After five years, mom gets ID – but it’s a fake

MOTHER'S TORMENT: Ayanda Mhlanga with her sons Singatha, left, and Likhona at their home in Kwazakhele.  Picture: BRIAN WITBOOI
MOTHER’S TORMENT: Ayanda Mhlanga with her sons Singatha, left, and Likhona at their home in Kwazakhele. Picture: BRIAN WITBOOI

A LONG battle to get an identity document finally ended for Port Elizabeth mother-of-two Ayanada Mhlanga last week.

But her joy was short-lived when she discovered her ID was a shoddily made fake, she told The Herald from her modest Maronga Street, Kwazakhele, home this week.

Two senior Home Affairs officials said yesterday they would look into the matter.

In the meantime, the 21-year-old’s two young children are without birth certificates and she is unable to apply for a state grant.

Mhlanga, who lives in a shack at the back of an uncle’s property, said she first applied for an ID book in 2009, then reapplied in 2011, last year and this year.

“The first three times I went to the Home Affairs office in town.

“After having no luck, I went to the Motherwell office.”

When she went to the Motherwell branch of Home Affairs last week, she received what she would later be told was a fake ID.

“An official called out my name and gave me a sealed envelope, which I was told had my ID inside.

“I was also told that the envelope had been sent from the town branch,” Mhlanga said.

After making inquiries with the police and a social worker, Mhlanga discovered that the document in her possession was a fake.

But her ID woes do not stop there.

“When I went to Home Affairs, officials told me I was married to someone in Maputo. But they later said they rectified it on their system. “I have now been told there is another Ayanda Mhlanga whose profile is active on the Home Affairs system.

“This person has the same name, surname and address as me.

“I am stuck now and do not know what to do. I cannot do anything without an ID,” she said.

Mhlanga has two boys aged five and five months. The five-month-old has chest problems and has been in and out of Dora Nginza Hospital.

But Mhlanga is unable to sign his medical forms when he is admitted to the hospital because of her ID woes.

Mhlanga choked up when she detailed her plight and how helpless she felt at being unable to prove she was her children’s mother. She was forced to drop out of high school in Grade 9 when she gave birth to her firstborn because she had to take care of him.

She ekes out a living doing odd jobs for food and, sometimes, money.

Home Affairs provincial manager Gcinile Mabulu said officials would begin a preliminary investigation into Mhlanga’s case.

But he said that, in many instances, officials had come across renta-brides who denied going into bogus marriages in exchange for money.

Home Affairs district manager Sonto Lusu said she could not comment on the validity of Mhlanga’s ID because she had not seen it.

However her office would look into the matter to get to the truth. – Xolisa Phillip

 

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