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Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Des Van Rooyen. Picture Credit: Gallo Images
Van Rooyen suddenly withdraws his interdict

In another twist involving the public protector’s office‚ the Minister of Co-operative Governance an.

Life ain't easy for a 'boy named Sue'

By unknown | Jun 05, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Benson Ntlemo

Benson Ntlemo

"I am not a man," says Suzan Chauke, but the Department of Home Affairs thinks otherwise.

Chauke, from Shigalo in Malamulele, Limpopo, has been humiliated many times about her sex after being officially declared a man by Home Affairs.

She has been battling unsuccessfully for four years to have her official gender changed from that of "male" as recorded in her ID book to "female".

Chauke's ordeal started when she went to Home Affairs to apply for an ID in 2003.

"When my ID book came, it showed I was a man, which has given me many problems," she says.

Chauke, a grade 9 pupil, has a three-year-old child. Because of her invalid ID and being unable to get a birth certificate for her daughter, the child has not had a child support grant since her birth and was recently rejected from a pre-school.

"I cannot open a bank account because they don't believe me when they see I am a woman, but my ID says the opposite."

Chauke has been to Home Affairs offices numerous times to have the matter rectified.

"I have made many declarations and affidavits, but Home Affairs still fails to help me," she said.

At one stage she was told to go to a doctor to have her sex inspected and to attach the doctor's report to her affidavit. Out of frustration she agreed to do this, but not even that helped.

"When I went to a doctor, he took the R100 fee and laughed at me. Then he wrote a report without even checking me because he could see I am a woman," Chauke says.

Home Affairs spokesman Jackie Mashapu blamed the use of manual systems "which cause a lot of problems".

"It is unfortunate to be humiliated like that. The department will ensure her case is resolved as soon as possible," he said.


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