due to compassionate circumstances.

Officials say they received more detailed information about her medical condition including that she is unable to walk unaided, suffers heart problems and is losing her eyesight.

Her daughter who cares for her has thanked everyone who signed the petition.