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Couple’s despair after Home Affairs cock-up

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DAILY VOICE

According to Home Affairs, Claudine and Franklin Mobongi are a gay married couple who tied the knot under the Civil Union Act. Photo: Brendan Magaar

Cape Town - Two newlyweds say their love is in jeopardy because Home Affairs registered them as a gay married couple.

According to the Department of Home Affairs, Claudine Mobongi, 36, and her husband Franklin Mobongi, 32, are a gay married couple who tied the knot under the Civil Union Act – which allows for same sex marriage.

Claudine and Franklin married at Cape Town Home Affairs on November 7, 2011.

Since then their marriage has been anything but a fairytale.

For the last two years the couple from Brooklyn have been trying to correct their marital status.

She now fears her Cameroonian husband may be deported if the department does not fix its mistake – because his asylum papers are outdated.

In March 2012, when Claudine went to collect her marriage certificate, she noticed it had her maiden name – Adams – printed instead of her new name.

“I was very excited but I noticed my surname had not changed,” Claudia said.

“I asked an official about it and he said it’s supposed to be like that. I was never married before and I was confused but I accepted it. On the same day I applied for my new ID,” she said.

After a short wait for her new identity book, Claudia’s surname had still not been changed.

“My ID also had my maiden name and I asked the official about it,” she explained.

“He asked if I was married to a woman. I said I am married to a man and he pointed out that our marriage was registered as a civil union.”

Since then Claudine has been to the Department of Home Affairs several times with no luck.

“While I was there, one of the officials said the easiest thing for me would be to get divorced and remarry,” said Claudine.

Franklin’s asylum papers expired in October last year.

“My husband can’t find a job and I’m afraid he is going to be deported because of this,” she said.

“It is not like we got married so he can only become a citizen, we have been together for five years.

“My husband is too afraid to leave the house because he doesn’t have any papers and he can’t apply for citizenship because of this,” said the angry woman.

Claudine added she has been too embarrassed to tell her family.

“I wanted to keep this from my family because I was too embarrassed to tell them,” she said.

“They know how excited I was but now, according to Home Affairs, we are a gay couple.

“It has affected us, especially my husband.

“He doesn’t feel like he’s a man because he can’t find a proper job.”

By late Wednesday, Home Affairs had not responded to our request for comment.

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