Man declared dead in 2016 wants lockdown eased to prove he's alive
Pretoria - A Leeuwfontein man, declared dead by the Department of Home Affairs in 2016, says he cannot wait until lockdown regulations are eased so he can obtain proof he’s alive.
Nni Banny Banda, 60, was handed his own death certificate when he went to the department's offices in Lebowakgomo, Limpopo, to fetch his deceased brother's death certificate.
It would take the department until early 2020 for the life hindering administrative error to be corrected, as Banda sought help through the media.
Spokesperson for the department, David Hlubane, said the mistake was quickly corrected once investigations ensued, shortly after Pretoria News intervened.
Early this year he said even though Banda was not made aware, a letter to confirm that his status had been reversed had been made available at the Lebowakgomo office.
However, a frustrated Banda said it broke his heart that the office told him they have the document but could not hand it to him due to limitation of services imposed on the office by lockdown regulations.
He said: “After they held my life hostage and killed my financial growth, I cannot believe I still have to wait further to prove that I am alive to other organs of government.
“I’m old now. I want to apply for an elderly pension at the South African Social Service Agency, but they will not pay a dead man. They’ve told me so many times that they wouldn’t be able to justify processing that payment.
“So, once again, my life still doesn’t progress. The home affairs office said it only dealt with limited services like issuing birth certificates for newborns and death certificates for grieving families.”
Banda said he could not wait anymore because, on top of the fact that he could not find work and change his children’s surname to use his, he can’t even open a bank account like a normal adult.
“I know someone might say I should be patient, but I am not one person who can trust the department. For four years they sent me from pillar to post, so excuse me if I’m not too confident.
“Until I have the proof in my hand and I can produce it to several other departments and those institutions who still think I’m dead, I’ll continue to be stressed. I will continue to consider myself dead.
“I don’t even have a driver's licence. God knows what processes I’ll have to go through and costs I’ll incur to be eligible to drive again in this country. This is just me watching my Code 14 driver’s licence become useless because no transport company would hire a deceased man,” said a frustrated Banda.