Wales

Grandmother, 79, facing deportation to South Africa

Carol Hirst Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Carol Hirst says she is "bewildered and upset"

A woman who lives in Powys has spoken of her fear of being deported to South Africa.

Carol Hirst has been in Wales with her family on an ancestry visa, but when she applied to stay in the UK permanently, she was told she would have to leave.

The 79-year-old said she thought contacting the Home Office would be just a "formality".

It said it would reconsider Mrs Hirst's application.

She said: "I am bewildered and upset about it. I have had an ancestry visa for five years.

"I've three British grandchildren, a British husband of 44 years, my daughter is British and my grandson is British.

"It's come as a surprise."

Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Carol Hirst with daughter Nikki, grandson Connor and husband Mike

Mrs Hirst, who lives near Builth Wells, said she was "depressed" but hoped things would be "all right".

She said she would have no way to support herself in South Africa.

"I'm utterly in love with Wales, I come from farming stock," she said.

Mrs Hirst, originally from Durban, said she was tied up and robbed at gunpoint in her home in South Africa. During another burglary she was stabbed.

"I really do not want to go back," she said.

"I have not got a pension out there, so I do not know how I would survive."

On Monday the family set up an online petition to highlight the case, which around 6,400 people have signed.

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