Tributes have been paid to a Sutton boxer who was found dead near Mitcham Common after he was threatened with deportation.
Zimbabwean national Bhekitshe Moyo, 42, who is understood to have lived in Demense Road, Wallington, was told to leave the country by the Home Office.
The boxer, who had lived in the UK since 2002, had competed in more than professional matches across the country and had studied towards a degree in law.
Family friend Thapelo Koboto said: “Everything changed when he was refused leave to remain when he applied for settlement after a qualifying period. He was threatened with deportation and was kept at Brook House detention centre.
“’Bheki’ used all his savings as he fought for the right to stay in the UK through the courts. He dropped out of his law course due to lack of funds and was reduced to sofa surfing after he became homeless.”
Mr Moyo had lived in the UK since 2002
In his final Facebook posted on Monday, March 6, Mr Moyo called on people around the globe to make a more just world.
He said: “When I look I see a world that is heading in the wrong direction. Are you seeing what I am seeing? Millions of us have been turned into slaves by our rulers in their different guises, and they have somehow managed to convince us that we are free. They use their institutions of bondage, and we happily oblige and do as we are told.
“Those that claim to be in power, and indirectly bully you into maintaining their system that is detrimental to your children, your families, your community, yourself and future generations only do so because you are unaware of the power that you possess. Don't let them use you as the instrument of destruction. Withdraw your consent immediately and focus your energy on building a just world for all.
“You can do it, my brother, my sister. Share this with all your friends, share it with your local newspaper, your radio station, your TV station.
“I shed a tear as write this because I will not be there when a new and just world is built.
“I have to sleep now. I love you all. Now be good to one another.”
He was found dead shortly after midnight the following day by Metropolitan Police officers.
A Met spokeswoman said: “The man was pronounced dead at the scene. His next of kin have been informed. The death is not being treated as suspicious.”
Bethnal Green boxing manager Mickey Helliet, who trained Mr Moyo between 2010 and 2016, described the Zimbabwean as a ‘genuinely decent’ man.
He said: “My wife and I were really upset when we found out. He had come around for dinner a couple of times and was really lovely.
“You never really know someone inside out. I can’t remember having a cross word with him, he was genuinely decent, very gentle and very generous.
“I have had a boxer who committed suicide before so it’s something that I look out for. He was quite a positive person and did not come across as depressed, he was always very motivated and had a sense of purpose.
“I find it incredible that he would do something like that.”
The 42-year-old added: “We want more people like him in the country, we don’t want to kick people like him out. He spent so much time volunteering to teach children boxing, why would we not want someone like him?
“He wasn’t a parasite, he was the exact opposite and it’s tragic that this has happened. It seems today that it scores points to be tough on immigrants, but as a country we’ve scored a massive own goal.”
The Home Office confirmed that he was released from a detention centre in November last year and that his case was ongoing, but said it would not comment on individual cases.
A gofundme page was set up on Tuesday, March 14, to cover the cost of repatriating Mr Moyo’s remains. As of Friday, March 17, £1,839 had been raised towards the £10,000 goal.
To visit the page click here