A Limpopo teacher is living a pauper's life with her family of four after the Education Department stopped paying her salary.
This is after the Home Affairs department in Limpopo declared the woman dead.
Rebecca Leshabane, a teacher at Rammila Secondary School in Gasedibeng, Giyani, has been living a life below the poverty line since February.
Her enquiries about the non-payment of her salary have proved fruitless as both the departments of Education and of Home Affairs have told her she could not be paid because the person "with that name was dead".
"Like any other month, I went to the ATM at the end of the month expecting to receive my salary. But I was baffled when the statement indicated there was no money in my account."
A Home Affairs official said yesterday Leshabane shared a surname with another teacher who died in January.
The official said after Leshabane provided the department with her documents, "we gave her the assurance that all her problems would soon be a thing of the past".
Provincial spokesman for the education department, Ndo Mangala, said yesterday Leshabane's problem was receiving much-needed attention.
"Our officials are working around the clock every day to make sure she receives her outstanding salary."
Leshabane said her family was going hungry every day and she was in arrears with her accounts.
"One company has threatened to repossess my furniture and my medical aid has been cancelled.
"The car dealer where I bought a car has also threatened to repossess it," she cried.
Leshabane said that her daughter who is at pre-school had been dismissed from the school because she could not afford her monthly fees.
A teacher at Leshabane's school, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Sowetan that her problem was affecting Leshabane's performance.
She fell asleep in the staff room and at times forgot to go to class for lessons, the teacher said.
"Her pupils have already complained twice to the principal about her absenteeism," said the teacher.