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A poor East London couple has accused a welfare organisation employee of stealing their children's birth certificates.
Philisile Wanga, from Nompumelelo informal settlement, claims that Nontembeko Silimela, a fellow resident, offered to assist him with his application for child support grants for his children Ayanda, 7, and Aphelele, 4.
Wanga said he gave Silimela, who worked for the Christelike-Maatskaplike Raad (CMR), two certificates last year.
He said CMR was a non-governmental organisation which worked with social workers on child foster-care grants.
Wanga said that when Silimela took the certificates, she promised to help him apply for child-support grants on behalf of his two children.
"When I went to enquire about the certificates, she became aggressive, saying the certificates were at her home but when I went to her home she said they were in her office.
"At some stage, she threatened to call the police if I continued to ask about the certificates," Wanga said.
Wanga said he and his family were struggling to make ends meet as he relied on part-time jobs to feed his children.
Fellow residents claimed that CMR employees sold birth certificates to childless people who then used them to fraudulently apply for child-support grants.
When contacted, Silimela admitted that Wanga had given her the certificates which she said she had lost.
She said she regretted the loss but denied having any knowledge of the sale or disbursement of certificates.