Woman stuck in Karachi

2014-01-21 00:00

A DESPERATE Pietermaritzburg father is trying to raise funds to rescue his daughter, who has been abandoned by her Pakistani husband in Karachi. He took her there allegedly on holiday and then dumped her.

Margaret Faroogi (37) (formerly Du Randt) travelled with her husband, Kamran Faroogi, and their four children, apparently to meet his family in Karachi. They had never met his family in the 10 years they had been married. But according to Johannes du Randt, Margaret’s father, things soon went wrong after their arrival, as Faroogi was not planning to return to South Africa.

Margaret soon discovered he was having an affair with a woman in Pakistan. He and his new girlfriend began to abuse her and she fled with her two sons, seeking help at Karachi airport to get a return ticket to South Africa.

Faroogi has kept their two daughters, aged eight and four. Margaret made a desperate plea to her father to help her raise the airfares for herself and her sons to get home.

Du Randt, who is on pension and lives at a shelter where he helps from time to time, has no financial means to pay for her airfare.

He told The Witness, “They came to stay with me for a while before they left for Pakistan. I suspected that things were not good between them, because Margaret did not want to go and he convinced her that it was just for a holiday to meet his family.

“Then after a few weeks, I got frightening SMSes from him, telling me she had been in an accident and that she was dead. Then I heard from her, saying she was in hospital and she was not too bad. I suspected that he had been beating her.

“She left the house she was staying in with the boys and stayed at the airport, trying to find a way to get back to South Africa.”

Du Randt says a Karachi police officer took pity on his daughter and took her in for a few days, but sent her back to the airport when she realised she would not be getting any rent money.

Du Randt approached Gift of the Givers who said they could not intervene as it was not a humanitarian crisis.

The Department of International Relations said it could arrange her passport and visa, but could not pay for the airfares.

Du Randt said his daughter met Faroogi when he was a cellphone salesman in Pietermaritzburg many years ago.

“I am not sure if he is in financial trouble in this country, because that could be the reason he cannot return. But he told me via SMS that Margaret is not his problem any more.”

DA representative Bill Eloff is trying to find a solution.

Eloff said he sympathised with Du Randt and his daughter, and that raising public awareness of her plight could help secure funding for her plane tickets.

He said, “The government has taken a hard line on paying for plane tickets for South African citizens because there have been so many drug mules in trouble.”

To offer advice or suggest a financial solution, contact Bill Eloff at 082 448 9767.

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