Heartache at Home Affairs

2010-12-26 12:36

Twins Eric and Lee Mutangirwa (26) arrived in South Africa in 2007 to earn money for their family who are struggling to survive in a rural ­community north of the Limpopo.

Divided by the river that forms the boundary between South ­Africa and Zimbabwe, the twins face a bleak festive season.

One fears that he will not arrive home in time for Christmas celebrations and the other was worried he would not be allowed to leave Zimbabwe to come back to his job in South Africa.

The family, Eric told City Press at the gates of the Pretoria home affairs centre this week, needed him “for the ploughing at home”. They were planting mealies, sorghum and ­soybeans.

He applied for his permit on November?11 and was afraid he would not receive it in time to join the great Christmas gathering of the clan at home.
His twin, Lee, went home earlier this month in an attempt to get a “fast passport”.

Lee’s nightmare is that he will fail to receive the passport in time to travel back to South Africa before December 31, the deadline to apply for a permit to legalise his stay.

The Zimbabwean men and women milling around the home affairs gate at Pretoria Showgrounds say they are tired of waiting for their permits. Some applied in October.

They want the department to post a list of permits to be issued each day on the gate.

Above all, they dearly want to return home for Christmas.

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