Victim to identity theft

2016-09-07 06:00
LYDIA MALEHO (67) had a rocky nine months living without an identity document and a Sassa card to get hold of her old age grant. She approached Express Northern Cape and after that the Department of Home Affairs and Sassa assisted her with new cards. Photo: Boipelo Mere

LYDIA MALEHO (67) had a rocky nine months living without an identity document and a Sassa card to get hold of her old age grant. She approached Express Northern Cape and after that the Department of Home Affairs and Sassa assisted her with new cards. Photo: Boipelo Mere

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

LYDIA MALEHO (67) was smiling from ear to ear and proudly showed Express Northern Cape her new smartcard identity document (ID) and a South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) card after a rocky nine months’ struggle.

That is after an intervention from Express Northern Cape made it possible to restore her pride of having an ID and therefore being able to re-apply for her old age pension.

Her story of having to spend almost a year without a true identity is prove to anyone that it is not only single or unmarried people who fall victim to identity theft or identity duplication.

Sassa discovered last year that Maleho has been sharing an identity with another person in the North West Province.

Both of them were in an endless race to access their old age pension every month.

“I would get paid this month, the next month I would be told that someone already collected my pension,” explained the sweet and soft-spoken Ouma.

This resulted in her old age pension being cut and her life put on hold, resulting in delays in her getting a new ID.

According to Maleho, this led to her decision to ask for assistance from the newspaper as it seemed her nightmare will continue for a long time.

Express Northern Cape had since come to a decision of suspending the story for a week in order to allow both the Department of Home Affairs and Sassa to come up with a solution.

Her circumstances has forced her to move in with her younger sister in Greenpoint as she had no money to maintain herself.

She has been staying alone and could not afford to buy food or pay her bills.

Roseline, the younger sister’s concern was what would happen if Maleho passes away and does not have an ID.

“I was really concerned as to whether the policies would pay out, or whether we would be able to get a death certificate,” said Roseline.

The problem was picked up after Maleho went to Sassa’s offices to enquire why her pension was continuously cut off.

She further revealed that the person collecting her pension money was reported to be withdrawing money at different towns.

“What puzzled me more was the fact that I had never lost my ID since I received the first one,” she said.

“I received my first ID, that was using my maiden surname Mathews.

“Then I got married and got another one under the surname Maleho in 1972,” she added.

Even when she retired from being a domestic worker and became a pensioner, she used her ID and never changed it.

A week after enquiring on progress made by the Department of Home Affairs, Abednego Mvula, provincial manager at the department responded to Express Northern Cape that Maleho was immediately called in, where she was issued a temporary smart card ID to allow her to approach Sassa for her grant application.

According to Inno Khunou, the senior communicating and marketing manager at Sassa, no criminal activities are suspected from Sassa’s side as the duplication of IDs were verified by Home Affairs.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
ADVERTORIAL
Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.

/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.