Almost two years ago, I wrote a story about my connubial blisters. This is a short update.
But first, let me give you some background:
I married my first (and only) wife in March of 1970. Somewhere along the line, our marriage certificate went missing. Neither one of us ever worried about this – we were too busy getting on with our lives. Besides, a piece paper doesn’t keep people together – mutual respect, caring, love, and lots of hard work, does.
Two years ago, someone told me that you could verify your marital “status” on the Department of Home Affairs’ (DHA) website. All you had to do was to enter your ID number.
I ignored the warning on the DHA website, which read: “This service is intended for use by individuals to verify their own marital status only. Any attempt(s) to verify the marital status of others or to use or access the service in any way other than described above is expressly prohibited. Trespassers will be penalised and circumnavigated by a traditional healer.”
Being a nonbeliever in traditional healers, sangomas, atheists, shamans, Christians, inyangas, Muslims, and politicians, I decided to ignore the warning and do a trial run first. Just in case.
I entered the wife’s ID number, and clicked on the appropriate check block.
“Happily married,” came the reply. I waited patiently for a few hours, and when no traditional healer came around to penalise and circumnavigate me, I entered my own ID number and clicked again.
I couldn’t believe it, so I did it again.
“Still single, fool!”
Obviously some bloody, illiterate, BEE-appointed idiot at the DHA office had changed my “status.”
“Ah, well,” I thought, “this is the New South Africa. Live with it.”
Now the plot thickens. (Pay attention, Sakkie.)
Just before the last elections, I lost my ID. This meant that I would not be allowed to vote. It didn’t bother me at all – I had long ago decided that it was my demonic right not to vote for ANY of the political fools running around, making empty promises to the pee pull.
But, be that as it may.
Two weeks ago, the wife (PBUH), decided to go to DHA offices in Centurion and apply for an abridged marriage certificate. After spending most of the day (and R20.00) in a queue she returned home in a much weakened state, with this infernal piece of abridged paper.
Unfortunately, another bloody, illiterate, BEE-appointed idiot at the DHA office had misspelled my name on the abridged certificate. Because the wife was in such a much weakened state, after spending most of the day (and R20.00) in a queue, she didn’t notice misspelled name.
But that’s not all. Because she couldn’t submit a copy of my ID with her application for the marriage certificate, the DHA linked the abridged certificate to her ID number, but not to mine.
At this stage, my wife is married to a man with a misspelled name, and she has an abridged marriage certificate which is linked to her ID number. I’m still single and have no ID. I’m linked to nothing and no one.
On the 13th of June I took a drive out to the DHA offices in Cullinan to apply for an ID. (I chose Cullinan, hoping to avoid the bloody, illiterate, BEE-appointed idiot at the DHA office in Centurion.)
I was told that I could only apply for the old green booklet ID at the DHA’s Cullinan offices. I didn’t care. I just wanted an ID, any ID.
Photographed, fingerprinted, deloused, and documented – I paid R50.00 for four ID photos and R140.00 for the ID.
And then: shattering news. Try to follow this:
The bloody illiterate BEE-appointed idiot behind the bars of the serving hatch in the DHA office told me that the name I’ve given them on my ID application form did not match the name of the misspelled name of the man my wife’s ID is linked to on the abridged marriage certificate on their computer database.
I was told to get the misspelled name on the abridged marriage certificate corrected before a new ID could be issued to me.
My sincere and heartfelt apologies to all the members of the public who were at the offices of the DHA in Cullinan on the 13th of June 2014.
As a rule, I don’t normally use those words in general conversation.