Change your identity, that is what bungling Home Affairs is now telling a pensioner after his ID was fraudulently used on a buying spree that included a car.
The department even denies that he is the rightful owner of an identity number he has always used.
Instead, Home Affairs has written a letter which reads in part: "I wish to inform you that a confirmation letter cannot be issued as Mr Mabena is not the rightful owner of identity number 580724 5264 083."
The department insists Amos Mabena of Randfontein must sign a consent form giving them (Home Affairs) permission to issue him a new identity number."
But Mabena is adamant: he says he will seek legal advice rather than have a new identity.
Mabena is on pension after suffering a back injury at a factory in Randfontein four year ago.
Trouble started when he lost and applied for a new ID at the Randontein office in 2004.
Mabena's new ID somehow landed with a fraudster who got a credit card from Absa Bank, purchased a car and secured several loans - as reported in Sowetan of December 10 last year.
Mabena had already checked for the ID on several occasions before he was referred to the Market Street office in Johannesburg.
"I refused to check it in Johannesburg because I applied in Randfontein," he said.
"And that is when I immediately smelt a rat.
"I think there are a lot of crooked officials at Home Affairs and I am looking into taking legal action because there is no way I am going to allow them to change my identity.
An investigation by Absa headed by Mogopo Kganyago has now discovered that the fraudster is a Malawian whose surname is spelt Mabhena.
Kganyago told Sowetan last week that the culprit has been arrested and handed over to the Polokwane police.
"The vehicle has since been returned to WesBank in Polokwane," said Kganyago.
A Home Affairs official in Randfontein, Charmaine Volschenk, said Pretoria "must fix the mess as the matter was in their hands".