WAKING up as early as 3.30 am to get to Home Affairs an hour later, at 4.30 am only to wait in long queues throughout the day and, when you finally get to the entrance, be told that you would have to come back another day was just one part of the horrible experience a local teacher went through recently. This is the experience of a teacher who attempted to collect her passport from the Pietermaritzburg Home Affairs but “by the end of the day, wished she had paid the people who approached her earlier asking for money in exchange to move up in the line.” Feeling sympathetic for the elderly people who were ahead of her in the line, the teacher, who requested anonymity, said she refused the offer, however, only to regret it later on, when she noticed how many people had cut the line.“At around 11 am I noticed that there were more people ahead of us than before. I saw that the corridor at the entrance was completely packed”, said the teacher.In a twist of events, the teacher later on found out through the person at the front doing investigation work of their own, that allegedly the security guard at the entrance of Home Affairs was taking bribes of R80 to allow people in ahead of others.“Throughout the day my husband and I experienced pushing and shoving while actually seeing others walk straight in. “There was absolutely no system!” said the frustrated teacher.At the end of the day, after being traumatised both physically and emotionally, the teacher said that once she got into her car, she burst into tears and vowed to herself that she would never go to the Pietermaritzburg HomeAffairs branch again.“I will never go back there again. I have children and I know what exhaustion is, but what I went through at Home Affairs was absolutely disgusting,” said the teacher who declared that it was the worst day of her life.At the time of going to print, no comment had been received from the Department of Home Affairs.