An educator from Kraaifontein has been looking for help after being informed by the Department of Home Affairs that legally, her child is not her own.
An educator from Kraaifontein has been looking for help after being informed by the Department of Home Affairs that legally, her child is not her own.

Home Affairs tells mom she’s not the registered mother of her child

By Thandile Konco Time of article published Jun 19, 2021

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Cape Town - An educator from Kraaifontein has been looking for help after being informed by the Department of Home Affairs that legally, her child is not her own.

Mihle Zintle Ndukwana explained that when she attempted to apply for an unabridged birth certificate for her child, she was informed at Home Affairs offices she was not the registered mother.

“This happened in 2014. I was horrified to learn a stranger by the name of Thandeka Angel Phuzwayo was registered as the mother of my child, according to Home Affairs. We then discovered Phuzwayo and myself share an almost identical ID number and a mistake had been made on my daughter’s birth certificate making Phuzwayo her mother.”

The educator who teaches at eMasibambane High School in Kraaifontein said that since 2014 the matter had remained unresolved. Despite having visited, emailed and phoned several Home Affairs branches and having been referred to several different people within the department, there had been no clear resolution to the matter.

To date all she knows about the supposed legal mother of her child is that she lives in Durban and works at a paint company. With little to no information about this person she has been unable to make contact with her.

“My daughter is now in Grade 11 and I am worried because next year she will need to write her matric exams. As an educator I know she will need her ID to write exams and apply for tertiary education. We cannot get her an ID because I am unable to have her unabridged birth certificate made.”

In desperation, Ndukwana wrote a post on social media and expressed her frustration with her situation, asking for assistance online. Several people reached out to her, saying they were in the same situation.

The mother of 16-year-old Nakho Sidinile is one of the mothers that reached out to Ndukwana. Yondela Mbxeshi said her son was devastated last year when he missed an opportunity to go on a football tour to France. Without an unabridged birth certificate Mbxeshi was unable to obtain a passport for her son.

Mbxeshi explained she does not know the identity of the person who is legally the mother of her child. Despite several visits to Home Affairs the problem remains stagnant.

Nakho, who is a pupil at Diepsloot Combined school in Johannesburg, said the issue of his documents had ruined his life.

“I missed a very big opportunity in my life, and it continues to affect me because I am unable to apply for scholarships or football programmes. It would mean so much to me if this problem could be resolved and I could get my ID as I would then be able to pursue my football career.”

The Weekend Argus sent multiple inquiries and made several follow-up calls to Home Affairs spokesperson Siyabulela Qoza which has proven futile. The first correspondence was sent on May 12 and throughout the month and again this week. We have received no response to date.

Weekend Argus

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