HARARE – The family of a Zimbabwean woman who died of a heart attack in South Africa said she was anxious of being departed.
Chipo Mukandi, 45, a domestic worker, died after she was detained in Pretoria police cells for not having proper immigration documents.
Her son, Clive Mandirahwe, 22, told ZimLive that his mother died from a heart attack.
“She did not have some papers but her passport was stamped. I think my mum got so shocked since it was her first time being arrested,” Mandirahwe said.
“My father passed away a long time ago and now I’m left with my 11-year-old sister.”
Relatives said Chipo was pulled from a bus along with other foreigners on November 27 during a South African Police Service operation.
“They were taken to Cullinan police station and she was put in police cells. An ambulance was called in but unfortunately she died before she even got to the hospital,” her brother Promotion Bhabhada said.
“Police are not assisting us in any way, they just said post-mortem results is four to five weeks. We have managed to raise money for funeral expenses and repatriation and we are now waiting for the papers to proceed.”
She was buried at her rural home in Masvingo.
Last month, South Africa said it would not renew temporary permits of around a quarter-of-a-million Zimbabweans working in the country.
Some 250,000 Zimbabweans fleeing political and economic crises at home were granted four-year work visas which starting in 2009.
South Africa has a population of about 60 million, about three million of whom are migrants, according to the national statistics agency.
Many of those are Zimbabweans driven south by two decades of political repression and economic collapse.