Fighting for her identity

PHOTO: thami ka-nkosiAn unhappy Cynthia Fikelephi Langa holds up her Identity Document and the fake marriage certificate.
PHOTO: thami ka-nkosiAn unhappy Cynthia Fikelephi Langa holds up her Identity Document and the fake marriage certificate.

For over a decade, an unemployed mother has been fighting to regain her identity following a fake marriage scam that left her unable to apply for bank loans or even a new Identity Document.

Cynthia Fikelephi Langa (50) of Zikhuba, near Port Edward, told the Fever about the stress and hardship she has had to endure after a man, believed to be a foreign national, married her without her knowledge.

“It has been the most stressful 14 years of my life. I don’t know where else to turn,” said Langa.

“I am unemployed and my children, who are grown boys, are suffering as I cannot explain to them what happened. I had a casual job over the years, and I borrowed money from my employer who then forced me to give her my identity document and my grant card, which I did.”

Langa learnt about the fraudulent marriage in 2004 while trying to obtain a bank statement from her bank.

Since then, she claims she has been given the runaround by the Department of Home Affairs.

The surname on her identity document did not match that on their databases, explained Langa.

“When I went to Home Affairs to apply for the new ID, as my old one was damaged, the employee behind the counter typed in my ID number and then struck my name off the register. When I enquired why she had done that, she responded, “Don’t you know who you are married to?”

When Langa looked at the computer she said she almost fainted when the surname Farooqui stared back at her.

She learnt that the fraudulent marriage had taken place in Johannesburg but there was no information on when the marriage had taken place. Her ID number appeared on the alleged marriage certificate with only the man’s name and date of birth — no ID number or signatures — and year in and year out she has struggled to get her name cleared.

Department of Home Affairs spokesman David Hlabane said the issue will be investigated by the department and Langa will be assisted in getting her identity back soon.

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