Two-year struggle for his ID

2009-12-17 00:00

A KWAZULU-NATAL midlands youngster is devastated after his dream to travel and play basketball overseas was shattered when the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) failed to issue him an identity document he had applied for more than two years ago.

Treverton College grade 12 pupil Zweli Hadebe (19) was supposed to have left on Tuesday for Australia, where his basketball team will be playing, but he has had to stay at home.

“Our basketball team, the Black Panthers, raised funds and organised to go for an overseas trip.”

Hadebe said the trip would have given him exposure and a chance to meet international basketball stars.

Besides being denied an overseas trip, Hadebe is unable to participate in any professional basketball because he does not have an ID.

On Monday, he was standing on the sidelines cheering while his mates were playing in the Kwanaloga tournament held in Pietermaritzburg.

He said he was disappointed and angry at the DHA. “I’m [angry] right now; it was no fault of mine.

“I applied for an ID more than two years ago, but I still don’t have one and can’t follow my passion.”

He told The Witness that the DHA visited his school in April 2007. He jumped at the chance and applied for an ID.

He said three months after the application he went to the Greytown office, but was told that his ID had been sent to Krugersdorp in Gauteng. He called the Krugersdorp office, but was told that his ID was not there.

Hadebe’s aunt, Nosipho Zondi, said Home Affairs has failed her nephew.

“We have been trying to sort out his identity document for two years with no hope.

“They kept on sending us from pillar to post and I’m not sure what to do right now.”

Zondi said several attempts to re-apply for Hadebe’s ID drew blanks. “I have even been to the person in charge of the Pietermaritzburg office, but the incompetence is just so appalling.

“We were told that Hadebe’s ID number was duplicated and it would take a while to sort it out. It has been more than a year since then, but this thing has not been rectified. I am stressed now because my nephew has been withdrawn ever since he realised his wellplanned trip was not going to happen.”

Hadebe’s last attempt to obtain his ID on Monday, the day before the trip, was more depressing than ever.

“I went there hoping for promising news and they told me my photographs had gone missing. I lost all hope.”

Hadebe said he will be enrolling at university next year to study journalism. “If I don’t have my ID by the end of 2010, I will not be able to get my results at university.”

In August, Treverton College basketball team broke the Guinness World Record of 81 hours for non-stop basketball, when they completed an 82-hour marathon.

Hadebe was part of the team of 22 students, including two girls, and two coaches who played basketball from the Friday morning until the Monday night, setting a new world record for non-stop basketball.

More than 23 000 points were scored by the teams during the course of the game.

The claim was sent to Guinness World Record offices in the United Kingdom to be ratified and is expected to be published in the Guinness World Records.

The Witness e-mailed questions to DHA communications on Friday last week, but no response had been received by yesterday.

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