‘Dead’ woman’s Home Affairs fight

2008-04-21 00:00

Khethokuhle Thobile Sandra Mnguni (24) from Bisley in Pietermaritzburg is among thousands of citizens whose lives have been complicated by the Home Affairs Department’s mistakes.

Mnguni is alive and well, but has an invalid South African ID book, because, according to the department, she died of natural causes four years ago. She was issued with her death certificate last year.

“I was issued with the death certificate in May, and the department told me that my ID was no longer valid because, according to the [death] certificate, I died in 2002. All this started when a clothing shop turned down my application for an account … When I went to inquire about this at the department … they demanded that I should prove that I was alive,” said an incredulous Mnguni.

Mnguni said it was strange that she was able to get a birth certificate for her newly born daughter, despite being declared dead.

Like Mnguni, Sunnyboy Mncwabe (49) and his three children from Grange were also declared dead in 2006. His children managed to get their status corrected, but his efforts have come to nothing.

Zakhele Xaba (26) applied for his first ID in 2003. He re-applied in 2004 and again last year. But all his attempts have come to nothing, and as a result he cannot be employed. He now survives through selling cigarettes on the city’s streets.

The Witness recently ran the story of Khosi Mhlongo (60), who is also frustrated by her ID, which states that she is a citizen of Great Britain.

When contacted by The Witness, Home Affairs spokesman Mantshele Tau avoided attempts to get him to comment.

He first said he could not talk because he was about to board a plane, and promised to provide an alternative person for The Witness to speak to. When contacted for the second time, he still could not provide an alternative person for comment and said he could not comment because he was on leave.

bhans@witness.co.za

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