A Howick mother of two who had her identity stolen by a Johannesburg woman eight years ago finally got her new identity document (ID) on Wednesday. Thabisile Khumalo (33) had been back and forth to the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) offices in Howick trying to prove that her identity had been stolen but to no avail as the officials kept telling her that she could not get a new ID.“One of the officials told me that an ID was not a sim card so I couldn’t change it. I wish I could see him today so that I could show him that I didn’t give up,” she said on Wednesday.The woman who stole her identity had racked up credit bills for thousands of rands and taken loans from African Bank and Capitec. Debt collectors had sent Khumalo numerous letters of demand and some hounded her on her phone almost on a daily basis.“It was so hard because when I told them it wasn’t me they would call me a liar and tell me that I was going to be arrested.”In August she received a letter from the DHA’s Pretoria head office saying that she had been allocated a new ID number following the outcome of an investigation into the matter.The department also blocked her old identity number so that it may not be used for identification purposes anymore.“I was happy when I received the letter because it meant I was a step closer but I didn’t want to get too excited until I actually got a new ID ... Right now I don’t have the right words to express how happy I am. “I feel like I’m a person as well because now I’m a registered South African. I can apply for a job and for a child support grant. I can go to school if I get an opportunity to do so,” she said.Khumalo said not having an ID meant she also could not have any insurance and there were fears that she could die and her family would have struggled to get a death certificate. “This is just a small book but for me it’s like being given a new lease on life. It means that I no longer have to rely on my parents — who are pensioners — to support me and my children. “I’m starting from scratch and it’s scary because I’m so old and haven’t had a job in a long time but I’m excited,” said Khumalo.