Is FIFTEEN years too long to wait for an identity document?
Since 1993, David Tickie Nkosi has been attempting to obtain a green ID document. In 2003, Home Affairs even declared him dead although he was - and is - very much alive.
As is the norm, the guvmunt insists on hiring people that clearly cannot do their jobs. In South Africa, an identity document is essential to obtaining employment to opening bank accounts.
You may recall the incident in December 2005 when another man 20-year-old Kabelo Thibedi snapped after patiently standing in queues for TWO and a HALF years trying to obtain his ID document. He held an official hostage with a toy gun and demanded his document. Miraculously it appeared within five hours and the incident ended without injury that evening when the police stormed the offices.
Kabelo Thibedi evoked enormous public sympathy. Even the ANC Youth League launched a Trust Fund and the Young Communist League got involved to aid Thibedi with his legal fees in recognition of the fact that the problem he was experiencing was not unique and millions of South Africans could relate to his experience. He was initially sentenced to five years imprisonment reduced to one year on appeal.
The Dept of Home Affairs has been chronically mismanaged for years and is a department crucial to the every day lives of South Africans. However, not being a 'glamour' portfolio, I doubt the ANC will give much heed to the problems facing the department.
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Nkosi, 48, who lives in Matsulu C near Nelspruit in Mpumalanga has been applying for a green barcoded identity document since in 1993.
"I'm getting older by the day and can't even open a bank account or get a job. The house my family lives in is registered in my wife's name because she's the only [one] with an ID book," he said.
The family, which includes three children, lives off the money his wife earns when she works in their neighbour's vegetable fields.
After he'd applied for his new ID book in 1993, he was told to apply for a temporary ID if he wanted to vote in the first democratic elections of 1994.
By 1998, he still did not have a proper ID book and was advised to apply for a passport, which may speed up the application of his ID book.
"To my surprise, in 2003, I received my death certificate in my postbox," he said angrily. He said he had done everything Home Affairs had asked him to do, including providing his parent's IDs and marriage certificate and baptism certificates.
"I haven't even received the passport I applied for. I suspect someone out there is playing tricks with me," he said.
Manager of the Department of Home Affairs in Mpumalanga, Robert Zitha, said there had been a problem capturing Nkosi's fingerprints.
He advised Nkosi to go directly to Nelspruit regional manager Enoch Mashiloane or office manager Johanna Molekwa for assistance.
(Hat tip: Radman)