Long battle for an ID

2018-05-01 16:15
Sipho Lafuleni has been battling the Home Affairs system to try and get an identity document for his 17-year-old daughter who is in matric.

Sipho Lafuleni has been battling the Home Affairs system to try and get an identity document for his 17-year-old daughter who is in matric. ( Ian Carbutt)

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A father who has been trying to get his 17-year-old daughter an identity document for six months, says he has been given the runaround by Home Affairs who now want him to have a paternity test to prove they are related.

Sipho Lafuleni said after his daughter turned 16 in September last year, he decided to go to Home Affairs to get her an ID, but claims he was, on many occasions, rudely sent away with no proper information.

But his story is complicated.

“The child’s mother ran off when the child was just two years old. I tried looking for her in the Eastern Cape, as that’s where she is originally from, but I never found her,” he said.

Lafuleni said Home Affairs officials told him that they could not issue an ID for his daughter without proof that he was the real father of the child.

“I was instructed to apply for an unabridged birth certificate that I had to pay for. After that nothing happened. I had to go back to Home Affairs, stand in the long queues, just to ask what was happening.

“They told me that there were no records found and that there was no ID that would be issued unless I come back with the mother of the child,” he said.

Lafuleni said what frustrated him was that the employees at Home Affairs were “extremely rude and not very helpful”.

Cyril Mncwabe, the provincial manager of Home Affairs, said he has been in contact with Lafuleni and has advised him of the solution to this matter. “From our discussion, it appeared that the [birth] certificate that his alleged daughter has, does not have any record at Home Affairs and therefore cannot be used to obtain an ID document.

“He was further advised that since he alleges that the mother of the child’s whereabouts are unknown since his daughter was two years old, he will have to prove paternity by doing a blood test and only after the outcome of the blood test has been received will the matter receive further attention. He has to approach the office for a referral letter for a DNA test,” said Mncwabe.

Lafuleni said he asked Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba to consider hiring new staff members as those working at the local offices have been there for too long and are “running the place as if it’s their spaza shop”.

He said he was never told by officials about having to do a blood test, and only found out about this option when the media made inquiries on his behalf. “It’s so frustrating that I have been to Home Affairs so many times but no one was able to tell me that I needed to do a DNA test to prove paternity. I had to contact the newspapers to get information that should be readily available at their information desk.”

He said he was told that he will have to do the DNA test, which he has to pay for, at Addington Hospital in Durban. “It’s an inconvenience considering that we have numerous government hospitals in Pietermaritzburg, but I have no choice. I have to go there and do it. My daughter is suffering, she hasn’t registered for her matric exams and can’t apply for tertiary [studies]. I’ll do it,” he said.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  home affairs

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