Fri Oct 21 22:27:13 SAST 2016

Helping hand for ID problems

By unknown | Jan 22, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Pumza Fihlani

Pumza Fihlani

More than 1000 people in Soweto are counting on Kabelo Thibedi to help them with their "ID problems".

Thibedi, who was sentenced to five years in prison last year after holding a Home Affairs official hostage, vowed last year to "give back to the community by helping people in similar situations".

Thibedi was found guilty of kidnapping after holding Lanelle Smal hostage with a toy gun in her Johannesburg office in November 2005, demanding his identity document.

He claimed to have waited more than three years for the little green book.

Thibedi then made a promise to his community two months ago and has so far kept his word.

A campaign he launched with the Young Communist League had by yesterday recorded 1012 names of people from Meadowlands in Soweto alone who have experienced problems obtaining their IDs.

The list includes people who have been waiting for periods ranging between six months to 12 years.

When Sowetan spoke to Thibedi yesterday, he said: "This is my way of giving back to the community because I do not want anyone else to have to go through what I went through or to have to resort to what I resorted to.

"We have seen there is a need for such a campaign and want to reach as many people as possible," he said.

Meanwhile the jury is still out on when Thibedi will have his day in court where he will be appealing against a sentence Sowetan readers voted in a poll as "unfair".

He knows the possibility of imprisonment makes his future uncertain but he is not letting that get him down.


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