Cop goes an extra mile to help man get an ID

2015-07-16 19:08
(Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)

(Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)

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Johannesburg - A young Kagiso man who almost killed himself after spending three years trying to get an ID book can finally get on with his life after a policewoman in the Krugersdorp suburb went the extra mile.

“They captured one number wrong and could not process the application,” said Reserve Constable Sharon Mapule Tshephe, of the man's desperate attempt to get the document.

The ID would allow him to open a bank account, register for courses and take a driver's test.

“The last straw was when he went there and they tore up his application in December and said they could do nothing,” said Tshephe, who was last year nominated for the Police Officer of the Year award.

His parents had tried everything, even going to a loan shark to hire an attorney to help.

Eventually the young man could take no more.

“He felt useless,” said Tshephe.

One day his mother and father had just arrived home and heard something falling in their son's room. His mother looked through the window and saw that he had hanged himself.

She smashed her fist through the window to get in to untie the rope, and her son survived.

Tshephe, who works in the police's social crime prevention unit, was asked to go and speak to the “troubled” 21-year-old.

“'He was so depressed,” she said.

Tshephe told News24 that after listening to his story, she decided to go to the local home affairs department and arranged for a meeting with the manager.

She also took the young man's mother along and brought all the documentation and certificates required to get an identity document.

“I spoke to officials and found out what the problem was. I showed them the scars on the boy's neck and I showed them his mother's hand - she had stitches from breaking the window.”

It emerged that one number from his birth certificate had been captured incorrectly.

Tshephe said that, "without delay", they managed to pick up the problem and the young man eventually received a smartcard.

He popped into the police station recently to say thank you and Tshephe says: “He looks so different now. He looks very happy.”

Brigadier Hendry Mollegai, station commander at the Kagiso police station, noted that Tshepe had been nominated for the award of Police Officer of the Year in 2014.

Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Solomon Sibiya said that ever since receiving his ID, the man's life had changed for the better.

He was now working on becoming a music producer and had established a studio at home where local artists used the facilities to record songs.

Read more on:    police  |  home affairs  |  johannesburg  |  good news

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