Identity mix up for twins

2016-02-24 06:00
Photo: Makhosandile zulu Nkosinathi and Phakamani Xulu who are still waiting for the Department of Home Affairs to fix a mix up with their fingerprints and subsequently identities.

Photo: Makhosandile zulu Nkosinathi and Phakamani Xulu who are still waiting for the Department of Home Affairs to fix a mix up with their fingerprints and subsequently identities.

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TWINS Phakamani and Nkosinathi Xulu (28), from Malende, are frustrated following a mix-up with their fingerprints at the Department of Home Affairs – KwaDukuza branch.

The pair was not aware that there was a mix up with their fingerprints until Phakamani had to use a fingerprint biometric verification system in August last year.

“I needed to get my security guard certificate and I had to use my fingerprints for them to print it for me,” said Phakamani. “But something was wrong and they told me I should go to the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) and have the matter sorted out,” he added.

He said in October 2015 he and his twin, not because they suspected there had been a mix up, but because they are inseparable, visited DHA so Phakamani could resolve his issue.

That is when officials at DHA discovered that when Phakamani used the biometric verification system his twin’s identity would come up.

“We never knew that our fingerprints were mixed up for all these years since we made our identity books when we turned 18. We had to go through the process of applying for new identity documents to fix the problem,” said Phakamani.

However, the new identity documents arrived after three weeks and the pair learned that the matter had not been resolved when they were picking up the ID books at the DHA.

Phakamani said they were told by an official at DHA – KwaDukuza that head office would be contacted directly to relay what exactly was the problem and that it had not been resolved.

“Throughout the festive season we were communicating with people from head office about this and all they kept saying was that the matter is being handled,” said Phakamani.

Last week, on 19 February, the two returned to DHA – KwaDukuza and re-applied for new ID books and, according to Phakamani, they were told that the office manager would personally see to it that the matter is resolved.

Phakamani’s biggest challenge is that he cannot get his certificate and so cannot start looking for employment until the mix up is straightened out.

“My brother also has a licensed firearm which he bought and had licensed before we learned about the mix up, so that means that firearm might be under my name,” said the other twin, Nkosinathi.

The pair said they would have to check a number of other official documents to determine if those were also affected.

DHA – KwaDukuza office manager Deon Moonsamy said the twin’s matter is complicated and that the error may have occurred when the pair’s birth was registered.

“We are assisting them. It would be better if we could see the parents to try and get to the bottom of the matter. This cannot be resolved quickly, it is a very complicated matter,” he said.

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