I already posted an article on News24 about my problems on the 6th of July last year. Unfortunately little has changed since then.
Just to remind you of the facts, in 2012 I was adopted by my stepfather in Germany, where an adult adoption is legally possible. I contacted the Department of Home Affairs' Randburg Office Manager, Herman Lehasa Lekalakala, in June 2013 to find out about the procedures and processes to get all my South Africa documents (ID + Permanent Residence Permit) changed to my new surname.
Since then (5 years!) the department has managed to lose my original PR permit and I still do not have a new ID book!
After I posted my complaint on News24 last year, they informed me about a query regarding my case and I was asked to visit their Randburg branch again. I went there on the 11th of July 2017 and I was informed that I needed an adoption order from the Randburg Magistrate's Court. On the same day I went to the Magistrate's Court and was told by Ms Samukelisiwe Mthembu that SA courts have nothing to do with my case as the adoption was already finalised in Germany 4 years ago.
Mr Herman Lekalakala (Randburg Dept of Home Affairs – Office Manager) also had a follow up meeting with Ms. Samukelisiwe Mthembu separately on the 28th of July 2017, where everything was explained to him in detail. Thereafter I was promised in writing my Mr Lekalakala that my case would be dealt with until the 15th of December 2017. However, nothing happened despite countless reminders being sent to him by me.
In April 2018 I was informed about another query regarding my case and that I had to visit their Randburg Offices again! I asked Mr. Lekalakala via email and Whatsapp to meet me there in person on the 18th of April. As to be expected he did not show up and on top I had to find out that the same query, to get an adoption order from the Randburg Magistrate Court, had been re-opened in the department’s system!
Unfortunately Mr Lekalakala does not answer any of my phone calls or emails anymore. Neither does anybody else at the Department of Home Affairs in Randburg, despite sending them hundreds of messages! Also visiting them twice about this query did not make any difference. My case is stuck with them and nobody is taking ownership there. They ask for an adoption order and the magistrate court refuses to issue one.
So they deny issuing a new ID book with my new surname despite the fact that all my bank accounts, insurance policies and even my German passport have already been re-issued in my new surname. Even more ridiculous is the fact that the Department of Home Affairs’ own permanent residence department has issued a written statement that my permanent residence status is valid for my NEW surname!
I hope sharing my frustrating story with the public might help.
Thanks for reading.